Topic: Aid

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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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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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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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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Development Nutshell: mini round-up (10m) of FP2P posts, w/b 3rd August

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Covid has put Governance at the heart of debates on Development, but how has it changed the questions we ask?

Guest post from governance guru Graham Teskey. The aim of this blog is to suggest ways in which the ‘governance discourse’ (what a grand term!) is changing – indeed has already changed – as a result of Covid-19. I know that blogs are supposed to be discursive and informal. Recently our office was privileged to […]

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What have we learned from four years’ research into empowerment and accountability in fragile/violent settings?

I’m still reeling from my first serious zoomarathon – 12 hours on zoom over 3 days (plus prep), with 50 researchers around the world from the Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) consortium. I can report back that unfortunately, my mood swings are much the same as in conferences (but with added anxiety/grumpiness from struggling […]

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What does COVID tell us about responding to the Climate Crisis?

Guest post by Paul Knox-Clarke While Europe adjusts to a ‘new abnormal’, COVID-19 infection and mortality are still increasing in much of the rest of the world. The global response to this pandemic still has a long way to run, and it is too early to judge how effective emergency management and humanitarian actions have […]

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How do recipient countries regard China’s aid? Two new papers shed light

Guest post by Hannah Ryder, CEO of Development Reimagined, and former head of partnerships for UNDP China What do the governments of countries like Cameroon or Cambodia really think of Chinese aid and loans? It’s a question few commentators and funders ask, and even fewer are interested in helping respond to the challenges they raise. […]

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Localization in Advocacy? Don’t hold your breath (and look outside the aid system)

Johns Hopkins University and the Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health are doing some thinking on the future of advocacy, especially on health-related issues, but of wider relevance. The first of three papers is now out, on Local Ownership, Sustainability, and Grant-making. Two other briefs in the series are in the pipeline, on the […]

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