Book review: Sustainability and wellbeing. Human-scale development in practice. By Mònica Guillen-Royo.

By James Copestake

Sustainability and wellbeing. Human-scale development in practiceBy Mònica Guillen-Royo. 2016. Abingdon and New York: Routledge. xiii+187 pages.

Addis, New York, Paris – 2015 may best be remembered for efforts to build an integrated global vision of sustainable development. But what next? One answer is to revisit approaches that start with small, participatory and practical local steps. What role do they have, and what prospects for synergy in a world that is more inter-connected than ever, but also experiencing renewed fragmentation? Continue reading

If Complexity was a person, she would be a Socialist

By Jean Boulton

(This blog was oringially posted at – From Poverty to Power Oxfam Blog)

Dr. Boulton was inspired to write this following the CDS 40th anniversary conference entitled “ Inequality everywhere: What is development about?” Looking at things through a complexity lens emphasises that inequality inevitably rises in a free market and that there is a need for some form of regulatory processes to uphold the voices of the disadvantaged and of the environment.

Continue reading

Imagining war, Selling charity

(This blog was oringially posted at – The Conversation)

by Oliver Walton

Sainsbury’s Christmas advert has stoked considerable controversy. It involves a cinematic re-telling of the “Christmas Truce”, where Allied and German soldiers ceased fighting on Christmas Day and played a friendly football match together on the stretch of No Man’s Land between their trenches. While the film’s power has been widely acknowledged, the propriety of the subject matter for advertising and fundraising has also been questioned. Continue reading

Faith in a post-development world?

By James Copestake

Still from the Book of Mormon

Still from the Book of Mormon

Musicals aren’t really my thing, but reviews of The Book of Mormon were intriguing and we went. It lived up to its billing: fast, foot-tapping fun; irreverent and unrestrained in lampooning zealous religiosity and revelling in our bodily obsessions. But what, you may ask, has it got to do with international development? The answer Continue reading

The poverty of stateless people; how do we bridge the gap between need and development assistance?

By Jason Tucker

About a year ago I set out to look at how we can better incorporate the needs of stateless people in the development sector. This was driven by my own and others research, which began to show that these greatly under researched populations have largely been marginalised from the provision of development Continue reading

Hot summer reading on global development

By James Copestake

I guess I am not alone in living with a big mismatch between the amount of reading-around-my-field I would like or ought to do and what I actually fit in. Perhaps I’m also not the only sad person for whom holidays serve as an opportunity to address the gap. But having thus subverted my beach-time, can I actually remember anything of what I read? Continue reading

The state-of-the-ART Project (Update 1)

By James Copestake

“I never publish anything that hasn’t been through five drafts” is what the celebrated economist Kenneth Galbraith reportedly said when asked the secret of his ability to write so well. Well, I confess this blog doesn’t meet his standard, but I can report that a sixth draft of the Qualitative Impact Protocol (QUIP) for Assessing Rural Transformations can now be downloaded Continue reading

From bland aid to brand aid? Distinguishing development assistance and development finance

By James Copestake

(A fuller version of this argument is in the pipeline and will appear here in due course. Meanwhile, comments and suggestions are welcome – please post your responses here or tweet @cds_Bath using #brandaid)

The world of international development aid was never simple, but it seems to become ever more complex as agencies, financing mechanisms and acronyms proliferate. Public understanding struggles to keep up, with debate often pitched at a depressingly bland level. Is aid working? The correct answer, of course, is that aid comes in many different forms and brands. More interesting questions then abound, like which sorts of aid works best, when and why, and is the mix of different forms of aid right in different contexts? My proposition is that distinguishing between different forms of aid more clearly can contribute to raising the quality of public debate about its effectiveness. Continue reading