Articles authored by Eyben, Rosalind


An aid programme's potential contribution to social development is increased if those designing and administering it are informed about the social context in which aid is provided. A key factor in the British government's aid programme is the Overseas Development Association's (ODA's) understanding of social development. The author gives her views on ODA policy and basic questions that should be asked when undertaking a social-impact analysis of a proposed aid activity, including questions around issues of participation.


This article describes the exploratory and preparatory phase of a research project designed to use cooperative enquiry as a method for transformative and participatory action research into relations between donors and recipients in two developing countries, Bolivia and Bangladesh. It describes the origins of our idea, the conceptual challenges that we faced in seeking funding, and what we learnt from this first phase.
Harmonisation of donor efforts is one of the current buzzwords in the world of official aid. However, while it is an attractive idea in theory, as long as donors do not recognise and address the operations of power in the aid relationship, harmonisation is likely to be counterproductive in promoting locally initiated responses to development challenges.
Development practice is informed by theories of change, but individuals and organisations may not make these explicit. Practitioners may be unaware of the extent to which strategic choices and debates are informed by disparate thinking about how history happens and the role of purposeful intervention for progressive social change. In the past few years, some Oxfam GB staff have been creating processes to debate their theories of change as part of an effort to improve practice.