Topic: NGOs

Last post from Manchester: social protection and how do we get to grips with politics and power?

More thoughts (increasingly incoherent as workshop fatigue sets in) from the Manchester conference. What are the big changes in thinking from ten years of research on chronic poverty in dozens of countries? First, social protection, which has mushroomed from fringe issue to magic bullet with extraordinary speed. If the SP advocates really have won the […]

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The Climate Campaign v Make Poverty History

Over on the Political Climate blog, Andrew Pendleton has been musing on the difference between the 2005 ‘make poverty history’ and ‘stop climate chaos’ campaigns. In his view the climate campaigners have failed to break out of the ‘green wedge’ of environmentalists, whereas MPH went mainstream. His explanation for the differences? MPH used one simple […]

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Hedge Funds for Development? An evening with Ark

I spoke earlier this week at an annual retreat of a very different kind of charity – ARK. Set up by a bunch of hedge fund managers (it prefers the term ‘alternative investment industry’) in 2002, ARK raises a pile of money from glitzy gala dinners (see pic), and uses it to do what it […]

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Channel 16: a new crowdsourcing initiative on disasters and conflict

This is exciting – a new crowdsourcing initiative on humanitarian emergencies that combines wikipedia, youtube and Ushahidi to dig deeper, be more user-generated and more linked to taking action than standard media coverage. It’s called Channel 16, and here’s the blurb: “Named after the broadcast frequency of an international distress signal, Channel 16 creates a […]

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Locked latrines, meat offsetting and development apps

I just spent an enthralling couple of days at a get together of Oxfam GB’s country directors (CDs). A combination of group discussions and speed-dating as I talked to as many as possible of the incredibly impressive people who are on Oxfam’s frontline, lobbying ministers and officials, consulting poor communities and doing (lots of) management stuff. […]

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What is happening on global bank taxes? Robin Hood reports from the frontline

Earlier this year, I posted a fair amount on the new Robin Hood Tax campaign for a financial transactions tax to fund aid and the fight against climate change (start here and follow the links). In a guest blog, Oxfam’s top RHT obsessive, Max Lawson, updates us on the subsequent behind-the-scenes progress “In today’s aid-speak, […]

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Should we make our stuff longer and more complicated?

The ivory tower fights back. Over on the Overseas Development Institute blog, Enrique Mendizabal is having a moment of self doubt. As head of the ODI’s excellent Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) programme, Enrique usually tells researchers that if they want to have any influence on policy makers they need to KISS (Keep it […]

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Why Google Reader saves you time and expands your mind, with some links I liked on Africa, Climate Change and Aid

Back from holiday and in about an hour, I’ve just skimmed 250 pieces from the last three weeks of writing from my 15 favourite writers and bloggers, everyone from Paul Krugman and Martin Wolf to Texas in Africa and Political Climate. I didn’t have to go searching for them – they were all waiting for […]

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New books on development: bad microfinance; climate change and war; what works; inside the World Bank; mobile activism

One of the perks of writing a blog is that I can scrounge review copies of development-related books. I’m sure they’re all fascinating and I really want to read them but alas, they don’t come with extra hours in the day attached. So I now have a growing pile by my desk that is in […]

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Who reads this blog? Two years of blog stats and definitely time for a holiday

Google Analytics is dangerously addictive. You can see who’s visiting your blog, country by country, city by city and in real time. I have to ration myself or I’d be checking it every 5 minutes. Anyway, it turns out that I have now been writing this blog for two years. So here’s the verdict so far: […]

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Ford v Toyota – is it time to change the way we do research for development?

I took part in a conference on fragile states last week. Because it was held under Chatham House rules, I can’t say much about it, (except for the excellent on-the-record presentation by Tom Carothers of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which I blogged on at the time), but it got me thinking about a […]

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An effective public campaign (on palm oil)

You know you’ve had an impact when the Economist devotes three pages to your campaign, so hats off to Greenpeace and the other organizations featured in this week’s spread on palm oil. Here are some excerpts: “Palm oil is a popular, cheap commodity, which green activists are doing their best to turn into a commercial […]

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