What Can International Development Learn From Britain’s Olympic Team?

Getting on the bandwagon of identifying lessons from Team GB's relative success at the 2016 Olympic Games. Read the full post »
Ants forming a bridge across a gap

Can aid agencies help systems fix themselves?

If economic development is a property of a complex adaptive system then what, if anything, can development agencies and NGOs do to accelerate it? Read the full post »
The roots of the Banyan Forest

Is ‘the struggle’ the baby or the bathwater?

If there is value in the process of iteration and adaptation that people and organisations go through, then might development cooperation which tries to bypass that struggle do more harm than good? Read the full post »
A measuring tape superimposed on the English countryside

Learning By Measuring in Practice

How NGOs and service delivery organisations can be empowered by better use of data to improve public service delivery. Read the full post »
The cover of the book "Aid on the Edge of Chaos" by Ben Ramalingam

Is this the science of delivery?

Ben Ramalingam’s book, Aid on the Edge of Chaos, which is published this week, may be the clearest answer we have yet to Jim Kim’s call for a “science of delivery”. Read the full post »
A still from a video showing Jim Kim in a white leather jacket, dancing

Science to Deliver, but no ‘Science of Delivery’

Delivery requires iteration and adaptation rather than a "science". Perhaps the time has come for a Manifesto for Agile Development? Read the full post »
A home-made toaster, looking like a melted toaster

Complexity and development

Here is the video of my lecture on Complexity and Development, given in Washington DC on February 5th, 2013. Read the full post »
Red rectangles depicting a fitness landscape

If development is complex, is the results agenda bunk?

Owen Barder and Ben Ramalingam look at the implications of complexity for the trend towards results-based management in development cooperation. They argue that complexity provides a powerful reason for pursuing the results agenda, but it has to be done in ways which reflect the context. Read the full post »
a needle and golden thread

All that glisters: the golden thread and complexity

This second of three blog posts looking at development policy through the lens of complexity thinking considers whether David Cameron's 'golden thread' is good development policy. Read the full post »
The toaster created by Thomas Thwaites

What is development?

This the first of three blog posts exploring the implications of complexity for development. In my lecture on complexity I argue that development is an emergent property of the economic and social system. This blog post explains what that means. Read the full post »
A young man on his way to school in Gojam, Ethiopia. 2002

Complexity and development [presentation and podcast]

My 2012 Kapuściński Lecture considered the implications of complexity thinking for development economics and development policy. This post presents an updated version as a narrated online presentation which lasts about 45 minutes. Read the full post »