Health, Human Rights and Plastic Bags: 3 top campaign proposals from my LSE students

July 13, 2018
I’ve been selecting some of the student assignments from the initial year of my new LSE course on ‘Advocacy, Campaigning and Grassroots activism’ to show as examples to next year’s cohort, and thought you might like a taste too. Each student had to produce a 2,000 word project proposal for something they would like to change and an accompanying blog.

The last word in the Community Driven Development wonkwar? Scott Guggenheim responds to Howard White and Radhika Menon

July 12, 2018
The discussion on Community Driven Development (CDD) has been passionate, at times angry, and has surfaced some important common ground as well as differences. Here Scott Guggenheim (right) responds to yesterday’s post, in what he hopes is the final exchange (people can always continue in the comments section). To recap for those who are arriving new to this, we’ve had 4

Community Driven Development: Howard White and Radhika Menon respond to Scott Guggenheim

July 11, 2018
Howard White and Radhika Menon respond to Scott Guggenheim’s recent post on Community Driven Development Evaluations have two functions: lesson learning and accountability. We believe that our report on community-driven development offers useful lessons for programme managers, practitioners and researchers. Despite posting a blog response to earlier comments, a critical backlash continues. This is disappointing – especially as our ‘critics’

Adaptive Management: the trade offs; how to build trust; the sources of resistance and how to counter them

July 10, 2018
Not sure if you can take any more posts on Adaptive Management, but I had an interesting conversation with Stephen Gray on AM and Peacebuilding, which he may be using for a podcast. A few lightbulb moments: Things we often assume go together, but they actually don’t. Two candidates: Results v Risk: There is a vague sense that those evil

Links I Liked

July 9, 2018
Authors, always check your publisher’s cover design….. Oxfam is doing some innovative, nuts and bolts work on gender and development: Measuring the impact of a gender rights project on women’s empowerment in Indonesia. V cool bit of evaluation using quasi-experimental research design How to construct a women’s empowerment indicator for a given project/community based on women’s own weighting of different

Book Review: Navigation by Judgment, by Dan Honig

July 6, 2018
As its subtitle, ‘Why and When Top-Down Management of Foreign Aid Doesn’t Work’, suggests, this is an addition to the growing library of books on aid reform. And a very useful one. Honig is a hybrid scholar-practitioner, with dirt under his fingernails in East Timor and Liberia, and the book is for aid insiders, whether practitioners or scholars, focusing on

Public Pressure + League Tables: Oxfam’s campaign on food brands is moving on to supermarkets.

July 5, 2018
Tim Gore explains the evolving theory of change behind Oxfam’s new supermarkets campaign ‘First the brands, now the retailers.‘ That was the reaction of a senior staffer at Mars – one of the 10 biggest global food manufacturers targeted in our award-winning Behind the Brands campaign – to the Behind the Barcodes launch last month. Why did we choose supermarkets

Internal battles within partner governments are what determine change. That has big implications for aid.

July 4, 2018
Alan Whaites argues that aid workers should abandon their blueprints and focus instead on understanding internal reform battles within governments and trying to help those fighting poverty from within. Recently a line stuck in my mind from one of Duncan’s recent posts about adaptive programmes with developing country partners: `if you introduce donors into that arrangement, ownership is diluted, and

Simplicity, Accountability and Relationships: Three ways to ensure MEL supports Adaptive Management

July 3, 2018
Chris Roche, a mate and mentor in all things system-y, reflects on what sounds like a Filipino version of our recent Bologna workshop. The week before Duncan was slaving away in Bologna on adaptive management I was attending an Asia Foundation ‘practitioners’ forum’ in Manila.  The focus of the event was on Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning for Adaptive Programming. The

The Rise of the Robot Reserve Army: Working Hard or Hardly Working?

July 2, 2018
Lukas Schlogl and Andy Sumner both of King’s College London are launching a new CGD paper today. To save you actually having to read it, they have helpfully picked out the headlines. The rise of a new global ‘robot reserve army’ will have profound effects on developing countries but will it mean people will be working hard or hardly working?