Featured image for “Book Review: Reimagining Civil Society Collaborations in Development: Starting from the South”

Book Review: Reimagining Civil Society Collaborations in Development: Starting from the South

April 26, 2023
‘Localization’ of aid, when you think about it, is actually quite an outsider’s word. It suggests taking the assets currently held in the North (money, knowledge, power) and somehow transferring them to the South. The value of this book, edited By Margit van Wessel, Tiina Kontinen, Justice Nyigmah Bawole is captured in the subtitle. It discards that idea and asks how CSOs in
Featured image for “Citizen action for accountability in challenging contexts: What have we learned?”

Citizen action for accountability in challenging contexts: What have we learned?

April 17, 2023
The Action for Empowerment and Accountability research consortium, led by IDS and with quite a lot of involvement from Oxfam (including me) is now winding up with the customary emission of academic papers (think puffballs reaching maturity). One of these is a whole issue of Development Policy Review (now Open Access – yay!) on ‘Citizen Action for Accountability in Challenging

Invisible women: a story and podcast of Emergent Agency

April 28, 2022
Guest Post by Filippo Artuso and Barbara van Paassen, introducing a new episode on the People v Inequality podcast While many of us were living through the pandemic on interminable Zoom calls or watching Netflix, activists and changemakers around the world were finding new and innovative ways to respond to the pandemic. The curiosity to learn how these responses were

21st century food riots

April 20, 2022
Guest post by Naomi Hossain & Patta Scott-Villiers In March FAO’s global food price index jumped by 17% to a level unprecedented in its 30-year history. The food riots predicted by the head of the World Trade Organization have already kicked off in Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Deadly fuel riots in Peru, rising discontent in Kenya and the rising price

What does Civil Society think of Adaptive Management? Not that much, it turns out.

April 7, 2022
Nicola Nixon, Kim McQuay, Peter Yates, Sumaya Saluja and Su Lae Yi, all of The Asia Foundation, continue our posts questioning the impact of the whole Adaptive Management/ Thinking and Working Politically Thing (I did my bit yesterday). Throughout 2021, we spent many hours talking with civil society organizations about adaptive management. We engaged with over 100 civil society organizations

Are we there yet? Five key insights on localisation as a journey towards locally-led practice

March 31, 2022
Arbie Baguios, Maia King, Alex Martins and Rosie Pinnington introduce their new paper Localisation and locally-led practice are the latest buzzwords for something that the aid sector, and the local communities and organisations who work with it, has long tried to do. That is, to ensure that local people and communities have the power and agency to drive their own

Who is helping protest movements engage with Policy Makers (and is that a good idea)?

January 13, 2022
A researcher got in touch this week to interview me for a scoping study for a funder that wants ‘to explore whether and how philanthropic actors can support movements as they move from political disruption to shaping political processes and outcomes… to identify gaps, and ultimately, to design a programme that complements existing projects.’ Firstly, chapeau to the philanthropist for

Feminist Protests and Politics in a World in Crisis

January 6, 2022
The latest issue of Gender and Development just dropped, and it’s on ‘Feminist Protests and Politics in a World in Crisis’ (Open Access). With academic journals, I must confess, I rarely read beyond the overview/introduction, but there’s some excellent and (to me at least) new insights in this one, by Sohela Nazneen and Awino Okech. Some of the extracts that

9 Great lectures/panels for you to catch up on over Christmas (or any other time) – see you next year

December 16, 2021
We’ve had a cracking series of lectures and discussions on our Friday afternoon LSE ‘Cutting Edge Issues in Development Thinking and Practice’ series, so I thought I’d post some links to the youtube videos and podcasts for those who are looking for some escape from the family Christmas (or otherwise just need some good brainfood). Grouping a bit by subject

When Two Pandemics Collide. How the HIV community has shown resilience, innovation and agency in the time of COVID-19

December 1, 2021
On World AIDS day, Ian Hodgson and Marina Schkot introduce a new study by Frontline AIDS. For the estimated 38 million people living with HIV, COVID-19 has meant one pandemic overlaid on another. The interaction between the two pandemics, and how the HIV community has responded, provide important lessons for the future. Sex workers, people who use drugs, adolescent girls
Featured image for “What’s stopping aid from putting local people and organizations first? Answers from a global conversation”

What’s stopping aid from putting local people and organizations first? Answers from a global conversation

November 4, 2021
Guest post from Courtenay Cabot-Venton The world is currently at an inflection point that could enable the transformation of aid for developing countries. The convergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as the withdrawal of most international staff across the globe, has opened up space for more honest conversations around racism and the decolonization
Featured image for “Traditional approaches to aid and development are failing us. It’s time to invest in community-driven change.”

Traditional approaches to aid and development are failing us. It’s time to invest in community-driven change.

November 2, 2021
By Mary A. Kabati, Ronah K. Lubinda, Adela Materu, Kingsley Makuwila, Jones Mwalwanda, Prosper Ndaiga and Moses Zulu If COVID-19 and the recent uprisings for racial justice around the world have made one thing clear, it is this: the global development sector needs to radically rebuild itself from the ground up. As leaders of community-based organizations in Tanzania, Zambia, and