What it’s like to be a (consenting) lab-rat: using research in aid and development

By Reiko Take and Lavinia Tyrrel Spent last Friday in the kick-off workshop looking at how to get aid organisations to make better use of evidence and research in development policy and programming. This is all part of an action research project funded by the Research for Development Impact (RDI) Network and implemented by La …

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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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Video Available: From Thinking Politically to Working Politically – Are we Really Doing Development Differently?

The final workshop in the Abt Associates 'Innovations in Governance' series was held on Tuesday 18 June in Washington DC. The topic: from thinking politically to working politically - are we really doing development any different?  Moderated by Graham Teskey (Principal Global Lead - Governance, Abt Associates) the impressive list of speakers included: Duncan Green (Senior Strategic …

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Boundary riding, dual worlds and critical friends: reflections from the field

Ayesha from Papua New Guinea and Lilis from Indonesia* I sat down with Ayesha and Lilis (two rising stars from Abt-managed Australian Government funded aid projects in Indonesia and PNG) and said “tell me something interesting”. I was not disappointed. I was stuck by Ayesha’s idea of 'boundary riding’. Ayehsa – herself an Australian-Papua New …

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Take-up and Doubt: where have we got to on Thinking and Working Politically?

By Duncan Green of Oxfam and the brains behind From Poverty to Power Spent yesterday at a Washington workshop on ‘From Thinking Politically to Working Politically’, organized by Abt Associates, whose Graham Teskey is one of the TWP gurus. What struck me most was the combination of the spreading acceptance of TWP approaches within the aid …

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Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning for Complex Programs in Complex Contexts: Three Facility Case Studies

By Tara Davda and Lavinia Tyrrel Aid is complex, and it is delivered in complex contexts. Any seasoned development practitioner would agree with this. For most of us, aid is about supporting positive change, and change necessarily means a renegotiation of power and resources. It means understanding the interests, motivations and incentives of those with …

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Women in the Australian international aid sector

*Blog originally posted on 8/3/19 (International Women's Day)  Today is International Women’s Day (IWD). A day to celebrate women’s achievements, and forge a more gender-balanced world. Abt Associates’ aid programs overseas are marking this day with events in country. These events bring focus to the tireless efforts of the men, women, local organisations, governments, donors …

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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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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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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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