Tag: Aid

Aid on the Edge of Chaos, a book you really need to read and think about

I held off reviewing Ben’s book til after last night’s launch at ODI, so that I could add any useful extra info or soundbites. Here goes. It’s smart, well-written and provides a deeper intellectual foundation for much of the most interesting thinking going on in the aid business right now. Ben Ramalingam (right)’s Aid on […]

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Complexity 101 – part 2: Getting to the So Whats

It’s complexity week on the blog, coinciding with the launch of Aid on the Edge of Chaos today at 5pm UK time (long since full, but being livestreamed). I’m a discussant, and will nick any clever comments for tomorrow’s review of the book. Meanwhile, the ODI’s Harry Jones continues his stocktake on complexity and development […]

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Complexity 101: behind the hype, what do we actually know?

Complexity week continues with this excellent stocktake from the ODI’s Harry Jones (who’s got a new guide out on ‘Managing Projects and Programmes in the Face of Complexity‘). Part two tomorrow. Seven years ago John Young, Ben Ramalingam and I decided to begin research on complexity theory and international development.  We felt there was really […]

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The Idealist: a brilliant, gripping, disturbing portrait of Jeffrey Sachs

For The Idealist, Nina Munk, a Vanity Fair journo, stalked Jeffrey Sachs for six years, focusing on his controversial Millennium Villages Project (MVP). She interviewed the man, sat in on his meetings with bigwigs, and hung around the Millennium Villages to find out what happened when the Prof’s entourage moved on. The result is more subtle […]

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Aid’s segmented future

This piece was written for a blog discussion on the future of aid, which will double up as a Global Policy ebook, organized by Andy Sumner’s new outfit, the Kings College International Development Institute, King’s College London. It’s all part of the build up to their launch conference on Emerging Economies and the Changing Global […]

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Why does climate change adaptation in Africa ignore politics? Great broadside from Matthew Lockwood.

My friend Matthew Lockwood has a habit of asking really big, sensible questions about politics that change the way you see the world. He was so fed up with what he saw as the lazy, apolitical thinking behind aid in general and Make Poverty History in particular, that he abandoned the development scene, writing The […]

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Where are the examples of good donorship in complex systems?

Everyone loves a good scapegoat. When faced with trying something exciting, risky or new, the temptation is to say ‘they’ won’t let us. In the World Trade Organization I’ve heard developing country delegates argue that there is nothing they can do to stop the tide of imports, even when the WTO rules have lots of […]

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Investments to End Poverty launched today: a goldmine of killer facts and infographics

Today sees the launch of the killer fact-tastic inaugural Investments to End Poverty report by Development Initiatives. The report makes the case for aid as an essential part of ‘getting to zero’ on absolute poverty by 2030, but as is increasingly the norm, the report locates aid among the much wider issue of development-related resource […]

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How are the emerging donors (from China to Azerbaijan) changing the aid business?

Oxfam’s ‘BRICSAMIT’ group (BRICS + Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey) is now up and running and doing some innovative thinking about the role of the emerging powers, including their role as donors. Here Russia/CIS regional researcher Daria Ukhova (right) explores recent developments. While the eyes of many international aid observers are currently on the BRICS bank (already […]

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How will development be financed? The eclipse of aid, and what it means for post-2015

Thanks to Alex Evans for recommending ‘Who Foots the Bill’, a report from the ODI’s Romilly Greenhill and Annalisa Prizzon on trends in development finance. It was published at the end of last year, but somehow I missed it – probably because it is pegged to funding the post-2015 goals, a timesuck discussion I have […]

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Main trends in humanitarian aid 2012: less successful appeals; rise of Turkey; poor countries doing a lot of the heavy lifting

This year’s Global Humanitarian Assistance Report reports on a ‘quiet year’ (i.e. no mega disasters) in 2012 for global humanitarian aid. Total aid fell to $17.9bn from $19.4bn in 2011. That’s only a small fraction of total aid, but emergencies carry disproportionate weight in public perceptions. A few other points to note, plus some chunks […]

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Politically smart aid? Of course! Political aid? Not so sure. Guest post by Tom Carothers and Diane de Gramont

Thomas Carothers and Diane de Gramont summarize the arguments of their new book on aid and politics How political is development assistance? How political should it be? These questions provoke divergent reactions within the aid community. For some, being political means using aid to advance geopolitical interests aside from development. Others emphasize the far-reaching political […]

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