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Anticipating recovery anthropologically

Anticipating recovery anthropologically

In my last blog I wrote about evaluating the past; this note asserts that politicians fail to anticipate the future with sufficient imagination.  Politicians in democracies are often brilliant at anticipating what they need to do to win the next election, in most cases staying in close touch with their local party members and as many electors as possible. One British MP told me he has canvassed every Saturday of his life for decades and puts a letter through the…

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30 years of Experiments in Evaluation

30 years of Experiments in Evaluation

Whether evaluating energy projects in Kenya or Sri Lanka, services provided to UK MPs in Westminster or a UK university’s grant-making, anthropological research skills helped me side-step the customary assumptions. Evaluation often involves simplistic questions like, ‘Is this project a success or failure?’, when most human endeavour is usually both. It frequently fails to take account of plural views, complex histories and the socio-political processes involved in evaluating people. It is often mind-deadeningly dull and formulaic when creativity is needed….

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Parliamentary Scrutiny after the DFID-FCO Merger

Parliamentary Scrutiny after the DFID-FCO Merger

Accountability and scrutiny are vital to effective governance. UK Government aid and development strategies and programmes are scrutinised by Parliament (the International Development Committee and the Public Accounts Committee), related financial watchdogs (the Independent Commission for Aid Impact and the National Audit Office) and civil society (including NGOs and universities – albeit many of whom are recipients of DFID funding for delivery or analysis services). So what happens if the IDSC is disbanded? But first, how have the scrutineers responded to the news that DFID and FCO will…

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