What do Witch Doctors actually do? I interviewed one to find out – their job description may surprise you

Guest post from Robin Oryem (@oryem_robin ), a researcher for LSE’s CPAID programme in Northern Uganda. As part of trying to understand how Public Authority operates in such messy places, Robin has been interviewing local witch doctors. One of the things that any Acholi person wants to avoid is to be associated with a witch doctor,…

By Robin Oryem December 19, 2018 6

The Global Humanitarian Assistance 2018 report is out today – here are six top findings

The Global Humanitarian Assistance 2018 report is out today. Here are some of the headline findings and supporting numbers: 1. Humanitarian Assistance (HA) mainly goes to a small number of countries: ‘60% of all assistance was channelled to 10 countries only, with 14% going to Syria, the largest recipient, and 8% to Yemen, the second-largest.’…

By Duncan Green June 19, 2018 3

Insurance hits peak hype in the aid & development biz – but what do we really know?

Guest post from Debbie Hillier, Oxfam’s Senior Humanitarian Policy Adviser There is a lot of enthusiasm for insurance right now in a range of different sectors humanitarians are particularly excited, hoping this is a quick win to fill the aching chasm in humanitarian aid climate change experts hope it will be an easy fix for…

By Duncan Green May 10, 2018 3

It’s World Food Day today – why is global progress going into reverse?

Guest post from Larissa Pelham, who is a food security wonk with probably the longest job title in Oxfam (see end for its full glory) World Food Day has come around again and with it the annual report on the State of World Food Insecurity. In a year which declared a potential ‘four famines’  –…

By Duncan Green October 16, 2017 3

Protracted Conflict, Aid and Development: how’s that conversation going?

Spent two days this week discussing ‘Protracted Conflict, Aid and Development’. I was very much a fish out of water – the conference was mainly for humanitarian and conflict types, whereas I am a long-term development wallah trying to get my head round these other disciplines as part of my new role at the LSE’s…

By Duncan Green October 6, 2017 9

Book Review: The Aid Lab: Understanding Bangladesh’s Unexpected Success, by Naomi Hossain

Over the summer I read a few absolutely brilliant books – hence the spate of book reviews. This week I will cover two new studies on development’s biggest recent success stories – China, but first Bangladesh. How did Bangladesh go from being a ‘basket case’ (though ‘not necessarily our basket case’ – Henry Kissinger, 1971)…

By Duncan Green September 19, 2017 5

Grenfell Tower is a Hurricane Katrina moment, revealing the shameful state of Britain

My colleague Max Lawson sends out a weekly round-up of things he’s read, and adds some views. Here he is on the meaning and horror of the Grenfell Tower fire. At times an event can act like a flash of lightning, illuminating simmering issues that can otherwise feel abstract.  The recent horrific fire in the Grenfell Tower Block…

By Duncan Green June 20, 2017 6