how change happens

The Global Politics of Pro-Worker Reforms

Duncan Green - March 1, 2018

Guest post from Alice Evans, Lecturer in the Social Science of Development at King’s College, London Politically smart, locally-led collaborations are all the rage in international development. Through iterative adaptation and experimentation, states can improve their capabilities and learn what works for them. So sings the choir. But we also need to recognise that governing elites will experiment in ways that further their priorities, as …

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5 common gaps and 4 dilemmas when we design influencing campaigns

Duncan Green - February 27, 2018

I’ve just read the initial proposals of 30+ LSE students taking my one-term Masters module on Advocacy, Campaigning and Grassroots Activism. Their two main assignments are to work as groups analysing past episodes of change (more on that later in the term) and individual projects where they design an influencing exercise based on their own experience and the content of the course (power analysis, stakeholder …

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What makes Adaptive Management actually work in practice?

Duncan Green - February 27, 2018

This post by Graham Teskey, one of the pioneers of ‘thinking and working politically’, first appeared on the Governance Soapbox blog  It’s striking how important words are. USAID calls it Adaptive Management, DFAT calls it Thinking and Working Politically, DFID calls it Politically Informed Programming, and the World Bank just ignores it altogether. More seriously – what is at issue here? At heart, I would argue that this …

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Book Review: Aids Drugs for All: Social Movements and Market Transformations, by Ethan B Kapstein and Joshua W Busby

Duncan Green - February 23, 2018

Thanks to Chris Roche for sending me back to re-read this wonderful case study of how activists can change markets (here’s a free pdf of the first chapter). Kapstein and Busby painstakingly researched the rise, tactics and successes/failures of the global advocacy campaign around access to medicines for HIV/AIDS. Their (hugely ambitious) aim is not just to understand a movement that has saved thousands of …

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Ebola Secrets: what happened when an epidemic hit a village in Sierra Leone? 

Duncan Green - February 22, 2018

Melissa Parker, Professor of Medical Anthropology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Tim Allen, Professor of Development Anthropology at LSE and Director of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa find long-standing customary forms of governance played a critical role in ending the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. This blog first appeared on the LSE’s Africa blog. ‘I acted to save the lives of my people, but what …

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New Report from UN Women argues that Universal Childcare can unlock progress across multiple SDGs (and costs it)

Duncan Green - February 15, 2018

Silke Staab (left) and Ginette Azcona introduce their new report on gender and the SDGs, published yesterday UN Women has just launched its first monitoring report on gender equality and the SDGs “Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda”. The report offers the most comprehensive review to date on how gender equality features in the 2030 agenda, the massive challenges in making …

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A global X ray of the world’s budget processes shows progress has gone into reverse

Duncan Green - February 14, 2018

I dropped in on the London launch of the Open Budget Survey 2017 last week – I’ve been helping its creator, the International Budget Partnership, update its strategy. The survey has been running since 2006 – this is its sixth round. It now covers 115 countries, covering 93% of the world’s population, and assesses governments on their transparency, independent oversight of the budget process and …

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How can a gendered understanding of power and politics make development work more effective?

Duncan Green - February 13, 2018

Helen Derbyshire, Sam Gibson, David Hudson and Chris Roche, (left to right) all researchers from the Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) introduce some new work on gender and politics (and win the prize for the most authors on a single FP2P post). There have long been concerns that the ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ and ‘Doing Development Differently’ movement is a bit gender blind. Which is bizarre …

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9 bad things you do (but know you shouldn’t) in research communications

Duncan Green - February 9, 2018

Guest post by Caroline Cassidy (left) and Louise Ball  Over the years, at ODI’s Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) programme, we have worked with an array of researchers, communicators, practitioners and policy-makers, trying to make head and tail of how to get evidence to influence or inform policy. Reflecting on how far we’ve come, we realised that there’s a ton of good advice out there …

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100 years after women got the vote, why is #StillMarching as central as ever to human progress?

Duncan Green - February 6, 2018

Oxfam’s Emily Brown on today’s 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the UK Today marks 100 years since some women in the UK first gained the right to vote. The People’s Representation Act of February 6th 1918 represents both a historic milestone in the post-war opening of public and political spaces to women, but also a move designed to keep a meaningful transfer of power …

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