Topic: NGOs

What use are models of change? An experiment in Tanzania

I spent last week in Tanzania, but had to wait til I returned to internet-land before blogging on it. So this is Tanzania week on the blog.   First up, models of change (MoC). As you may have noticed, I’ve been thinking a lot about these recently. That usually involves exhausting intellectual gymnastics in seminars […]

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Poor Economics – a rich new book from Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo

Just finished Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, the latest Big Book on development. Like all good books, it has its own website, full of background papers etc. It’s from the doyennes of the new focus on measurement in general and randomized control trials (RCTs) in particular, Abhijit Banerjee […]

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Bluesky-tastic: comparing three future trends papers on the international system and INGOs

Apologies for blog going down over night – now fixed thanks to wonderful blogmaster Eddy. In the meantime, I’ve been catching up with some of the rash of recent 2020/2025 reports, published in the last couple of months, namely two reports for international NGOs: Alex Evans – 2020 Development Futures (for ActionAid) and Trocaire’s Leading […]

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The death of Doha? But the WTO lives on.

This piece of mine appeared on the Guardian development page yesterday (plus here, I include a few afterthoughts at the end) “The Doha round of global trade talks, launched by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in November 2001 amid a surge of solidarity after the 9/11 attacks, is experiencing the long slide into irrelevance that […]

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The trouble with targets: what would happen if we won all our campaigns?

For any campaign (aid, health, education, climate change, small farmers), persuading governments to sign up to a spending target on ‘your issue’ is often the crowning moment. But what happens when governments start signing up to several targets at once? In a recent briefing, Jessica Hagen-Zanker and Anna McCord at ODI ran the numbers for five countries […]

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Africa Power and Politics – David Booth responds

ODI’s David Booth responds to my post on the ODI’s Africa Power and Politics Programme “The APPP could hardly have hoped for a more encouraging reception for its first policy brief than the one provided by Duncan’s blog of 15 April. Encouraging and suitably challenging! The point of a policy brief is to be, well, […]

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Africa Power and Politics – a great new research programme, with lots to argue with

It’s a while since I’ve been as excited, intrigued and alarmed by a four page briefing as I was by the first policy brief of ODI’s Africa Power and Politics Programme (APPP). If you’re interested in the politics of development, drop everything and read it, and the accompanying (but gated, although the introductory overview is here) […]

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Robin Hood, Robin Hood, dum dum dum de dum: financial transaction tax update from Max Lawson

The Robin Hood Tax campaign to fund development and climate change adaptation via a small financial transactions tax (FTT) is potentially one of the campaigning success stories of recent years – an object lesson in how to seize the moment (global financial crisis and fiscal horror story in the rich countries) to promote a good […]

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How to work in fragile states – some thoughts from Oxfam's big cheeses

When Oxfam’s big cheeses come together, they have a tendency to issues ‘communiqués’ about their conclusions to be sent out to what they fondly imagine are battalions of eager staff desperately awaiting their words of wisdom (bosses can be funny that way). Reality is usually rather different but one recent communiqué – on working in […]

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What’s New in Development?

An edited version of this piece went up on the Guardian Development website yesterday, summarizing the latest round of horizon-scanning powerpoints: How people understand and think about development is in a state of constant churn and upheaval. Some ideas are genuinely new, prompted by new technologies and ground-breaking political movements. Other ideas are old, previously […]

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Really CGD? Really? The perils of attack blogs.

Update: A graceful apology from the CGD here.: ‘I deeply apologize to Oxfam and its partners and to our readers for the tone of my post. I should have dialed way back on the snark. Mea culpa.’ Kudos to Amanda Glassman for that. She doesn’t give on inch on the issues, so there will doubtless […]

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Inequality: what difference does it make to NGOs' work?

What difference does an inequality ‘lens’ make to the way we think about development and advocacy at national level? I’ve just been reading ‘Time for Equality: Closing Gaps, Opening Trails’, an excellent paper by the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean – one of the most innovative and interesting bits of the […]

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