How might a systems approach change the way aid supports the knowledge sector in Indonesia?

August 9, 2017
For some reason, the summer months seem to involve a lot of cups of tea (and the occasional beer) with interesting people passing through London, often at my second office in Brixton. One of last week’s conversations was with Arnaldo Pellini, who has been working for ODI on a big ‘knowledge sector initiative’ in Indonesia. Five years in, the team

Building accountability in Tanzania: applying an evolutionary/venture capitalist theory of change

April 27, 2012

What use are models of change? An experiment in Tanzania

May 23, 2011

Positive deviance: spotting the hidden innovations in development work

February 8, 2011

Can we improve aid through evolution rather than planning?

January 6, 2010
Finally got round to reading ‘Beyond Planning’ Owen Barder’s CGD paper on aid reform. Owen’s a former DFID bigwig turned Ethiopia-based consultant and blogger. Here he writes like a true economist, which can be pretty heavy going, but the paper is worth persevering with. He can also write like a human being, for example in this thoughtful and human defence

Complexity Economics, Evolution and How Change Happens

January 7, 2009
Eric Beinhocker’s book, ‘The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity and the Radical Remaking of Economics’ (for review see previous post) challenges our understanding of how change happens and the role of would-be ‘change agents’ like Oxfam.

Complexity Economics and Evolution – a Truly Big Idea

January 5, 2009
I spent much of the Christmas break sneaking off to read chapters of Eric Beinhocker’s path-breaking 2006 book ‘The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity and the Radical Remaking of Economics’. There’s probably too much to cover in one post, so I’ll follow up this overview with some more specific reflections in the days to come.