The Politics of Measuring Inequality: What gets left out and why?

Duncan Green - October 25, 2016

Two posts on the measurement of inequality this week, so you’ll need to activate the brain cells. First up Oxfam researcher Franziska Mager summarizes a paper co-authored with Deborah Hardoon for a panel at the recent Development Studies Association conference on the power and politics behind the statistics. A version of this post appeared on Oxfam’s shiny new real geek blog. Inequality is a touchy …

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Duncan Green - October 24, 2016

The value of history (h/t Luciano Floridi) Does China’s rise really reframe how the rest of the world sees Western ideas (and ideals)? Brilliant Branko Milanovic piece What makes young people more excited about politics? Deciding how to spend municipal budgets. So participatory budgeting = best way to reengage disenchanted millennials. Migrants from developing countries sent home $439bn in 2015 (3 times the global aid …

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Sen, Fukuyama, Chambers, Byanyima, Agarwal, Rodrik, Kumar and Robinson on How Change Happens

Duncan Green - October 21, 2016

A week to go til the official How Change Happens publication day (a pretty artificial date, but apparently it helps with chasing up reviews), so time for another book-related post. One of the most heart-warming experiences for any author is when you send off your manuscript to a sprinkling of the great and good, and to your delight and astonishment, some of them send back a …

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Why/how should corporates defend civil society space? Good new paper + case studies

Duncan Green - October 19, 2016

I saw some effective academic-NGO cooperation last week, and even better, it involved some of my LSE students. The occasion was the launch of Beyond Integrity: Exploring the role of business in preserving civil society space, commissioned and published by the Charities Aid Foundation and written by Silky Agrawal, Brooks Reed and Riya Saxena, three of last year’s LSE Masters students. They researched and wrote …

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Ha-Joon Chang on How Change Happens

Duncan Green - October 18, 2016

October is upon us, and with it the publication of How Change Happens on the 27th. I am already suffering about my levels of authorial self-obsession: I entered the personal shorthand of ‘Narcissistic Peak’ for launch day, unaware that my diary synchs with my wife’s Ipad. Cathy hasn’t let me forget it. But given the surprising results of my precautionary poll (90% of voters not …

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Duncan Green - October 17, 2016

‘and don’t criticise what you can’t understand’. Miche Doherty got there first….. The UN’s new, top secret, irony working group splashed big last week. After rejecting all seven of the qualified female candidates for Secretary General, the UN has chosen Wonder Woman as an honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls. [h/t Kate Cronin-Furman] My How Change Happens launch tour (aka ‘From Poverty to Powerpoint’) rolls …

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On World Food Day, 5 reasons why cash transfers aren’t always the best option

Duncan Green - October 14, 2016

Since the Asian Tsunami of 2004, providing cash to people in an emergency has become increasingly mainstream. But (babies, bath water) there is more to food response than ‘just give them the money.’ On World Food Day, Oxfam Social Protection Adviser Larissa Pelham sets out the case: The King asked The Queen, and The Queen asked The Dairymaid: “Could we have some butter for The …

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How can we make Disasters Dull? Book review

Duncan Green - October 13, 2016

Oxfam Senior Humanitarian Policy Adviser Debbie Hillier can barely contain her excitement – today is International Day for Disaster Reduction. To celebrate, she reviews a new book on the issue While policy frameworks on Disaster Risk Reduction have proliferated – the SDGs, the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework – the practicality remains elusive. This is the issue addressed by Dull Disasters? How Planning ahead will make a …

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Is Advocacy becoming too professional? A conversation with World Vision and Save the Children

Duncan Green - October 12, 2016

I was guest ranter at an illuminating recent discussion on advocacy with Save the Children and World Vision. They were reviewing the lessons of their ‘global campaigning on the MDG framework’ on maternal and child health (MCH) (here’s a powerpoint summary of their findings global-campaigning-within-the-mdg-framework-sci-wvi). Some of the conclusions were painfully familiar (quotes from the briefing for the meeting): ‘There is little evidence that global institutions’ …

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