Beer and Tacos with Samir Doshi from USAID

  Had a fun dinner in Brixton market last week with Samir Doshi, a Senior Scientist at USAID’s U.S. Global Development Lab, which describes itself as “an innovation hub that takes smart risks to test new ideas and partner within the Agency and with other actors to harness the power of innovative tools and approaches that accelerate development impact.” This appears to be a novel …

Talk is cheap, but will the World Bank really step up on inequality?

Max Lawson, Oxfam’s Head of Development Finance and Public Services raises the curtain this week’s World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings before hopping on the plane to Washington I have been going to the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF longer than I care to remember, certainly since most Oxfam policy wonks were still at school. Every time I go to the office …

How Change Happens - Duncan Green

Links I Liked

RCT spot Angus Deaton and Nancy Cartwright with a new paper on the pros and cons of RCTs.Check out the abstract if you need convincing. More sweatshops for Africa? Chris Blattman reports on a 6 year randomized control trial (RCT) to look at the impact of low wage manufacturing on poor Ethiopians, and (as they say in clickbait college) his answers may surprise you Is …

What does ‘pure research’ on international development look like? Speed-dating at the LSE

Following on from yesterday’s musings about NGO-academic collaboration (or the lack of it), here, for my NGO colleagues is a taste of what my LSE colleagues get up to, published earlier this week on the LSE International Development blog Speed dating rocks. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to get icky. I’m talking about a session at LSE’s International Development Department where each researcher was given 3 …

Why is it so hard for academics and NGOs to work together?

I attended the annual awayday of the LSE’s International Development Department last week (I’m on its books for a day a week as a ‘Professor in Practice’). It was actually surprisingly interesting (am I allowed to say things like that?). I was asked to talk about how academia can do better in forging partnerships with INGOs. Its an oldie-but-goodie, and I’ve written about it before …

Once every 20 years the UN focuses on cities, but the wrong people will be there

Urbanization guru David Satterthwaite raises the curtain on next month’s big Habitat III conference.   Surprising though it may seem, I once got mistaken for the mayor of London. I was at a conference for mayors in Latin America and not realising the mistake, for half a day I had all the most prominent mayors greeting me like a brother and asking my advice. It …

Do we need to rethink Social Accountability? Thoughts from Myanmar

The main reason for my recent visit to Myanmar (apart from general nosiness) was to take part in a discussion on the role of social accountability (SA) in the rapidly opening, shifting politics of a country in transition from military rule. It got pretty interesting. The World Bank defines SA as ‘the extent and capability of citizens to hold the state accountable and make it …

Links I Liked

Beta version of How Change Happens website now live – need your feedback please (and delighted to hear from the accompanying poll that you aren’t sick of me going on about the book – at least not yet. Give me time…..). How corporates & NGOs might collaborate to promote tax transparency. Ethical Tax Initiative anyone? 17 rage-inducing bits of aid jargon (robust, circle back, buckets, …

How Change Happens – need your help with the website and promo tour

Sharp-eyed readers of this blog will have noticed that I have a book coming out (that’s irony, people). 27th October in is the UK publication date, and 1 December in US (don’t ask). First copies are just back from the printer (see pic). Over the coming weeks, I will be trying to maintain that fine balance between British reserve and authorial desperation – I’m relying on …

Why the World Bank needs to ask Jim Kim some tough questions in his Job Interview

Guest post from Nadia Daar, head of Oxfam’s Washington DC office Preparing for an interview is often traumatic – by this point I’ve done a few and believe me, Oxfam doesn’t make things easy! And I’ve heard the World Bank doesn’t either. Yet for the position of president, there is a widespread feeling that Jim Kim’s upcoming interview with the Board of Directors this week …