Topic: Research

Research Methodology Klaxon: Lessons from two years of doing ‘Governance Diaries’ in scary places

The first outputs are now appearing from ‘Governance Diaries’, a really fascinating new research method that emerged from an initial conversation in a bar in Yangon 4 years ago. If you’re even slightly interested in research, please take a look at this first paper on the emerging methodology, by Miguel Loureiro, Anuradha Joshi, Katrina Barnes […]

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6 ways Southern Civil Society Organizations interact with marginalized groups; 4 ways they deal with closing civic space

Some interesting research on the realities of CSOs in the Global South and their interaction with the aid sector is coming out of the Netherlands (see last week’s post for more on this theme). Check out this new paper by the ‘Civil Society Research Collective’ – Margit van Wessel, Suparana Katyaini, Yogesh Mishra, Farhat Naz, […]

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Eleven Recommendations for Working on Empowerment and Accountability in messy/dangerous places

The Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) programme, which I’ve been sporadically involved with, is now digesting the findings of its first 3 years of research, and has identified some important ‘recurring themes’ across its 5 focus countries (Egypt, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria and Pakistan). The result? Eleven Recommendations for Working on Empowerment and Accountability in […]

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How to Decolonize Academia. Interview with Prof. Akosua Adomako Ampofo

I recently sat down with Akosua Adomako Ampofo, President of the African Studies Association of Africa to discuss her life, decolonization (including my own) and the research system. It’s 40 minutes, really interesting, and follows nicely from yesterday’s much-talked about post by Teni Tayo, but here’s some highlights for the non podcast community. Personal Background: […]

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Africa as the World’s Problem Child and how I feel about it as an African

By Teniola Tayo Before I came to study for a Masters in International Development at the London School of Economics in September 2019, I had never been to Europe – or to any part of the Western world for that matter. The “Global North”, if you like. However, I never thought that the fact that […]

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An uncomfortable conversation about the gulf between CSOs and the ultra-marginalized. Can it be bridged?

Spent an enjoyable day last week in The Hague (see yesterday’s post). No I wasn’t on trial, I was opening a conference on ‘Pushing the Boundaries in Advocacy for Inclusion’ (my slides here). The good thing about opening an event is that you can then relax and listen and learn. And as this was a […]

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In Search of the Helpful Academic: 10 ways they can support Practitioners

OK, I admit it, I’m sometimes a bit rude to academics, even though I have a foot in both camps (I’m 3 days a week at Oxfam, 2 at LSE). I’ve accused them of treating everyone in the aid business as either stupid, or venal, or both; I’ve complained that they slag off aid practitioners […]

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Will the real megatrend please stand up? Insights from a scan of scans

Filippo Artuso and Irene Guijt introduce their new Oxfam discussion paper When it comes to global futures, we have information of what could be, yet are largely in the dark about what will be. To shed some light, we compared 22 recent scans of powerful global trends – or megatrends. This helps give us some […]

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Why do some bits of the State function, even in Messed Up Places? Review of ‘The Politics of Public Sector Performance’

The Politics of Public Sector Performance, edited by Michael Roll, brings together some fascinating research on ‘Pockets of Effectiveness’ in developing countries. PoEs are public organizations that ‘deliver public goods and services relatively effectively … scattered islands in seas of administrative ineffectiveness and corruption.’ This kind of approach has a lot to recommend it – […]

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What do we know about Developmental Leaders? What questions should we be asking?

The Developmental Leadership Program is an intriguing research initiative, which I’ve been loosely associated with for many years. Founded in 2006 and largely funded by the Australian aid programme, they recently produced four ‘foundational papers’ summarizing where they’ve got to and what questions they think researchers and practitioners should now be asking on the thorny […]

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Decolonization, Decoloniality and the Future of African Studies

As discussions of the decolonization of academia gain momentum, Duncan Omanga interviews Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, research professor and director for scholarship in the Department of Leadership and Transformation in the Principal and Vice-Chancellor’s Office at the University of South Africa. These are extracts from a longer (3,000 word) piece published on the SSRC blog. If […]

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Economics for People: check out this free online lecture series from Ha-Joon Chang

Please take the reader survey – FP2P is changing fast and we need your feedback and advice! ‘Ha-Joon Chang Thought’ is rapidly becoming A Thing. The Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) has just released ‘Economics for People’, a set of 12 lectures by Ha-Joon, who teaches at Cambridge and manages to have rock star status […]

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