Tag: Aid

Aid and the private sector: a love story

Oxfam private sector adviser Erinch Sahan (right) summarizes a critical new review of the growing interlinkages between aid and the private sector Donors have a new love: business. And it will end poverty. Aid chiefs across the world have concluded that if we need growth to end poverty and the private sector drives growth, isn’t […]

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What do 6,000 people on the receiving end of aid think of the system? Important new book

Just finished Time to Listen: Hearing People on the Receiving End of International Aid, by Mary B. Anderson, Dayna Brown and Isabella Jean. It’s published by CDA Collaborative Learning Projects, a non-profit based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The book reminds me of the World Bank’s great Voices of the Poor study, only this time it’s ‘Voices […]

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Evidence and results wonkwar final salvo (for now): Eyben and Roche respond to Whitty and Dercon + your chance to vote

In this final post (Chris Whitty and Stefan Dercon have opted not to write a second installment), Rosalind Eyben and Chris Roche reply to their critics. And now is your chance to vote (right) – but only if you’ve read all three posts, please. The comments on this have been brilliant, and I may well […]

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The evidence debate continues: Chris Whitty and Stefan Dercon respond from DFID

Yesterday Chris Roche and Rosalind Eyben set out their concerns over the results agenda. Today Chris Whitty (left), DFID’s Director of Research and Evidence and Chief Scientific Adviser and Stefan Dercon (right), its Chief Economist, respond. It is common ground that “No-one really believes that it is feasible for external development assistance to consist purely of […]

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The political implications of evidence-based approaches (aka start of this week’s wonkwar on the results agenda)

The political implications of evidence-based approaches The debate on evidence and results continues to rage. Rosalind Eyben and Chris Roche, two of the organiser’s of next April’s Big Push Forward conference on the Politics of  Evidence, kick off a discussion. Tomorrow Chris Whitty, DFID’s Director of Research and Evidence and Chief Scientific Adviser, and Stefan […]

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Should men boycott all-male panels at conferences?

A conversation on twitter this weekend triggered (yet another) ethical dilemma. Gosh it’s exhausting trying to be a do-gooder. Claire Melamed started it by sending round a link to an article arguing that men should sign a pledge stating publicly that they will refuse to take part in all-male panels at tech conferences (which are […]

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Calling all Euro/Aid sceptics – here’s some top quality aid from the EU

Oxfam programme researcher John Magrath (he’s the one on the left in the pic) has been looking at some European aid, and is impressed with what he found European Aid gets a lousy press. If you’re a reader of the UK’s Daily Mail (and nearly 2 million Brits are) then you’ll be used to headlines […]

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Robert Chambers – why don't all development organizations do immersions?

Following on my review of Robert Chambers’ new(ish) book, ‘Provocations for Development’, I’m posting a couple of edited-down excerpts that caught my eye. Today, immersions –  written in 2007 and a nice illustration of how Robert combines both the politics and practicalities of aid work. Immersions can take many forms, but an almost universal feature […]

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Provocations for Development: Superb new collection of Robert Chambers’ Greatest Hits

This is not an impartial review – Robert Chambers is a hero of  mine, part development guru, part therapist to the aid community. His ideas and phrases litter the intellectual landscape. Or ought to: if you don’t recognize some of his major contributions to the development lexicon – ‘hand over the stick’, ‘uppers and lowers’, […]

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What have the MDGs achieved? We don't really know… Heretical thoughts from Matthew Lockwood

A second instalment in Matthew Lockwood’s series of valedictory boat-rocking blogs (his first was on fossil fuel subsidies) as he leaves the IDS Climate Change team for a new role in the UK energy sector. This time, he asks why the results agenda often stops short of being applied to the big picture stuff like […]

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Three x 4 minute videos for World Humanitarian Day (that's today)

Three thought-provoking short pieces from the slightly Orwellian-sounding Security Management Initiative in support of today’s UN World Humanitarian Day Access and Acceptance   Risk Principles and Pragmatism

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Horizon 2025: the future of aid (and a potentially epic nerdwar on poverty numbers)

I’ve been starting to feel like an unpaid publicist for the Overseas Development Institute recently. It’s not my fault – ODI keeps publishing really interesting stuff (and anyway, I’m not always nice about it). You’re likely to hear a lot about their latest paper, Horizon 2025: Creative Destruction in the Aid Industry, by Homi Kharas […]

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