Topic: Research

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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What is behind the Global Crackdown on Civil Society? In Conversation with Dom Perera and Tonu Basu

Last week I went along to the launch of  People Power Under Attack 2019, the latest output of the Civicus Monitor project on the state of civil society organizations around the world. Afterwards, I picked the brains of two of the speakers, Dom Perera of Civicus, and Tonu Basu of Open Government Partnership. Here are […]

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How to support research in Fragile States?

What, if anything, should academics, NGOs and funding institutions wanting to support researchers in fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS) do differently compared to their work in more stable contexts? Been thinking and talking to people quite a lot about that recently, and based on those conversations and some great #PowerShifts posts, here are some thoughts: […]

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Randomistas, experts, better conferences and Branko: most-read recent FP2P posts

Given that we spend nothing on advertising on this blog, we reckon the traffic for a given post is a reasonable proxy for quality, so here are the top 5 posts from the last two months, courtesy of you (and Google Analytics). In descending order. The Randomistas just won the Nobel Economics prize. Here’s why […]

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How to have Difficult Conversations: 5 practical tips for better academic-practitioner research collaborations

Love the idea (and the title) of this report from MITGOV LAB. As someone who attempts to straddle academia and practitioners, I can vouch that such conversations are often marked by mutual incomprehension, sometimes laced with suspicion and/or contempt – not a good basis for a useful exchange. The authors, Varja Lipovsek and Alisa Zomer […]

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