Tag: Aid

Which rich countries are good/bad on hunger and nutrition? A new index takes aim at the donors.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the new Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index of developing countries. Yesterday, IDS published a second HANCI for the donor countries. The Index assesses governments on both their promises and performance, strokes the good guys and slaps the bad, provides arguments and data for civil society and scrutinizes aid […]

Read More »

When/how does aid help Africa’s public services work better?

I seem to be spending most of my life at the ODI at the moment, largely because it is producing an apparently endless stream of really useful research papers and seminars. Yesterday saw a combo of the two, as it launched Unblocking Results: using aid to address governance constraints in public service delivery (OK, maybe […]

Read More »

Be the Toolkit: Discussing complex systems with Oxfam’s next generation of leaders

Over the next few months, I’ll be getting stuck into a big Oxfam project on how we understand and work on issues of power and change. As befits its focus on ‘how change happens’, this is already evolving in unexpected directions, such as a stress on how we support Oxfamistas to work in ‘complex systems’ […]

Read More »

Is it just me, or is it getting harder to read books on development?

I just spent four hours reading a book. Well, a third of a book – I’m a slow reader. It’s the galleys for ‘Aid on the Edge of Chaos’, by Ben Ramalingam, due out this October. I’ll review it when it’s published, but reading it made me think about books in general, and how hard […]

Read More »

Aid and complex systems cont’d: timelines, incubation periods and results

I’m at one of those moments where all conversations seem to link to each other, I see complex systems everywhere, and I’m wondering whether I’mstarting to lose my marbles. Happily, lots of other people seem to be suffering from the same condition, and a bunch of us met up earlier this week with Matt Andrews, […]

Read More »

How to Plan when you don’t know what is going to happen? Redesigning aid for complex systems

They’re funny things, speaker tours. On the face of it, you go from venue to venue, churning out the same presentation – more wonk-n-roll than rock-n-roll. But you are also testing your arguments, adding slides where there are holes, deleting ones that don’t work. Before long the talk has morphed into something very different. So […]

Read More »

How to end foreign aid and avoid a punch-up

An edited version of this piece appeared on the Guardian’s Comment is Free site on Saturday The spat between South Africa and Britain over ending its (very small) aid programme has sparked another round of debate about whether British aidshould be going to middle income countries (the last round was over aid to India, which […]

Read More »

The Limits of Institutional Reform in Development: a big new book by Matt Andrews

There’s nothing like an impending meeting with the author to make you dig out your scrounged review copy of his book. So I spent my flight to Boston last week reading Limits (sorry the full title is just too clunky).  And luckily for the dinner conversation, I loved it. Limits is about why change doesn’t […]

Read More »

Is it time for a rethink on the definition of aid?

Crushed by my humiliation at the hands of Claire Melamed, it would just make matters worse to come back for another round of post-2015 jousting, so let’s move on. I actually quite like blogging about meetings held under Chatham House rules, as they allow me to write about the discussion without worrying about who said […]

Read More »

Learning the Lessons: Why is change NOT happening in the response to hunger crises?

I know I go on all the time about ‘how change happens’, but often in development the important question is ‘why doesn’t change happen?’, and we need to get better at answering it. On Tuesday Oxfam published Learning the Lessons, an analysis of the response to the 2012 Sahel food crisis, which affected some 18m […]

Read More »

What can DFID learn from Chinese and Brazilian aid programmes?

IDS researcher Henry Tugendhat (right) wonders whether UK aid is following in the path of China and Brazil Two weeks ago at the London Stock Exchange, Justine Greening announced her new policy of supporting UK businesses to invest in developing economies for the mutual benefit of both sides. According to the UK’s Secretary of State […]

Read More »

What if we allocated aid $ based on how much damage something does, and whether we know how to fix it?

I usually criticize development wonks who come up with yet another ‘if I ruled the world’ plan for reforming everything without thinking through the issues of politics, power and incentives that will determine which (if any) of their grand schemes gets adopted. But it’s been a hard week, and today I’m taking time out from […]

Read More »