Featured image for “How Can Researchers Support the Policy Shift to Sustainability?”

How Can Researchers Support the Policy Shift to Sustainability?

July 19, 2023
My favourite chapter in How to Engage Policy Makers with your Research (in addition to the one on Critical Friends which goes up tomorrow) was by Alice Owen, a prof at Leeds university, on ‘Supporting policy towards sustainability’. It’s a lovely reflection from a senior academic on the lessons she has learned in engaging with policy makers over the years.
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Showing Your Working when you come up with a ‘Killer Fact’

July 12, 2023
Oxfam got some headlines last week with ‘World’s 722 biggest companies ‘making $1tn in windfall profits’’. This is a good example of a ‘killer fact’ – a memorable statistic that summarizes an injustice, in this case a massive windfall for big corporates at a time of global austerity and spiralling food and fuel prices. Here’s my 2019 guide to writing
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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 “Where has the Humanitarian Sector got to on Localization? Great new update”

Where has the Humanitarian Sector got to on Localization? Great new update

June 28, 2023
ALNAP, which describes itself as a ‘a global network dedicated to learning how to improve response to humanitarian crises’, has just published a really good series of ‘essential briefings for humanitarian decision makers’. Proper grown-up sitreps, full of difficult questions with no easy answers (and quite a few unexplained acronyms, which can make them a bit inaccessible). The one that jumped out
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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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Can humanitarian experience guide the development of new loss and damage funding?

May 24, 2023
After years of political wrangling, we are finally seeing some progress in terms of wealthy nations shouldering some (small part) of the burden of Loss & Damage – but how do we make sure we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past?  Debbie Hillier of Mercy Corps and Paul Knox Clarke of Adapt Initiatives explore in a new paper how
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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 “Podcast + transcript: did we get it wrong on land grabs in Africa? In Conversation with Laura German”

Podcast + transcript: did we get it wrong on land grabs in Africa? In Conversation with Laura German

May 18, 2023
Laura German is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Georgia, and author of Power/Knowledge/Land: Contested Ontologies of Land and its Governance in Africa (University of Michigan Press) Duncan: I’m really pleased about this conversation because I’m way out of date on this topic. This is about land ownership and what we used to call land grabs. I last worked
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Featured image for “Older and at the Sharp End: Why more Social Protection is needed to protect Older People in the global food, finance & fuel crisis ”

Older and at the Sharp End: Why more Social Protection is needed to protect Older People in the global food, finance & fuel crisis 

May 3, 2023
Guest post by Babken Babajanian The current global crisis, with soaring prices for food and fuel, has been devastating for many people around the world. But for older people in poor countries with no access to pensions or social protection, it is particularly bleak. And worse still for older women.  Sadly, although they are bearing the brunt of the crisis,
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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 “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
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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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