Tony Killick OBE takes a look at how development policy in the UK has transformed over the past few years, from a focus on 'MDG type concerns' to a policy driven by the pursuit of growth. He argues that there should be a stronger public and intellectual discussion of this transformation, and poses a series of questions that he believes should be asked of DFID.
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Security progress cannot be pursued without a deep understanding of the political conflicts underlying instability in the places we work. Using Ethiopia as an example, Sophie Stevens shows how the different views of what security means at various levels of state and society – and in particular the views of ordinary citizens – need to be what informs security sector reform programmes.
While it’s important to ensure security programming is ‘context specific’ – programmers need to be aware of their role in shaping this context, and how it constantly changes, argues Mareike Schomerus. Drawing a parallel with computer science, it is also ‘end users’ of security, and not external actors, that should judge whether programmes respond effectively to context.
How do you actually measure progress in security? Fragile states often present a lack of reliable data - but there are ways to gain a clear perspective, such as perception surveys. Taking Timor-Leste as an example, Todd Wassel talks through the process of running a perception survey there and the conclusions that can be drawn from it.
What does the security landscape look like in Bangladesh following January's turbulent elections? Will Bennett looks at both the political elite level and the community level, noting that at the community level peace in Bangladesh largely held. He attributes this to community security approaches that are helping to find solutions to end and prevent violence.
Introducing our latest blog series on development progress in (post-)conflict contexts, ODI's Craig Valters explains why any exploration and analysis of progress in security has to recognise and adapt to multiple challenges.