Research in Africa has consistently found that the poor are more likely than the better off to pay bribes to state officials for public services. This matters for all sorts of reasons, but from a state-building and developmental perspective, the crisis of trust that corruption can trigger can be devastating. When services are pushed just that bit further away by public-servants-turned-corrupt-gatekeepers, it is likely to colour the already jaundiced perceptions that hard-pressed communities may have of state institutions and of their legitimacy; and also, as Seligson puts it, of ‘the broader national governance frameworks in which they are located’.
Guest post for Prospect
As a narrative specialist, I listen to the stories people tell about their work and their organisations. I help them find out whether their audiences are hearing what they want them to hear, or whether they need to tell the story differently or even find a new story to tell. And I think the development narrative is facing a big challenge just now – what we say we do often doesn’t reflect what we actually do.
In Myanmar, as recently as 2012, a mobile phone SIM card cost more than USD 1,500. Yet by June 2015 more than half of the country's population had a card and a handset to go with it.
The Developmental Leadership Program will host its 2016 Annual Conference at La Trobe University in Melbourne on 8 February. Its theme is ‘Power, Politics and Positive Deviance’.
The World’s Women 2015, recently released by the UN, tells us that in 2015 women held 22% of parliamentary seats – almost double the level recorded in 1997 (12%).
Just a few months ago, when the sheer scale of my current project was beginning to overwhelm me, I began to keep a research diary.
I had set out to examine why, after two decades of international intervention and aid, armed groups were not only as prevalent in the DRC as they had ever been, but were proliferating. The question I was trying to answer was admittedly a broad one – what is it that we’ve missed about armed groups? Researching this topic revealed more questions than answers.
Unsurprisingly, when people are asked about corruption, they say they are against it. But that doesn’t tell us what they really think about it, or what they do when confronted with it.
This month at DLP our focus is largely on corruption as we prepare for a collaborative event in London discussing 'Corruption and development'. Yet we could hardly fail to notice that inequality, a hot topic since Pikettymania and the theme of our conference earlier in the year, has resurfaced with a vengeance.
Everyone associates Brazil with football and the World Cup. Brazilians pouring out onto the street last summer to protest the competition being hosted in their country was last thing many of us expected to see.
This post for Devpolicy unpacks the findings of a new Development Policy Centre / DLP paper
Donors have recently made great efforts to understand power in partner countries. Yet they have largely ignored one of the most pervasive power relations – gender.
Counting matters. As the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi report puts it: What we measure affects what we do; and if our measurements are flawed, decisions may be distorted…. [I]f metrics of performance are flawed, so too may be inferences we draw.
How can we encourage creativity, even in risk-averse organisations? How can we protect our attention resources?
I listened to two interesting LSE podcasts recently which got me thinking more about creativity following on from a recent blog I posted about the current interest in innovation. Some even suggest the ‘innovation imperative’ is a mega trend.
Guest post for The Guardian
Spent the day at a ‘Doing Development Differently’ event recently and, while it offered a great opportunity to meet and hear from fascinating, dedicated, thoughtful people, I came away somewhat disheartened. Why? Because:
The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.
DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.
Thursday 30th March 2017
Putting the concept of Thinking and Working Politically into practice was at the heart of a workshop on 15-16 March attended by more than 200 delegates from the field of international development. Delegates from the government, civil service and local organisations of the host country, Indonesia, were joined by academics, including DLP researchers, and staff from donor organisations and NGOs.
Monday 27th March 2017
DLP findings on the Democratic Republic of Congo were among the topics discussed with with UK diplomats and civil servants at the FCO's Africa Study Day, held at Sandhurst on 21 March. This year's Foreign and Commonwealth Office event was organised by University of Birmingham's International Development Department, home to DLP.