Topic: Aid

Putting Gender into Political Economy Analysis: why it matters and how to do it

Guest post by Emily Brown of Oxfam GB (left), and Rebecca Haines (right) and Tam O’Neil of CARE International UK. For many development professionals, political economy has become the gold standard of foundational analysis for programming. It helps us to understand how power and resources are distributed in a society or sector and is important for […]

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Whither Large International Non-Governmental Organisations? Smart new paper.

I’m glad to see Penny Lawrence, an Oxfam big cheese for 12 years before she resigned so publicly last February, has been busy reflecting and talking to other leaders (and me) about how large lumbering INGOs need to change. She has put together a useful paper on the topic (a source of endless fascination to INGOs, […]

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Which Devspeak horror words topped the poll + some v interesting comment threads

It was only intended as a bit of Friday fun, but last week’s post on which devspeak words you would most like to ban generated such interesting comments that it warrants a follow up. First up, the people have spoken. After 500 votes, ‘beneficiaries’ and ‘the field’ are the clear joint winners in the hall […]

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Which awful Devspeak words would you most like to ban? Your chance to vote on the Terrible Ten

Ann Huddock of Counterpart got in touch recently to discuss the idea of a post on how much she hates the word ‘empowerment’ (she’s banned it in Counterpart comms). In the end, we decided that the word had already got enough criticism, but I put out a tweet asking people to nominate other devspeak words […]

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Should Positive Deviance be my next Big Thing?

I’ve been mulling this over for a while now, and thought I’d consult the FP2P hivemind, following a few initial conversations, including one earlier this week with Oxfam’s Irene Guijt and some PD fans at the Said Business School (here’s their rather good report of a PD conference back in 2010, from which I nicked […]

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Peace has a PR Problem: How would you fix it?

Today is the UN International Day of Peace. You probably won’t have heard of it. Harriet Lamb, CEO of International Alert, explains why that matters. Our dictionaries mirror what’s happening in society. And the words we use shape how we see events and how we act. So it’s a sad reflection that dictionaries are full of […]

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Thumbs up or thumbs down? Did the Millennium Villages Project work?

Guest post by Chris Barnett, Director of Technical Excellence, Itad Back in the mid-2000s, one project stood out as a bold attempt to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at a local level: The Millennium Villages Project (MVP). Spearheaded by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the project sought to demonstrate how the MDGs could be achieved through […]

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Here’s what we know about closing civic space – what other research would you suggest?

I head off to the Institute of Development Studies today to take stock on our joint ‘Action for Empowerment and Accountability’ research programme. One of the main discussions will be on a research agenda on ‘closing civic space’, so this blog sets out what we know of the research to date, and asks you for […]

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Nostalgia, fragility, age and management consultants: 4 Scandinavian conversations

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a day in Sigtuna, a lovely lakeside town just outside Stockholm, doing my usual blue sky/future of aid thing with big cheeses from the 5 Scandinavian protestant church agencies of the ACT Alliance. The ensuing conversations were full of lightbulb moments, including these four: Nostalgia as a political […]

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So three years in, what do we know about the impact of the SDGs?

Next Tuesday I have to give a talk on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and I need your help. As you may recall, I was a massive SDG sceptic in the run up to their creation in 2015 (here’s a summary of previous rants, with links). Now I want to see if my scepticism needs […]

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Tanzania is about to outlaw fact checking: here’s why that’s a problem

Guest post from Aidan Eyakuze, Twaweza’s Executive Director Experts say it took just four minutes from beginning to end. First, some sensors failed. Then the pilots lost control of the plane, it stalled, went into freefall and smashed onto the surface of the Atlantic Ocean at a force 35 times greater than that of normal […]

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Should the UK (or other aid donors) ‘hold its nose’ and support an unjust end to civil wars?

Guest post from Anna Chernova, Oxfam’s Senior Humanitarian Policy Adviser There was some jubilation recently in South Sudan and amongst war-weary diasporas when the two leaders of the factions who have been driving the brutal conflict signed the Khartoum Agreement, which commits parties to a permanent ceasefire and lays the foundation for a peace deal […]

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