Browse by Theme: Inclusive Governance

The Doing Development Different (DDD) community emerged in August 2014 and advocates that (a) the barriers to development are as much political as technical; (b) international development agencies therefore need to design programmes to be problem-driven, locally led, flexible and adaptive, and politically smart. As Duncan Green mentioned in his blog on 4 August, NGOs have turned up late to the party, but we are doing plenty on the ground that fits under the DDD umbrella. Plus, much of what is supposedly “different” are things we ought to be doing anyway.

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On the plane to Accra just over a week ago I read Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me (the origin of the term “mansplaining”), and it struck a chord with me. A colleague from Kenya who hadn’t heard the term before asked if there was such a thing as “white-splaining”. And, indeed, there is. But, recently, I’ve been concerned with another phenomenon: “toolsplaining”.

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In the development community, we typically interpret a government pushing for greater decentralisation as a positive step for governance reform and an opening for greater citizen participation and voice. Donors invest considerable funds in supporting the decentralisation processes of global governments, and NGOs focus energy and resources on preparing citizens to influence public decision-making as it comes closer to them.

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For those of us that sing the praises of social accountability (citizen-driven initiatives to hold those in power to account), making a claim about “impact” (or transformative change) is a challenge we face on a daily basis. And CARE’s not alone. The title of the first session at an NGO political economy analysis working group at which I’m presenting this week (“Building the Evidence-base for Social Accountability”) speaks to the same concern.

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As the international community gathers for the London Somalia Conference, the role of women in determining the country’s future is high on the agenda. So what are Somali women saying about women’s political participation in their country?

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Given DFID’s commitment to the Global Goals and to labour standards (eg support of the ETI, guidance within CDC), why doesn’t DFID’s new Economic Development Strategy talk about Decent Work?

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Reyna Araceli Reyes Sorto, age 44, lives in Villanueva Cortes in Honduras. When she was a child she dreamed of being a doctor yet because of economic hardship and lack of access to higher education, she was unable fulfil her dream. Until recently, she never thought a woman of her age could have the opportunity to have a job, to own a business, or to be engaged in any income generation activities; she believed only her husband could generate income. Then she joined a Rural Savings and Credit Union.

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