Topic: Aid

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 […]

Read More »

“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 […]

Read More »

(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 […]

Read More »

(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 […]

Read More »

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 […]

Read More »

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 […]

Read More »

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 […]

Read More »

Hunger, Inequality and the Birth of Oxfam

This post by Oxfam’s Max Lawson first appeared on its Equals blog. I’ll be summarizing our new paper on the East Africa hunger crisis tomorrow. The other day I was speaking to Nellie, an old friend and primary school teacher in Malawi, about the rapidly rising prices: ‘Prices have risen, just since last month.  Imagine […]

Read More »

The UK’s new Development Strategy shows it’s in the midst of an identity crisis

Guest post by Sam Nadel, Oxfam GB’s Head of Government Relations You might remember Duncan’s ‘rant’ (his word) a few weeks ago about the Shameful Implosion of UK Aid, with the Government “hacking away at aid lifelines in order to hit the targets for cuts, shovelling money out the door to other government departments, dumping […]

Read More »

Theories of Change, the muddy middle, and what to do about assumptions

Spent a happy 90 minutes last week connecting with a bunch of Oxfam campaigners taking part in its excellent Campaigns and Advocacy Leadership Programme. They had asked to discuss something which already feels a bit last decade – Theories of Change (ToCs). My random thoughts (powerpoint below) were cautiously worded, because I have a growing […]

Read More »