Topic: Aid

Doing the hard stuff in tough places: please help us find the ‘seemingly impossible’ stories of success

Guest post from Grace Lyn Higdon (left), Irene Guijt (right) and Ruth Mayne The list of reasons to feel depressed is long and growing. Recent elections ushering in sexist and violent heads of states; climate change even worse than predicted; backlash to #MeToo and, if you’re in the UK, the political swamp known as ‘Brexit’. Depressing – […]

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Why are we failing on gender? 3 bad excuses and 6 good ideas

March is women’s history month and Fabiola Esposito shares her reflections on the aid sector’s slow progress on women’s empowerment. Last week I went to a networking event for women working in international development about ‘women’s empowerment’ (WE) in Syria. During the Q&A one of the attendees asked an astonishing, but revealing, question: “Why do […]

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The hump counter attack! Jose Manuel Roche sets me straight on the global transition (or lack of it)

Quite a few people disagreed with aspects of my recent post shifts in the global distribution of income. José Manuel Roche, Head of Research for Save the Children UK, felt moved to respond. I enjoyed Duncan’s recent blog about the shift from a two hump to a one hump world. Who wouldn’t? So I’d like throw […]

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5 Emerging Lessons from new research into Empowerment and Accountability in Messy Places

A second instalment on the recent conversation with DFID’s Social Development Advisers (see here for first instalment). John Gaventa summarized the emerging lessons from the DFID-funded Action for Empowerment and Accountability research programme, which he coordinates. A4EA is trying to work out whether the stuff we know about E&A in more stable places is different […]

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6 ways to rethink aid for real, complex human beings

Last week I went along to the annual conference of DFID’s Social Development Advisers (SDAs – DFID has lots of acronyms). As well as giving them an initial picture of what the ‘Action for Empowerment and Accountability’ research programme is finding out about DFID’s adaptive management programmes, they asked me for a pre-dinner rant about […]

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What are the consequences of the shift from a two hump to a one hump world?

I’ve been using this idea in a few recent talks, and thought I’d test and improve it by bouncing it off FP2P readers. It uses a simple pair of graphs on global income distribution to start thinking through how the ‘aid and development’ sector is changing, or resisting change. The starting point is that we […]

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Why a new report on UK aid reform is contradictory, evidence free and full of holes

Since the UK’s commitment to the international aid budget was set in law at 0.7% of Gross National Income, debates have shifted from ‘how much?’  to ‘how should we spend it?’ A new report calls for a seemingly radical shake up of how UK aid should be spent. Oxfam’s Gideon Rabinowitz explains what’s at stake, […]

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5 Things that will Frustrate the Heck out of you when studying International Development

I ran a ‘blogging for beginners’ session for my LSE students earlier this week. Some of them clearly didn’t need it. Here’s MSc Development Management student Stella Yoh. International Development is our passion – that’s why we’re all here. It’s what keeps us going through these late nights and grey London days. But let’s face it, it’s not always […]

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Closing Civic Space: Trends, Drivers and what Donors can do about it

My reading pile is out of control, but I finally caught up with a useful May 2018 overview from the always excellent International Center for Not-for-Profit Law. Nothing life-changing, but a clear and concise summary of the origins of the problem and possible responses, based on some 50 contributions to a consultation by the Swedish […]

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List of your most disastrous campaign own goals – more please!

I’m teaching a course on activism at the LSE and one of my students, Gaia Frazao-Nery, asked me a disarmingly simple question – can you give us some examples of advocacy campaigns that have achieved the opposite of what they wanted? I was stumped, so threw myself on the mercy of twitter. So far, I […]

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What is different about how INGOs do Adaptive Management/Doing Development Differently?

Earlier this week I chaired a fascinating discussion on the findings of a new paper on an adaptive management (AM) experiment by Christian Aid Ireland (CAI). The paper really adds to our knowledge of AM/Doing Development Differently: It looks at the work of an INGO, when most formally identified AM practice and research involves big […]

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Inequality kills: the cold, wet fate of refugee rights in Lebanon

Oxfam’s Senior Humanitarian Policy Adviser, Anna Chernova uses her own experiences as a refugee to reflect on how Lebanon can tackle inequality and protect the rights of millions of Syrians. Back in 2015, I remember standing in a damp, soaked tent in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, watching kids run around in the snow in slippers. Their […]

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