Why are NGOs and Academics collaborating more?

August is a good month for getting people to step back and take stock – those who are not on holiday have fewer meetings, and so are more relaxed and available for shooting the breeze. And so I found myself at the London International Development Centre this week in one of those periodic soul searchings […]

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Whatever happened to the Academic Spring? (Or the irony of hiding papers on transparency and accountability behind a paywall)

Is the Academic Spring running out of steam, like its Arab namesake? Last year, there was lots of talk of opening up access to academic papers. Both DFID and the Wellcome Trust took some welcome steps to push the recipients of their research grants to open access.  Following the death of Aaron Swartz, who killed […]

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Panels of the Poor: What would poor people do if they were in charge of the post-2015 process?

Many of the attempts to introduce an element of consultation/participation into the post-2015 discussion have been pretty perfunctory ‘clicktivism’. So thanks to Liz Stuart, another Exfamer-gone-to-Save-the-Kids, for sending me something a bit more substantial: 5 day in-depth participatory discussions with small (10-14 people) ‘ground level panels’ in Egypt, Brazil, Uganda and India, culminating in a […]

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How will development be financed? The eclipse of aid, and what it means for post-2015

Thanks to Alex Evans for recommending ‘Who Foots the Bill’, a report from the ODI’s Romilly Greenhill and Annalisa Prizzon on trends in development finance. It was published at the end of last year, but somehow I missed it – probably because it is pegged to funding the post-2015 goals, a timesuck discussion I have […]

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Development Impact Bonds and Impact Investing – genuine Impact, or snake oil?

The private finance people in development baffle me. They speak a different language; great swirling clouds of jargon, the fuzziest of fuzzwords, all laced with a level of macho market can-do talk that makes me deeply suspicious. Baffled but sceptical – not a good place to be. And there’s a lot going on at the […]

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Pakistan’s Lady Health Workers – empowerment + healthcare

Just finished the paper for the UN on where/how governments have managed to empower poor and excluded groups and individuals. Thanks to everyone who suggested links when I blogged the outline back in June. I’ll do a summary when it’s out, but thought I’d share a few of the dozens of case studies dug up […]

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Campaigning on Hot v Cold Issues – what’s the difference?

I recently began an interesting conversation with our new campaigns and policy czar, Ben Phillips, who then asked me to pick the FP2P collective brain-hive for further ideas. Here goes. The issue is ‘cold’ v ‘hot’ campaigning. Over the next couple of years, we will be doing a lot of campaigning on climate change and […]

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Are the wheels coming off the BRICS juggernaut?

Nouriel Roubini (aka Doctor Doom) and the Economist cover story on the same topic? It must be serious. The issue is whether the glitter is coming off the BRICS growth surge. First the Economist: ‘China will be lucky if it manages to hit its official target of 7.5% growth in 2013, a far cry from […]

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Today’s grimfographic: how many people die a violent death, where and how?

From Action on Armed Violence using data from the Geneva Declaration’s Global Burden of Armed Violence report (whose link seems to be down at the moment). Key points to note: Only one in 8 violent deaths occur in the ‘conflict settings’ so beloved of news coverage. Most of the rest are ‘intentional homicides’ committed in […]

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Off to WOMAD, any recommendations on who to see?

It’s the British summer, torrential rain is forecast, so  it’s time to grab the wet wipes and head for a festival. Off to WOMAD (World of Music, Art and Dance, 21st year) today – here’s the line-up. All recommendations welcome (best to tweet me on @fp2p, but should be able to read comments too, even on […]

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