Resilience: Locally Owned or Locally Grown?

In a recent article, I highlighted an issue that I feel needs more discussion and examination. I was writing about development jargon and the topic of resilience came up. In the article, I noted that I had recently learned that the concept of resilience was understood differently at the community level in a country which …

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Development Assistance in an Unfair World

For all the talk about the global push to ‘leave no one behind’ following the adoption of the SDGs, or Global Goals, world governments, particularly LDCs and middle income countries, face an uphill battle. While official development assistance, particularly from OECD countries, goes up by dollar amounts, by percentage of GDP, it is slipping. To …

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Governance and the Survival of the Pacific Islands

Following the COP21 in December 2015, the Pacific islands have a chance at survival in the face of an increasingly changing climate. Along with other small islands and highly vulnerable states, Pacific island advocacy achieved concessions to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celcius in the outcome document, the Paris Agreement. It is a huge …

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Courage, Conviction and SDG Implementation

Oh boy, 2016. I don’t feel old enough for the Millenium Development Goals to have come to their completion (the plan, at least; so many many targets were not acheived, but not for lack of trying). Where did the years go? What did we do with those years? How many steps forward and how many …

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Some Clarity on the ‘Funding Local’ Clash of Opinions

‘Funding local’ has been a bit of a buzz word the last few years as the global development and humanitarian communities work towards being more inclusive and implement ‘locally-led’ programmes. One of the issues that needs urgent clarity if the debate around what ‘inclusive’ means in practice is to be settled is to understand the …

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How to Spend Development Dollars

There are a lot of studies doing the rounds that highlight a major problem with development financing – it takes ages to actually spend the money that is donated. This is particularly true for financing that is channelled through government public financial management systems to support public serivce delivery such as health care, education, infrastructure …

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The Super-unsexy Localization of the SDGs

I have 1,001 things I want to write about and yet nothing seems to stick. I have deleted so many ideas from my screen and tried to start over but just cannot seem to find the inspiration. I probably know why. There is so much going on in the world of development and humanitarian action …

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The Limits of Climate Change for Small Island States

It is entirely unfortunate that the recent Pacific Islands Forum was held only days before Australia’s lackluster prime minister, Tony Abbott, was ousted from power. Not that the new prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, would necessarily have had a radically different impact on the outcome of the Forum, but one can hope that he would have …

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‘The MDGs were about milestones, not about transformation.’ Interview with David Jackson

This installment of our interview series saw us ‘sitting down’ with David Jackson, the Director of Local Development Finance at the UN Capital Development Fund, which focuses on strengthening public finance for local development. He started his career in the 1980s in London local government in the United Kingdom. In the 1990s he worked in …

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Innovation: Not shiny or new; not always the ‘next big thing’

I recall sitting in a meeting a few years ago to review the draft of our organization’s new five-year strategic plan. Most of my memories of the meeting revolve around the chair of the meeting going on and on about ‘what is new, what is different?’ Having reviewed a significant portion of the plan, an …

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