Topic: Aid

Randomistas, experts, better conferences and Branko: most-read recent FP2P posts

Given that we spend nothing on advertising on this blog, we reckon the traffic for a given post is a reasonable proxy for quality, so here are the top 5 posts from the last two months, courtesy of you (and Google Analytics). In descending order. The Randomistas just won the Nobel Economics prize. Here’s why […]

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How to have Difficult Conversations: 5 practical tips for better academic-practitioner research collaborations

Love the idea (and the title) of this report from MITGOV LAB. As someone who attempts to straddle academia and practitioners, I can vouch that such conversations are often marked by mutual incomprehension, sometimes laced with suspicion and/or contempt – not a good basis for a useful exchange. The authors, Varja Lipovsek and Alisa Zomer […]

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What are the Simple Rules that guide our Strategies?

Thanks Paul Knox-Clarke for sending me ‘Strategy as Simple Rules’, a 2001 Harvard Business Review article that helps clarify some fairly fuzzy stuff I’ve been writing here and elsewhere on ‘strategic rules of thumb’. The basic idea is that when strategizing, large organizations spend too much time discussing the ‘what’ (climate change? Gender? Education? Livelihoods?), […]

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8 key Messages on Promoting Empowerment and Accountability in Messy Places

Please read the synthesis report for the Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) research programme – it’s written by John Gaventa and Katy Oswald, and is a model for how to communicate a large body of research in an accessible and practitioner-friendly way. (Full disclosure, I’ve contributed four papers to A4EA as part of my […]

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Links I Liked

I think I have finally identified the culprit for the dismal state of many academic conferences and most NGO meetings – the CIA Sabotage Field Manual (1941). Example: ‘Make “speeches”. Talk as frequently as possible and at great length.’ ht Shit Academics Say. Rukmini Banerjee of Pratham describes its 20-year partnership with economics Nobelists Esther […]

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Audio summary (13m) of FP2P posts on aid and development, w/b 11th November

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Counter-terrorism laws are undermining humanitarian relief, and are set to get worse today

By Dorothea Hilhorst and Isabelle Desportes of the Institute of Strategic Studies. The Netherlands has recently joined a handful of other Western countries in passing new laws with the hope of stifling terrorist activity and threats. The new legislation on counter-terrorism recently passed by the Dutch Parliament (Tweede Kamer) will be discussed in the Senate […]

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How to talk about Corruption or defend Civic Space: Audio summary (11m) of recent FP2P posts

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4 Practical Ways to shift power and resources to Grassroots Movements

Civicus, the international network of civil society organizations, has some really interesting work on how donors and INGOs can get their act together in supporting the grassroots. Take your pick from the short summary, the full report (by Jennie Richmond, Matt Jackson & Bethany Eckley of impact works) or a short op-ed. Or just read […]

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Doing better on defending civic space

In a new Carnegie Endowment paper, “Defending Civic Space: Is The International Community Stuck?”, Saskia Brechenmacher and Thomas Carothers take stock of and argue for bolstering transnational efforts to push back against the global trend of closing space for civil society. During the past five years, the international aid community has woken up to the […]

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Private v Public education in poor countries: What’s new? Interview with Prachi Srivastava

I recently caught up with Prachi Srivastava, of the University of Western Ontario, who’s my go-to person on the heated development debates on public v private schools. Private v Public: I started working on this topic 18 years ago as a doctoral student. We were just entering the MDG and Education for All (EFA) era […]

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The Randomistas just won the Nobel Economics prize. Here’s why RCTs aren’t a magic bullet.

Lant Pritchett once likened Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) to flared jeans. On the way out and soon we’d be wondering what on earth we’d seen in them. Not so fast. Yesterday, three of the leading ‘Randomistas’ won the Nobel economics prize (before the pedants jump in, strictly speaking it’s the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic […]

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