Featured image for “Leadership Tips from Someone Who Knows”

Leadership Tips from Someone Who Knows

July 7, 2023
Just got back from Dakar, and a great few days with the latest cohort of leaders from UN, INGOs and Red Cross/Red Crescent, all coming together in our GELI programme on influencing and advocacy, learning from each other (and occasionally from the LSE team). On top of the busy working day schedule, we invited along Elhadj As Sy (right) to
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Featured image for “I’m doing a new edition of How Change Happens – any suggestions for what needs to change?”

I’m doing a new edition of How Change Happens – any suggestions for what needs to change?

July 3, 2023
Hi everyone I’m planning to update How Change Happens over the summer, and wanted to ask for advice on what to cover. I guess this is particularly relevant to those of you who use the book, whether for teaching, training or getting to sleep at night. Quick reminder: The book is about the plumbing – the ‘how’ of change and
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Featured image for “From Penury to Prosperity. The Churches at the Epicentre of social-economic Transformation ”

From Penury to Prosperity. The Churches at the Epicentre of social-economic Transformation 

June 29, 2023
Guest post from Emmanuel Murangira, Tearfund Country Director, Rwanda 22 years ago I left the business world to work for one of the oldest church relief and development organisations. I was full of enthusiasm and excitement at the prospect of working for a church organisation that I thought served the cause of my faith. I soon found out that, although
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Featured image for “Fixing the power imbalances of aid and development: A paradox”

Fixing the power imbalances of aid and development: A paradox

June 6, 2023
Thanks to Exfamer Bert Maerten for sending over this interesting reflection by Soli Middleby (16 page paper from Partnership Brokers Association). Some excerpts: ‘Leaving aside the complex and important debates around the actual effectiveness of development3 there should be little doubt that the industry operates on a significant, complex, and historic power imbalance. The development industry’s own practitioners and policy
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Featured image for “Reforming the World Bank: some good ideas, but where’s the power, politics and feasibility?”

Reforming the World Bank: some good ideas, but where’s the power, politics and feasibility?

May 31, 2023
Spent a half day at ODI recently discussing the reform of the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) – the global ones like World Bank, the regional ones like the Asia or African Development Bank, and the new ones like the BRICs Bank. It was interesting for what was said, but also for what was missing. First what was said: On World
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Featured image for “What does politically smart support to democracy and human rights look like?”

What does politically smart support to democracy and human rights look like?

May 23, 2023
Guest Post by Laure-Hélène Piron and Alina Rocha Menocal with Kate Byom This blog is published to coincide with a webinar on “Making a difference: How Applied Political Economy Analysis contributes to impact through better informed decisions” on Wednesday 24 May. It shares the findings of a Learning Review on the use of PEA in three USAID-funded human rights projects
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Featured image for “How do we Start Thinking About AI and Development?”

How do we Start Thinking About AI and Development?

May 19, 2023
Spent a mind-bending day this week discussing AI and development with some NGO and legal folk (Chatham House Rule, so that’s all I can say, sorry). Everyone in the room knew at least ten times more than me on the subject. Perfect. Some impressions/ideas. The catalyst for the discussion was the UK Government’s new White Paper on AI and Innovation,
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Featured image for “Seeing the forest beyond the trees: Coalition building in Indonesia and beyond and the lessons for donors”

Seeing the forest beyond the trees: Coalition building in Indonesia and beyond and the lessons for donors

May 2, 2023
Guest post by Nicola Nixon, Erman Rahman, Sumaya Saluja and Rahpriyanto Alam Surya Putra ‘Coalition-building’: one of those topics that gets enthusiastic nods of approval among development practitioners. But what distinguishes effective from ineffective coalitions and what can donors do to support them?’ In The Asia Foundation’s recent reflection paper On the right tack: reflections on coalition-building in The Asia
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Featured image for “Venture Philanthropy and Asset Based Community-Driven Development – a marriage made in heaven?”

Venture Philanthropy and Asset Based Community-Driven Development – a marriage made in heaven?

April 18, 2023
Guest post by David Martin and Yogesh Ghore What can you achieve with C$30m and none of the usual constraints faced by official donors and NGOs? That’s the challenge for so called ‘venture philanthropists’ like us. The Comart Foundation is a mid-sized, family-run, Canadian charitable foundation, with an endowment of C$30 million and no permanent staff.  From our inception in
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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
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Featured image for “How Beijing Commands: how the Communist Party combines Ambiguity and Clarity to Maximum Effect”

How Beijing Commands: how the Communist Party combines Ambiguity and Clarity to Maximum Effect

March 30, 2023
Yuen Yuen Ang is a rising star in International Development scholarship. Understandably, she doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed as ‘the China person’ despite her brilliant book, How China Escaped the Poverty Trap, and has written more global works on corruption, among other things. But in a recent paper, she returns to the topic of China – analysing the combination of
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Featured image for “Oxfam and BRAC: the links between Bloody-Mindedness and Innovation”

Oxfam and BRAC: the links between Bloody-Mindedness and Innovation

March 29, 2023
Spent a buzzy couple of days IRL with Oxfam colleagues recently – the first such get together since Covid, and very moving/energising to be in a room together with others working on policy, advocacy, research etc in Oxfam GB’s ‘Impact Division’. One of the conversations was about innovation (isn’t it always?). Rather than generic thoughts on what helps/hinders creativity, I
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