NGOs face a slow-onset funding disaster – what can be done to avoid it?

July 13, 2016
Brexit is prompting a lot of discussion within the UK’s aid community right now. But while the focus is understandably on EC funding and exchange rates, there’s a less visible and potentially more dangerous funding threat to deal with, argues Michael O’Donnell of Bond (the network of UK development NGOs). Right now, NGO staff focused on quality and effectiveness need

Off to sit on a rainswept rock for a few days (aka a British holiday)

July 8, 2016
Actually, by the time you read this, I’ll already have been there for a while – such is the lag on posting blogs. Destination this time is Lundy, 5km x 1km, resident population of 28 people. Good for puffins, apparently . Will be taking some heavy duty novels, in case the rain persists, and binoculars in case we can leave

Campaigning to Make India’s Roads Safer: A nice How Change Happens case study

July 7, 2016
A smart How Change Happens case study by David Bornstein in the New York Times’ ‘Fixes’ series (highly recommended). Bornstein looks at the advocacy of the SaveLife Foundation, set up by Piyush Tewari, a businessman, after his cousin Shivam was knocked down by a jeep then left to bleed to death by the roadside. Excerpts + commentary from me in italics.

Great new 110 page guide to humanitarian campaigning

July 6, 2016
Just been browsing through a brilliant new Oxfam guide to humanitarian campaigning. A treasure trove of 110 pages crammed full of wisdom, experience and 32 case studies on everything from addressing tribal conflicts in Pakistan to gender responsive work with Syrian refugees to influencing Australia’s humanitarian policy. And no sign of an executive summary. Sigh. To be fair, it would

Want to empower women? Digital Financial Services are the way to go!

July 5, 2016
Sophie Romana (left) and Shelley Spencer (right) report back from the June 8 high level roundtable organized by NetHope and USAID, which brought together mobile banking and gender champions to reflect on how Digital Financial Services (“DFS”) can galvanize women’s empowerment. Women’s empowerment is often measured by their access to resources and ability to make decisions over how they are used.  Recent

Links I Liked

July 4, 2016
The whole Fragile States discussion came a lot closer to home last week (power vacuums, formal v informal power, unstable leadership, fragmented patronage-based party systems, even the role of elite boarding schools……). Why oh why did the Remain campaign reject this poster? We deserve an answer. As a public service, Buzzfeed has pulled together all the best Brexit tweets of

Book Review: Eden 2.0: Climate Change and the Search for a 21st Century Myth, by Alex Evans

July 1, 2016
In his new book, Eden 2.0 (just 68 pages, published today, but currently only available on Kindle, which is bad news for technophobes and tree killers like me, or people who dislike Amazon), Alex Evans asks a question that has been uppermost in every Remainer’s mind in recent days ‘if evidence and rational arguments aren’t enough, then what is?’ He