Over the last five to six years I’ve collated a stash of approximately 1,700 articles relating to issues around adaptive development and open government. While this full list is stored in Evernote and can be searched by keyword and tags, I wanted to take a moment each month to highlight the articles that I found particularly useful and interesting in relation to Global Integrity’s strategy and its implementation – see here for a two page summary.
September Top Reads
- Pallavi Roy (July 2021) Rethinking Anti-Corruption: The Need for Politically Located Data, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment – Pallavi Roy – based on the SOAS Anti-Corruption Evidence program, the sister program to GI-ACE – explains why implementation gaps persist, outlines the limits to transparency-focused efforts to address corruption, and points towards an approach that puts political economy dynamics, rather than data, in the driver’s seat (see also our 2019 piece on the evolution of the transparency agenda).
- Anna Gilbert (July 2021) Useful outsiders – how can external actors support authentic locally led development?, Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre – Thought-provoking piece drawing on Anna Gilbert’s experience working in the Pacific Island of Vanuatu. Anna emphasizes that the best thing that outsiders can do is to use their privilege to prioritize the engagement of local leaders and to recruit developmental leaders whose ways of working prioritize humility, sensitivity, altruism and collaboration. Relatedly, readers may be interested to dive into the Movement for Community-Led Development.
- Max French (August 2021) Two Experiments With Outcomes Frameworks, Stanford Social Innovation Review– A great piece contrasting two approaches to outcomes; outcomes as the focus of performance management, an approach which tends to underplay the complexity of social change, and outcomes as the focus for collaborative governance, which instead embraces complexity and the social learning that it necessitates. Strong echoes of the groundbreaking work of the Center for Public Impact on “Human Learning Systems”.
- On Think Tanks (June 2021) Proving TPA’s relevance in an increasingly autocratic world, Medium – An important piece from On Think Tanks coming out of their role in evaluating the Hewlett Foundation’s Transparency, Participation and Accountability program. I find the urge to “prove” rather than test and explore TPA’s relevance problematic, and would suggest focusing on implementation gaps and systems practice rather than choosing between, but the questions posed about whether and how TPA contributes to better development outcomes merit serious reflection (see also my feedback on the Hewlett Foundation’s evolving TPA strategy).
- Oluwabusayomi Sotunde (August 2021) Varja Lipovsek on bringing research closer to practice, Transparency and Accountability Initiative – Another great interview by Oluwabusayomi Sotunde as part of TAI’s “Full Disclosure” series, with Varja Lipovsek reflecting on her own journey and its focus on bringing research closer to practice. The best bit, for me, is Varja’s emphasis that “to work on learning in an organization is really to work on dialogue, trust, relationships, motivations, and incentives, as much as it is on tools and data, and evidence”, and on the importance of leading with purpose. Varja’s reflections pair nicely with the listening-focused TPA Full Disclosure interview with my Bogota-based colleague Jorge Florez.
See this document for a rolling list of my favorite reads in chronological order. If you’d like access to my full Evernote Notebook, drop me a line! I’ve grouped all articles within broader themes and categories such as:
- Open Data
- Fiscal Governance
For July’s Top reads, click here.