Topic: Other

Why We Fight: This Year’s Big Book on Development?

Why We Fight, by Chris Blattman, a prof at the University of Chicago, is shaping up to be this year’s Big Book – it’s everywhere on my timeline, the FT book of the summer etc etc. A summary and some thoughts. Usually I decide early on if I like a book or not, on the […]

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“We have already spent everything we had in our own wallets”: How international aid is failing Ukrainian responders – and what to do about it

Abby Stoddard, Paul Harvey and Tonia Thomas present new research from Humanitarian Outcomes, supported by the UK Humanitarian Innovation Hub (UKHIH). Full report here. Over 100 days have passed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine sparked a massive humanitarian crisis along with an outpouring of international generosity in the form of aid contributions. So why […]

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(Re)making the case for adaptive management part 2: What to read? What Constitutes Evidence? Where are the Gaps?

Tom Aston continues yesterday’s summary of what we know about adaptive management There are many papers which make a convincing case for adaptive programming. Here’s my top 5: Escaping capability traps through problem-driven iterative adaptation (Andrews, Pritchett, and Woolcock, 2012) Getting real about politics: from thinking politically to working differently (Rocha Menocal, 2014) Development entrepreneurship: how donors and leaders […]

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(Re)making the case for adaptive management

Following yesterday’s reflection on the MEL of working in complex systems, Tom Aston provides a great overview of what to read on adaptive management. It’s a long one, so I’ve split it into two – second installment tomorrow. Christian Aid Ireland’s recent publication The Difference Learning Makes by Stephen Gray and Andy Carl made a bit of a […]

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Rethinking monitoring, evaluation and learning in complex systems

Two interesting recent posts on Adaptive Management, complexity etc, which the authors have kindly allowed me to repost here. First up is Søren Vester Haldrup, from UNDP’s Strategic Innovation Unit, wrestling with the issue of measurement and learning. Original post here. Tomorrow Tom Aston provides a great overview of where we’ve got to on adaptive […]

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Promoting anti-racist narratives in development sector research

The IIED’s Natalie Lartey explores common challenges in tackling racial bias in the storytelling that underpins international development research and identifies opportunities for change. Storytelling in the aid and development sectors has for many years been criticised for perpetuating racial stereotypes and bias. In the main, this critique has focused on public affairs content from big […]

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Why mothers are taking the fight for climate action to Lloyd’s of London

Guest post by Exfamer Maya Mailer In torrential rain, I clutched my 3 year-old daughter’s little hand. I was outside Lloyd’s of London, one of the world’s biggest insurers of fossil fuels, with a group of parents, toddlers and a giant paper mache oil drum filled with dying flowers. It was almost Father’s Day 2021. […]

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Billionaires made more in the 24 months of the pandemic than they did in 23 years. Oxfam on Davos

Max Lawson on Oxfam’s latest Davos broadside and his worries that his salary is about to get cut We are living through extraordinary times. Extraordinarily bad for the vast majority of humanity.  Extraordinarily good if you are one of the richest people in the world. Normally they meet in January at Davos, but that face-to-face […]

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An important new book on technology, power and development

Patching Development: Information Politics and Social Change in India by Rajesh Veeraraghavan is a wonderful and important book, a deep dive into the world’s largest social protection programme – India’s NREGA scheme – to explore the interaction between state reformers and citizen activists, as they work together, or sometimes against each other, to overcome the […]

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East Africa v Ukraine. Two tragedies; two very different responses

There’s sometimes a fine line between ‘what aboutery’ – unhelpfully distracting from one claim for public or policy attention by saying ‘yes, but what about X? – and a genuine exposure of double standards. But when it comes to East Africa right now, it’s not a fine line, but a gulf distinguishing the world’s feeble […]

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