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Draft Paper on Adaptive Management in Oxfam – all comments welcome

Duncan Green - May 23, 2017

With a few important exceptions, large international NGOs have been pretty absent from the global conversation about ‘Doing Development Differently’, but are they doing it anyway and just skipping the meetings? To find out, a group of LSE Masters Students analysed a bunch of case studies of Oxfam programmes claiming to pursue ‘adaptive management’ approaches. Their report is so interesting that we want to publish …

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Duncan Green - May 22, 2017

You really need to be on twitter to appreciate the daily soap opera that is US politics. Here are two tweets that went viral in response to the president’s claim of extreme persecution. Wonderful. Enough of twitter – back to ‘long reads’ (800 words or so). A brilliant idea from DFID’s Pete Vowles. We should all write personal user manuals to help colleagues work with …

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Street Spirit, an anthology of protest that both moved me to tears and really bugged me

Duncan Green - May 19, 2017

Street Spirit: the Power of Protest and Mischief, by Steve Crawshaw is a book that left me deeply confused. As I read it on a recent train ride, I experienced an alarming level of cognitive dissonance. The uplifting stories of resistance, courage, uprising, revolution etc moved me to tears (something I can best describe as ‘political crying’ – awkward in public places). At the same …

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Why Faith-Based Organizations are particularly well suited to ‘Doing Development Differently’

Duncan Green - May 18, 2017

Last week, I went in to talk How Change Happens with a bunch of CEOs and other senior staff from major Catholic aid agencies, including CAFOD, the first development outfit foolish enough to give me a job back in the 90s. We covered a lot of the standard ground – the results agenda, private sector approaches to innovation, the future (if any) of traditional northern/international …

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Is Climate Change to blame for the East African Drought?

Duncan Green - May 16, 2017

An honest attempt to engage with the evidence may seem almost quaint in these angry, post-truth times, but I was impressed by a recent Oxfam media briefing by Tracy Carty on the thorny topic of whether climate change is to blame for the current East African drought. It’s an excellent example of the balancing act advocacy organizations have to perform on attribution: start making sweeping …

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Duncan Green - May 15, 2017

First up, a spot of self promotion: if you are anywhere near Cape Town, check out my two week July ‘summer school’ on How Change Happens. Details and links here. Don’t like Mondays? Then read this and give thanks (h/t You Had One Job). Lant Pritchett brilliant on new insights into how China tackled poverty and the implications for Doing Development Differently Chris Blattman has …

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Duncan Green - May 8, 2017

Inequality slot: Wealth concentration and inequality in China are much worse than we thought, according to Thomas Piketty & friends, using new data sources. Branko Milanovic in the new Guardian inequality website on why we should care about inequality, and what is likely to happen next The arguments over US aid are escalating – 43 US senators signed an open letter calling for protection of …

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Duncan Green - May 2, 2017

Thomas Hobbes’s final exam paper questions, Magdalen College, Oxford, 1608, h/t Will Davies The interwebs were buzzing with a brilliant new Ethiopia paper from Chris Blattman and Stefan Dercon: ‘Everything We Knew About Sweatshops Was Wrong‘ According to a World Bank survey of 10,000 influencers in over 40 countries, their top development priority is governance (↑ rapidly in recent years) Why do some jobs (& …

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How far has DFID got in implementing ‘Doing Development Differently’ ideas on the ground?

Duncan Green - April 27, 2017

I’ve been banging on about the ‘Doing Development Differently’ movement for a few years now. Initially driven by big bilateral donors frustrated with the failure rate of old school project approaches, especially in trying to ‘build states’ and reform governments , DDD advocates ‘politically smart and locally led’ approaches, avoiding cookie cutter ‘best practice’, while staying sufficiently aware and adaptive to learn and tweak your …

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What are the obstacles to collaboration between NGOs and Academics?

Duncan Green - April 19, 2017

I wrote a chapter on the NGO-Academia Interface for the recent IDS publication, The Social Realities of Knowledge for Development, summarized here by James Georgalakis. It’s too long for a blog, but pulls together where I’ve got to on this thorny topic, so over the next few days, I will divvy it up into some bite-sized chunks for FP2P readers. First, why collaboration between NGOs …

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