Category: international development

Wizards, pretenders, or unaccountable curators? How consultants shape policy in underfunded international agencies

Consultancies play an important role in developing policies and strategies for international agencies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO). Drawing on a recent study, Tine Hanrieder and Julian Eckl argue that consultants’ formidable ability to …

Is Development an Art or a Science?

Reflecting on nearly twenty years of transdisciplinary practice and research and the recent publication of their new book, New Mediums, Better Messages? How Innovations in Translation, Engagement, and Advocacy are Changing International Development, Da…

Putting the collective impact of global development research into perspective – What we learned from six years of the Impact Initiative

Reductions to UK aid have highlighted the need to understand both how international development research has, and can continue to, effect positive change. Here, Pauline Rose and Elizabeth Tofaris reflect on the Impact Initiative programme and what can …

Scaling what works doesn’t work: we need to scale impact instead

Scaling has become a buzzword in international development, where the received wisdom is to ‘scale what works’. However, whilst this is a paradigm that suits private investment in international development and science more broadly, complex problems require nuanced solutions. Robert Mclean, John Gargani and Dena Lomofsky, argue that a new conception of scaling – scaling … Continued

Between value for money & development impact: Some reflections for the Global Challenges Research Fund

The Global Challenges Research Fund has engaged many researches with Overseas Development Aid and the auditing and assessment infrastructures associated with it. In this post Valeria Izzi and Becky Murray outline how researchers can adopt a value for money (VfM) approach that can justify North/South research projects in a way that accounts for economy, efficiency, effectiveness, as well equity. Since […]

High prices to access scholarly research could drive developing country researchers to use pirate websites like SciHub.

Developing countries are investing more in research and higher education and it should be no surprise that publishers are building commercial relationships to expand access and services. But prices are often still too high. Jonathan Harle argues now is a good time for the research community to reflect on what we can do to bring the cost of access down. If we don’t, […]

Building bridges in development: Five recommendations to connect the islands of research, policy and practice.

Elizabeth Harrison, Eleanor Jew, Thomas Smith, Iqbal Ahmed and Sarah Peck present the recommendations from a recent conference for early-career researchers on bridging the gap in development research, policy and practice. Participants were encouraged to consider partnership-based solutions to development problems. From having a realistic understanding of intended outcomes to formulating relevant research questions, constructive debate took place on how best […]

The specter of big data is haunting the world, but has the data revolution already occurred?

Changes to the supply and demand of data are restructuring privileged hierarchies of knowledge, with amateur hackers and machine-readable technology becoming a central part of its analysis. Traditional experts may be hoping for a gradual evolution, but a parallel revolution led by practitioners in the private sector may already be underway. Prasanna Lal Das argues that partnerships will need to incorporate […]