Like many people, I find FGM deeply upsetting. Like many people, I feel intense discomfort – emotional and physical – when merely reading about it. Like many people, I can’t begin to imagine what the girls and women subjected to FGM experience and live through. A literature review published in Nursing Times in 2013, sheds important light on this last […]

So after billions of dollars and several years of hard campaigning, the US elections are finally over. The typical map of the 2012 US election results looks like this: Which is clearly not a million miles away from the 2008 equivalent. In these maps, of which there are thousands online, on TV shows and in […]

Influence is a complex process in the development sector. We have known this for some time – the work of the RAPID programme at ODI on understanding how evidence influences policy is very clear on this. But the wider socio-economic system within which development cooperation is embedded is no less difficult to influence.  Many corporations, especially […]

A continuing theme on this blog has been the issue of leadership. Many reports and studies call for it, reforms are seen as impossible without it, critical challenges will not be met without it, and we are all ready to point out the lack of it (in others, at least). Despite the fact that leadership […]

Many of us working in foreign aid struggle with the idea of theories of change. The ubiquitous logical framework has an implicit theory of change that we recognise to be flawed, or at the very least, extremely limited. But alternatives are thin and often poorly articulated. A new briefing from Organisation Research Services sets out […]

A piece in yesterday’s New Scientist titled ‘Can Complexity Theory Explain Egypt’s Crisis?’ explores ideas of complexity in the context of the ongoing events in Egypt. It draws on the insights of two noted complexity thinkers – Yaneer Bar-Yam and Thomas Homer-Dixon. Excerpts are reproduced below with permission: Egyptians are the world’s biggest wheat importers and consumers, and […]