January 2017

The WDR 2017 on Governance and Law: Can it drive a transformation in development practice?

Duncan Green - January 31, 2017

  Stefan Kossoff (DFID’s governance czar) reviews the new WDR, published this week. For those of us working on governance this week’s publication of the 2017 World Development Report on Governance and Law (WDR17) has been hotly awaited. And I’m pleased to say the report–in all its 280 page glory–does not disappoint (there’s a 4 page summary for the time-starved). As Duncan Green, Brian Levy …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - January 30, 2017

Fantastic news. John Ambler, one of the wisest heads in development, has written his memoirs/life lessons, free to download Simon Maxwell has written one of the most comprehensive reviews to date of How Change Happens, striking a nice balance between liking it and finding loads of gaps. RCTs (Randomised Controlled Trials) came under scrutiny (again). First a study in the BMJ showed that large effects …

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Reframing climate change: how carbon reduction can also reduce poverty and inequality

Duncan Green - January 27, 2017

Given the events of 2016 we may well need to find additional ways of arguing for action on climate change.  Luckily, new evidence highlights additional incentives for action.  Ruth Mayne explores the ‘co-benefits’ of tackling climate change and the practical benefits they can bring to community and national development. We normally understand climate change as a collective action problem. The climate is a global public …

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Handy NGO Guide to Social Network Analysis

Duncan Green - January 26, 2017

Social Network Analysis has been cropping up a bit in my mental in-tray. First there was my Christmas reading – Social Physics, by Alex Pentland. Then came yesterday’s post from some networkers within Oxfam. So here are some additional thoughts, based on a great guide to SNA by the International Rescue Committee. Complexity and Systems Thinking seems to push people into two divergent sets of conclusions. …

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What makes Networks tick? Learning from (a lot of) experience

Duncan Green - January 25, 2017

  When are networks the right response to a development challenge (as opposed to a monumental talking shop – more hot air than action)? Oxfamers Andrew Wells-Dang, Stéphanie de Chassy, Benoit Trudel, Jan Bouwman and Jacky Repila discuss: Working with and as a part of networks is an inescapable part of today’s interconnected world – and increasingly of Oxfam’s programming and influencing. But what kinds …

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Local governance and resilience – what lasts after the project ends?

Duncan Green - January 24, 2017

Jane Lonsdale reflects on the lessons from an ‘effectiveness review’ of a Myanmar project 18 months after it ended. For the nerds among you, an accompanying post on the nuts and bolts of the effectiveness review has just gone up on the ‘real geek’ blog We have just finished a review of Oxfam’s work in Myanmar’s central Dry Zone. This was designed some 6 years …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - January 23, 2017

Now President Trump is US tweeter in chief, I’m going to have to start running more screen grabs in these round-ups. Here he is taking on author Isaac Marion. 21,000 RTs and counting…. [update: now I feel really stupid – turns out this was fake news (it’s everywhere) aka sad author trying to promote his own book by faking the Trump tweet – see comments …

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5 Straws to Clutch/Reasons to be Cheerful on US presidential inauguration day

Duncan Green - January 20, 2017

Someone asked me to try and write something positive today, so here goes. As President Obama told his daughters, the only thing that’s the end of the world is the end of the world. This ain’t it. So (channelling Ian Dury), here are some reasons to be cheerful: The US is deeply federal: to a Brit, it’s striking how many of the big decisions are …

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Why Davos should be talking about Disability

Duncan Green - January 19, 2017

In what I think had better be the last blog for Davos, Jodie Thorpe, IDS and Yogesh Ghore, Coady International Institute present important new research on a rising issue on the development agenda Can markets include and benefit some of the most marginalized people on earth, such as persons with disabilities? The leaders of government, business and third sector organizations gathered in Davos this week should …

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A Song for Davos: your chance to vote on best song on inequality

Duncan Green - January 18, 2017

Twitter definitely beats work. On Monday, Oxfam’s Max Lawson kicked off a discussion on the best song about economic inequality, which got enough candidates for an impromptu ‘Song for Davos’ competition – check these out and vote. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fortunate Son [Max Lawson] Bob Marley, Them Belly Full [me, with post on Marley v IMF] Motorhead, Eat the Rich [Phil Evans] Juliani (Kenyan rapper, …

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