Topic: how change happens

What we’re missing by not getting our TWP alphabet straight

TWP guru Heather Marquette does everyone a great service by explaining the important differences between all the acronyms. I am struck by how often people say ‘TWP/PDIA/adaptive management/PEA…whatever’. Kind of like when my great-aunt calls me by various relatives’ names first before getting mine right – ‘Sheila… Mary…Lily…Heather!’ – these things may share a common genesis, […]

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What does the evidence tell us about ‘thinking and working politically’ in development assistance?

We’re having an ‘Adaptive Management week’ on FP2P, because so much good material has been coming through recently. First up is a new paper by Niheer Dasandi, Edward Laws, Heather Marquette, and Mark Robinson that I read on the way to the TWP conference in Washington that I wrote about recently. It really got me thinking. […]

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#PowerShifts Resources: Collective Mapping

Maybe you’ve already read one of the recent #PowerShifts pieces on how the Waorani are using maps in court to uphold their land rights. Pretty powerful, right? For a while now, I’ve been increasingly curious about collective cartography as a concrete method and tool that can encourage participation, generate collaborative knowledge, and politicise change processes […]

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How does an INGO like Oxfam help Africa get a good deal from its Natural Resources?

I recently caught up with Gilbert Makore, Oxfam’s Extractive Industries Adviser in East Africa recently. You can listen to the 25m podcast for more nuance, but here are some extracts: The East African moment: ‘The region sits at a very exciting point – it’s one of the emerging oil and gas producers in the world, […]

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PEKKA, an inspiring example of feminist activism from Indonesia

Thanks to Jonathan Fox for politely prodding me until I read his Accountability Research Centre’s great case study of PEKKA, an amazing Indonesian women’s organization, co-published with Just Associates. Some extracts: ‘PEKKA’s work began in 2001, emerging from the Komnas Perempuan (Widows’ Project), which set out to document the lives of widows in the conflict-ridden […]

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The challenges facing female researchers in conflict settings

Irène Bahati is a teaching assistant at the Department of Commercial Sciences at ISP/Bukavu and researcher at the Research Group for Violent Conflict and Human Secutity GEC-SH. This piece is part of the new “Bukavu Series” blog posts by the GIC Network.  Research is often seen as a man’s job, and in a patriarchal society it can be […]

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Take-up and Doubt: where have we got to on Thinking and Working Politically?

Spent a day this week at a Washington workshop on ‘From Thinking Politically to Working Politically’, organized by Abt Associates, whose Graham Teskey is one of the TWP gurus. What struck me most was the combination of the spreading acceptance of TWP approaches within the aid sector, and serious questions being asked about important aspects […]

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“When will we get a report on your findings?”: reflections on researcher accountability from DRC

Christian Chiza Kashurha is a teaching assistant at the Department of History  of ISP-Idjwi and researcher at  GEC-SH, Bukavu, DRC. This piece is part of the new “Bukavu Series” blog posts by the GIC Network. Throughout the Global South, in countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, research projects of researchers in the North are increasingly carried […]

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Maps in Court: how the Waorani are upholding their rights in Ecuador

Aliya Ryan is an anthropologist working with Digital Democracy on their Ecuador programme to support the Waorani and Siekopai territory mapping projects.  Last month the Waorani hit the headlines due to a landmark win against the Ecuadorian Government. Sixteen Waorani communities contested the supposed consultation that the government carried out in 2012 before putting millions […]

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How can Daniel Kahneman help organizations get better at Strategic Planning?

Oxfam is embarking on another round of strategic planning – a protracted process of research, debate and negotiation that sometimes make me wonder whether ‘INGO’ should really stand for ‘Interminable Navel-Gazing Ordeal’. Why the negativity? Partly because I worry that much of what is painfully agreed then sits on a virtual shelf until the next […]

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Naila Kabeer on Why Randomized Controlled Trials need to include Human Agency

Guest post and 20m interview with Naila Kabeer on her new paper There’s a buzz abroad in the development community around a new way to tackle extreme poverty. BRAC’s Targeting the Ultra Poor (TUP) programme combines asset transfers (usually livestock), cash stipends and intensive mentoring to women and families in extreme poverty in order to […]

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How should INGOs respond to growing nationalism in the UK?

Guest post from Matthew Spencer, (@Spencerthink) Oxfam’s Director of Campaigns, Policy & Influencing Kirsty McNeill, my counterpart from Save the Children UK, asked me this question last year and it’s been troubling me ever since. I had a vague answer, but wasn’t entirely convinced. We have no mandate to take sides on Brexit, but I […]

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