Tag: research

What does ‘pure research’ on international development look like? Speed-dating at the LSE

Following on from yesterday’s musings about NGO-academic collaboration (or the lack of it), here, for my NGO colleagues is a taste of what my LSE colleagues get up to, published earlier this week on the LSE International Development blog Speed dating rocks. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to get icky. I’m talking about a session at […]

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How can Academics and NGOs work together? Some smart new ideas

Just finished ‘Interaction’, a thought-provoking report on ‘How can academics and the third sector work together to influence policy and practice’. Written by Mark Shucksmith for the Carnegie UK Trust, the report has some good research and new suggestions on a hoary old topic. First up, a striking stat that underlines the imbalance in size […]

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What are the implications of systems thinking for the way we design research?

If you stick around in your job long enough, you end up getting consulted a lot. Every week I seem to spend a couple of hours on skype banging on to assorted academics, NGOs consultants etc about NGOs, aid, development, life, the universe etc. The only upside (apart from a bit of human contact and […]

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Bridging the gender data gap – Oxfam is looking for a researcher. Interested?

Oxfam’s research team is looking for a gender justice researcher. Closing date is Monday (30th May), so despite having only one typing hand (bike accident, not nice), Deborah Hardoon explains why you should apply In 1990 Amartya Sen wrote an editorial for the NY Times review of books that highlighted a numerical discrepancy with profound […]

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How to read and comment on a draft paper – your suggestions please

Today’s vlog (I’ll be coming back to you in a few weeks to ask whether these are worth doing) I spend a lot of time commenting on draft research and policy papers, both for Oxfam and beyond. So I put down some ideas on how I approach it, got some great input from Oxfam Research […]

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Ricardo Fuentes wants you to apply for his job as Oxfam’s Head of Research – here’s why

Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva  (@rivefuentes) is leaving and his  job as Head of Research at Oxfam GB is being advertised (deadline July 30). I’m inviting you to apply for a job whose highlights include: You get to exchange blogs with Martin Ravallion. You get to have the first citation in Joseph Stiglitz’s new book. You get to have Barack […]

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Is the era of flagship publications (HDR, WDR) coming to an end?

Had an interesting chat with some UNDP types last week in the Brixton cafe that is fast becoming my second office. In the same week as UNDP was named top donor on transparency (ahead of the UK and US), they were evaluating the UNDP’s flagship publication, the Human Development Report (HDR). Over the long term, […]

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Why is economic orthodoxy so resistant to change? The art of paradigm maintenance.

Ever wondered why it’s so hard to shift big institutions (and the economics profession in general) on economic policy, even when events so graphically show the need for change? I’ve just come across a fascinating 2006 paper by Robin Broad, ‘Research, knowledge and the art of ‘paradigm maintenance’: the World Bank’s Development Economics Vice Presidency […]

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‘How DFID Learns’. Or doesn’t. UK aid watchdog gives it a ‘poor’ (but the rest of us would probably do worse)

The UK Department for International Development’s independent watchdog, the  Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI), has a report out today on ‘how DFID learns’. Or doesn’t. Because the report is critical and gives DFID an overall ‘amber-red’ assessment, defined as ‘programme performs relatively poorly overall against ICAI’s criteria for effectiveness and value for money. Significant […]

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How to challenge short term thinking in development and research?

Over the next few days this blog will be even more scattergun than usual as I’ve just arrived in Australia for a 3 week tour (including New Zealand). Got in on Sunday evening after weeping my way through all 8 episodes of Broadchurch (hope I didn’t alarm fellow passengers). It’s a fantastic crime drama with […]

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Why are NGOs and Academics collaborating more?

August is a good month for getting people to step back and take stock – those who are not on holiday have fewer meetings, and so are more relaxed and available for shooting the breeze. And so I found myself at the London International Development Centre this week in one of those periodic soul searchings […]

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My first year as Oxfam’s head of research (and I may have a job for you)

Oxfam’s not-quite-so-new head of research, Ricardo Fuentes, reflects on what he’s got himself into, and plugs a new job in his team. It’s been a year and few days since I joined Oxfam GB as Head of Research. People inside and outside the organization still call me the “new Duncan”. I have even started to […]

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