Development goals, progress and philosophy

The UN’s long process of developing the post-2015 global follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals continues with the Open Working Group working on Sustainable Development Goals. Last week they released a draft. It has many plenty of goals and targets but lacks an overall concept of what progress means today. What might the wise have said about it in days gone by? Continue reading

New Deal – real deal ?

In both low and middle income countries, well established arguments and solid evidence confirm that there is no real development without peace and only the peace of the graveyard without development. These conclusions have shifted the fulcrum of discussion about development over the past several years. But they have not yet added up to telling anybody how to do it. Continue reading

Development aid debate – today and post-2015

Further to my 24 September post on the re-emerging debate in Britain about foreign aid, I neglected a major reason why the government’s commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of GDP on development assistance isn’t changing: Prime Minister David Cameron is co-chair of the UN High Level Panel on the future of development. No surprise, then, that he confirmed the 0.7 per cent commitment straight after the panel’s first meeting. Continue reading

Development aid – its opponents and proponents

A new debate is heating up in Britain about overseas development assistance – ODA. To foreign observers struck by how international generosity became a cross-party consensus here, it may come as something of a surprise that development aid is under pressure. But it is real and should be heeded for well-honed arguments are needed. Continue reading

Looking at some peacebuilding assumptions

My most recent post (29 Jan) reflected about peacebuilding inside the bounds of the European Union as well as outside. My thinking grew out of International Alert’s recently started work  in the UK. Going a bit further,  some more thoughts have appeared in the online magazine and discussion forum, openDemocracy. What follows is an abridged version. Continue reading

The UN Peacebuilding Fund – four years on

The decision to set up the UN Peacebuilding Commission, Peacebuilding Support Office and Peacebuilding Fund was taken in September 2005 and bit by bit the new architecture was ready for business in 2006 and into 2007. I have just finished four years on the Fund’s independent Advisory Group, the last two as its chair, so here are my reflections. Continue reading