Topic: NGOs

How can researchers and activists influence African governments? Advice from an insider

One of the highlights of the Twaweza meeting was hearing from Togolani Mavura (left), the Private Secretary to former President Kikwete (in Tanzania, ex-presidents get a staff for life, not like in the UK where they have to hawk themselves round the after dinner speaking circuit). Togolani has worked across the  various policy levels  of the […]

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Can Evidence-based Activism still bring about change? The view from East Africa

Spent last week defrosting in Tanzania, at a fascinating conference that produced so many ideas for blogs that, even if all the promised pieces don’t materialize, we’re going to have to have a ‘Twaweza week’ on FP2P. Here’s the first instalment. I’m buzzing and sleep deprived after getting back from an intense two days in […]

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Challenging humanitarianism beyond gender as women and women as victims

Dorothea Hilhorst (right), Holly Porter (centre) and Rachel Gordon (left) introduce a highly topical new issue of the Disasters journal (open access for the duration of 2018). This post first appeared on the ISS blog. At the United Nations (UN) World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in May 2016, ‘achieving greater gender equality and greater inclusivity’ was identified as one […]

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I’m helping run a summer school on Adaptive Management. In Bologna. Interested?

This could be a lot of fun, I’m working with two of the smartest minds in Oxfam: Irene Guijt (head of research) and Claire Hutchings (head of Programme Quality) to design and deliver a one week summer school course on ‘Adaptive Management:  Working Effectively in the Complexity of International Development’. Between us we are going […]

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5 common gaps and 4 dilemmas when we design influencing campaigns

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

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What to read on Oxfam’s sexual misconduct crisis?

Like anyone else connected with Oxfam, I’ve been glued to the media, and my emails over the last 10 days. It’s been pretty harrowing, a crushing dissonance between the revelations of sexual misconduct in our responses to emergencies in Haiti, Chad and elsewhere, and what I know of Oxfam’s focus and work on gender, women’s […]

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Why the Aid Community needs to step up on Fragile/Conflict States

Everyone in the aid biz is talking fragile and conflict affected states these days (FCAS – I’ve given up on trying to get everyone to adopt FRACAS….). That’s partly because that’s where poor people will predominantly be in a couple of decades time, as more stable places grow their way out of extreme poverty, and […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

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Development Studies is fun, but is there a job at the end of it?

Studying development is fascinating, but will there be jobs for students once they graduate? I chaired a careers panel for LSE students recently, where a variety of alums, now rising up the greasy poles of the aid industry, came back to share their thoughts. One recurring theme of the evening was the kind of skills […]

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