How do NGO staff and partners experience Adaptive Programming? Some impressive (and positive) new research

April 27, 2022
Still trying to recover from my minor dark night of the soul (more like a dark evening, really) on Adaptive Management, I was heartened by a new study from Christian Aid Ireland (CAI). The Difference Learning Makes: Factors that enable or inhibit adaptive programming is excellent,: well-written, encouraging, and probably warrants several posts. But attention spans being what they are,

How to Monitor and Evaluate an Adaptive Programme: 7 Takeaways

September 18, 2020
I generally try to avoid ‘inside baseball’ aid discussions that make sense mainly to practitioners, but this piece by Gloria Sikustahili, Julie Adkins, Japhet Makongo & Simon Milligan was so interesting and sensible, I made an exception. We’ve all been there. We’ve drowned in the weight of programme documentation; the need to capture everything, to report everything, to be seen
Featured image for “Podcast: Thinking and Working Politically in a Pioneering Programme in the Philippines”

Podcast: Thinking and Working Politically in a Pioneering Programme in the Philippines

September 10, 2019
Earlier this year I spent a fascinating week in the Philippines with the Coalitions for Change programme, one of the pioneers of ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ in the aid sector. CfC is run by The Asia Foundation and funded by the Australian Government. It ‘focuses on key policy reforms to improve lives of Filipinos and promote their economic well-being.’ I

Adaptive Management in Myanmar – draft paper on Pyoe Pin for your comments

April 7, 2018
Ok, FP2P hivemind, I want your comments on a draft paper about an iconic Adaptive Management programme, Pyoe Pin in Myanmar. My co-author is Angela Christie. The paper is for the Action for Empowerment and Accountability Research Programme. Here’s the exec sum, and you can download the whole 20-page paper here.  This paper examines adaptive techniques in aid programming in

What is really stopping the aid business shifting to adaptive programming?

March 23, 2018
Jake Allen, Head of Governance for Sub Saharan Africa at the British Council, left such a well argued, sweetly written comment on Graham Teskey’s recent post that I thought I’d post it separately “For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” (HL Mencken said something similar to this, just not as pithily) With each piece

What did I learn in Myanmar about what Adaptive Programming actually looks like?

December 15, 2017
I’m still processing a fascinating week in Myanmar. No I wasn’t in Rakhine, in case you’re wondering (separate post on that may follow). Instead, along with aid programming guru Angela Christie, I was exploring what ‘adaptive management’ looks like on the ground, and how it compares to all the fine-sounding stuff repeated endlessly in aid seminars around the world. The

How are INGOs Doing Development Differently? 5 of them have just taken a look.

December 13, 2017
Hats off to World Vision for pulling together some analysis on where large international NGOs (INGOs) have got to on ‘Doing Development Differently’ (see the 2014 manifesto if you’re not up to speed on DDD). Up to now, NGOs have been rather quiet in a discussion dominated by government aid agencies, academics and thinktanks. World Vision asked Dave Algoso to

Looking at Adaptive Management in Myanmar – a quick video

December 1, 2017
I’m in Myanmar for a few days, taking a look at Pyoe Pin, a fascinating project often held up as a good example of Adaptive Management. Blogs to follow, but here’s a video preview

Draft Paper on Adaptive Management in Oxfam – all comments welcome

May 23, 2017
With a few important exceptions, large international NGOs have been pretty absent from the global conversation about ‘Doing Development Differently’, but are they doing it anyway and just skipping the meetings? To find out, a group of LSE Masters Students analysed a bunch of case studies of Oxfam programmes claiming to pursue ‘adaptive management’ approaches. Their report is so interesting

How do you do ‘Adaptive Programming’? Two examples of Practical Experience help with some of the answers

September 13, 2016
Helen Derbyshire (left) of SAVI and Elbereth Donovan (right) of LASER share some thoughts on what all the fuss is about. At a glance the two DFID programmes we work on are very different. SAVI (and its successor programme ECP) is a large scale, long-term initiative which focuses on citizens’ engagement in governance in Nigeria. LASER is a modest, shorter-term investment climate