Are these the worst aid agency road-side signs ever? Send in your candidates

Jonathan Tanner is communications manager at the Africa Governance Initiative (check out their new ‘art of delivery’ paper). Here he calls out some truly dire communication by aid agencies I was recently in Sierra Leone and Liberia to record a series of podcasts for AGI. The things I saw ranged from the jaw-dropping beauty of dawn on the road out of Freetown to the gut-wrenching destitution …

What role for local actors in system change? Fighting climate change in the UK

Ruth Mayne, Oxfam’s senior researcher on the effectiveness of influencing, reflects on some personal influencing she was involved with before (re)joining Oxfam. In the development world we often emphasise the importance of strengthening community action but is it really possible for local, rather than national and international, actors to contribute to system change? And if so, why and how does this happen, and under what …

What role for local actors in system change? Fighting climate change in the UK

Ruth Mayne, Oxfam’s senior researcher on the effectiveness of influencing, reflects on some personal influencing she was involved with before (re)joining Oxfam. In the development world we often emphasise the importance of strengthening community action but is it really possible for local, rather than national and international, actors to contribute to system change? And if so, why and how does this happen, and under what …

Links I Liked

In the US for next two weeks (Washington, New York and Boston). Here’s a list of public events if you want to come and discuss How Change Happens (seems pretty relevant right now, huh?) What is a Muslim? Funny, smart and very effective 3m video. Best/Worst charity ads of the year. Rusty Radiator awards now open for voting – get stuck in. Background here Two …

Friday rant: ‘development’ is not the same as ‘aid’. Got that?

A recent headline in my RSS feed flicked my ‘Activate Rant’ button. ‘This Video from Uganda Highlights Everything Wrong with Global Development’ it shouted. I knew what the video was about – some young white American missionaries getting into trouble for ‘dressing up native’ and singing ‘get your mission on’ provoked outrage in various quarters. I hadn’t found it interesting enough to blog or even …

Friday rant: ‘development’ is not the same as ‘aid’. Got that?

A recent headline in my RSS feed flicked my ‘Activate Rant’ button. ‘This Video from Uganda Highlights Everything Wrong with Global Development’ it shouted. I knew what the video was about – some young white American missionaries getting into trouble for ‘dressing up native’ and singing ‘get your mission on’ provoked outrage in various quarters. I hadn’t found it interesting enough to blog or even …

Payment by Results in Aid: What’s new?

Development Economist Paul Clist discusses some of the ideas from his new paper (Link to paywalled article version, link to free draft version) Payment by Results (PbR) is a fairly new idea in aid, where a donor decides how much money to disburse on the basis of how much a recipient has achieved against a target. For example, a donor could pay an NGO for …

Payment by Results in Aid: What’s new?

Development Economist Paul Clist discusses some of the ideas from his new paper (Link to paywalled article version, link to free draft version) Payment by Results (PbR) is a fairly new idea in aid, where a donor decides how much money to disburse on the basis of how much a recipient has achieved against a target. For example, a donor could pay an NGO for …

Is it time to move on from Stats and Numbers to Metaphor and Narrative?

Post Brexit and US elections, I’ve been doing some thinking about how we talk to people. It seems to me that, along with much of the aid and development sector, and quite a few other social change movements, we have been in thrall to the power of numbers and evidence. Everyone is a policy wonk these days. The trouble is, as this year’s political events …

Where has the Doing Development Differently movement got to, two years on?

The DDD crew reassembled in London last week, two years on from the Harvard meeting that really got the ball rolling. Unfortunately I could only attend the first session and the next day’s post mortem, so other participants, please feel free to add your own impressions/put me right. DDD is evolving fast into something approaching a big tent movement. At its core are principles of iteration, …