Adaptive Management

I’m helping run a summer school on Adaptive Management. In Bologna. Interested?

Duncan Green - March 6, 2018

This could be a lot of fun, I’m working with two of the smartest minds in Oxfam: Irene Guijt (head of research) and Claire Hutchings (head of Programme Quality) to design and deliver a one week summer school course on ‘Adaptive Management:  Working Effectively in the Complexity of International Development’. Between us we are going to try and really combine the theoretical hand-waving stuff with …

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What makes Adaptive Management actually work in practice?

Duncan Green - February 27, 2018

This post by Graham Teskey, one of the pioneers of ‘thinking and working politically’, first appeared on the Governance Soapbox blog  It’s striking how important words are. USAID calls it Adaptive Management, DFAT calls it Thinking and Working Politically, DFID calls it Politically Informed Programming, and the World Bank just ignores it altogether. More seriously – what is at issue here? At heart, I would argue that this …

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How can a gendered understanding of power and politics make development work more effective?

Duncan Green - February 13, 2018

Helen Derbyshire, Sam Gibson, David Hudson and Chris Roche, (left to right) all researchers from the Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) introduce some new work on gender and politics (and win the prize for the most authors on a single FP2P post). There have long been concerns that the ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ and ‘Doing Development Differently’ movement is a bit gender blind. Which is bizarre …

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What did I learn in Myanmar about what Adaptive Programming actually looks like?

Duncan Green - December 15, 2017

I’m still processing a fascinating week in Myanmar. No I wasn’t in Rakhine, in case you’re wondering (separate post on that may follow). Instead, along with aid programming guru Angela Christie, I was exploring what ‘adaptive management’ looks like on the ground, and how it compares to all the fine-sounding stuff repeated endlessly in aid seminars around the world. The lab rat for this was …

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How are INGOs Doing Development Differently? 5 of them have just taken a look.

Duncan Green - December 13, 2017

Hats off to World Vision for pulling together some analysis on where large international NGOs (INGOs) have got to on ‘Doing Development Differently’ (see the 2014 manifesto if you’re not up to speed on DDD). Up to now, NGOs have been rather quiet in a discussion dominated by government aid agencies, academics and thinktanks. World Vision asked Dave Algoso to look at examples from 5 …

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Should the World Bank become more adaptive by weakening its safeguards?

Duncan Green - September 26, 2017

The World Bank wants to become more agile, to speed up its grant/loan-making, be less bureaucratic, leap on the ‘adaptive management’ bandwagon etc. In its rush to change direction, it hasn’t had too many discussions with NGOs, so I thought I’d raise some of the issues on the blog. Perhaps  the lack of discussion is because the Bank sees NGOs as a potential roadblock to …

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Looks like the NGOs are stepping up on ‘Doing Development Differently’. Good.

Duncan Green - August 4, 2017

For several years I’ve been filling the ‘token NGO’ slot at a series of meetings about ‘doing development differently’ (DDD) and/or ‘thinking and working politically’ – networks largely dominated by official aid donors, academics, thinktanks and management consultants (good overview of all the different initiatives here). Periodically, a range of NGOs appear on the scene, and according to ODI and Care are doing plenty on …

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Thinking and Working Politically: where have we got to?

Duncan Green - June 13, 2017

Spent a day with the TWP crew recently. Chatham House Rules, so no names. Like its close relative and overlapping network, ‘Doing Development Differently’, TWP urges aid organizations to stop trying to impose rigid blueprint/’best practice’ approaches, paying far more attention to issues of power, politics and local context. The driving force has mainly been staff in bilateral and multilateral aid donors, researchers from universities …

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The imaginary advocate, the benefits of Command and Control, and why I’m just channelling Hayek

Duncan Green - June 2, 2017

Continuing the download from the recent LSE-ODI workshop on ‘new experimentalism’ was this thought-provoking description by David Kennedy of the ‘imaginary advocate’, the assumed individual behind How Change Happens and, by extension, a lot of NGO advocacy. Might be a very interesting addition to the endless awaydays, strategic planning processes etc to ask people to try and spell out the imaginary subjects of their own …

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