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Getting into the Politics of why (some) Governance Programmes work

November 19, 2021
Laure-Hélène Piron and Sam Waldock reflect on some of the unexpected lessons of 20 years of UK-funded (total £276.5m) governance programmes in Nigeria. See the summary report and Duncan’s summary of the summary.  ODI/Learning, Evidence and Advocacy Partnership research found sustainable improvements in some dimensions of governance and service delivery in four Northern Nigerian states. We wanted to push a
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Exploring a new governance agenda: What are the questions that matter?

September 15, 2021
Nicola Nixon, Stefaan Verhulst, Imran Matin & Philips J. Vermonte explore a really interesting initiative to crowdsource the most important current issues on the governance agenda. Late last year, we – the Governance Lab at NYU, the CSIS Indonesia, the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development, Bangladesh and The Asia Foundation – joined forces across New York, Jakarta, Dhaka, Hanoi,

Covid has put Governance at the heart of debates on Development, but how has it changed the questions we ask?

August 5, 2020
Guest post from governance guru Graham Teskey. The aim of this blog is to suggest ways in which the ‘governance discourse’ (what a grand term!) is changing – indeed has already changed – as a result of Covid-19. I know that blogs are supposed to be discursive and informal. Recently our office was privileged to have a session with that

The Worry of Governance: Coronavirus and Emergency Politics

April 9, 2020
This guest post by Graham Teskey was originally published on the Governance and Development Soap Box blog Pandemics are depressingly common in human history. We all know about the plague, cholera and the Spanish ’flu. What Dani Rodrik called ‘hyper-globalisation’ has stormed across the world since the end of the cold war and has resulted in massive increases in the

Africa in 2019: 7 trends to watch, by Apollos Nwafor

January 15, 2019
I get lots of internal Oxfam emails. Some of them I even read. Here’s a particularly useful 2019 curtain raiser from Apollos Nwafor, our Pan African Director: ‘There are several issues that put Africa in focus this year: Reform at the African Union: The reforms agreed by the heads of state at the extraordinary meeting in November 2018 highlight a

Why donors ignore the evidence on what works, and transparency and accountability projects are a dead end. David Booth’s Non-Farewell Lecture.

April 27, 2018
ODI is always innovating, and earlier this week organized a non-farewell lecture for one of its big thinkers, David Booth. As far as I could work out, this was a celebration of them stopping paying him (aka ‘retirement’), while he continues to work for them for free as a visiting fellow. Interesting business model. Anyway, for those that don’t know

What makes Adaptive Management actually work in practice?

February 27, 2018
This post by Graham Teskey, one of the pioneers of ‘thinking and working politically’, first appeared on the Governance Soapbox blog  It’s striking how important words are. USAID calls it Adaptive Management, DFAT calls it Thinking and Working Politically, DFID calls it Politically Informed Programming, and the World Bank just ignores it altogether. More seriously – what is at issue here? At heart,

How can the Anti-Corruption Movement sharpen up its act?

July 20, 2017
Spent a day earlier this week in a posh, but anonymous (Chatham House Rule) Central London location, discussing the state of the global anti-corruption movement with some of its leaders. The meeting took place in a posh, very high ceilinged room, under the stern gaze of giant portraits of assorted kings, aristos and philosophers. I wondered what they would have

Shouting or cooperating? What’s the best way to use indexes to get better local government?

June 30, 2017
Went to an enjoyable panel at ODI last week, with the wonderful subtitle ‘Shouting at the system won’t make it work!’. It presented new research on how to improve the accountability of local government in Tanzania. Here’s the paper presented by two of the authors, Anna Mdee and Patricia Tshomba, the first of a series. The research is about how

Thinking and Working Politically: where have we got to?

June 13, 2017
Spent a day with the TWP crew recently. Chatham House Rules, so no names. Like its close relative and overlapping network, ‘Doing Development Differently’, TWP urges aid organizations to stop trying to impose rigid blueprint/’best practice’ approaches, paying far more attention to issues of power, politics and local context. The driving force has mainly been staff in bilateral and multilateral

So is ‘Doing Development Differently’ a movement now? And if so, where’s it going?

March 30, 2017
Guest post by Graham Teskey, Principal Global Lead for Governance, Abt JTA, Australia and all round aid guru The fourth meeting of the ‘Doing Development Differently’ movement (as one of its founders, Michael Woolcock, calls it) was held over two days in Jakarta a couple of weeks ago. Jointly hosted by the Government of Indonesia, the World Bank and Australia’s

WDR 2017 on Governance and Law: great content, terrible comms, and a big moral dilemma on rights and democracy

March 2, 2017
Spoke yesterday at the London launch of the 2017 World Development Report on Governance and The Law. Although Stefan Kossoff did a great job in summarizing the report on this blog a few weeks ago, I thought I’d add a few thoughts from the discussion. The current debates on governance, of which the WDR is part, bear some of the hallmarks