Featured image for “How more Open Government can bolster USAID’s Localization Agenda”

How more Open Government can bolster USAID’s Localization Agenda

September 6, 2023
By Jonathan Fox (right) and Jeffrey Hallock , Accountability Research Center, School of International Service, American University This week, USAID Administrator Samantha Power is scheduled to give a keynote at the Open Government Partnership Global Summit in Estonia. In November 2021, she wowed the international development community with a pair of very ambitious localization targets –25% of direct funding for
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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 “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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How could a Funder help Promote Research for Impact?

March 14, 2023
Had an interesting chat recently (Chatham House rule, so no names) with some people wondering what a philanthropic funder with a bit of money and little/no bureaucratic constraints could do to encourage the uptake of evidence in policy making. After swiftly batting away any suggestion of a new database (cyber tumbleweed), we got onto some practical steps – please add
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Featured image for “White Saviorism in International development. Theories, Practices and Lived Experiences”

White Saviorism in International development. Theories, Practices and Lived Experiences

March 9, 2023
Themrise Khan, Kanakulya Dickson and Maika Sondarjee introducing their new book Since the racial uprising following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the world has been faced with the reality of racism in most of what is known as the progressive, Western world. Movements like Black Lives Matter and Rhodes Must Fall have brought to the forefront the ingrained
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Featured image for “As Oxfam turns 80, here are three big ideas that I think will shape its future…”

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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Who are ‘we’? Seeking African solutions to crises and funding gaps

August 2, 2022
Guest post by Eyokia Donna Juliet  At the recent AU Humanitarian Summit, finding African solutions to African problems was an important theme. What will it take to walk the talk? In Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia now, it’s likely that a person is dying of hunger every 48 seconds. How many years of neglect, denial, and short-sighted decisions by policy makers
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Can INGOs really separate power from money?

June 29, 2022
Oxfam’s Amy Croome explores a tricky issue for aid organizations like Oxfam At the Grand Bargain Meeting this week, signatories will reflect on the role of the intermediary, which has been the focus of a political-level multi stakeholder caucus, building on the Humanitarian Advisory Group’s research. Is Oxfam ‘just’ a donor? Localization advocates have been pushing for years for humanitarian
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Featured image for ““We have already spent everything we had in our own wallets”: How international aid is failing Ukrainian responders – and what to do about it”

“We have already spent everything we had in our own wallets”: How international aid is failing Ukrainian responders – and what to do about it

June 22, 2022
Abby Stoddard, Paul Harvey and Tonia Thomas present new research from Humanitarian Outcomes, supported by the UK Humanitarian Innovation Hub (UKHIH). Full report here. Over 100 days have passed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine sparked a massive humanitarian crisis along with an outpouring of international generosity in the form of aid contributions. So why are international organisations still sitting
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Promoting anti-racist narratives in development sector research

May 31, 2022
The IIED’s Natalie Lartey explores common challenges in tackling racial bias in the storytelling that underpins international development research and identifies opportunities for change. Storytelling in the aid and development sectors has for many years been criticised for perpetuating racial stereotypes and bias. In the main, this critique has focused on public affairs content from big brand charities, with less time
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What counts as ‘accountability’ – and who decides?

March 17, 2022
Guest post by Jonathan Fox, introducing his new paper Accountability is often treated as a magic bullet, an all-purpose solution to a very wide range of problems—from corrupt politicians and the quality of public services to systemic injustice and impunity.  Yet accountability reforms struggle to deliver. Has the idea been stretched so far that the buzzword gets watered down into
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Northern Institutions Dominate International Development Research: So What?

February 15, 2022
Guest post by Veronica Amarante, Nisha Arunatilake, Ronelle Burger, Arjan de Haan, Ana-Lucia Kassouf and Lucas Ronconi The international community has long accepted that development needs to be locally owned, and that international support and cooperation need to facilitate leadership by local actors. Yet it is increasingly noticeable that development research is lagging behind in this respect. As we raise
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