Working With/Against the Grain, the case for Toolkits, and the future of Thinking and Working Politically

Second instalment of my download from an intense day spent last week with the Thinking and Working Politically Community of Practice (first instalment here).   Working With or Against the Grain? In a way, this is a reworking of the reformist v radical divide. Should TWP focus on understanding local institutions and find ways to…

By Duncan Green November 28, 2018 6

Old Wine in New Bottles? 6 ways to tell if a programme is really ‘doing development differently’

Guest post from some of the top exponents of adaptive management/doing development differently These days it seems that everyone in the aid sector is doing development differently – presenting themselves as politically smart, locally led, flexible and adaptive. But is it true?  How much of this is “old wine in new bottles” – the language…

By Duncan Green November 13, 2018 14

What can the Thinking and Working Politically community learn from peace and conflict mediation?

Alex Douglas from the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue adds some useful insights for adaptive management/TWP from his vantage point in peace building Wily aid practitioners have long understood the importance of adapting their programs to the political environment, and even use their activities to push politics in a progressive direction.  But this magic was spun…

By Duncan Green July 24, 2018 0

Simplicity, Accountability and Relationships: Three ways to ensure MEL supports Adaptive Management

Chris Roche, a mate and mentor in all things system-y, reflects on what sounds like a Filipino version of our recent Bologna workshop. The week before Duncan was slaving away in Bologna on adaptive management I was attending an Asia Foundation ‘practitioners’ forum’ in Manila.  The focus of the event was on Monitoring, Evaluation, and…

By Duncan Green July 3, 2018 0

Adaptive Management in Myanmar – draft paper on Pyoe Pin for your comments

Ok, FP2P hivemind, I want your comments on a draft paper about an iconic Adaptive Management programme, Pyoe Pin in Myanmar. My co-author is Angela Christie. The paper is for the Action for Empowerment and Accountability Research Programme. Here’s the exec sum, and you can download the whole 20-page paper here.  This paper examines adaptive…

By Duncan Green April 7, 2018 0

What is really stopping the aid business shifting to adaptive programming?

Jake Allen, Head of Governance for Sub Saharan Africa at the British Council, left such a well argued, sweetly written comment on Graham Teskey’s recent post that I thought I’d post it separately “For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” (HL Mencken said something similar to this, just not…

By Duncan Green March 23, 2018 10

What makes Adaptive Management actually work in practice?

This post by Graham Teskey, one of the pioneers of ‘thinking and working politically’, first appeared on the Governance Soapbox blog  It’s striking how important words are. USAID calls it Adaptive Management, DFAT calls it Thinking and Working Politically, DFID calls it Politically Informed Programming, and the World Bank just ignores it altogether. More seriously – what is…

By Duncan Green February 27, 2018 4

How can a gendered understanding of power and politics make development work more effective?

Helen Derbyshire, Sam Gibson, David Hudson and Chris Roche, (left to right) all researchers from the Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) introduce some new work on gender and politics (and win the prize for the most authors on a single FP2P post). There have long been concerns that the ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ and ‘Doing Development…

By Duncan Green February 13, 2018 1