Topic: Aid

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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What matters more in a disaster response – evidence or judgement? Lessons from the Nepal earthquake  

This guest post from Ajoy Datta was first published on the On Think Tanks blog. Ajoy also works for OTT Imagine you’re a mid-level policymaker in a government agency or a manager in an NGO. A major incident has just occurred. You have to drop everything you’re doing and shift all your attention into understanding […]

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Can Adaptive Management help clear Africa’s rubbish mountains?

A second vignette from my recent visit (with Irene Guijt) to Tanzania to look at adaptive management (AM) in the Institutions for Inclusive Development (I4ID) programme. It may not set the pulse racing, but rubbish disposal (formally known as solid waste management, SWM) is a big deal in any city, and is really bad in Dar […]

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What would a feminist approach to localisation of humanitarian action look like?

Guest post from Francesca Rhodes, Oxfam’s Gender Policy Adviser on campaigns, policy and influencing The aid sector’s sexual exploitation and abuse crisis  put into stark spotlight the unequal power dynamics between humanitarian actors and communities they work in, and the injustices this can cause. Discussions on what a humanitarian system, and Oxfam itself, would look […]

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Don’t worry. Be factful: Review of Factfulness, by Hans and Ola Rosling, and Anna Rosling Rönnlund

Matthew Spencer reviews Hans Rosling’s posthumous manifesto When Hans Rosling, the TED talk phenomenon and professor of international health, was a young doctor in Mozambique in the 1980’s he was berated by a visiting friend and medic for not providing better care for a seriously ill child that been brought into his health clinic. Hans […]

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The evidence suggests that support for UK development NGOs is actually growing

According to Dan Brockington and Nicola Banks, the evidence suggests that the demise of UK aid is greatly exaggerated. They want to know if they’ve missed something… International development NGOs are facing interesting times in the UK. We live in a rising tide of nationalism, parochialism and suspicion of, not care for, distant strangers. Austerity measures make […]

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What restrains extreme violence – Culture or the Law?

Ed Cairns on how advocates of international humanitarian law have started getting excited about culture and norms Do we need to get used to war? That’s the frightening question from the 2018 Armed Conflict Survey, from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), launched with the blunt message that ‘peace processes are stalling… the number […]

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What does ‘going to scale’ mean in poor communities in South Africa?

Albert van Zyl of the International Budget Partnership considers how progress goes to scale in IBP’s work in South Africa Among development’s chattering classes, scale is a hot topic – what’s the point of supporting small pockets of progress, unless we can scale them up to the country/population at large? In the shanty towns of […]

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How does DFID work with non-state power holders (armed groups, faith organizations, traditional chiefs) in messy places? Interview with Wilf Mwamba

One of the highlights of the recent conference on accountability and empowerment in fragile/conflict states (see Friday’s post) was hanging out with a true ‘development entrepreneur’, Wilf Mwamba. Wilf is a rising star in DFID, set up some of the most interesting ‘adaptive management’ programmes in Nigeria, and has been in the DRC for the […]

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What did I learn from 2 days of intense discussions on empowerment and accountability in messy places?

I wish I was one of those people who can sit zen-like through a two day conference, smiling and constructive throughout. Instead I fear I come across as slightly unhinged – fidgety; big mood swings as I get excited, irritated or bored in rapid succession. The most recent example of my failings was a two […]

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What can the Thinking and Working Politically community learn from peace and conflict mediation?

Alex Douglas from the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue adds some useful insights for adaptive management/TWP from his vantage point in peace building Wily aid practitioners have long understood the importance of adapting their programs to the political environment, and even use their activities to push politics in a progressive direction.  But this magic was spun […]

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Escaping the Fragility Trap? Why is it so hard to think constructively about fragile states?

Just been reading the report of the ‘Commission on Fragility, Growth and Development’. Hosted by LSE and Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government; big name chairs (David Cameron, Donald Kaberuka and the LSE’s Adnan Khan). And I think it’s a bit disappointing. But the reasons for that are actually quite interesting and instructive. First the positives. […]

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