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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Are we divorced yet – or just arguing?

Somebody once said (George Bernard Shaw or Oscar Wilde would be pretty good guesses), that America and England are two countries separated by the same language. I have similar sensations on the (thankfully few) occasions I attend annual conferences on this, that or the other. As the Australian National University’s (ANU) Annual Australasian Aid Conference …

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TWP means ddd after all

I had the privilege this week helping deliver a workshop where ten programs and half a dozen different international managing contractors sat together in order to consider the progress being made in implementing the thinking and working politically agenda. What made the day particularly interesting was that all these different programs are being funded by …

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Elbows on the table, traffic and institutions

I have always been interested in institutions[1], although I haven’t always been aware of it. As a child I remember wondering about the logic which underlay the admonition to keep one’s elbows off the dining table.  I never dared ask, as my father was somewhat authoritarian. I remember thinking to myself, well, who says so? …

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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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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.