Links I Liked

Politicians’ medical reports aren’t what they were [h/t Amol Rajan] Unleash your inner geek – introducing Real Geek, Oxfam’s new blog on monitoring & evaluation High Level UN report criticises pharma industry, abuse of intellectual property laws and calls for rethink. Props to Oxfam’s Winnie Byanyima and Mohga Kamal Yanni for their influence. Gig economy heads South. Uber-type apps for domestic workers (maids, cooks, gardeners) …

Is ‘fragile and conflict-affected state’ a useful way to describe Myanmar?

After spending ten days there earlier this month, I barely even understand the question any more. Nothing like reality for messing up your nice neat typologies, or in this case, complicating my efforts to finalise a paper with the catchy title of ‘theories of change for promoting empowerment and accountability in fragile and conflict-affected states (FCS)’. That paper defines FCS as ‘incapable of assuring basic …

The world’s top 100 economies: 31 countries; 69 corporations

The campaigning NGO Global Justice Now (formerly World Development Movement) have done us all a favour by updating the table comparing the economic might of the largest countries and corporations. Headline finding?  ‘The number of businesses in the top 100 economic entities jumped to 69 in 2015 from 63 in the previous year’ according to the Guardian’s summary. The last such table that I know …

Please help sharpen up the World Bank’s theory of change on governance and law

The World Bank is helping us hone our speed reading skills this week, by publishing a draft of its forthcoming World Development Report 2017 on Governance and the Law and asking for comments by Friday. Someone has helpfully put a track changes version online here, comparing the new (‘green cover’) draft with the previous (‘yellow cover’) one, which I blogged about in July, but it’s …

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

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 reform programme operating in eight …

Is it time for the Aid Community to Explain Itself to Developing Countries?

Thomas Carothers of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace introduces his newly released report, Navigating International Aid in Transitions:  A Guide for Recipients, written with Mark Freeman, Cale Salih, and Robert Templer While interviewing the director of a women’s rights NGO in Zambia some years back, I asked her why she thought various foreign groups supporting her organization were present in her country. Her initial …

What I’m doing in Myanmar – first vlogged installment

Just spent 3 days in Kachin state in the North, trying to get a slightly better understanding of the nature of Myanmar’s conflicts, and implications for trying to improve governance and accountability. Fascinating, but I won’t write anything just yet, as we have a 3 day conference on that topic this week, so will wait a bit longer before blogging. In the meantime, here are …

See you in September

I’m off to the Edinburgh fringe to direct a cultural firehose onto my parched hinterland, followed by 10 days in Myanmar, where, among other things, I will finally find out the correct adjective – Burmese? Not sure when I will be blogging next, so until then, here’s a pic of each.

Is the UN about to agree a new deal for refugees and migrants?

Josephine Liebl, Oxfam’s global policy lead on displacement, looks ahead to the UN Summit in New York in September – and looks back on a heady few weeks negotiating its outcome. The first ever UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants will take place in New York on 19th September. President Obama will host a Leaders’ Summit on refugees the day after. The likely results of …