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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Deep and Wide? Or Wide and Shallow?

Deep and Wide? Or Wide and Shallow? At Sunday school sometime in the last century I remember singing with great gusto a chorus that included the lines “deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide…” Even today I can hum the tune (but not out loud as laryngectomees cannot sing. …

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DDD4 Jakarta

The fourth meeting of the ‘Doing Development Differently’ movement (as one of its founders, Michael Woolcock, calls it) was held over two days in Jakarta a couple of weeks ago. Jointly hosted by the Government of Indonesia, the World Bank and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the workshop attracted over 200 participants from …

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The World Development Report is powerful but is it memorable?

In 1926, John Maynard Keynes said that “everything is politics, nothing is policies”. Has the World Bank discovered this truth for itself? What does the 2017 World Development Report say about governance, politics and power? Its very title – Governance and the Law – tries its best to put us off. It sounds more like a learned journal written by be-wigged barristers than one in a series of the most important development publication to emerge every year.