Tag: how change happens

How does change happen in Vietnam?

Fascinating talk with an academic insider in the Vietnamese establishment, who set out some thoughts on how big changes happen in Vietnam (eg the introduction of the Doi Moi process of economic opening or the land reform of the early 1990s). Particularly important because Vietnam’s record on growth with equity, and poverty reduction, is second […]

Read More »

Why Owen Barder is (mostly) wrong to oppose the Robin Hood Tax

Owen Barder has a thought-provoking post setting out his objections to a financial transactions tax (FTT) in response to the launch of the Robin Hood Tax campaign. I’ll run through the areas where we disagree, then where we agree, and finally the areas where I am still sitting painfully on the fence. Where we disagree: […]

Read More »

Eight introductory powerpoints on development – please plunder

I recently gave a two week introduction to development (undergrad level) at the University of Notre Dame, consisting of eight 45 minute lectures – here are the powerpoints for anyone wanting to nick them. Each lecture includes a brief illustrative video clip of campaigns, social movements etc. Subjects covered are: Risk and Vulnerability; The Global […]

Read More »

Seizing the Moment: A Successful Campaign on Domestic Violence in Malawi

Here’s an example of successful advocacy at national level, which is becoming an increasingly important part of Oxfam’s work. In 2005, Oxfam’s Malawi programme along with its partners mounted a campaign to eliminate gender based violence which led to the passing of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Bill in Parliament in April 2006.  How did it […]

Read More »

IMF 2.0 or same old, same old – has the Fund really changed its tune?

Has the G20 revived the neoliberal, austerity-wielding IMF of the 1980s and 90s, are has it ushered in a new IMF 2.0 (in the words of Time Magazine) that cares about countercyclical economic policies, public services and jobs? In late April, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Khan wrote to NGOs saying ‘I would like to make it […]

Read More »

Can NGO advocacy influence states? Social Protection in Georgia

Here’s an example from Georgia of how well designed advocacy gets results: in this case helping 34,000 poor families gain access to state benefits and winning the introduction of an appeals procedure for those who feel unfairly excluded. It’s not glamorous, but it made a real difference, so bear with me. Like other post-Soviet Eastern […]

Read More »

Complexity Economics, Evolution and How Change Happens

Eric Beinhocker’s book, ‘The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity and the Radical Remaking of Economics’ (for review see previous post) challenges our understanding of how change happens and the role of would-be ‘change agents’ like Oxfam.

Read More »

How Change Happens: a framework, some case studies, and some reading

Why are ‘change studies’ not a recognized academic discipline? Politicians, social movements and NGOs think about little else, and portray themselves as ‘change agents’, but the intellectual basis for thinking about political and social change seems particularly arbitrary and threadbare. In discussions on this issue at various book launches and seminars, a few people have […]

Read More »