Donor Issues

Politically smart, locally led development

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Authors: Booth, D. & Unsworth, S. 
Publication date: 2014

This paper is a contribution to ongoing debate about the need for donor agencies to think and work more politically. It presents seven cases of aid-funded interventions that show how donors have been able to facilitate developmental change ‘despite the odds’.

Leveraging the private sector to promote agriculture and natural resources-based livelihoods

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Authors: Wiggins, S. & Keats, S.
Publication date: 2014

For the benefit of Livelihoods Advisers in DFID, this Topic Guide sets out the issues arising when stimulating private investment and initiatives to the benefit of small-scale and informal farmers, fishers and herders.

Youth participation in governance and monitoring of the post-2015 framework

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Author: Davis, A., de la Harpe Bergh, G. & Lundy, A.
Publication date: 2014

This paper argues that young people, the majority of whom live in developing countries, should be included as key stakeholders in the post-2015 agenda - not only within the goals and targets of the framework, but also in post-2015 monitoring and accountability mechanisms.

The 'Chinese way'? The evolution of Chinese humanitarianism

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Author: Krebs, H.
Publication date: 2014

China’s rising economic power has meant that it is now playing a bigger role in humanitarian aid. However, the country tends to be depicted as being different to the international humanitarian community and has been criticised for its perceived failure to conform to established humanitarian norms and practices. 

This policy brief examines China’s distinctive ‘humanitarian’ identity and the need for an increased dialogue between the international humanitarian community and China. 

Local fundraising and claim-making in Kenya

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Author: Lijfering, S.
Publication date: 2014

This article looks at how local fundraising and claim-making work in practice by zooming in on Kenya. Late 2013 the Kenyan Parliament put forward a law that would prohibit local NGOs to receive more than 15 percent of their funding from abroad. The bill was rejected, but it served as a wake-up call for Kenyan civil society.

Based on some field visits, the author investigates whether the emerging Kenyan middle class is even interested in development cooperation and whether they would be willing to contribute. 

Capacity, complexity and consulting: lessons from managing capacity development projects

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Author: Datta, A., Shaxson, L. & Pellini, A.
Publication date: 2012

In the past few years, the ODI’s Research and Policy in Development Programme has increasingly collaborated with or managed large multiyear projects where it has been responsible for helping local institutions and organisations to build their capacity to use knowledge to improve policies and practices.

Setting aside the issue of knowledge-to-policy links, this paper serves to 1) reflect on what capacity is and how it develops; 2) identify implications of this for approaches used to promote capacity improvement processes; and 3) assess what this means for funding
practices.

Capacity.org: Innovative financing for inclusive agricultural development

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As traditional official development assistance decreases attention is turning to how best to catalyse private funding for development.  However, private companies need to generate returns on their investments. To what extent does this limit private financing from reaching the poor and marginalised, referred to by Paul Collier as the ‘bottom billion’? In other words, can financing solutions involving private sector actors be inclusive?

Negotiating perceptions: Al-Shabaab and Taliban views of aid agencies

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Authors: Jackson, A.
Publication date: 2014

What armed groups like Al-Shabaab and the Taliban think of aid agencies can mean the difference between gaining access to areas under their control to provide aid people in need – or being expelled from their territory.

Based on research and interviews with members of the Taliban and Al-Shabaab, this HPG policy brief explores how these armed groups perceive aid agencies and the implications on humanitarian response in those areas.

Fragmented governance and local service delivery in Malawi

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During a research trip to Malawi in 2012, a senior government official commented that nearly two decades after the government had renewed its commitment to democratic decentralisation, the working of local government was something of a ‘black box’.

Ahead of local council elections in May 2014, this study helped government and donors to understand how local government and service delivery work and to assess whether the return of local councils is likely to improve their functioning.

Working with the politics: how to improve public services for the poor

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Authors: Wid, L. & Foresti, M. 
Publication date: 2013

In this ODI Briefing Leni Wild and Marta Foresti argue that beyond recognising that institutions matter for development, the key questions which remain to be addressed are: 

How should governments that are striving to achieve more equitable and efficient service delivery approach the challenge of institutional reform?

And how can the international community best support pathways to institutional reforms for more equitable delivery of essential public goods and services?