Topic: Gender

How a new land rights study amplifies women’s hopes and fears – and makes us think again about solutions for everyone

March 26, 2019
Guest post by Renée Giovarelli on a new report published today  A couple of weeks ago, writing on this blog, Duncan asked a question: How do we, in the international development community, recognize and work with (let alone measure) issues like love, shame, fear, solidarity? As an advocate for women’s land rights, this question resonated with me. Whenever I hear

Why are we failing on gender? 3 bad excuses and 6 good ideas

March 21, 2019
March is women’s history month and Fabiola Esposito shares her reflections on the aid sector’s slow progress on women’s empowerment. Last week I went to a networking event for women working in international development about ‘women’s empowerment’ (WE) in Syria. During the Q&A one of the attendees asked an astonishing, but revealing, question: “Why do you think donors are now

5 Emerging Lessons from new research into Empowerment and Accountability in Messy Places

March 15, 2019
A second instalment on the recent conversation with DFID’s Social Development Advisers (see here for first instalment). John Gaventa summarized the emerging lessons from the DFID-funded Action for Empowerment and Accountability research programme, which he coordinates. A4EA is trying to work out whether the stuff we know about E&A in more stable places is different from what happens in fragile

6 ways to rethink aid for real, complex human beings

March 14, 2019
Last week I went along to the annual conference of DFID’s Social Development Advisers (SDAs – DFID has lots of acronyms). As well as giving them an initial picture of what the ‘Action for Empowerment and Accountability’ research programme is finding out about DFID’s adaptive management programmes, they asked me for a pre-dinner rant about what they should be thinking

“The Socialist and the Suffragist”: A poem for International Women’s Day

March 8, 2019
Written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, this was first published in 1895  Said the Socialist to the suffragist: “My cause is greater than yours! You only work for a special class, We for the gain of the general mass, Which every good ensures!” Said the suffragist to the Socialist: “You underrate my cause! While women remain a subject class, You never

Can watching a few videos really reduce Violence Against Women?

February 13, 2019
I’m not generally a big fan of randomised control trials (oversold, squeeze out other forms of knowledge – more here), but a recent RCT on violence against women in Uganda by researchers at Columbia University got my attention. Here are some excerpts from the summary on the website of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). First the summary of the summary:

Twenty five years more life: the real prize for tackling inequality

January 22, 2019
Following yesterday’s post introducing Oxfam’s new Davos Report, one of its authors, Max Lawson, reflects on the links between inequality and public services like health and education Imagine having 25 years more life.  Imagine what you could do.  Twenty-five years more to spend with your children, your grandchildren. In pursuing your hopes and dreams. In Sao Paulo, Brazil, a person

Davos is here again, so it’s time for Oxfam’s new report – here’s what it says

January 21, 2019
First of two posts to mark the start of Davos. Tomorrow Max Lawson digs into the links between inequality and public services. How do you follow a series of Killer Facts that have really got people’s attention? Every year the world’s political and economic leaders gather in Davos, and in recent years, Oxfam has done its best to persuade them,

What do Witch Doctors actually do? I interviewed one to find out – their job description may surprise you

December 19, 2018
Guest post from Robin Oryem (@oryem_robin ), a researcher for LSE’s CPAID programme in Northern Uganda. As part of trying to understand how Public Authority operates in such messy places, Robin has been interviewing local witch doctors. One of the things that any Acholi person wants to avoid is to be associated with a witch doctor, but I took courage and

How does Localization work on the ground? Podcast with Evans Onyiego and video of his work in Northern Kenya

December 7, 2018
On the margins of the localization discussion I covered yesterday, I grabbed a few minutes to interview Evans Onyiego. Evans runs a local Caritas office in Maralal, in Northern Kenya, where the Church is playing a big role in trying to rebuild trust between ethnic groups and communities whose traditional rivalries have been turbo-charged by the arrival of automatic weapons. He’s

Putting Positive Deviance into Practice: A brilliant UN Women initiative on domestic violence

November 26, 2018
Yesterday was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the start of the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, so it seems like a good moment to post this.  As part of my scoping exercise on Positive Deviance, I’ve been having some great skype conversations. Monique Sternin put me in touch with Ulziisuren

The Rise of Social Protection, the art of Paradigm Maintenance, and a disagreement with the World Bank

November 8, 2018
Spent a mind-stretching day last week with a bunch of social protection experts from the LSE, IMF and assorted other bodies. Social Protection includes emergency relief, permanent mechanisms such as pensions and cash transfers, and ‘social insurance’ based on people’s personal contributions. LSE boss Minouche Shafik set the scene really well: ‘The failure of safety nets is partly responsible for