The Hidden Life of Theories of Change

We’re getting down and aid-wonky for the next couple of days. First up, ToCs: I’ve gone through a personal hype cycle on Theories of Change – first getting excited and extolling their virtues, and then starting to have second thoughts as I saw them turn from a tool that encourages imagination and experimentation into a […]

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How to vlog – top examples and advice from some very tech savvy students

Final instalment from my amazing LSE students. Earlier posts ran some of their blogs, which were part of their assignment to write an influencing strategy on a topic of their choice. But I gave them the option of doing a video blog (vlog) instead, and several of them grabbed it, with some impressive results. Here […]

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Why are Illegal Drugs still a Cinderella Issue in Development? (Looking at you CGD!)

Why don’t more mainstream aid organizations work on the issue of illegal drugs like cannabis, coca or opium poppy? We’ve known for decades that the prevalent approach to these – prohibition – harms small-scale farmers that grow them, fuels violence, undermines the rule of law and contaminates politics (the UN estimates the illegal drugs trade […]

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How to reduce carbon emissions = 100 coal power stations with the world’s biggest nudge

In the latest instalment from my LSE activism students, Lachlan Hill took my course to help formulate the strategy for his Go25degrees campaign in Indonesia. This asks Air Con manufacturers – not governments – to take responsibility for their indirect emissions and make one simple change to their factory settings. One simple nudge to prevent […]

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Development Nutshell: round-up (12m) of FP2P posts, w/b 7th September

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In advocacy, which matters more – evidence or relationships? How has Covid changed the balance?

Sometimes I wish the earth was flat – then at least, we wouldn’t have time zones. Last week I blearily zoomed in for three 7am starts to discuss the strategy of the Myanmar-based Centre for Good Governance (full disclosure, I’m an adviser). Luckily, it was really interesting. CGG prides itself on its ability to adapt […]

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What do 13,000 children in 46 countries have to tell us about living with COVID-19?

Guest post by Save the Children International’s Melissa Burgess and Michael O’Donnell The world is certainly not lacking in research on COVID-19. But there have been gaps in empirical data showing the lived experience of people around the world. Today, Save the Children is filling some of those gaps with the release of the findings […]

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Launching a new Research and Action programme on ‘Emergent Agency in a Time of Covid’. Want to join us?

Mutual aid groups morphing into long term citizens’ organizations; women’s organizations forming to address the surge in domestic violence during lockdown; small producers switching to producing protective equipment for health and care workers. Across the world, people are responding to the pandemic at a local level by acting, organizing and learning. What kinds of patterns […]

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Links I Liked

Tom Gauld on talking to computers – think I’m already at ‘finally’….. Tomorrow (Wednesday) I’ll be speaking on a panel on drugs and development to launch a series: ‘A World with Drugs: Legal Regulation through a Development lens’. As Helen Clark is kicking it off, I’ll mainly be doing ‘what she said’. Q to readers […]

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Why you should care about Sea Turtles

Next up from some of the best student posts from my LSE activism course is this piece by Mirna Medina-Silva Whenever I read about sea turtles, my mind hears “duuude!” … you know from Finding Nemo? Unfortunately, unlike Nemo, turtles may soon be lost forever to Nicaragua. In 2019, for the first time, you couldn’t […]

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