Topic: NGOs

5 ways to build Civil Society’s Legitimacy around the world

Saskia Brechenmacher and Thomas Carothers, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, introduce and summarize the insights from their new collection of essays from civil society activists. Pressure on civic space keeps increasing around the world, driven by the toxic mix of rising authoritarianism, growing populism, and wobbly democracy. Battles over legitimacy are central to […]

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A day in the life of an Oxfam researcher – fancy joining the team?

Guest post from Deborah Hardoon (right) Psst, want my job? This is my last week as Deputy Head of Research at Oxfam. It’s a role which is as fascinating as it is challenging. You get to work on important global issues, with brilliant and bright people from all over the world. For details on the […]

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Mark Goldring on how to maximise the impact of business on poverty and injustice

Guest post from Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB’s Chief Executive  Last week I introduced an Oxfam event at which Paul Polman of Unilever and a number of proponents of social enterprises came together to explore what kind of new business models we need to help beat poverty for good. My starting point was that business has […]

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Why donors ignore the evidence on what works, and transparency and accountability projects are a dead end. David Booth’s Non-Farewell Lecture.

ODI is always innovating, and earlier this week organized a non-farewell lecture for one of its big thinkers, David Booth. As far as I could work out, this was a celebration of them stopping paying him (aka ‘retirement’), while he continues to work for them for free as a visiting fellow. Interesting business model. Anyway, […]

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What does the public think about inequality, its causes and policy responses?

Irene Bucelli, (left) of the LSE and Franziska Mager, of Oxfam GB, summarize the results from an Oxfam volunteer research project When it comes to inequality, a growing body of evidence shows that people across countries underestimate the size of the gap between the rich and poor, including their wages. This can undermine support for […]

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What is really stopping the aid business shifting to adaptive programming?

Jake Allen, Head of Governance for Sub Saharan Africa at the British Council, left such a well argued, sweetly written comment on Graham Teskey’s recent post that I thought I’d post it separately “For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” (HL Mencken said something similar to this, just not […]

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Bruised but better: the stronger case for evidence-based activism in East Africa

Wrapping up Twaweza week, Varja Lipovsek (left) and Aidan Eyakuze reflect on the event that has provided the last week’s posts It was a stormy couple of days in Dar es Salaam. First, it is the rainy season, so the tent in which we held our meeting flapped and undulated over our heads like a […]

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Can religion play a role in evidence-obsessed governance strategies? Lessons from Tanzania

Next up in the Twaweza series, Aikande Clement Kwayu reflects on the development sector’s blind spot with religion When it comes to social change, religion is a double-edged sword. It can be both a force for good and/or for bad. The world-wide positive contribution by religious organisations in providing public services such as health and […]

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When does Tech → Innovation? Here’s what 178 projects tell us

Next up in Twaweza week, a realists’ guide to tech and development. I’m basically a grumpy old technophobe who can’t even manage Excel, and whose hackles rise whenever geewhizz geeks pop up and claim that the latest digital gizmo (blockchain, clicktivism or whatever) is going to usher us all into the promised land. I dislike […]

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Which Citizens? Which Services? Unpacking Demand for Improved Health, Education, Roads, Water etc

Next up in the Twaweza series is this post from Ruth Carlitz of the University of Gothenburg. Please read and comment on the draft paper she summarizes here. Clean water. Paved roads. Quality education. Election campaigns in poor countries typically promise such things, yet the reality on the ground often falls short. So, what do […]

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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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