Tag: thinking and working politically

If politics is the problem, how can external actors be part of the solution? New World Bank paper

The new paper comes from Shanta Devarajan, the Bank’s Chief Economist for the Middle East and North Africa Region, (recently drafted in to help get the WDR to the finishing line) and Stuti Khemani, Senior Economist at its Development Research Group. The World Bank seems currently to be awash with fascinating reflections and rethinking on…

By Duncan Green August 2, 2016 9

Where have we got to on adaptive learning, thinking and working politically, doing development differently etc? Getting beyond the People’s Front of Judea

Props to Dave Algoso (left) and Alan Hudson at Global Integrity for making the effort to compare and contrast 9 different initiatives that are all heading in roughly the right direction in reforming aid Aid, development, and governance practitioners increasingly recognize that change happens through iterative processes (trying, learning, adapting the approach taken, and trying again)…

By Duncan Green June 9, 2016 15

What can NGOs/others learn from DFID’s shift to ‘adaptive development’?

What can NGOs/others learn from DFID’s shift to ‘adaptive development’?

Got back from holiday last week and went straight into a discussion with NGOs and thinktanks on ‘adaptive development’. Really interesting for several reasons: I realized there’s a bunch of civil society people (100 people at the seminar, plus 50 online) thinking along parallel lines to donors and academics in the Thinking and Working Politically and…

By Duncan Green July 23, 2015 14

What would persuade the aid business to ‘think and work politically’?

Some wonks from the ‘thinking and working politically’ (TWP) network discussed its influencing strategy last week. There were some people with proper jobs there, who demanded Chatham House Rules, which happily means I don’t have to remember who said what (or credit anyone). The discussion was interesting because it covered ground relevant to almost anyone…

By Duncan Green March 4, 2015 17

Working With The Grain: an important new book on rethinking approaches to governance

Even though it’s relatively short (223 pages), Working With the Grain (WWTG) took me two months to finish, but I’m glad I did. It adds to a growing and significant body of literature on ‘doing development differently’/’thinking and working politically’ – Matt Andrews, Adrian Leftwich, David Booth, Diana Cammack, Sue Unsworth etc. (Like Matt and…

By Duncan Green January 6, 2015 3

Local First: an excellent (and practical) counterweight to the more top-down versions of ‘doing development differently’

I’ve been both engaged and excited by a lot of the recent networking on ‘thinking and working politically’/’doing development differently’, which emphasizes the importance of understanding and working with the grain of local context, and a project cycle which replaces ‘The Plan’ with a messy process of trying, failing, learning and adapting (and trying again).…

By Duncan Green December 17, 2014 5

DFID is changing its approach to better address the underlying causes of poverty and conflict – can it work? Guest Post from two DFID reformers

Aid donors are often maligned for bureaucratic procedures, a focus on short-term results at the expense of longer-term, riskier institutional change, and a technical, managerial approach to aid with insufficient focus on context, power and politics. Are these institutional barriers insurmountable? Can aid agencies create an enabling environment to think and work politically? Tom Wingfield (left)…

By Duncan Green October 9, 2014 11

Why ‘political economy analysis’ has lost the plot, and we need to get back to power and politics

Adrian Leftwich (right), a much-loved guru of the ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ (TWP) movement, died in April 2013. But in testament to his importance (and the slow grind of academic publishing), his last paper only came out last month, and it is an important one. Written with David Hudson of UCL (and universally referred to as…

By Duncan Green July 10, 2014 12

Is ‘thinking and working politically’ compatible with results? Should advocacy ever be done in secret? Big questions at the LSE this week.

This week I found myself on a fun panel at LSE discussing ‘can politics and evidence work together?’  with Mary Kaldor (LSE), Ros Eyben (IDS) and Steven Rood (The Asia Foundation – TAF has a really interesting partnership with LSEto study its use of theories of change). Early last year, I promised to revisit the…

By Duncan Green July 4, 2014 9

Can aid donors really ‘think and work politically’? Plus the dangers of ‘big man’ thinking, and the horrors of political science-speak

Spent an enjoyable  couple of days last week with the ‘thinking and working politically’ (TWP) crew, first at a follow up to the Delhi meeting (nothing earth shattering to report, but a research agenda is on the way – I’ll keep you posted), and then at a very moving memorial conference for the late Adrian…

By Duncan Green January 30, 2014 8