Can we understand COVID-19 fast enough – and well enough – to make a difference?

By Lavinia Tyrrel, Linda Kelly, Chris Roche and Elisabeth Jackson In Love in the Time of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez plays on the themes of love and passion, comparing them to a plague like cholera. Referring to the two lovers in the story he notes “…if they had learned anything together, it was that wisdom …

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Blog submission Guidelines

We welcome submissions from external authors. Please see below for our blog guidelines and pdf version. Blog submission guidelines pdfDownload General guidelines. Blogs should be no longer than 1000 words, and must be accompanied by images (see ‘image guidelines’ below for details) All sources must be cited as hyperlinks, and not footnotes or end-notes. Author …

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COVID-19 makes the case for getting development in fragile states right

by Nelly Mecklenburg and Jessica Mackenzie What does the COVID-19 response and commitments for more effective development in fragile states have in common? More than you might think. Governments all over the world are suddenly faced with responding to a pandemic causing suffering and anxiety in every community and sector. In response to both the …

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COVID-19: Three ways to support women, girls and vulnerable groups in humanitarian settings

This is part three in a three-part gender and COVID-19 blog series. By Leisa Gibson and Leda Tyrrel The COVID-19 pandemic is now reaching parts of the world already experiencing significant humanitarian emergencies. People in camp settings, temporary shelter and urban environments may be particularly vulnerable as poverty, population density and displacement can make social …

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Coronavirus: The end of sexist economics?

By Tara Davda and Priya Chattier Gender-responsive coronavirus policies are not only smart economics, but provide opportunities to do the right thing. As coronavirus spreads, government spending, and lots of it, has been the order of the day. Most of the analysis has focused on the economic impact of these responses, with scant attention paid to …

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Five messages for the new Australian aid performance framework: a collective view from MERL wonks

By Lavinia Tyrrel, Lucy Moore, David Green, Damien Sweeney, Linda Kelly and Chris Roche At the recent 2020 Australasian AID Conference (AAC), we (the Abt Governance & Development Practice, Praxis, LTU and Clear Horizon) spent 90 blissful minutes locked away in a room full of practitioners and policy makers debating the strengths and weaknesses of …

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If Randomised Control Trials (RCTs) improve global development outcomes – why then are we still fighting about them?

By Priya Chattier Have Randomised Control Trials (RCTs) contributed to reducing global poverty by generating rigorous scientific evidence which is turned into effective public policy? While the ‘randomistas’ proffer RCTs as the most rigorous approach to impact evaluation, there has been a pushback from critics on its gold-standard claim. This debate was at the heart …

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Gender and COVID-19: Could coronavirus undo progress on Australia’s gains in ending violence against women and girls?

This is part one in a three-part gender and COVID-19 blog series. In recent weeks and months, we have watched the coronavirus pandemic sweep the globe and now reach the Pacific. While both women and men are susceptible to this virus, isolation and community lock downs create gender-specific challenges, particularly a heightened risk of domestic …

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The Women’s movement: so much momentum, but still miles to go

By Priya Chattier In light of COVID-19, the 64th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to be held in New York was cancelled. The annual event usually brings together delegates from member states to report on their commitments to Beijing Platform for Action (BPA) on gender equality and women’s empowerment. …

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The Worry of Governance: Coronavirus and Emergency Politics

By Graham Teskey You can also find a version of this blog on the Abt Associates website Pandemics are depressingly common in human history. We all know about the plague, cholera and the Spanish ’flu. What Dani Rodrick called ‘hyper-globalisation’ has stormed across the world since the end of the cold war and has resulted …

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Education in a pandemic: five messages that Australia’s aid program could consider now

By Reiko Take After much debate in the media about whether it is safe for the community, teachers and children themselves to continue going to school,[1] the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria in Australia are going ahead with student-free schooling. Whilst the symptoms and deaths of children from COVID-19 have been lower in comparison to …

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In search of a strategic aid program: five messages for the new Australian aid policy

by Jacqui de Lacy and Lavinia Tyrrel The new international development framework presents a strategic choice for Australia: will it use its development program to ‘gain influence’, to counter the growing power of China? Or will it tackle deeper but more intractable drivers of regional conflict, economic stagnation and inequality? The decision about where Australia comes down on …

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