Context

African Philosophy

by David Week on 15 February 2016

Yesterday, I listened to an interview with Katrin Flikschuh of the London School of Economics. Brilliant. Wonderful. It was as if a door opened on a new universe. I’ve been working in international development since 1978. In the late 1980s I began to realise that there was something amiss in our standard cultural understanding of […]

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More wicked than you think

by David Week on 28 May 2014

This post is inspired by a post by Duncan Green here, in which he invites comments on an ODI working paper by Ben Ramalingam, Miguel Laric and John Primrose, which is posted here: “From Best Practice to Best Fit: Understanding and navigating wicked problems in international development.” This post may not make sense unless you read that paper. The term […]

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QA4D

by David Week 20 November 2011

Okay: we don’t really need yet another of those cutesie “4D = for development” labels, but for a blog post heading, it’s acceptable. In my last post, Fad Surfing in the Development Boardroom, I took issue with those (and there are many) who think that “development” is completely dissociated from the rest of the world. […]

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Fad surfing in the development boardroom

by David Week 25 October 2011

This is a response to J’s post on Tales from the Hood, entitled: “Fail“. The title of my post comes from a book I have on my shelf: “Fad Surfing in the Boardroom: Reclaiming the Courage to Manage in the Age of Instant Answers.” Note the subtitle, which proposes that the alternative to fad surfing is […]

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Don’t knock aid

by David Week 7 September 2011

This post comes from a debate I became involved with on LinkedIn. You can find that debate here. Critiques vs knocking Critiquing aid is to take a specific aspect of aid practice which could be improved, showing comparatively that it could be better, analysing the problem, and proposing solutions. Knocking aid is to enter into […]

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The other SWEDOW

by David Week 18 August 2011

SWEDOW “SWEDOW” is an acroynm for: Stuff WE DOn’t Want. It was coined by @talesfromthhood, and has spread into the lexicon, to the point where it has its own wordspy entry. Up until five minutes ago, when I researched the term, I thought that the “we” in SWEDOW referred to the recipients, as in “please […]

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It’s the elites, stupid

by David Week 8 August 2011

Aid-bashing I’ve spent most of my professional life working in the Pacific and Asia, and have only recently been invited to participate in a couple of projects in Africa. As a result, I’ve started to pay more attention to what’s happening in Africa, and I’m astonished to see the aid-bashing seems to be a popular […]

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Three Cups of Skywalker

by David Week 6 August 2011

The furore around l’affaire Mortenson has died down. At its height, opinion and speculation filled the blogosphere. Some hoped Mortenson would make it through the flames. Some wrote of how he had inspired them to care. Others pointed out that his development model, based around school construction, was bad from day one; that anthropologists had […]

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The moral frame of development research

by David Week 22 July 2011

I’ve been reading a post by Tom Murphy entitled Aid’s God Complex and Bloggers Groupthink. Towards the end of the post, Tom says this: Critics of research will decry the wonky conversations that do not address the issues at hand. Some will say that things need to get done and it is a waste of resources […]

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The new colonial architecture

by David Week 15 June 2011

I saw today a picture of a school in Cambodia, designed by Finnish architects. It is very nice looking. It photographs very well. It will be picked up and circulated widely in the architectural press, online and off. Without doubt. You can see more here. In the comments box, I wrote this: This is artistically […]

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Why a slum house is like a factory

by David Week 26 May 2011

Commenting on my post on the $300 house, Yodan said: And yet, David, it seems that in every advanced economy housing does become a commodity and is predominantly produced by big companies, and financed by big banks and savings and loans societies, and that is usually connected with levels of poverty going down significantly. In […]

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Critique of the $300 house

by David Week 10 May 2011

In the 30th April issue of “the capitalists’ bible”, The Economist, I read that: …Vijay Govindarajan, of Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, along with Christian Sarkar, a marketing expert, issued a challenge in a Harvard Business Review blog: why not apply the world’s best business thinking to housing the poor? His idea is to […]

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