DIY Blog Training kit – Please Steal

I’ve been doing a fair amount of blog training recently, whether for students, academics, NGOs or other aid agencies. It’s fun but quite time consuming, and I recently realized (not for the first time), that I’m actually pretty redundant. If I post the slides (below) and some suggestions for structure, pretty much anyone can run […]

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How to talk about Corruption when it’s everywhere, but invisible?

Just got back from 10 days in Goma in DR Congo. No, this post won’t be about Ebola (which mercifully hasn’t taken hold in the city) or conflict (ditto). I was there to interview dozens of officials and NGOs about public services, especially water. And the topic of this post is the difficulty of talking […]

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Will Open Access disrupt Books even more than Journals?

Open Access (OA) week is drawing to a close, so I thought I’d take a look at the stats for How Change Happens, published three years ago this week. They were pretty mind blowing, at least for an author. HCH was published by Oxford University Press and has been OA since day 1 – you […]

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Who is an expert?

In this meta-reflection for Power Shifts, Farida Bena urges us to rethink what expertise means within the development and aid sector, and to address the organizational and structural barriers that hinder the transformation of this concept into a more justice-oriented one

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Why Policy Networks don’t work and other Links I Liked

Seen in an NGO office in Goma Why policy networks don’t work (the way we think they do). Thought provoking case study on the Ebola response in West Africa. The Greta Thunberg memes just keep coming. Now Fatboy Slim has got in on the act with a remix of ‘Right Here, Right Now’. Sorry, Adam […]

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The road to home-grown economies in Africa

Charles Dhewa is a knowledge management specialist working at the intersection of formal and informal agricultural markets. The organisation he founded, Knowledge Transfer Africa, has set up a fluid knowledge and information platform called eMKambo. A home-grown economy is all about identity and some identity features start from a country’s name. During the colonial era Rhodesia had its […]

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Private v Public education in poor countries: What’s new? Interview with Prachi Srivastava

I recently caught up with Prachi Srivastava, of the University of Western Ontario, who’s my go-to person on the heated development debates on public v private schools. Private v Public: I started working on this topic 18 years ago as a doctoral student. We were just entering the MDG and Education for All (EFA) era […]

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The Randomistas just won the Nobel Economics prize. Here’s why RCTs aren’t a magic bullet.

Lant Pritchett once likened Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) to flared jeans. On the way out and soon we’d be wondering what on earth we’d seen in them. Not so fast. Yesterday, three of the leading ‘Randomistas’ won the Nobel economics prize (before the pedants jump in, strictly speaking it’s the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic […]

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7 steps to improving Conference Presentations

Went to the big and fascinating conference put on by the Effective States in International Development (ESID) programme last month (see Sam Hickey’s podcast for what it was all about). But the structure didn’t live up to some excellent content. 3 days of plenary-panel-plenary-panel. Some things have got better – the organizers largely avoided manels, […]

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Microfinance has been a nightmare for the Global South. Sri Lanka shows that there is an alternative

Ahilan Kadirgamar and Niyanthini Kadirgamar write how women’s groups and the co-operative movement are leading the way out of the debt trap promoted by microfinance strategies. Ahilan is a member of the Collective for Economic Democratisation. Niyanthini is a PhD Student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and was previously engaged with people affected by […]

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