Judith Tendler, and learning from ‘good government’

On 24th July 2016, Judith Tendler, former Professor at the Department of Urban studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston, passed away. She was 77. A Ph.D from Columbia University, Judith Tendler spent several years at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), before a long career as a Professor … Continue reading Judith Tendler, and learning from ‘good government’

Holding the state to account

In a democracy, a critical element in the engagement between citizens and state is “accountability”. There are several definitions—one among them from the World Bank reads: “Accountability exists when there is a relationship where an individual or body, and the performance of tasks or functions by that individual or body, are subject to another’s oversight, direction … Continue reading Holding the state to account

The challenge of Doing Development Differently

I attended the first Doing Development Differently (DDD) workshop organised by the BSC gang at Harvard CID and ODI; read more about the workshop here. See Day 1 summary; and Day 2 summary. Some thoughts, over time: DDD is the big picture: DDD is about the details and and the beauty of innovation and creativity on the ground. But … Continue reading The challenge of Doing Development Differently

NGOs, dont back off – be more political

In my latest livemint column, I argue that NGOs need to be far more political than they currently are, if they wish to really serve the communities they work with. Malicious political masters and their misguided tools such as the IB should not be allowed to dictate the choice of strategies on the ground.While every … Continue reading NGOs, dont back off – be more political

In defence of the National Advisory Council

My latest livemint column is up today *** The National Advisory Council (NAC) is often papered with criticism from many quarters. Some of the unfavourable terms used to describe it are: extra-constitutional body, a vehicle for populist agendas, kitchen cabinet, etc. In spite of all this criticism, I believe that a body such as NAC … Continue reading In defence of the National Advisory Council

Quick views on Satyamev Jayate

Satyamev Jayate is the latest celebrity show on television. KBC created millionnaires, Khatron ke Khiladi looked for daredevils, Big Boss created a bunch of public nuisances - this one wants to 'change our hearts' and while at it, hit us hard. So Aamir the superstar with his carefully cultivated public image hosts the series, the first … Continue reading Quick views on Satyamev Jayate