But what about Australian aid in five years’ time?

By Graham Teskey In his blog of June 4, Stephen Howes said that there was a lot to about DFAT’s new ‘Partnerships for Recovery’ strategy. There was also a lot to like about Stephen’s blog. He ended by suggesting that the strategy was too tentative to be convincing. My concern is different – it is …

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Thoughts on the demise of DFID – a governance adviser’s perspective

By Graham Teskey The only thing that surprised DFID staff regarding its recent absorption into the FCO was the timing of the decision. With Covid-19 at something of a global peak staff perhaps expected a temporary reprieve.  Still, a crisis is always a good time to bury bad news. So DFID lasted 23 years. I …

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Why aren’t aid projects making better use of research and evidence, and what can we do about it?

By Lavinia Tyrrel and Priya Chattier Does research and evidence really make a tangible difference in Australian aid for development? Or are we just kidding ourselves that we are solving complex development challenges and making a lasting impact? And if we are, how can we make better use of research and evidence that not only …

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Hanging out in men’s bathrooms: is it time to rethink what ‘evidence’ means in international development?

What constitutes ‘sufficient evidence’ for aid program and policy makers to take decisions – about budgets, activities and so on – in aid and development? Have been talking about this with academics, officials, NGOs, project managers and donors for a number of years now. Ever since working with The Asia Foundation (TAF) where the question …

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The one that Australian aid forgot? Trying to put the R back in MERL

By Priya Chattier and Lavinia Tyrrel Spent last week at the second of three workshops on how to better use research in aid and development[1]. Lots of good discussion, but seemed we were all tip-toeing around the elephant in the room: does anyone else care about this (prioritising research and analysis in aid) other than …

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Are we divorced yet – or just arguing?

Somebody once said (George Bernard Shaw or Oscar Wilde would be pretty good guesses), that America and England are two countries separated by the same language. I have similar sensations on the (thankfully few) occasions I attend annual conferences on this, that or the other. As the Australian National University’s (ANU) Annual Australasian Aid Conference …

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Bushfires and the Pacific: lessons for Australia’s new aid policy?

Bushfires and the Pacific. Two things that rarely go together in the same sentence. Yet the last few weeks have seen support for Australian communities devastated by fire emerge from – what some may see as – unexpected quarters. Support was expressed by Fiji’s Prime Minister on social media. Vanuatu has committed around 250,000 AUD …

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What it’s like to be a (consenting) lab-rat: using research in aid and development

By Reiko Take and Lavinia Tyrrel Spent last Friday in the kick-off workshop looking at how to get aid organisations to make better use of evidence and research in development policy and programming. This is all part of an action research project funded by the Research for Development Impact (RDI) Network and implemented by La …

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TWP means ddd after all

I had the privilege this week helping deliver a workshop where ten programs and half a dozen different international managing contractors sat together in order to consider the progress being made in implementing the thinking and working politically agenda. What made the day particularly interesting was that all these different programs are being funded by …

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Video Available: From Thinking Politically to Working Politically – Are we Really Doing Development Differently?

The final workshop in the Abt Associates 'Innovations in Governance' series was held on Tuesday 18 June in Washington DC. The topic: from thinking politically to working politically - are we really doing development any different?  Moderated by Graham Teskey (Principal Global Lead - Governance, Abt Associates) the impressive list of speakers included: Duncan Green (Senior Strategic …

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Boundary riding, dual worlds and critical friends: reflections from the field

Ayesha from Papua New Guinea and Lilis from Indonesia* I sat down with Ayesha and Lilis (two rising stars from Abt-managed Australian Government funded aid projects in Indonesia and PNG) and said “tell me something interesting”. I was not disappointed. I was stuck by Ayesha’s idea of 'boundary riding’. Ayehsa – herself an Australian-Papua New …

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Take-up and Doubt: where have we got to on Thinking and Working Politically?

By Duncan Green of Oxfam and the brains behind From Poverty to Power Spent yesterday at a Washington workshop on ‘From Thinking Politically to Working Politically’, organized by Abt Associates, whose Graham Teskey is one of the TWP gurus. What struck me most was the combination of the spreading acceptance of TWP approaches within the aid …

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