Topic: Technology

Book Review: Nanjala Nyabola, Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics: How the Internet Era is Transforming Politics in Kenya

Most of the stuff written about online activism is primarily based in the North (eg New Power, which I reviewed recently). So I was v excited to find a book written by a Kenyan (Nanjala Nyabola is a Kenyan writer, humanitarian advocate and political analyst, currently based in Nairobi) about how New Power applies to […]

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We’re changing up FP2P: here’s the plan (but we haven’t got a name yet – please help!)

In the 11 years since I launched this blog, it’s churned out getting on for 2 million words across 2,500+ posts, generating 12,600 comments (thanks everyone). It’s time to change things up. Up to now, I’ve been running the blog as pretty much a solo effort – roughly a day and a half a week to […]

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Can watching a few videos really reduce Violence Against Women?

I’m not generally a big fan of randomised control trials (oversold, squeeze out other forms of knowledge – more here), but a recent RCT on violence against women in Uganda by researchers at Columbia University got my attention. Here are some excerpts from the summary on the website of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). First […]

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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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2018 FP2P report back: stats; most-read posts and some big plans for 2019

Hi everyone, Happy New Year and all that. Thought I’d kick off with the usual feedback post on last year’s blog stats: According to Google Analytics, overall reader stats for 2018 were: 328,887 ‘unique visitors’ – not quite the same as ‘different readers’ – if you read the blog on your PC, laptop and mobile, […]

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Book Review: New Power: How it’s Changing the 21st Century and Why you need to Know

Here’s my recommendation for a last minute panic Christmas pressie for your activist friends. You’re welcome As befits a grumpy old technophobe, I have long been sceptical of the hype around online activism. I’ve cited Malcolm Gladwell’s bah humbug piece on the Arab Spring ‘why the revolution will not be tweeted’ as pretty much summing […]

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It’s time to change up From Poverty to Power – Know Anyone Who Can Help?

Should I be worried/offended when someone pays me to write less? Nah, actually I’m very excited. As regular readers may have noticed, In recent years I’ve been inviting more guests onto the blog, but have always struggled to find the time and resources to do it properly. Now the Ford and Hewlett Foundations have kindly […]

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Can new tech revive the world’s trade unions?

The Economist never ceases to surprise and inform. This week’s issue carries an excellent special report on ‘trade unions and technology’. Here’s an edited extract:   ‘Support for organised labour is rising again (see chart). And technology may again play a central role in helping a revival—particularly in America, where activists are trying inventive new ways to organise […]

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How Change Happens is two years old this week, and Open Access has played a big part in getting people to read it

This week is International Open Access Week. It is also two years since we published How Change Happens (How Time Flies….), so here’s a summary of what’s happened since. From a publishing point of view, the most interesting aspect of HCH was that it was open access from day 1. In return for Oxfam waiving […]

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Dr Pangloss and Mr Ludd: Stefan Dercon revisits Technology and Development

Stefan Dercon of the Blavatnik School of Government introduces two new reports. Am I alone? Was I the only one who could not believe it when the World Development Report 2016 said that 85 per cent of jobs in Ethiopia could disappear due to automation? Am I also the only one who sighs when a […]

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Tanzania is about to outlaw fact checking: here’s why that’s a problem

Guest post from Aidan Eyakuze, Twaweza’s Executive Director Experts say it took just four minutes from beginning to end. First, some sensors failed. Then the pilots lost control of the plane, it stalled, went into freefall and smashed onto the surface of the Atlantic Ocean at a force 35 times greater than that of normal […]

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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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