Topic: how change happens

‘This Shit is Killing Me’: Dalit rights and Mumbai’s sewers

I thought I’d enliven the summer by posting some of the top blog posts from this year’s students in my LSE class on ‘Advocacy, Campaigning and Grassroots activism‘. Their individual assignment was to design a campaign strategy for a cause close to their hearts, and write a blog about it. First up, Monica Moses on […]

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How to Analyse stories of Change: could you help sharpen up these guidelines?

This week, I’ll be highlighting some of the great work on activism and change from my LSE students. First up, could you comment on this draft paper please? Explanation below: Case studies are a crucial means of understanding how the world changes and informing our work as activists. Simplistic case studies reduce complex realities to […]

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Supporting Feminist and Queer Activists Under Growing Threat Worldwide

This post first appeared on the Urgent Action Fund Africa site, under a Creative Commons License. Within women human rights activist circles, the recent rape and murder of Viktoria Marinova, journalist covering EU corruption, is all too familiar to circumstances surrounding the killing of Brazil’s Marielle Franco. And similar yet to the murder of Berta Caceres, a well-known environmental […]

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How Change Happens: the podcast

I spoke to Jo Howard from IDS about How Change Happens for their book podcast Between the Lines. Here it is: With podcasts, I always try to provide a blog-length set of excerpts for people who prefer reading to listening, but I honestly couldn’t bear to listen to myself this time. So huge thanks to […]

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Book Review: Civic Activism Unleashed: New Hope or False Dawn for Democracy? by Richard Youngs

This book promised a lot, but only partially delivered. There’s enough substance there to warrant a read, though. The book’s starting point is an upsurge in ‘new activism’ around the world. Robert Putnam’s anomic world of lonely people ‘Bowling Alone’ is looking pretty silly right now. The new activism is very different from the professionalized […]

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How have societies rebuilt trust in their leaders? Your ideas please!

What can we learn from history about how to rebuild the trust between political leaders and citizens that seems to have evaporated in recent years? This was the topic of a recent exchange with Paddy Radcliffe. Paddy has launched a project to ‘build trustworthiness and trust in and between our public leaders, institutions and citizens’ in […]

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If top down control is unavoidable, can we still make aid more compatible with systems thinking?

Had a really interesting conversation last week with Oxfam Intermon and its friends in the Catalan aid system (in Spain, aid is regional with provinces and even cities like Barcelona pursuing active aid policies). I gave my usual rap about how complex systems require aid providers to adopt iterative, adaptive approaches to cope with uncertainty […]

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Return to Chiquitania: What’s changed in the 13 years since my first, mind-blowing visit?

Back in 2006, two encounters with grassroots change processes shaped a lot of what I have written ever since. The first was with the fishing communities of Tikamgarh – I went back to see them again in 2016 and made this video. The other was the Chiquitano indigenous group in Bolivia, a second inspiring story […]

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On Africa’s feminist frontlines, we need accessible care practices to sustain our movements

Jessica Horn is a feminist activist, writer and technical advisor on women’s rights. She is a co-founder of the African Feminist Forum and currently works as Director of Programmes for the African Women’s Development Fund.  Feminism is having its global moment – that heady feeling when a movement’s revolutionary demands are being heard by the […]

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“Waiting for the morning birds”: researcher trauma in dangerous places

Thamani Mwaka Précieux is a researcher with Land Rush at the Institut Supérieur de Développement Rural of Bukavu. This piece is part of the new “Bukavu Series” blog posts by the GIC Network.  Doing research in the DRC is a dangerous job, due to widespread insecurity in various parts of the country, and complicated by the presence […]

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Meet the artist changing gut reactions to the Philippines ‘war on drugs’

Jay Ramirez writes about Carlo Gabuco’s visceral, intimate and poignant depictions of Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’ in the Philippines. Some brilliant insights on the power of art that bring the concept of human rights “down to the gut.” In an art fair in Manila in March last year, one installation caught everybody’s eye. A blue […]

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What have we learned from a close look at 3 DFID Adaptive Management programmes?

Adaptive Management week part 3 (with some trepidation given the recent comments from Heather Marquette et al about the proliferation of flakey case studies in lieu of evidence)…. My paper with Angela Christie summarizing our 3 case studies of big DFID-funded Adaptive Management projects in Myanmar, Tanzania and Nigeria is now online. Every word in […]

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