How might a systems approach change the way aid supports the knowledge sector in Indonesia?

Duncan Green - August 9, 2017

For some reason, the summer months seem to involve a lot of cups of tea (and the occasional beer) with interesting people passing through London, often at my second office in Brixton. One of last week’s conversations was with Arnaldo Pellini, who has been working for ODI on a big ‘knowledge sector initiative’ in Indonesia. Five years in, the team is thinking less in terms …

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Building accountability in Tanzania: applying an evolutionary/venture capitalist theory of change

admin - April 27, 2012

A version of this post appeared yesterday on ‘People, Spaces, Deliberation’, the World Bank’s clunkily-named but interesting governance and accountability blog. I’ve been catching up on our accountability work in Tanzania recently, and it continues to be really ground-breaking. Rather than churning out the standard logical framework of activities, outputs and predicted outcomes before the project even starts, the programme, known as Chukua Hatua (Swahili …

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What use are models of change? An experiment in Tanzania

admin - May 23, 2011

I spent last week in Tanzania, but had to wait til I returned to internet-land before blogging on it. So this is Tanzania week on the blog.   First up, models of change (MoC). As you may have noticed, I’ve been thinking a lot about these recently. That usually involves exhausting intellectual gymnastics in seminars or dozing off over impenetrable academic papers, but now I …

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Positive deviance: spotting the hidden innovations in development work

admin - February 8, 2011

I just learned some new jargon – always a heady sensation. Positive deviance. Rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? And it describes something really interesting and, I suspect, quite important. A colleague at Oxfam America, Roanne Edwards, filled me in – she has been to Mali to look at OA’s massive Saving for Change (SfC) project, which reaches 300,000 women and has spread to several …

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Can we improve aid through evolution rather than planning?

admin - January 6, 2010

Finally got round to reading ‘Beyond Planning’ Owen Barder’s CGD paper on aid reform. Owen’s a former DFID bigwig turned Ethiopia-based consultant and blogger. Here he writes like a true economist, which can be pretty heavy going, but the paper is worth persevering with. He can also write like a human being, for example in this thoughtful and human defence of aid on Open Democracy. …

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