The DDD Manifesto

Statement from the October 2014 ‘Doing Development Differently’ workshop

Too many development initiatives have limited impact. Schools are built but children do not learn. Clinics are built but sickness persists. Governments adopt reforms but too little changes for their citizens.

This is because genuine development progress is complex: solutions are not simple or obvious, those who would benefit most lack power, those who can make a difference are disengaged and political barriers are too often overlooked. Many development initiatives fail to address this complexity, promoting irrelevant interventions that will have little impact.

Some development initiatives, however, have real results. Some are driven domestically while others receive external support. They usually involve many players – governments, civil society, international agencies and the private sector – working together to deliver real progress in complex situations and despite strong resistance. In practice, successful initiatives reflect common principles.

  • They focus on solving local problems that are debated, defined and refined by local people in an ongoing process.
  • They are legitimised at all levels (political, managerial and social), building ownership and momentum throughout the process to be ‘locally owned’ in reality (not just on paper).
  • They work through local conveners who mobilise all those with a stake in progress (in both formal and informal coalitions and teams) to tackle common problems and introduce relevant change.
  • They blend design and implementation through rapid cycles of planning, action, reflection and revision (drawing on local knowledge, feedback and energy) to foster learning from both success and failure.
  • They manage risks by making ‘small bets’: pursuing activities with promise and dropping others.
  • They foster real results – real solutions to real problems that have real impact: they build trust, empower people and promote sustainability.

As an emerging community of development practitioners and observers, we believe that development initiatives can – and must – have greater impact.

We pledge to apply these principles in our own efforts to pursue, promote and facilitate development progress, to document new approaches, to spell out their practical implications and to foster their refinement and wider adoption.

We want to expand our community to include those already working in this way.

We call on international development organisations of all kinds to embrace these principles as the best way to address complex challenges and foster impact. We recognise the difficulties, but believe that more effective strategies and approaches can generate higher and lasting impact.


  • Matt Andrews, Harvard University
  • Leni Wild, Overseas Development Institute
  • Marta Foresti, Overseas Development Institute
  • Natalia Adler, UNICEF
  • David Booth, Overseas Development Institute
  • Salimah Samji, Harvard University
  • Pablo Yanguas Gil, ESID
  • Brian Levy, World Bank and John Hopkins University
  • Maria Gonzalez, Asis, World Bank
  • Helen Derbyshire, SAVI Nigeria
  • Derick W Brinkerhoff, RTI International
  • Kay Winning, World Bank
  • Jaime Faustino, The Asia Foundation
  • Michael Woolcock, World Bank and Harvard University
  • Lant Pritchett, Harvard University and CGD
  • Cauam Ferreira Cardoso, MIT
  • Taylor Brown, The IDL Group / GRM International
  • Duncan Green, Oxfam
  • Katherine Bain, World Bank
  • Nadim Matta, Rapid Results Institute
  • Andrew Lawson, Fiscus
  • Alan Hudson, Global Integrity
  • Harry Jones, The IDL Group / GRM International
  • Kartik Akileswaran, Millenium Challenge Corporation
  • Moizza Sarwar, Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative
  • Tom Murphy, Humanosphere
  • Dan Hymowitz, Africa Governance Initiative
  • Simon Gill, Overseas Development Institute
  • Tim Williamson, Overseas Development Institute
  • Brad Cunningham, Harvard University
  • Pallavi Nuka, Princeton University
  • Dave Algoso, Reboot
  • Robert Klitgaard, Claremont Graduate University
  • David Hulme, University of Manchester
  • Neil Cole, Collaborative African Budget Reform Initiative
  • Philipp Krause, Overseas Development Institute
  • Paolo de Renzio, International Budget Partnership
  • Aleem Walji, World Bank
  • Eva Schiffer, World Bank
  • David Norman, SABMiller
  • Ben Ramalingam, Overseas Development Institute and IDS
  • John Young, Overseas Development Institute
  • Shantayanan Devarajan, World Bank
  • Verena Fritz, World Bank
  • Donna Loveridge
  • Heather Lanthorn, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Doug Hadden, FreeBalance
  • Gregory Smith, World Bank
  • Michael Wodzicki, Canadian Co-operative Association
  • Jennifer Gala, Harvard University
  • Jennifer Lentfer,
  • Konstantine Kintsurashvili, MPAID, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Juliet Walton, Coffey International Development
  • Urška Zrinski, Center of Excellence in Finance
  • Anne-Lise Klausen, World Bank
  • Samik Adhikari, MPAID, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Nhlanhla Mndaweni, Republic of South Africa (Dept Rural Development)
  • Arvind Nair, World Bank
  • Shamil Ibragimov, Soros Foundation Kyrgyzstan
  • Rakesh Rajani, Twaweza
  • Jairo Acuna-Alfaro, United Nations Development Programme
  • Silvana Kostenbaum, Consultant
  • Hanieh Mohammadi, MPAID, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Koji Ito, Harvard Kennedy School and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan
  • Jennifer Austin, MPAID Harvard Kennedy School
  • Gabriel Seidman, DrPH student, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Adriana Conconi, MPA/ID, Harvard Kennedy School & OPHI
  • Charity Umbwe Shekari, Nigerian Communications Commission
  • Takalani Rathiyaya, eThekwini Municipality, South Africa
  • Raphael Martins, Harvard University
  • Ryan Sheely, Harvard University
  • Tim McNaught, MPAID, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Mary Hong, MPAID, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Ross Lipstein, MPAID, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Guilherme Trivellato Andrade, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Aranzazu Guillan Montero, U4 Anti-Corruption Research Center
  • Ricardo Cruz Prieto, Independent Researcher
  • James Walsh, MPP, Harvard Kennedy School & WDR 2015
  • Jabulani Ngcobo, Department of Basic Education, South Africa
  • Moira Hart-Poliquin, University of Ottawa (ret World Bank & UNICEF)
  • Edmond Hoxha, Albanian Center of Excellence
  • Wooil Shin, MPAID, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Soren Jarnvig, Jarnvig Consulting
  • Felix Mwenge, International Growth Centre
  • Sam Muller, HiiL Innovating Justice
  • Fatih Bozkurt, Turkish Treasury
  • Vivek Srivastava, World Bank
  • Graham Teskey, AusAID
  • Dani Rodrik, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science
  • Varoujan Avedikian, MPA Harvard Kennedy School, Central Bank of Armenia
  • Alison Wescott, World Bank
  • Sonal Shah, Georgetown University
  • Calestous Juma, Harvard University
  • Upasana Khadka, MPA/ID, Harvard University
  • Karl T. Muth, Northwestern University
  • Ljubica Nedelkoska, CID at Harvard University
  • Julia Clark, University of California, San Diego PhD student
  • Katsu Fushimi, Japan International Cooperation Agency
  • Nastasia L. Tysmans, Department of Education, Philippines
  • Rushda Majeed, Consultant, Institutional & Policy Reform
  • Jill Hinckley, Cameroon Association of Active Youths
  • Chris Roche, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Boban Varghese Paul, MPA/ID, Harvard University
  • Naim Keruwala, Symbiosis School of Economics, India
  • John Aderogba, Public Affairs Analyst/ Social Commentator
  • Lucas Malambe, South African Qualifications Authority
  • Tanja Hichert, Scenario Planner & facilitator of strategic conversations
  • Vivienne Ochee Bamgboye, Oye Dynamix Ltd. World Bank Consultant
  • Ayo Adebusoye, Nigeria Network of Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Christoph Backhaus, Administrative Reform Programme, Cambodia
  • Fahad Garba Aliyu, MBA Candidate, Hult International Business School
  • Peter Froslev Christensen, PFC Consulting, Copenhagen
  • Abubakar Abdullahi, The Front Office NG
  • Anna Guerraggio, United Nations Office of Internal Oversight
  • Koldo Echebarria, Inter-American Development Bank
  • Ahmath Bamba Mbacke, École Supérieure Polytechnique, Senegal
  • Charles Sabel, Columbia Law School
  • Kaja Jurtela, Center of Excellence in Finance
  • Jean-Baptiste KOBA, MESAN, political party of Central African Republic
  • Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, Opposition Politician, Nigeria
  • Obodai Torto, University of Waterloo
  • Quinton Mageza, Eastern Cape Provincial Government, South Africa
  • Florencia Guerzovich, Independent
  • Yadira Almodovar-Diaz, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Nick Manning, World Bank
  • Karin Metell Cueva, SiPU International, Sweden
  • Rami Ahmad, Islamic Development Bank
  • Michelle Ntukanyagwe, Office of the President, Rwanda
  • James Haga, Engineers Without Borders, Canada
  • Javier Bonilla, MPA/MBA, Harvard/UCLA
  • Adriana Hoyos, International Development Consultant
  • Clay Wescott, President International Public Management Network
  • Grace Wandera, Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat
  • Andrew Blackman, Ecuadorian Coordinating Ministry for Economic Policy
  • Janine O’Flynn, University of Melbourne
  • Jamie Pett, Overseas Development Institute, Zanzibar Planning Commission
  • Meaghan Novi, Master’s Student in Public Health at Emory University
  • Devesh Sharma, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Nancy Birdsall, Center for Global Development
  • Christopher Pollitt, Public Governance Institute, Katholieke Universiteit leuven
  • Derek Pham, MPP, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Doug Porter, World Bank and Australian National University
  • Matteo Frate, Economist at Regione Sardegna, Italy
  • Lucy Mbabazi, Business Development Leader Rwanda and Burundi
  • Eduardo Estrada, World Bank
  • Shashank Shekhar Shukla, Development practitioner, India
  • Scott Guggenheim, Institute for State Effectiveness
  • Sandra Naranjo, Minister of Tourism of Ecuador
  • Chuks Osuagwu, MPA/MBA – Harvard Kennedy School/MIT Sloan
  • Claude Rochet, Aix Marseille Université
  • Borja Paladini Adell, Independent Consultant
  • Jose Ramon Morales Arilla, CID at Harvard University
  • Rashid Mahmood Langrial, Commissioner Lahore Division, Govt of Punjab
  • Zina Jarrah, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Alvaro Henzler, MC-MPA Harvard Kennedy School / INCUBA / EnseñaPeru
  • Alejandro Fajardo, Private Council on Competitiveness, Colombia
  • Avnish Gungadurdoss, Instiglio
  • Komal Chamling, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • R.S. Praveen Kumar, TSWREIS, India
  • Jeffrey Reynoso, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Kay Kim, MPA/ID, Harvard University
  • Victor Steenbergen, Ministry of Education, Malawi
  • Ismail Ali Manik, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Treasury, Maldives
  • Alta Folscher, Mokoro Limited
  • Abeer Rashdan, Ministry of Planning, Egypt
  • Morten Jerven, Simon Fraser University
  • James Adede, Grassroots Alliance for Community Education (GRACE) Africa
  • Stela Mocan, Government CIO, Executive Director, e-Government Center, Moldova
  • Madvee Muthu, African Development Bank
  • Carl Jackson, Westhill Knowledge
  • Gonzalo Contreras, Fiscus
  • Peter Biar Ajak, University of Cambridge
  • Rafael Villa, Policy Lab (P-Lab)
  • Geert Vansintjan, DGD, Belgium
  • Kyriaki Tortopidou-Derieux, University of London
  • Jo Rowlands, Oxfam
  • Gary Bandy, Unaffiliated
  • Sushmita Meka, Bankable Frontier Associates
  • Manisha Verma, IAS and MPA Candidate at Harvard Kennedy School
  • Lee Voth-Gaeddert, PhD Student, Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • Santiago Delgado Calderon, World Bank
  • Olav Kjorven, UNICEF
  • Ibrahim Kuzu, Ministry of Development, Turkey
  • Ippei Tsuruga, The Povertist
  • Aaron Azelton, National Democratic Institute
  • Brittany Danisch, National Democratic Institute
  • Peter van de Pol, United Nations Development Programme
  • Rajkamal Arava, IAS and MPAID Candidate at Harvard Kennedy School
  • Tony Addison, UNU-WIDER
  • Timothy Cheston, CID at Harvard University
  • May Miller-Dawkins, Corelab
  • Jes Weigelt, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies
  • Gomez Agou, IMF
  • Susana Cordeiro Guerra, MIT
  • Ricardo Hausmann, Harvard University
  • Thomas Ricolfi, Bridges for Growth, Mexico City
  • Mike Kang, University of Cambridge Centre for Sustainable Development
  • Cynthia Villarreal Muraira, MPP, HKS & Ministry of Economy of Mexico
  • Tarek Masoud, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Brendan Rigby,
  • Yameng Hu, MPP Candidate, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Andrea Thompson
  • Milja Laakso, UNICEF
  • Mari Kuraishi, GlobalGiving
  • Kevin Gager, SAVI
  • Arnaldo Pellini, Overseas Development Institute
  • Svenja Ossmann, GIZ Germany
  • Fiona Percy, CARE International, Kenya
  • Bashir M. Alhassan, SAVI/DFID
  • Jan Liebnitzky, INASP, Oxford
  • Kimbowa Richard, Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development
  • Guido Couck, BTC, Belgium
  • Marie-Christine Boeve, BTC, Belgium
  • Jim Delaney, World University Service of Canada and University of Toronto
  • Barbara Umnik
  • Filippo Minozzi, World Food Programme
  • Paul Onwude, SAVI Nigeria and APPAR
  • Sibonile Khoza, Western Cape Government, South Africa
  • Osman Siddiqi, MPAID, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Balakrishnan Madhavan Kutty, Nonprofit Management Consultant
  • Fazle Rabbani, Global Partnership for Education
  • Catalina Ortiz Lalinde, Bancoldex, Colombia
  • Jean-Francois Dubuisson, UNDP in Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Ian Thorpe, UNICEF
  • Iris Braun, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Hamish Nixon, Overseas Development Institute
  • Kelley Ready, The Heller School, Brandeis University
  • Nan Chen, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Elisa Mandelli, Anthropologist
  • Tess Newton Cain, Devpacific
  • Mary Hilderbrand, CID and (soon) Texas A&M University
  • Vanessa Cheng, MPA/ID, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Dayna Brown, CDA Collaborative Learning
  • Isabella Jean, CDA Collaborative Learning
  • Bernard Nikaj, University of Prishtina and UC Berkeley
  • Mpumelelo Nxumalo, MPA/ID, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Antonio Nucifora, World Bank
  • David Escobar-Arango, Interactuar, Colombia
  • Melissa Julian, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM)
  • Hamouda Chekir, Government Advisory Group, Lazard Freres
  • Ronald Abraham, IDinsight
  • Lucia Nass, Capacity Development Facilitator
  • Adrian Hewitt, Overseas Development Institute
  • Sandra Markovic, Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia
  • Sunil Bastian, Independent consultant, Sri Lanka
  • Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, World Bank
  • Marcus Jenal, the BEAM Exchange and Mesopartner
  • Helen Parker, Overseas Development Institute
  • Clare Cummings, Overseas Development Institute
  • Sarah Hunt, IDPM, University of Manchester
  • Pritish Behuria, SOAS, University of London and ESID
  • David Neven, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome
  • Federico Vázquez, ISID, McGill University
  • Kevin Watkins, Director Overseas Development Institute
  • Caroline Bach, UNICEF
  • Claire Smith, Department of Politics, University of York
  • Olivier Pierard, BTC, Belgium
  • Massimo Diana, United Nations
  • Luka Biernacki, YAF
  • Rita Perakis, Center for Global Development
  • Richard Stanley, UNICEF
  • Dan Honig, Harvard University
  • Saghar Forouhi, Atos Consulting / FEPAR
  • Jim Cobbe, Florida State University
  • Claire Howard, Stratus Consulting
  • Katherine Loh, The Asia Foundation
  • Edward R Carr, University of South Carolina
  • Jonathan Hanson, Syracuse University
  • Julio Cesar Villalobos, Policy Lab (P-Lab)
  • Gareth Williams, The Policy Practice
  • Steve Fraser, SAVI Nigeria
  • Ishaya Bajama, SAVI Nigeria
  • Ben Arikpo, Federal Public Administration Reform Programme, Nigeria
  • Fatima Proença, ACEP, Portugal
  • Claire Vallings, DFID
  • Marc De Tollenaere, Consultant, Tanzania
  • Bill Anderson, Development Initiatives
  • Nigel Taylor, Independent Consultant
  • Mohamed Elshabik, South Africa
  • Jaap Pels, KnowledgeWorks / KennisKlussen
  • Abayomi Magbagbeola, Adam Brooks Consulting
  • Ronita Chattopadhyay, Consultant, Documentation and Knowledge Sharing, India
  • Md Santo, Mobee Knowledge Services, Indonesia
  • Abhishek Singh,
  • Francisco Mejia, Inter-American Development Bank
  • Paula Rossiasco, World Bank, Social Development
  • Francis Fukuyama, CDDRL, Stanford University
  • David Greybe, Assumption Development Centre, South Africa
  • Felix Gnehm, Solidar Suisse / Switzerland
  • Beatrice Mosello, Overseas Development Institute
  • Kristie Drucza, PhD Candidate, Deakin University
  • Laura Bocalandro, Inter-American Development Bank
  • Andrea Rodericks, International Development Consultant based in India and USA
  • Leticia Marteleto, University of Texas at Austin
  • Joseph Cerami, Texas A&M University
  • Aoife McCullough, Overseas Development Institute
  • Catherine Dom, Mokoro Ltd
  • Dr Sana Ul Haq Ahmadzai, ICRAA, Afghanistan
  • Etona Ekole, UNICEF
  • Jose Gonzalo Cervantes-Fonseca, Campaigning Group for Social Equity
  • Tim Newman, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • Joaquin Gonzalez-Aleman, UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Dwight Hines, IndyMedia
  • Thilo Hatzius, Development Consultant
  • Afua Twum-Danso Imoh, The University of Sheffield
  • Marina Novelli, University of Brighton
  • Abdi Malik Ismail, Invest Somalia Transformation Action Group
  • Eric Mullerbeck, UNICEF
  • Gerhard van ‘t Land, Dege Consult
  • Claire Schouten, International Budget Partnership
  • Sheena Arora, RedR India
  • Maryanne Patience, World Education International
  • Tigere Chagutah, Oxfam
  • Nathaniel Little, unaffiliated
  • Ted Paterson, Mine Action and Development consultant, Canada
  • Radhika Jain, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Nadeem Shaukat, GiZ Pakistan and IDS, University of Sussex
  • Andrew Fraker, IDinsight
  • Alan Hauquitz, James Cook University, Australia
  • EA Johnson, MPhil/PhD (Researcher) UCL / BMB Mott MacDonald
  • Daniel Ortega Nieto, World Bank
  • Erik Johnson, DanChurchAid
  • Daniel Bruce, Chief Executive, Internews Europe
  • Jon Harle, INASP
  • Donald Macrae, XDG Consulting Ltd
  • Michael Watts, UC Berkeley
  • Francisco Toro, Campaign for Boring Development
  • Katherine Gilbert, Monash University
  • Carolyn Miller, Independent
  • Elena Gaia, UNICEF
  • Charles Abani, Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement, Nigeria
  • Bernard DuPasquier, Project Quality Management, Bread for all
  • Carlton McFarlane, UK Civil Service
  • Claude I. Salem , Partnerships for Capacity Development
  • Christiane Farqui, World Bank
  • Najma Siddiqi, World Bank
  • Michael Sheridan, Community Supported Film
  • Rose Mary Romano, Another Option LLC
  • Tomas Bridle, Independent
  • Rémi Kaupp, WaterAid
  • Anthony Ellis, Integrity Research and Consultancy
  • Adigwe Nwanafio
  • Liliana Pop
  • Miles Roman, Peace Corps Volunteer, Mozambique
  • Hyro Domado, Brandeis University
  • Sue Harding, World Bank
  • Melanie Ogle, Council for International Development
  • Merryn Lagaida, Seknas FITRA
  • Kaleb Tamiru, World Bank
  • Soleine Scotney, Clinton Health Access Initiative
  • Joseph Wales, Overseas Development Institute
  • Uzaib Saya, Management Sciences for Health
  • Faizan Diwan, SurveyCTO
  • Valerie McDonnell-Lenoach, FEPAR, Nigeria
  • Christian Freres, AECID, Spain
  • Andy Norton, Overseas Development Institute
  • Sergio Guerra, Ministry of Tourism, Ecuador
  • Tam O’Neil, Overseas Development Institute
  • Bikash Chudal
  • Courtney Tolmie, Results for Development Institute
  • Jo Sanson
  • Suvojit Chattopadhyay, Adam Smith International Kenya
  • Kevin Lyonette, SDS
  • Peter Eerens, Living Health Systems
  • Lourdes Sanchez
  • Jin Kong, BrainBox ltd 
  • Lauren Campbell-Kong, BrainBox ltd
  • Amy Parker, AfriKids
  • Kaliza Karuretwa, World Bank
  • Jonas Haertle, PRME Secretariat, UN Global Compact
  • Ronald U. Mendoza, Asian Institute of Management Policy Center
  • Aline Dessarzin, Humanitarian Aid, Solidar Suisse
  • Andrew Lewis, Chemonics International
  • Tom Wambeke, International Training Centre of the ILO
  • Marta Schaaf, Averting Maternal Death and Disability, Columbia University
  • Anne Maassen, World Bank
  • Miles Litvinoff
  • Sara Lehman, DAI
  • Kristina Nilsson, Engineers Without Borders Canada
  • Jeff Hall, World Vision International
  • Jake Allen, Itad
  • Claudio Santibanez, World Bank
  • Diana Kizza Mugenzi, Sabin Vaccine Institute, Uganda
  • Abdu Saadatu Gusau, SAVI ZM
  • Tricia Petruney, FHI 360
  • Dustin Andres, FHI 360
  • Jean AbiNader, International Advisory Services


To sign the manifesto and to participate in the forum please register here.

Creative Commons License
The DDD Manifesto by Doing Development Differently Workshop 2014 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


  1. Juliet Walton, Senior Consultant – Governance, Security and Justice, Coffey International Development

  2. Nhlanhla Mndaweni, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, Republic of South Africa

  3. Agreed in principle. I would caution though not to open a new ‘deep divide in development’. It’s not quite accurate to say that everything (or most things) that went before didn’t work and that this one miraculously is the proven best way. We do need to think hard for every new intervention what is likely to work best; and to document in better and more accessible ways what worked where, why, and how, including the stakeholder incentives involved. And we need to smother our efforts less in bureaucracy — getting to doing development differently really requires a close look at the mechanisms through which aid interventions are delivered and how they can be improved to enable a problem-solving approach. The log-frame is one aspect, but there are many others as well.

    • Hi Verena

      All points well taken and fully agreed. The focus here is on the need to tackle specific challenges–especially those that are complex and messy–with relevant mechanisms. There are many successes in development and the goal is to make them more successful by adopting the right approach for the right problem. We believe that many of the solutions are within the development community itself and just want to build a community that can offer support to each other as we find and fit better ways of doing the things that currently elude us.


  4. Adriana Conconi
    MPA/ID, Harvard Kennedy School & Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI)

  5. Moira Hart-Poliquin
    Retired World Bank and UNICEF
    Senior Fellow Centre on Governance University of Ottawa.

  6. Indeed development is complex and one wishes there could be a best model to fit the development needs of our communities but history and current practices prove that there is a no ‘size fits all’ model when it comes to development but rather the local context dictates the approach and of course the political situation plays a big role in development implementation decisions by the target community

  7. Way too little room for dissent and opposition. Sometimes you cannot go it with everyone. It is always about power. Some people in power will fight tooth and nail every effort to take decision power from them and give it to the community. It is not all about peace. Development is also about a fight for interests between groups in power. This manifesto has too much “Ujamaa” feeling. Some levels will NOT want to legitimise. This should not stop the process.

    • Thanks Geert
      Points well taken. This is a starting initiative and there is space for much engagement and discussion and learning for everyone. This is just the vehicle to launch. On the issue you raise, I think all of our early members would agree that power is central and the discussion of whose interests etc are reflected in the process is always vital to recognize and engage with. We want to have a community that can learn and work this out together. Hope you decide to join.

  8. It will do a it of good if development plan reflect the daily need of the people in the area if socio-economic empowerment. A development need that is people focused will always address the issue if poverty and economic security

  9. I wouldn’t know how local is the ‘local content’ here but in Africa local communities and NGOs are ‘outside’ the policy frameworks and governance structures/institutions driving development hence a big challenge from the political angle.

  10. Thanks, very useful and inspiring! We need to deal with the situation that most of our national partners – at least in governments – are not at all confident with this kind of thinking (partly because we have pulled them in a totally different direction for the last 20 or so years?). It is useful to reflect upon our own practice, but it won’t go very far, if this remains a Northern / Development Partner discussion!

    Christoph Backhaus, Decentralisation and Administrative Reform Programme – Cambodia (implemented by GIZ)

  11. Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, Opposition Politician, Nigeria
    This is pragmatic manifesto that would appeal particularly to experienced development practitioners. We hope it guides those truly interested in seeing development happens.

  12. I am happy to join this very practical expression of determination to improve the impact of development initiatives concerning institutional reform. I particularly encourage the Doing Development Differently thinking to extend beyond the retail level of improving the design and implementation of particular institutional reforms to achieving changes at the wholesale level – breaking the current cartel-like grip of the traditional donors on the PSM reform industry by, amongst other things: (i) harnessing competition between reform promoters; (ii) developing reform instruments which reward improvements without locking in the particular reform ideas of the funder; and (iii) fostering a more skeptical, informed-consumer approach on the part of governments who are subject to reform promotion.

  13. Great initiative! Excited to join.
    Michelle Ntukanyagwe, Office of the President, Rwanda

  14. Promising initiative! Agree that effective development is about expanding collaborative action, grounded in local realities and local desires for change. But the reality of power politics and competing interests makes it challenging and interesting..

    • Dear Olav

      Thanks for signing on. One of the focal points of this is politics, and how processes should be structured to most effectively take politics seriously. We aim to bring many examples out as case studies, short videos and more … Where we can learn about strategies used to push reform and development forward even when politics is tough. See, for instance, the last few posts… Any chance you want to sign on?
      Hope to include some UN examples…

    • I support this approach as practical, that will generate useful learning and likely to yield results. Understanding and defining problems from the lens of the local people and working out solutions through local teams /local convenors who are fully empowered and authorized is the way forward. Manisha Verma Indian Administrative Services and MPA Candidate at HKS.

  15. Totally support the idea as in India where I am a development professional, development for the name sake is very common with initiatives yielding very little on the ground. I am all for looking at problems as windows of opportunity and the initiatives being “locally owned”.

  16. Excellent Initiative – Count me in.

  17. We must (re)build development economics againts the neoclassical fad on new bases that comprehend all the enablers (econoics, social, institutional, politic…) of development.

    Claude Rochet
    Institut de Management Public et de Gouvernance Territoriale
    Aix Marseille Université

  18. Great manifesto. I agree with the proposal and I would like to adhere to the DDD.
    As a former UNDP staff I have supported in Colombia local level peace and development initiatives based in collaboration and joint action between strategic stakeholders at the local and the national level. In this work, we have supported what we defined as innovative and transformative social alliances as an approach to area-based, people’s-based and sectorial-based approaches to peace and human development in conflict settings. The DDD Manifesto express very clearly many of our own learnings.

    If interested, I published a short study case in english with the title “From Peacebuilding and Human Development Coalitions to Peace Infrastructure in Colombia” where I introduced the experience and some of the mentioned concepts. You can find it here:
    Here you find also other texts in Spanish about the experience:

    All the best,
    Borja Paladini Adell. Independent Consultant. borjapax (@)

  19. Jose Ramon Morales Arilla, Center for International Development @ Harvard University

  20. Rashid Mahmood Langrial (MPA/ID Harvard Kennedy School), Commissioner Lahore Division, Government of Punjab< Pakistan says:

    I agree with DDD approach; Recently as Commissioner Lahore, myself and a small team of WASA Lahore worked on how to improve water services for Lahore and found that most of the solutions proposed earlier through JICA and other studies were either too expensive or did not resolve the problem … Now we have come up with our own model of improving water services for lahore by separating the drinking water services from the rest and our project has been approved by the PUNJab Government and it would go into implimentation this year

  21. Finally, light at the end of tunnel! All the common principles mentioned in the document truly resonate with me. After graduating from Harvard Kennedy School in 2012, I switched over to education for the disadvantaged from policing. Education in India, like everywhere else, is an extremely complex challenge. Thanks to ‘adaptive skills’ and ‘common principles’, we are able to navigate by taking every stakeholder with us in this journey and making changes in the lives of millions of families. Keep inspiring.

  22. Excellent initiative Matt. Like to see it implemented in PFM reforms. – MPA, SIPA, Columbia, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Treasury, Maldives, Ismail Ali Manik

  23. James Adede – Programmes Manager, Grassroots Alliance for Community Education (GRACE) Africa.
    This is a new development with a paradigm shift that embraces real grassroots application that sustains community-oriented development using a bottoms-up approach! We must always strive to involve people affected by the issue. Thus genuine engagements and participation of communities key to solving world’s developmental challenges!

  24. ‘Clinics are built but sickness persists’. Is this perhaps expecting too much of the clinic?

    • Hi John

      Good question. the point is larger… much money and effort on building health systems has led to physical infrastructure to behold but often little else. this gap is one that needs closing… we have achieved much… but the next steps require a new approach.

    • thanks for signing on Geert. We will be launching some initiatives to promote open and frank discussion about power and politics and conflict in the development process. and to identify process elements and strategies to engage with these important dimensions.

  25. In the arduous journey for ‘real’ development as observer, visionary, activist, and writer, I will work for ‘real’ results as the manifesto above conceives. PhD, University of London

  26. Thanks! Great initiative. Wondering how our ToC from manifesto to different ODA looks like. Happy to contribute to making it happen.

    Jes Weigelt, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies

  27. I support this approach and would like to contribute to spread it all over the development world.
    Gomez Agou, MPAID, HKS, IMF Washington DC

  28. Mike Kang
    Engineers Without Borders Canada; Independent Researcher and Consultant; University of Cambridge Centre for Sustainable Development

  29. Cynthia Villarreal Muraira
    MPP, Harvard Kennedy School & Ministry of Economy of Mexico

  30. Mike Kang
    Engineers Without Borders Canada; Independent Researcher and Consultant; University of Cambridge Centre for Sustainable Development

  31. This is really an excellent material. very informative, educational, enlightened for use by policy makers, practitioners, donors, governments, CSOs, CBOs, individuals, academics in aiding development across all sectors. SCI, SFH, RTI, DFID/SAVI

  32. Observing change is indeed difficult and complex especially in developing countries such as Nigeria where civic awareness is still poor coupled with corruption even among those claiming to be supporting development initiatives. One of the visible and reliable approach to achieving a sustainable change is to support initiatives that will build local actors in their respective communities to lead the process. Allow local partners to identify, generate and shape their change needs, plan with them via a more sustainable process and use a triangular approach with local representative. Use evidence based approach to planning, advocacy and change focus to achieving the desired result.

  33. Sandra Markovic, Senior Constitutional Court Legal Advisor-Mentor, Head of Legal Advisory Division

  34. Excellent Initiative. Should be built into all Donor interventions

  35. Pritish Behuria, Phd candidate – SOAS, University of London/Researcher – Effective States and Inclusive Development

  36. I’d like to sign up as well. David Neven, Marketing Economist, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, Rome, Italy

  37. We are applying PDIA in our Federal Public Administration Reform Programme (FEPAR) in Nigeria.

  38. I would like to sign the manifesto.
    Thank you

    Dr Sana Ul Haq Ahmadzai, International Committee for Rehabilitation Aid to Afghanistan

  39. Thilo Hatzius, Development Consultant
    haven’t we already failed? Haven’t we learned, the accumulation of money, brains and good intentions from the outside will never result in positive change but rather distract the UN reponsable leaders from the job to be done by themselves?
    I still sign the manifesto hoping God or however is in charge of bringing wisdom and justice to the world will read it.

  40. Maryanne Patience, World Education International.
    I would like to be involved in the debate.

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