Who wants to be a Volunteer? Book Review

An estimated 10 million people will head from North to South this year as volunteers, seeking a mix of adventure, altruism and self improvement. Volunteering is big (a $2bn industry), but is it beautiful? Learning Service: The Essential Guide to Volunteering Abroad, a 350 page tome aimed at informing and guiding would-be volunteers, left me […]

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Payment by Results: what is the Evidence from the First Decade?

Paul Clist, who actually seems to enjoy reading project documents, introduces his new paper on Payment by Results, a popular new aid mechanism (see also his 2016 post on the same topic). In a new paper, I argue that despite its public support for the idea, DFID hasn’t really tried Payment by Results, at least […]

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Links I Liked

Nice graph of advanced v emerging + developing economies, share of global GDP. Anyone fancy drawing a squid on this, to give Branko Milanovic’s elephant graph some competition? Speaking of Branko, here’s his gloriously written review of 15 authors’ attempts to chart a future for social democracy. The son of South Sudan’s President explaining how […]

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One of my favourite stories of change: how an indigenous group won the rights to 1m hectares of land – and a new interview with an NGO person who supported them at the time

If you repeat the same story often enough, at some point you start to wonder if you’ve really just made it up, or at least embellished it beyond recognition. One such story, which I often tell at the start of a How Change Happens presentation, is about the Chiquitano Indians of Bolivia and their successful […]

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One step forward, two steps back? Why WDR 2019 harms the World Bank’s role as a thought leader on employment and gender equality

Guest post on the new World Development Report by Shahra Razavi (left) and Silke Staab of the UN Women Research and Data Section. (The views expressed here are in their individual capacities and do not reflect the position of UN Women). Diego Rivera’s 1931 mural, The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City, […]

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11 Tips for Better Blogging

I’ve run several blogging workshops in recent weeks, with seasoned campaigners at Global Witness, Oxfam Novib’s youth wing, and academic bloggers at the Institute for Social Studies in The Hague. All three sessions followed a similar format, developed for a Unicef session I ran last year – a half hour intro from me, and then […]

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How Change Happens is two years old this week, and Open Access has played a big part in getting people to read it

This week is International Open Access Week. It is also two years since we published How Change Happens (How Time Flies….), so here’s a summary of what’s happened since. From a publishing point of view, the most interesting aspect of HCH was that it was open access from day 1. In return for Oxfam waiving […]

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Links I Liked

Honestly, it really isn’t a ‘scary time’ for men. Thanks Lynzy Lab Stewart “Ninety-five percent of economics is common sense.” Ha-Joon Chang in the LSE student paper, on Brexit, trade and Kpop, after launching this year’s series of Friday afternoon guest lectures at the LSE. Details of top line up of future speakers here. It’s […]

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Legal earthquakes and the struggle against Mining in Mexico

Second post from a great visit to Mexico last week to launch the Spanish language edition of How Change Happens. Few things get development folk fired up as much as mining. For many NGOs and grassroots organizations, not much has changed since the Conquistadores: mining is plunder. Given their long history in terms of pollution, […]

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Is Something Good about to happen in Mexico?

First of two reflections on last week’s visit to Mexico. Omar Cabezas’ wonderful account of the Sandinista Revolution, Fire from the Mountain, ends with the victorious guerrillas arriving in Managua’s main square, where wild celebrations break out at the overthrow of the Somoza dictatorship. On the margins of the fiesta, a group of comandantes gather […]

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