Topic: Aid

Global Britain or Little Britain? We may find out this week

Sam Nadel, Oxfam’s Head of Policy and Advocacy, reflects on a bad week for the UK. Cast your mind back to December 2016. Boris Johnson, then UK Foreign Secretary, is speaking at an event at Chatham House, laying out his vision for the UK’s role in the world. Just six months earlier, the UK had voted to […]

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Social Protection in a Time of Covid – 4 takeaways and 4 big gaps from a recent global discussion

Larissa Pelham, Oxfam’s Social Protection Adviser, reports back on a 4 day Zoomathon Covid-19 has catapulted social protection into the spotlight.  From furloughing to school feeding programmes delivered to homes, 212 states and territories across the world have planned or delivered 1179 social protection interventions in response to the pandemic.  It is the backbone support […]

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Free online aid and development courses for penniless graduates

While we’re all chewing our nails about the US election, here’s recent LSE Masters student Hanna Toda with a post on how to keep learning while job-hunting. Job applications can be an anxious waiting game for many students who have just finished their degrees. It can also feel exciting and/or overwhelming at how much more […]

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Book Review: How to Rig an Election, by Nic Cheeseman and Brian Klaas

Thought I’d repost this book review from 2018 today. No particular reason…. A lot of the power of a successful book is in its ‘big idea’ – the overall frame that endures long after the detailed arguments have faded in the memory. On that basis, ‘How to Rig an Election’ looks set to do very […]

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5 Common Mistakes when NGOs start strategizing

I’ve been having similar conversations in several places over the last couple of weeks, which usually triggers a post. People send me a draft strategy document and say ‘what do you think?’ I take a deep breath and launch in. Half an hour later they look a bit shell-shocked, but (these are NGOs after all), […]

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What’s the best way to manage information overload on development? My favourite synthesizers and other tips.

How to cope with Information Overload – how much of the daily tide of opinion and research on aid, development, politics etc can you manage to surf, while still doing the day job (which may well involve adding to it)? Some colleagues suffer from FOMO and ICYMI, hopping between social media in a constant scavenging […]

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‘Cutting Edge Issues in Development’ Heads up for an amazing series of online lectures, starting next week

Organizing (along with James Putzel) the LSE’s guest lecture series on ‘Cutting Edge Issues in Development Thinking and Practice’ has turned out to be one of the few genuine silver linings in the Covid cloud. Because we’ve had to move to fully online, we’ve been able to get some of the world’s most interesting thinkers […]

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Rules of Thumb – good idea or double-edged sword?

Spent a fun couple of hours last week helping the Centre for Good Governance (CGG) in Myanmar identify its ‘rules of thumb’ (RoTs) – the default questions and instincts that govern an organization’s daily decision-making, rather than the long-winded strategy documents that no-one reads. One of the national staff nailed the difference ‘The theory of […]

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What do we learn from using Political Economy Analysis in 13 national health and education programmes?

If you’re interested in Thinking and Working Politically, or the use of Political Economy Analysis (PEA) in aid and development, then do please follow the Governance and Development Soapbox, run by the team at Abt. I’ve re-posted quite a few of its blogposts, by Graham Teskey, Lavinia Tyrrel and others, but it also has some […]

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Lest we forget: Why investments in hygiene, sanitation and water are key to fighting COVID-19

Guest post by Muyatwa Sitali, Head of Country Engagement, Sanitation and Water for All COVID-19 has taught us that a world where nearly half of its population do not have what they need to properly wash their hands at critical times is not a safe world. We are delicately and dangerously connected. A disease which […]

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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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