Getting Past the Rhetoric #2: Managing for ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ in Large Facilities

The first blog discussed what donors could be looking for at tender, to ensure bidders can actually ‘do TWP’ in practice. This blog looks at what it takes for donors to incentivise TWP once implementation has begun. Drawing on our experiences mobilizing and managing three big facilities in Indonesia, Timor Leste and PNG, here’s what I …

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Getting Past the Rhetoric #1 : Tendering for ‘Thinking and Working Politically’ in Large Facilities

It is commonplace to now find tenders littered with references to ‘thinking and working politically’ (TWP). This leadership from donors is a good thing, but it also poses new challenges. Specifically: When the bids roll in, how might donors discern who has the operational and programmatic capabilities to actually ‘do TWP’ in practice? And; What …

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Reflecting on Front-line Service Delivery in Timor Leste

By Bobby Anderson This blog accompanies the launch of our fourth working paper: found here. A researcher who spends long enough in Timor-Leste’s capital, Dili, will likely develop an impression of the countryside where most Timorese live, based on what many civil servants and development workers describe. Dire claims coalesce around a key set of …

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Adaptive management: why we find it so hard to operationalise

Adaptive Management – what’s in a word? It’s striking how important words are. USAID calls it Adaptive Management, DFAT calls it Thinking and Working Politically, DFID calls it Politically Informed Programming, and the World Bank just ignores it altogether. More seriously – what is at issue here? At heart, I would argue that this agenda …

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Reading between the lines of the Bangladesh-Myanmar MOU

By Jim Della-Giacoma* In signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bangladesh on the return of Rohingya refugees, Myanmar portrayed the agreement as “a win-win situation for both countries” and a victory for neighbours resolving their differences without the interference of outsiders. But the deal may also reveal that wider conflicts are brewing. Myanmar is …

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Playing in the sand-box or the tar-pit? Supporting politically-informed programming in large ‘Facilities’

As I exited my last position at The Asia Foundation, William Cole challenged me to: …report back in a year and tell me if its possible to think and work politically in high-value, multi-sector facility mechanisms So, after our involvement in three such 'Facilities' over the last 12-18 months[1], what is the verdict? Are we …

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Facilities deserve a place in development

By Jacqui de Lacy *This blog was also published simultaneously by Devpolicy on 13 November 2017. There are many ways to build a house.  One way is to choose your own architect, surveyor, plumber, electrician, carpenter….  You will get your family a great house, but it will take lots of your time, progress may be …

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Myanmar Rohingya crisis: Australia needs to stand up and help as the situation worsens

By John Blaxland and Elaine Pearson [Original article posted on ABC News 16 September 2017] The world seems to be sitting on its hands as the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar descends into what the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has described as "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing". In just three weeks, more than …

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Aid, deep thinking, and national security

Written by Jacqui De Lacy Prior to coming in to Government Julie Bishop, possibly softening us up for future budget cuts, often said that quality matters over quantity when it comes to aid expenditure.  It is hard to argue with this logic. It seems clear that the Government has comprehensively delivered on its commitment to reduce …

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Divide and Conquer: Citizen Voice without Contested Politics

By Rebecca Haines 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 …

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