The limits of institutional reform in development: a book review

 

The idea of solutions emerging through responses to locally perceived problems sounds basic. It is, however, potentially revolutionary for designers of externally influenced institutional reform.” (p. 150)

Matt Andrew’s book on the Limits of Institutional Reform in Development is the kind of book only students or academics would read, by its cover. Yet it would be a pity if this book didn’t reach the hands of development professionals. Continue reading “The limits of institutional reform in development: a book review”

The impact of work conditions on human development in 2015

With the end of year festive season you may have missed the fact that United Nations Development Program (UNDP) published its Human Development Report on 14 December 2015.

This report is most famous for its Human Development Index (HDI), which lists countries on the basis of 3 development criteria – a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable and have a decent standard of living – and has been published since 1990. Continue reading “The impact of work conditions on human development in 2015”

The Social Labs Revolution: another way of dealing with complex social problems

I’ve read The Social Labs Revolutions by Zaid Hassan over the weekend, and while I still need to fully assimilate the many interesting arguments and examples in the book, I already wanted to offer a book review on what I consider to be an extremely timely issue, with the Climate Summit in Paris going on at the moment (aka COP21) and the recent adoption of the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the international community. Continue reading “The Social Labs Revolution: another way of dealing with complex social problems”

Environmental economics for dummies

It’s quite rare you’ll find me reviewing a book on economics! I’m trying to make sense of the rather technical discussions around climate finance in the run-up to the Climate Conference, or COP 21, which will start end of November in Paris, so this is my small contribution to a better understanding of the international negotiations which we all hope will end up in a strong signal in favour of the planet’s and humanity’s long-term preservation. Continue reading “Environmental economics for dummies”

Development aid meets politics: a book review

Aid agencies have too often failed to grapple with the political complexities of the countries where they work and of the inherently political nature of processes of developmental change. (p.4)

My studies in sustainable development and natural resources management have put me in contact with both mainstream development concepts and critiques of those concepts. Yet it was only through the book Development aid confronts politics by T. Carothers and D. de Gramont, published in 2013 by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, that I realised my study books had missed out on the political aspect of development aid. Continue reading “Development aid meets politics: a book review”

Change by design: design thinking and what it holds for the public sector

I read Change by design, a book by Tim Brown, CEO of Ideo, who introduced design thinking to the world beyond Silicon Valley, over summer. Although I thoroughly enjoyed most of the insights and examples in the book, it also left me with an unnerving sense of frustration. Here’s why in this book review. Continue reading “Change by design: design thinking and what it holds for the public sector”