Browse by Theme: Aid Effectiveness

The Doing Development Differently (DDD) agenda promises a number of changes in the development business. It has a manifesto that advises development practitioners to start with problems, not ready-made solutions; understand and engage with the local politics; support locally-led reform; not be afraid to try, fail, and try again; and think like an entrepreneur, taking risks, and making small bets.

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Delivering aid as cash is fast becoming recognised as one of the most important ways to help crisis affected citizens and the communities around them. The CaLP and Accenture State of the World’s Cash Report, launched today, will be the first attempt to document just how far cash programming has come in terms of the quantity and quality. It is a critical time to see what the future of humanitarian aid looks like.

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A six foot badger wanders among dozens of undistracted police holding a placard, “I am innocent”. Security is called to disperse a furious mob of septuagenarians barred entry from a sell-out Brexit event where Conservative Party darling, Jacob Rees-Mogg, is headlining. Katie Hopkins arrives bewilderingly, among the conference suits and ties, in a wedding dress. And then the PM’s speech… It was a party conference which might fairly be described as ‘surreal’.

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It’s nearly the end of the school holidays and like parents around the world I’m getting my daughter ready for a new school year. While I iron a pile of new shirts, polish school shoes and track down bits of PE kit, I’m also very conscious of how lucky I am to have a good quality free primary school just down the road. My daughter has a well-qualified and caring teacher, she is required by law to be there every day and encouraged to participate fully in classes. There are no school fees and textbooks are provided. She has a healthy meal at lunchtime. Her gender is not a barrier to staying in school or being fully active in class.

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The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has recently published a report on DFID’s approach to supporting inclusive growth in Africa – A learning review. Given the major increase in DFID’s economic development budget over the last few years (to £1.8 billion in 2015-16 – more than doubling the amount spent in 2012-13) and the publication at the start of this year of DFID’s new Economic Development Strategy, ICAI’s review of the evidence being used to structure DFID’s spend and programming is timely. It aims to answer a question of great interest to CARE: how DFID manages the dilemma between focusing on transformational growth and ensuring that the poor are able to benefit from it.

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This study, based on experiences and data in three countries (Zimbabwe, Niger and Ethiopia) where CARE has delivered cash transfer programmes, analyses the extent to which receipt of cash contributes to resilience.

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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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