Topic: NGOs

What’s going on with civil society and philanthropy in India? Interview + transcript with Ingrid Srinath

Ingrid Srinath runs the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy at Ashoka University in Delhi. She recently talked me through the current situation in India. She asked me to clarify that these are her personal views, not those of the university. The work of the Centre: as the first academic centre in South Asia to […]

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Njoki Njehu on inequality and African Feminism: Podcast + transcript

I interviewed feminist inequality activist Njoki Njehu, Pan-African Coordinator for the Fight Inequality Alliance, at a recent meeting in Nairobi. Here’s some excerpts: The Fight Inequality Alliance is a broad alliance and has everybody, the big INGOs like Oxfam, and local organizations like Dandora Hip Hop City – how do you manage the power relations […]

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What are the headlines of 8 years of research into Effective States and Inclusive Development?

At the end of a mind-bending 3 day conference on the findings of Manchester University’s ESID programme since 2011, I sat down with one of its masterminds, Sam Hickey and asked him to summarize it. He thinks and talks scarily fast, but stay with it – it’s great. We have summarized our findings as 3 […]

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No Pain, No Gain in strategic planning: An open letter to my organization in 2040

Warren Krafchik, Executive Director of the International Budget Partnership got in touch to say he’d like to chip in on the discussion on strategic planning, kicked off recently by Mark Goldring. So, you’re thinking of embarking on a strategic planning process. A little over 20 years ago, I had this same thought and took IBP […]

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How can we think about climate change financing within a climate of inequality?

Starting this Friday, young people, their parents and entire communities around the world are mobilising in a special week of action to call for climate justice, 20-27 September. In this post, Harpreet Kaur Paul argues that just as the impacts of climate breakdown are not the same for everyone, neither is the responsibility for financing […]

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How does Coalitions for Change in the Philippines Compare with other Adaptive Management Programmes?

Following on yesterday’s podcast + transcript about the work of the Coalitions for Change (CfC) programme in the Philippines, I thought I’d compare it to the 3 Adaptive Management programmes I’ve also been studying in Tanzania, Nigeria and Myanmar. Let’s take context first, and then think about the nuts and bolts of the different programmes. […]

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When democracies die, they die quietly… but what’s the role of Civil Society?

Save the Children’s José Manuel Roche has a book he wants you to read. So, it turns out that nowadays democracy seldom dies through violent coup d’état. More commonly (and insidiously), democracy slides gradually into authoritarianism.  By the same token, democracy survives when democratic leaders fight for it.  This is part of the main thesis […]

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The Politics of Climate Change: Is This Time Different?

I’ve had a couple of people asking why I haven’t been doing more on climate change on this blog. Be careful what you wish for…… I spent a lovely summer’s evening recently discussing the politics of climate change with Matthew Lockwood. Matthew is an old friend, who has just revived his must-read Political Climate blog. […]

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How does Journalism drive Change?

This was the topic for the latest in a series of Brixton lunches which seem to proliferate in the summer lull. I was talking to Miriam Wells from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a very cool organization (@TBIJ if you’re on twitter) where she has just become the ‘Impact Editor’. Now she has to work […]

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How do we get better at failure?

Emily Janoch of CARE International wants to talk about failure Everyone agrees that we need to learn more from failure, but … you first. I sat on a ‘failure panel’ once where two speakers weren’t even allowed to mention the organization where they worked, much less use current failure examples. Over coffee, everyone will talk […]

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Are we suffering from obsessive measurement disorder?

ODI’s Tiina Pasanen argues that more data doesn’t necessarily mean we make better decisions. It often means just having more data that is not used Do any of these situations sound familiar to you? as an M&E manager, you worry that there’s a crucial aspect of your project that the current logframe doesn’t cover as […]

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Does Strategic Planning Make a Difference?

Blimey, here’s a blogpost from former Oxfam GB boss Mark Goldring, written in response to a tweet of mine, repeated below. Pleased to see that someone takes my social media seriously. “’@Oxfam’s published its evaluation of its 2013-19 Strategic Plan. Some +ves: ‘one lesson rises to the top: we must learn how to continuously test […]

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