Topic: Other

How to Monitor and Evaluate an Adaptive Programme: 7 Takeaways

I generally try to avoid ‘inside baseball’ aid discussions that make sense mainly to practitioners, but this piece by Gloria Sikustahili, Julie Adkins, Japhet Makongo & Simon Milligan was so interesting and sensible, I made an exception. We’ve all been there. We’ve drowned in the weight of programme documentation; the need to capture everything, to […]

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The Hidden Life of Theories of Change

We’re getting down and aid-wonky for the next couple of days. First up, ToCs: I’ve gone through a personal hype cycle on Theories of Change – first getting excited and extolling their virtues, and then starting to have second thoughts as I saw them turn from a tool that encourages imagination and experimentation into a […]

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Why are Illegal Drugs still a Cinderella Issue in Development? (Looking at you CGD!)

Why don’t more mainstream aid organizations work on the issue of illegal drugs like cannabis, coca or opium poppy? We’ve known for decades that the prevalent approach to these – prohibition – harms small-scale farmers that grow them, fuels violence, undermines the rule of law and contaminates politics (the UN estimates the illegal drugs trade […]

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How to reduce carbon emissions = 100 coal power stations with the world’s biggest nudge

In the latest instalment from my LSE activism students, Lachlan Hill took my course to help formulate the strategy for his Go25degrees campaign in Indonesia. This asks Air Con manufacturers – not governments – to take responsibility for their indirect emissions and make one simple change to their factory settings. One simple nudge to prevent […]

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In advocacy, which matters more – evidence or relationships? How has Covid changed the balance?

Sometimes I wish the earth was flat – then at least, we wouldn’t have time zones. Last week I blearily zoomed in for three 7am starts to discuss the strategy of the Myanmar-based Centre for Good Governance (full disclosure, I’m an adviser). Luckily, it was really interesting. CGG prides itself on its ability to adapt […]

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What do 13,000 children in 46 countries have to tell us about living with COVID-19?

Guest post by Save the Children International’s Melissa Burgess and Michael O’Donnell The world is certainly not lacking in research on COVID-19. But there have been gaps in empirical data showing the lived experience of people around the world. Today, Save the Children is filling some of those gaps with the release of the findings […]

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Launching a new Research and Action programme on ‘Emergent Agency in a Time of Covid’. Want to join us?

Mutual aid groups morphing into long term citizens’ organizations; women’s organizations forming to address the surge in domestic violence during lockdown; small producers switching to producing protective equipment for health and care workers. Across the world, people are responding to the pandemic at a local level by acting, organizing and learning. What kinds of patterns […]

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Book Review: ‘Thinking and Working Politically in Development’

‘Thinking and Working Politically in Development’, by John Sidel and Jaime Faustino, is a new book on one of my favourite ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ programmes – Coalitions for Change (CfC) in the Philippines. It’s not the most user-friendly (no exec sum, no index), but at least it’s open access – download here. I’ve written […]

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What have 5 years of tax campaigns achieved?

Guest post by Oliver Pearce In early 2016, I joined Oxfam GB to lead its tax work. As I now prepare to leave Oxfam, a lot has changed in the world of tax (and the wider world too!). Early 2016 was before the Brexit referendum, the Trump presidency, England’s men joining the women’s team by […]

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Cracks in the knowledge system: whose knowledge is valued in a pandemic and beyond?

Guest post by Jon Harle Many of the inequities which COVID-19 has exposed – and exacerbated – have been with us for a long time.  Setting aside very stark disparities in access to health services, and the ability to maintain decent livelihoods, COVID has shown us once again the processes of exclusion that are baked […]

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3 advocacy case studies I would love to read (on long term norm shifts). Anyone fancy writing them?

On the off chance that someone is looking for an interesting research topic, here are 3 case studies related to norm change that I would love to read about, but don’t currently have time to research myself. If you are interested in picking up any of them, I’d love to discuss (and read the result). […]

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The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) merger and the future of adaptive programming

Guest post by Ed Laws and Pablo Yanguas The merger of DFID and the FCO into a new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has sent shockwaves through the UK-centred development community, with NGOs and MPs publicly decrying the decision, current and former DFID staff expressing concern and dismay in private and in public, and […]

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