Does the Gates’ Letter 2017 answer Warren Buffett’s questions?

Melinda and Bill Gates have made an annual tradition of publishing their thoughts on their work in global development, the challenges they face, and their goals for the future. These letters are a manifesto for their philanthropic work, most of which is channelled through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates structured their 2017 … Continue reading Does the Gates’ Letter 2017 answer Warren Buffett’s questions?

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’

Can logframes be improved for adaptive management?

Posting in full, a comment I posted on a thoughtful blog by Pete, reflecting on what he calls a nagging feeling that the way development organisations continue to use the log-frame to manage project performance is holding us back from really thinking differently and politically about development My response: Thanks for blogging about this, Pete. … Continue reading Can logframes be improved for adaptive management?

Sue Unsworth’s ‘upside down’ view

Sue Unsworth's work provides us a wealth of knowledge on governance and institutional change, stemming largely from her 'upside down' view of the conventional reality of the aid world. Here is a quick peek into some of her work - particularly, insights into how donor-approaches should evolve to engage successfully with politics. Sue's work with … Continue reading Sue Unsworth’s ‘upside down’ view

Do donors need more (and better) Contract Managers to deliver results?

I frequently come across people who say that donors are under increasing pressure to spend more with fewer staff. This usually comes from friends and colleagues that work with donor agencies, or those that interact closely with them. This is supposed to be largely a consequence of pressure from domestic tax-payers, who have refused to … Continue reading Do donors need more (and better) Contract Managers to deliver results?

Living with the ‘results agenda’, redux

Craig Valters' Devex post, based on yet another newsworthy ICAI report, seems to have somewhat revived the debate over the 'results agenda. The criticism is sharper, castigating DFID for the "unintended effect of focusing attention on quantity of results over their quality" - but also one that clearly implies that the 'results agenda' is not well-understood or … Continue reading Living with the ‘results agenda’, redux

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