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We are always looking for exciting guest content. We publish commentary on official development assistance, foreign aid, governance, economics, corruption, foreign policy, and all things relating to developing countries. Perhaps you have some research that you’d like to share, or an opinion piece on the politics of development? Maybe you were inspired by a book …

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Yu Tru’: The scheme that could cut poverty in PNG, how industry ‘insiders’ tried to stop it and how a team of ‘outsiders’ used TWP to push back

by Tara Davda Why do ‘insiders’ resist new technologies? A new paper, Working Politically and Adaptively in Practice: The Case Study of ‘YuTru’, examines this question. Drawn from a series of interviews and key reports, it examines the ‘Yu Tru’ scheme (an Australian Government funded, now private sector-led, digital trust framework), and explores the obstacles …

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Advancing the UK’s new aid agenda

By Graham Teskey FCDO/Flickr There has been much disgruntlement over the past year regarding the demise of UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), its take-over by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), and the savage cuts in the aid budget. As distant but interested observers, what can we be optimistic about? Before his ignominious …

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In praise of…. Logframes

by Graham Teskey My friend and colleague Lavinia Tyrell recently posted a note on LinkedIn, highlighting a recent World Bank Independent Evaluation Group report, which reflected on various methods of monitoring and evaluation currently used in development.[1] In so doing, Lavinia referenced this diagram: As a fan of diagrams, as well as a long-time user …

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How to do Adaptive Management in 15 easy steps – from a top new toolkit

This is the second part of a review of a new paper written by Graham Teskey and Lavinia Tyrrel. Find the first post on the Soapbox here. The review was written by Oxfam's Duncan Green and featured on the From Poverty to Power blog. Yesterday I summarized the thinking behind an important new toolkit on adaptive management. …

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Review of ‘Implementing adaptive management: A front-line effort. Is there an emerging practice?’

Oxfam's Duncan Green (From Poverty to Power) reviews Graham Teskey and Lavinia Tyrrel's new paper. In recent years, I’ve been one of a crowd of people thinking and pontificating about ‘adaptive management’. The debate has been rather dominated by academics and thinktankers, fond of hand-waving generalizations and rather better at taking down the bad stuff …

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Accountability is the path to better governance in PNG

by Justice Gua When we look at progress in decentralisation in Papua New Guinea over the last 20 years – the sole continuous and overriding policy priority of successive governments – many challenges remain to improve downstream service delivery. Programming for “social accountability” shifts the focus from governmentto governance. It’s about the difficult stuff, even it’s …

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From anger to action: three things Australia must do at home to continue being a gender champion abroad

by Leisa Gibson and Lavinia Tyrrel Content warning: This post discusses sexual assault Anger. Frustration. Despondency. Trauma. Solidarity. These are the emotions we, and many other women like us, have felt in Australia this past fortnight. Recent events in Canberra have once again brought to light stories of violence, harassment and discrimination against women and …

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Adaptive gardening

by Graham Teskey Author's garden I spent much of the weekend gardening. Or more specifically I spent much of the weekend providing labour to the horticulture adviser in my household, a.k.a. my wife. Last month we had the garden ‘landscaped’ by professionals, a deal which included the delivery of 65 small trees, shrubs, and other …

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PEA Update 7: Working politically and adaptively in practice.

Frameworks for applying political insight in practice. This blog forms part of a series of internal Political Economy Analysis (PEA) updates compiled by Priya Chattier/Tara Davda, with general wisdom by Graham Teskey and Lavinia Tyrrel. Thanks to Leisa Gibson/Priya for GESI support. We will aim to publish these every fortnight or so. Watch this space. …

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Reflections from an Ex-Vice President: The political / civil service divide

Image credit: Shutterstock; Illustration by POGO The relationship between public servants and ministers is critical to sound, ‘evidence-based’ policy making. Ideally, in a Weberian public service, officials feel empowered to speak truth to power, and offer free and frank advice without fear of bullying or other adverse reprisals. Sadly, as we have seen in both …

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PEA Update 6: common criticisms of PEA approaches, and MEL tools for mitigating them

This blog forms part of a series of internal Political Economy Analysis (PEA) updates compiled by Priya Chattier/Tara Davda, with general wisdom by Graham Teskey and Lavinia Tyrrel. Thanks to Leisa Gibson/Priya for GESI support. We will aim to publish these every fortnight or so. Watch this space. This week focuses on criticisms of the …

Continue reading PEA Update 6: common criticisms of PEA approaches, and MEL tools for mitigating them