Current aid design and evaluation favour autocracies. How do we change that?

I loved the new paper from Rachel Kleinfeld, a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and asked her to write a post on it What strategy can make a government take up smart development programs, better policing techniques, or tested education initiatives?  RCT and regression-based studies have taught us a great deal about […]

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Links I Liked

It was a maptastic week (click maps to expand): First up, the number one reason people die early, by country (plus a top tweeted response from RJ Chilvers: ‘surprise is Saudi Arabia’s leading cause is road accidents. I think they need more women drivers…’)   Dear governments & aid agencies: Please stop hurting poor people […]

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Have technology and globalization kicked away the ladder of ‘easy’ development? Dani Rodrik thinks so

Dani Rodrik was in town his week, and I attended a brilliant presentation at ODI. Very exciting. He’s been one of my heroes ever since I joined the aid and development crowd in the late 90s, when he was one of the few high profile economists to be arguing against the liberalizing market-good/state-bad tide on […]

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Who is the richest man in history? The answer might surprise you

Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva (@rivefuentes) is shortly leaving his current role as Oxfam GB’s head of research to take over as Executive Director of Oxfam Mexico (I’ll have to start being nice to him now). Here he introduces Oxfam Mexico’s new report on one of Mexico’s many claims to fame – the richest man in history. In his […]

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What if the best way to be innovative is not to try?

This guest post comes from Oxfam’s James Whitehead ‘Is it innovative?’ ‘How can we be more innovative?’ When asked, my problem, which is slightly awkward as Oxfam’s Global Innovation Advisor, is that I’m not sure how useful the word ‘innovation’ really is. I’ve just written a research paper on the factors that enable or block innovation […]

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The SDGs are just getting interesting – what needs to happen next to make them have impact?

I spent a day in Madrid last week talking to Spanish aid wonks (it was cold and wet, in case you’re feeling jealous). One of the main topics of conversation was the post 2015 process, and it convinced me that I need to move on a bit from my previous rejection of the whole process […]

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Links I Liked

All male panels, the India version. Some good advice to organizers here on handling language, questions, roles etc  What’s the origin of the ICC’s Africa problem (since 2002, all 36 warrants have been for Africans)? ‘All you need is a big heart and access to the internet’. Great takedown of the DWSC (digital white saviour complex) […]

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Is the IMF Dismantling Trickle Down Economics?

Oxfam America researcher and inequality guru Nick Galasso hails a new report that finds the poor and middle classes are the main engines of growth – not the rich In a new report, the IMF effectively drives the final nail into the coffin of trickle-down economics. The top finding, in their words, is that “if the […]

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Crunch time for global humanitarianism – funding can’t keep up with need, so what else is needed?

Ed Cairns, Oxfam’s senior policy adviser on humanitarian advocacy, reviews the latest overview of global humanitarian aid. [Update: in response to readers’ comments, I’ve stuck up a very retrogressive humanitarian v long term aid poll to the right – please hold your nose and vote] This year’s Global Humanitarian Assistance report highlights some startling figures. For years […]

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How can big aid organizations become Fit for the Future? Summary of my new paper

My navel-gazing paper on the future of INGOs and other big aid beasts came out last week. Here’s a summary I wrote for the Guardian. Thanks to all those who fed in on earlier drafts. Oxfam’s Deputy CEO Penny Lawrence gives a semi-official response. A miasma of existential doubt seems to hang over large chunks […]

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