Topic: how change happens

When throwing evidence and facts is not enough. How Change Happens in the Humanitarian System

Here’s a sentence you don’t often hear. I just read a really interesting conference report. Transforming Change: How Change Really Happens and What we can do about it, by Paul Knox Clarke, summarizes a big 2017 discussion on the drivers of change in the humanitarian system, as well as the blockers. I reported on it […]

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How can a Book Change the World? The theory of action behind Kate Raworth and the Doughnut Economics Action Lab

We’re ending the LSE’s ‘Cutting Edge Issues’ lecture series with some real gems. Most recently, it was Kate Raworth, originator of the doughnut, presenting her work in trying to turn a book into global action via the Doughnut Economics Action Lab (DEAL). Do watch her talk (not least if you want lessons from a truly […]

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What kinds of ‘Agency’ are emerging as grassroots organizations respond to Covid?

Six months in, the ‘Emerging Agency in a time of Covid’ project is coming along nicely, and starting to generate some interesting insights. We recently spent 90 minutes on a call with the ‘cluster convenors’ – people who have offered to host discussions with groups of people around the world on particular issues (faith organizations, […]

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How to change policy and practice at city level? A discussion with some influencers.

Spent an enjoyable couple of hours last week chatting to some students doing the LSE MSc in Cities course about their group projects. These were aimed at designing initiatives to promote different aspects of sustainability and emissions reductions in major cities: Montreal (building regulations);  Bogotá (transport); Freetown (natural habitat) and Amsterdam (consumption). We covered some […]

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Is Campaigning on Inequality harder? Here’s what some of the world’s inequality activists said

In the run up to digital Davos this year, I got into a conversation with Jenny Ricks of the Fight Inequality Alliance about the huge growth in campaigning on inequality. On the one hand, inequality is clearly an important and pressing issue (I won’t rehearse the arguments here). But it’s also really multi-faceted – wealth, […]

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Seizing a window of opportunity: lessons from research on anti-corruption reform

Guest post by Florencia Guerzovich, Soledad Gattoni, and Dave Algoso Anyone working for change knows that timing matters. You can see your efforts stall and spin for years, before finally you break through. What made that possible? Sometimes it’s your persistence, wearing down opposition like water carving a canyon. But sometimes it’s a change that […]

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Win-win: Designing climate change projects for effective anti-corruption in Bangladesh

Guest post by Mitchell Watkins & Professor Mushtaq Khan (SOAS University of London) Our research in Bangladesh identifies two practical ways to make climate change adaptation funding more effective. First, anti-corruption monitoring is more effective when led by locally influential households; secondly and more importantly, their involvement can be increased by designing adaptation projects to […]

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How to think about Power – aka Learning from my Students

My LSE Masters module on Advocacy, Campaigning and Grassroots Activism kicked off recently with a great discussion on the nature of power. Tom Kirk, who teaches the course with me, asked each of the seminar groups to buzz on ‘how has your disciplinary background shaped your understanding of power’. Some fascinating patterns emerged. If you […]

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Right now, it feels like anything can derail everything, so are theories of change still useful?

Guest post from Oxfam’s Thomas Dunmore-Rodriguez Applying a theory of change approach is hard, and in the current context just got a whole lot harder. Theories of change tend to be abstract, intangible, and largely hypothetical, so given the unpredictability of the COVID-affected world, are they still useful for activists seeking to strategize for positive […]

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The dangers of “policy-sising” social change

Christopher Choong Weng Wai is the Deputy Director of Research at Khazanah Research Institute in Malaysia and an Atlantic Fellow for Social and Economic Equity at the International Inequalities Institute, London School of Economics. His research interest is in the everyday reproduction of poverty, inequalities and exclusion. He tweets at @chrischoongww. For those of us […]

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In Conversation on How Change Happens, Activism and Politics

On Wednesday I was subjected to a gruelling cross-examination on Life, the Universe and Everything (actually ‘How Change Happens’) for the entertainment of some Cambridge Accountancy students. Here’s some of the less embarrassing bits. Q: How do you stop yourself feeling overwhelmed by complexity? A: It’s only overwhelming if you think you’re ever going to […]

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Oxfam’s top 5 climate justice wins since 2008

Tim Gore, a fellow Oxfamer who for years has contributed great pieces on climate change to FP2P, is heading off to become (deep breath) Head of the Low Carbon and Circular Economy Programme at the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP). (Twitter: @tim_e_gore). Here are his outgoing reflections. Last month I ended an epic 12-year […]

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