Featured image for “‘Imagine There’s No Money’ – a thought experiment on aid without $”

‘Imagine There’s No Money’ – a thought experiment on aid without $

November 2, 2022
Gave a ‘Sussex Development Lecture’ last week. The title (with apologies to John Lennon): ‘Imagine there‘s no Money; It‘s easy if you try‘. Here’s the powerpoint – feel free to nick the slides. Some points from what I learned both from writing the lecture and the Q&A: Firstly, on aid quantity, I have been trapped in a bit of a
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Featured image for “Can the UK become a development superpower again? Stefan Dercon’s memo to the new Development Minister”

Can the UK become a development superpower again? Stefan Dercon’s memo to the new Development Minister

November 1, 2022
Great, pull-no-punches twitter thread from Stefan Dercon in response to the new UK Government’s decision to appoint Andrew Mitchell as Minister for Development (still within the merged FCDO though). Here’s an edited version, with his permission. Welcome Mr Mitchell, but you have your work cut out. All eyes will be on the budgets. They are in an absolute mess. A
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Book Review: Transnational Advocacy in the Digital Era.

October 26, 2022
Spoke on a panel last week in UCL’s Policy and Practice lecture series. The topic was Nina Hall’s new book, Transnational Advocacy in the Digital Era (putting in the discount code ASFLYQ6 will get you 30% off, btw). Some thoughts. The book explores a new-ish generation of digital advocacy organizations with professional staff. MoveOn was the first, established in the
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Featured image for “Top Tips and Dilemmas in Influencing from seven senior Aid Leaders”

Top Tips and Dilemmas in Influencing from seven senior Aid Leaders

October 25, 2022
Last in the current snapshots of the GELI Influencing programme I’ve been leading this year. We’ve had blogs on all the other elements – the Face to Face meetings, the ‘user experience’, the podcasts with experts. Here’s a write up (Chatham House rule) of the missing piece – the online modules, in this case on analysis. 7 senior aid folk
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Featured image for “SoupGate, the radical flank and the politics of good taste ”

SoupGate, the radical flank and the politics of good taste 

October 20, 2022
You’ve probably seen the Just Stop Oil protesters throwing tomato soup over Van Gogh’s Sunflowers at the National Gallery this week – the video on Twitter has over 35 million views, and everyone is talking about it. In particular, a big debate about whether this is just vandalism or smart protest. Tom Aston reflects. In an interesting blog, James Ozden criticizes those talking heads in the UK
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As Oxfam turns 80, here are three big ideas that I think will shape its future…

October 19, 2022
Eight decades after Oxfam began with a meeting in an Oxford church, we must respond to challenges our founders could not have dreamed of, from re-imagining what an international NGO should be, to the need for totally new sources of funding, to the world-changing impact of technology, says Oxfam GB CEO Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah One of my favourite bits of Oxfam
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Featured image for “‘Think Chess not Checkers’: Wilf Mwamba on the role of Analysis in effective Influencing”

‘Think Chess not Checkers’: Wilf Mwamba on the role of Analysis in effective Influencing

October 18, 2022
For our Global Executive Leadership Initiative training on influencing, I interviewed Wilf Mwamba, a long term FCDO/DFID practitioner-thinker on TWP, now working in the private sector. With GELI’s permission, I’m reposting here, along with an abbreviated transcript. The podcast is 25 minutes – well worth it, IMO. WM: I work for DAI Global, a US international consultancy firm. I’m leading a
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What should INGOs do when Civic Space is closing around them?

October 13, 2022
Very interesting conversations last week on how INGOs are responding to closing civic space (Chatham House rule, so no more detail than that, I’m afraid). Some headlines: In India, and probably many other countries, the attack on civil society organizations is just one facet of a wider offensive against liberal democracy and liberal values. Elsewhere it is just one part
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Which Governments do/don’t care about Inequality?

October 11, 2022
Anthony Kamande, Oxfam’s Inequality Research Coordinator, reflects on growing up in Kenya and the launch of Oxfam’s latest ‘Commitment to Reducing Inequality’ Index As I sat down to write this article, I reflected a little bit on the power of public services. The fifth-born in a family of eight siblings, I am the first to have completed secondary education, and
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Featured image for “Ha-Joon Chang on Economics v Science Fiction and other great ways to end your weeks this autumn – the LSE’s Cutting Edge lectures are back”

Ha-Joon Chang on Economics v Science Fiction and other great ways to end your weeks this autumn – the LSE’s Cutting Edge lectures are back

October 6, 2022
Ha-Joon Chang on Economics v Science Fiction, and other great ways to end your weeks this autumn – the LSE’s Cutting Edge lectures are back Heads up for this year’s LSE ‘Cutting Edge Issues in Development Thinking and Practice’ lecture series, which kicks off next Friday (14th October). We’re moving into hybrid mode this year, with a mix of online
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Featured image for “Why and how the UN and NGOs need to work together at national level”

Why and how the UN and NGOs need to work together at national level

October 5, 2022
Two participants from our recent influencing training in Panama (Thomas Dunmore Rodriguez, National Influencing Adviser at Oxfam, and Alice Shackelford, UN Resident Coordinator in Honduras) discuss what they learned and the implications for more effective advocacy A couple of weeks ago the GELI course on Influencing for Senior Leaders brought representatives from the UN and several national and international NGOs
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Featured image for “What did we learn from six months of training senior Aid people in Influencing?”

What did we learn from six months of training senior Aid people in Influencing?

October 4, 2022
Well that was intense. We’ve just come to the end of a one year programme to design and deliver a training course on ‘influencing’ to senior aid leaders (UN, INGOs, Red Cross/Crescent and National NGOs). 6 months to design the materials and methodology; the rest to deliver the training to 6 cohorts of 25 people in 5 locations around the
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