What could Foundations add to the aid mix? A conversation with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

Foundations are increasingly important players in the aid scene, spending the interest and/or capital from monster endowments set up by philanthropists. Some of the best known (Ford, Rockefeller) have been around for a long time, and as their names suggest, have an American feel – the big Daddy is the Gates Foundation, which spends some […]

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International Aid and the Making of a Better World: a great new book

Ros Eyben makes retirement look terribly exhausting. No sooner had I reviewed her book on feminists in development organizations than another appeared. This one is a little (170 page) gem. International Aid and the Making of a Better World interweaves her own life story with the evolution of the aid system, in which she is […]

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Four ways in which a good theory of change can help your social accountability work

This piece went up last week on the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Social Accountability blog. Sorry, I mean ‘knowledge platform’. Theories of change (ToCs) are a bit of a development fuzzword at the moment, used in lots of different and sometimes baffling ways. But Oxfam finds ToCs extremely useful, provided they address issues of […]

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Links I liked

Highlights from last week’s tweets (and more displacement activity for Monday morning). Follow @fp2p if you want the rest, including piles of much more worthy and serious development type stuff No hat tip to Ian Bray for circulating this, or to those of you who ‘favorited’ it on twitter. Sleep with one eye open, people…. […]

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The new UN Human Development Report on vulnerability and resilience: ignoring trade-offs and an epic fail on power and politics

I started off reading the exec sum of yesterday’s Human Development Report (UNDP’s flagship publication) with initial excitement, followed by growing dismay. It’s a pretty traditional kind of disillusion (I’m a bit of a connoisseur). Allow me to walk you through it. In a nutshell, an interesting diagnosis and a few good new-ish ideas, followed […]

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How can politics change to serve future generations (on climate change, but lots of other stuff too)?

No-one objected to yesterday’s rehash of a recent BS (blue sky, OK?) session, so here’s another. An hour in a cool café in Brixton market with Kiwi academic Jonathan Boston, wrestling with the really big question on climate change and the survival of our species: how could political institutions emerge that govern for future generations? […]

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Big Data and Development: Upsides, downsides and a lot of questions

One of the more scary but enjoyable things I do is be interviewed on stuff I know absolutely nothing about (yeah, yeah, I know – no change there then). You get to grasshopper around multiple issues and disciplines, cobbling together ideas and arguments from scattered fragments, making connections and learning new stuff. Great fun. This […]

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What can Islam teach secular NGOs about conflict resolution? (and human development, climate change, gender rights…..)

Lucy Moore, a policy adviser at Islamic Relief Worldwide came to talk to Oxfam staff last week. We used the ‘in conversation’ format, along the lines of my recent chat with Jamie Love, which seems to work better than the standard powerpoint + Q&A. Islamic Relief has some really interesting publications on Islamic approaches to […]

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Links I liked

Highlights from last week’s tweets (and more displacement activity for Monday morning). Follow @fp2p if you want the rest, including lots more serious development type stuff Last Monday was Bastille day. Time for a makeover….. [h/t Stephen Brown] It was a good week for America’s comedians, (well Johns Stewart and Oliver anyway, best to forget […]

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What’s the best way to measure empowerment?

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) used to send me into a coma, but I have to admit, I’m starting to get sucked in. After all, who doesn’t want to know more about the impact of what we do all day? So I picked up the latest issue of Oxfam’s Gender and Development Journal (GAD), on […]

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