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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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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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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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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Governance, Foreign Policy and Populism – All the Fun things

From Australia and Canada’s decision to integrate their development agencies, to the resurgence of nationalism in the UK and US and the flat-lining of public support for aid (see below graph from IDS) – major bilateral donors are increasingly bringing aid closer to the heart of government operations. As a result, the ‘old’ aid policy …

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‘Good’ Governance – Remembering the Role of Values and Beliefs: A Recipient Nation’s Perspective

By Anar Ulikpan This blog is a response to the post entitled "What is this Governance Thing Anyway?"  In very simple and broad terms, governance is a process through which public/community goods and services are coordinated to serve its peoples’ best interests in an equitable and fair manner. Countries with ‘good’ governance are expected to have …

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