Featured image for “DIY Blog Training kit – Please Steal”

DIY Blog Training kit – Please Steal

October 30, 2019
I’ve been doing a fair amount of blog training recently, whether for students, academics, NGOs or other aid agencies. It’s fun but quite time consuming, and I recently realized (not for the first time), that I’m actually pretty redundant. If I post the slides (below) and some suggestions for structure, pretty much anyone can run a training session. Job done.
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How to talk about Corruption when it’s everywhere, but invisible?

October 28, 2019
Just got back from 10 days in Goma in DR Congo. No, this post won’t be about Ebola (which mercifully hasn’t taken hold in the city) or conflict (ditto). I was there to interview dozens of officials and NGOs about public services, especially water. And the topic of this post is the difficulty of talking about an omnipresent, but highly
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Featured image for “Will Open Access disrupt Books even more than Journals?”

Will Open Access disrupt Books even more than Journals?

October 25, 2019
Open Access (OA) week is drawing to a close, so I thought I’d take a look at the stats for How Change Happens, published three years ago this week. They were pretty mind blowing, at least for an author. HCH was published by Oxford University Press and has been OA since day 1 – you can download the pdf for
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Who is an expert?

October 23, 2019
In this meta-reflection for Power Shifts, Farida Bena urges us to rethink what expertise means within the development and aid sector, and to address the organizational and structural barriers that hinder the transformation of this concept into a more justice-oriented one
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Featured image for “Why Policy Networks don’t work and other Links I Liked”

Why Policy Networks don’t work and other Links I Liked

October 21, 2019
Seen in an NGO office in Goma Why policy networks don’t work (the way we think they do). Thought provoking case study on the Ebola response in West Africa. The Greta Thunberg memes just keep coming. Now Fatboy Slim has got in on the act with a remix of ‘Right Here, Right Now’. Sorry, Adam Baden-Clay, but I really don’t
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The road to home-grown economies in Africa

October 18, 2019
Charles Dhewa is a knowledge management specialist working at the intersection of formal and informal agricultural markets. The organisation he founded, Knowledge Transfer Africa, has set up a fluid knowledge and information platform called eMKambo. A home-grown economy is all about identity and some identity features start from a country’s name. During the colonial era Rhodesia had its own meaning and image associated
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Private v Public education in poor countries: What’s new? Interview with Prachi Srivastava

October 16, 2019
I recently caught up with Prachi Srivastava, of the University of Western Ontario, who’s my go-to person on the heated development debates on public v private schools. Private v Public: I started working on this topic 18 years ago as a doctoral student. We were just entering the MDG and Education for All (EFA) era and at that time, rightfully
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Featured image for “The Randomistas just won the Nobel Economics prize. Here’s why RCTs aren’t a magic bullet.”

The Randomistas just won the Nobel Economics prize. Here’s why RCTs aren’t a magic bullet.

October 15, 2019
Lant Pritchett once likened Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) to flared jeans. On the way out and soon we’d be wondering what on earth we’d seen in them. Not so fast. Yesterday, three of the leading ‘Randomistas’ won the Nobel economics prize (before the pedants jump in, strictly speaking it’s the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred
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7 steps to improving Conference Presentations

October 14, 2019
Went to the big and fascinating conference put on by the Effective States in International Development (ESID) programme last month (see Sam Hickey’s podcast for what it was all about). But the structure didn’t live up to some excellent content. 3 days of plenary-panel-plenary-panel. Some things have got better – the organizers largely avoided manels, for example. But overall, the
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Featured image for “Microfinance has been a nightmare for the Global South. Sri Lanka shows that there is an alternative”

Microfinance has been a nightmare for the Global South. Sri Lanka shows that there is an alternative

October 11, 2019
Ahilan Kadirgamar and Niyanthini Kadirgamar write how women’s groups and the co-operative movement are leading the way out of the debt trap promoted by microfinance strategies. Ahilan is a member of the Collective for Economic Democratisation. Niyanthini is a PhD Student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and was previously engaged with people affected by micro-credit in Sri Lanka. The
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Featured image for “What’s going on with civil society and philanthropy in India? Interview + transcript with Ingrid Srinath”

What’s going on with civil society and philanthropy in India? Interview + transcript with Ingrid Srinath

October 9, 2019
Ingrid Srinath runs the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy at Ashoka University in Delhi. She recently talked me through the current situation in India. She asked me to clarify that these are her personal views, not those of the university. The work of the Centre: as the first academic centre in South Asia to study issues of civil society
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No one is objective about poverty: here’s why that matters

October 7, 2019
Eric Meade consults to nonprofits, foundations, and NGOs and teaches at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC. His book, Reframing Poverty: New Thinking and Feeling About Humanity’s Greatest Challenge, invites readers to explore how their emotions about poverty shape their responses to it. We do not like to see other humans suffer. There could be several reasons
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