Working With/Against the Grain, the case for Toolkits, and the future of Thinking and Working Politically

Second instalment of my download from an intense day spent last week with the Thinking and Working Politically Community of Practice (first instalment here).   Working With or Against the Grain? In a way, this is a reworking of the reformist v radical divide. Should TWP focus on understanding local institutions and find ways to…

By Duncan Green November 28, 2018 6

Old Wine in New Bottles? 6 ways to tell if a programme is really ‘doing development differently’

Guest post from some of the top exponents of adaptive management/doing development differently These days it seems that everyone in the aid sector is doing development differently – presenting themselves as politically smart, locally led, flexible and adaptive. But is it true?  How much of this is “old wine in new bottles” – the language…

By Duncan Green November 13, 2018 14

Adaptive Management: the trade offs; how to build trust; the sources of resistance and how to counter them

Not sure if you can take any more posts on Adaptive Management, but I had an interesting conversation with Stephen Gray on AM and Peacebuilding, which he may be using for a podcast. A few lightbulb moments: Things we often assume go together, but they actually don’t. Two candidates: Results v Risk: There is a…

By Duncan Green July 10, 2018 2

Internal battles within partner governments are what determine change. That has big implications for aid.

Alan Whaites argues that aid workers should abandon their blueprints and focus instead on understanding internal reform battles within governments and trying to help those fighting poverty from within. Recently a line stuck in my mind from one of Duncan’s recent posts about adaptive programmes with developing country partners: `if you introduce donors into that…

By Duncan Green July 4, 2018 1

Simplicity, Accountability and Relationships: Three ways to ensure MEL supports Adaptive Management

Chris Roche, a mate and mentor in all things system-y, reflects on what sounds like a Filipino version of our recent Bologna workshop. The week before Duncan was slaving away in Bologna on adaptive management I was attending an Asia Foundation ‘practitioners’ forum’ in Manila.  The focus of the event was on Monitoring, Evaluation, and…

By Duncan Green July 3, 2018 0

What did I learn from a week discussing Adaptive Management and MEL?

Just got back from an extraordinarily intense week in Bologna, running (with Claire Hutchings and Irene Guijt) a course on ‘Adaptive Management: Working Effectively in the Complexity of International Development’. The 30 participants mainly came from NGOs and non-profits, but with a smattering of government officials and consultants. What made the discussion different from previous…

By Duncan Green June 20, 2018 9