Tag: Aid

Escaping the Fragility Trap? Why is it so hard to think constructively about fragile states?

Just been reading the report of the ‘Commission on Fragility, Growth and Development’. Hosted by LSE and Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government; big name chairs (David Cameron, Donald Kaberuka and the LSE’s Adnan Khan). And I think it’s a bit disappointing. But the reasons for that are actually quite interesting and instructive. First the positives. […]

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What’s the role of Aid in Fragile States? My piece for OECD

The OECD’s ‘States of Fragility’ report was published yesterday. It’s a 260 page monster, so I haven’t got round even to skimming it yet. Will report back on the interesting bits, but in the meantime here is the piece I contributed, on fragility and aid. If aid is primarily aimed at reducing extreme poverty and […]

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The last word in the Community Driven Development wonkwar? Scott Guggenheim responds to Howard White and Radhika Menon

The discussion on Community Driven Development (CDD) has been passionate, at times angry, and has surfaced some important common ground as well as differences. Here Scott Guggenheim (right) responds to yesterday’s post, in what he hopes is the final exchange (people can always continue in the comments section). To recap for those who are arriving new […]

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Book Review: Navigation by Judgment, by Dan Honig

As its subtitle, ‘Why and When Top-Down Management of Foreign Aid Doesn’t Work’, suggests, this is an addition to the growing library of books on aid reform. And a very useful one. Honig is a hybrid scholar-practitioner, with dirt under his fingernails in East Timor and Liberia, and the book is for aid insiders, whether […]

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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 […]

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The Global Humanitarian Assistance 2018 report is out today – here are six top findings

The Global Humanitarian Assistance 2018 report is out today. Here are some of the headline findings and supporting numbers: 1. Humanitarian Assistance (HA) mainly goes to a small number of countries: ‘60% of all assistance was channelled to 10 countries only, with 14% going to Syria, the largest recipient, and 8% to Yemen, the second-largest.’ […]

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A bombshell Evaluation of Community Driven Development

Blimey. Just read a bombshell of a working paper assessing the evidence for impact of Community-Driven Development (CDD) programmes. It’s pretty devastating. But make sure you read the comments below , with some arguments for and against by some of the biggest names on the issue. In CDD, community members are in charge of identifying, […]

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6 ways Local NGOs in Ghana are facing up to Shrinking Aid Flows

Local NGOs in developing countries face numerous threats, from government crackdowns to dwindling aid budgets. How are they responding? In a recent paper for VOLUNTAS: the International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations (Open Access – yay!),  Albert A. Arhin, Emmanuel Kumi and Oxfam’s Mohammed-Anwar Sadat Adam interviewed 65 people in Ghanaian NGOs, who face less overt repression than in […]

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6 ways Aid Donors can help harness Religious Giving for Development

One of the consequences of writing a blog that covers some off-beat topics is that when someone’s organizing an event on one of them and can’t find qualified speakers, you get invited along to make up the numbers. So it was that I, a lifelong atheist, ended up on a panel at DFID last week […]

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Can ‘Doing Development Differently’ only succeed if aid donors stay away from it?

Another day, another seminar on Adaptive Management/Doing Development Differently/Thinking and Working Politically (let’s save words by just calling the whole thing DDD). This one was held under the Chatham House Rule, so no names or institutions. There was an interesting mix of academics and contractors – private companies who increasingly run the big contracts for […]

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Illicit economies, shadowy realms, and survival at the margins

Guest post by Eric Gutierrez, Senior Adviser on Tackling Violence and Building Peace at Christian Aid After the fall of the Taliban in 2001, poor landless farmers in the most conflict-affected areas of southern Afghanistan started migrating in increasing numbers to the relatively more insecure rocky desert areas. With the help of loans worth a […]

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Value for money in UK aid: the good, the bad and the ugly

Cathy Shutt (left, on vintage phone) and Craig Valters unsugar a recent pill on DFID’s approach to Value for Money All aid programmes should be good ‘Value for Money’ – hard to argue with that, right? 8 years ago, DFID put this principle at the heart of its work. Here we reflect on a recent report […]

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