What do we mean by results?

All of us in the development field want ‘results,’ presumably – but what does this mean? Does the focus on results translate into top-down, centralised, short-termism, or do we (development practitioners, donors, foundations, experts of one hue or another) see results in terms of long term sustainable change, that works for the communities we’re rooting… Read More

Youth unemployment needs action now as well as long term strategies

South Africa’s stubborn – and tragic – problem of large scale, long term, structural unemployment, especially amongst the country’s youth, needs long term, structural solutions: radical improvements in early childhood education and basic education, re-establishing the link between technical and vocational education and training and the workplace ranking high amongst them. This useful article by… Read More

Another ‘lost generation’ in SA?

The REDI3x3 and National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) provide not just a snapshot but a moving picture (in both senses of moving) of youth unemployment and poverty in South Africa. Particularly sobering is the fact that even when young people do find jobs they struggle to retain them – there is no linear progression, but… Read More

Capacity Building (again)

…the aid industry turns fundamentally political processes of social and institutional change into projects – which are in turn cloaked in value-neutral technocracy. The problems become ones of limited equipment or resources, insufficient knowledge, weak coordination, poor monitoring, and so on, rather than about power, incentives and interests. Read More

The budget is the skeleton of the state

  ‘The budget is the skeleton of the state stripped of all misleading ideologies’ – great quote, from the International Budget Partnership, via Oxfam’s Duncan Green. Or, in words I am more familiar with, ‘follow the money.’ via The future of budget transparency | From Poverty to Power