Topic: how change happens

Martin Luther King on the rules of non-violent protest, just v unjust laws and his disappointment with the white moderate

It was Martin Luther King day this week, and Save the Kids boss Kevin Watkins tweeted a link to King’s 1963 letter from Birmingham city jail, describing it as ‘a hymn for our times and a reminder of the ties that bind us’. So I took a look. It’s beautifully written, deeply moving, and gives […]

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Why do some bits of the State function, even in Messed Up Places? Review of ‘The Politics of Public Sector Performance’

The Politics of Public Sector Performance, edited by Michael Roll, brings together some fascinating research on ‘Pockets of Effectiveness’ in developing countries. PoEs are public organizations that ‘deliver public goods and services relatively effectively … scattered islands in seas of administrative ineffectiveness and corruption.’ This kind of approach has a lot to recommend it – […]

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What do we know about Developmental Leaders? What questions should we be asking?

The Developmental Leadership Program is an intriguing research initiative, which I’ve been loosely associated with for many years. Founded in 2006 and largely funded by the Australian aid programme, they recently produced four ‘foundational papers’ summarizing where they’ve got to and what questions they think researchers and practitioners should now be asking on the thorny […]

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Change in the UK and decolonizing Academia – round up (14m) of FP2P posts wb 13th January

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Decolonization, Decoloniality and the Future of African Studies

As discussions of the decolonization of academia gain momentum, Duncan Omanga interviews Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, research professor and director for scholarship in the Department of Leadership and Transformation in the Principal and Vice-Chancellor’s Office at the University of South Africa. These are extracts from a longer (3,000 word) piece published on the SSRC blog. If […]

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Book Review: From What is to What If, by Rob Hopkins

Some books engage and challenge you both emotionally and intellectually, making you feel uncomfortable. You end up arguing with them in your head. A lot. From What is to What If is just such a book, and I really benefited from the argument. In 180 sweetly written pages, Rob Hopkins, environmentalist and founder of the […]

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Is Community Wealth Building a solution to local deprivation in poor countries as well as the UK?

Recently, I’ve been reading up a bit about social change in the UK – I’m wondering if I should embark on some kind of ‘How Change Happens on my doorstep’ project. The stuff I’m finding is both familiar and different to what I’m used to. Take Community Wealth Building, for example, which is all the […]

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Can sustainable architecture help the homeless?

Weeks after the climate change conference in Madrid (COP25) and starting the new year with a mix of fear and anticipation, it is a fitting time to think of those who are most vulnerable to the impacts of the climate crisis. Particularly, those without a place to live: the homeless. Below is the transcript of […]

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How can we incorporate local knowledge into climate planning and policy?

This reflection is offered by Ibrahim Jarso, Rangelands Specialist at MercyCorps, Hausner Wendo, Climate Information & Resilience Planning Officer at the Adaptation Consortium and Sam Greene, Researcher on Climate Change at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). Isiolo County in northern Kenya’s arid and semi-arid region is typical of many dryland landscapes. Pastoralists […]

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World according to Ha-Joon Chang; Can INGOs give up power? Audio summary of FP2P posts, w/b 16th December

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Responses to ‘Are INGOs ready to give up power?’

On Wednesday, we republished this timely thought piece by Deborah Doane, which interrogates the power held by large NGOs and calls for a shift of power. The article clearly hit a nerve. Questions around #ShiftingThePower bring up enormous systemic (and existential) considerations that pose direct challenges not only to the structures we operate in, but […]

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Are INGOs ready to give up power?

Deborah Doane opens up a provocative and necessary discussion around the power held by INGOs, and how we can shift it. Deborah Doane is a Partner at Rights CoLab, and a writer and consultant working with civil society and philanthropy. She is steering a project on reimagining the INGO. This piece was originally published on […]

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