Topic: Aid

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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Thinking and Working Politically in Economic Development Programmes – Some Sprints and Stumbles from a DFID Programme in Kyrgyzstan

Guest post by Andrew Koleros, Programme Director with Palladium (left), and David Rinnert, Deputy Head of Office and Governance Adviser with the UK Department for International Development’s (DFID) Central Asia Office. The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies or Palladium’s views. In November 2018 the FP2P blog […]

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How can digital bring Millennials into International Development? A ginger session with Save the Children

‘I don’t like Save the Children’. That opening line from a guest speaker at a gathering of SCF’s global big cheeses earlier this week certainly got the room’s attention. But then the speaker was pretty extraordinary. Mariéme Jamme, whose online bio includes this para: ‘Mariéme grew up in rural Senegal, from an oligarch mother who […]

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How has Oxfam’s approach to Influencing evolved over the last 75 years? New paper

Oxfam has just published a reflection on how its approach to ‘influencing’ has evolved since its foundation in 1942. Written by Ruth Mayne, Chris Stalker, Andrew Wells-Dang and Rodrigo Barahona, it’s stuffed full of enlightening case studies and should be of interest to anyone who wants to understand how INGOs developed their current interest in […]

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How did the Randomistas get so good at influencing Policy?

I’m a critic of the degree of overselling of randomized control trials (RCTs), but there’s no denying that the randomistas have been phenomenally successful snake oil salesmen and women, persuading large chunks of Big Aid to adopt their approach to what constitutes evidence and truthiness. If you want to learn how they did it, try […]

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