5 common gaps and 4 dilemmas when we design influencing campaigns

I’ve just read the initial proposals of 30+ LSE students taking my one-term Masters module on Advocacy, Campaigning and Grassroots Activism. Their two main assignments are to work as groups analysing past episodes of change (more on that later in the term) and individual projects where they design an influencing exercise based on their own […]

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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 […]

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Links I Liked

Corruption perceptions index 2017.  New Zealand the cleanest, Somalia bottom of the heap. Should advocates also be philanthropists in their personal lives, changing the world in the ‘nownow’ while pushing for the big (but long term) stuff? Thoughtful agonizing from Chambi Chachage World Development Report 2019 will be on ‘The Changing Nature of Work’. Here’s […]

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Book Review: Aids Drugs for All: Social Movements and Market Transformations, by Ethan B Kapstein and Joshua W Busby

Thanks to Chris Roche for sending me back to re-read this wonderful case study of how activists can change markets (here’s a free pdf of the first chapter). Kapstein and Busby painstakingly researched the rise, tactics and successes/failures of the global advocacy campaign around access to medicines for HIV/AIDS. Their (hugely ambitious) aim is not […]

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Ebola Secrets: what happened when an epidemic hit a village in Sierra Leone? 

Melissa Parker, Professor of Medical Anthropology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Tim Allen, Professor of Development Anthropology at LSE and Director of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa find long-standing customary forms of governance played a critical role in ending the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. This blog first appeared on the LSE’s Africa blog. ‘I […]

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If everyone lived sustainably, what would their lives be like?

Guest post from Andrew Fanning, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow in the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds. His research finding that no country currently meets the basic needs of its citizens at a globally sustainable level of resource was recently published in the journal Nature Sustainability (author summary here and there’s an interactive […]

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Top tips on how to get a reply to your emails

Some of my LSE students are pulling their hair out. A number of them are doing consultancies for various bits of the aid industry. They have composed their requests for interviews, links, suggestions etc, hit ‘send’ and then…. Silence. So short of doorstepping the unresponsive (which will probably get you arrested), how can you maximise […]

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What to read on Oxfam’s sexual misconduct crisis?

Like anyone else connected with Oxfam, I’ve been glued to the media, and my emails over the last 10 days. It’s been pretty harrowing, a crushing dissonance between the revelations of sexual misconduct in our responses to emergencies in Haiti, Chad and elsewhere, and what I know of Oxfam’s focus and work on gender, women’s […]

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Why the Aid Community needs to step up on Fragile/Conflict States

Everyone in the aid biz is talking fragile and conflict affected states these days (FCAS – I’ve given up on trying to get everyone to adopt FRACAS….). That’s partly because that’s where poor people will predominantly be in a couple of decades time, as more stable places grow their way out of extreme poverty, and […]

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New Report from UN Women argues that Universal Childcare can unlock progress across multiple SDGs (and costs it)

Silke Staab (left) and Ginette Azcona introduce their new report on gender and the SDGs, published yesterday UN Women has just launched its first monitoring report on gender equality and the SDGs “Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda”. The report offers the most comprehensive review to date on how gender equality […]

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