April 2009

How do poor people see the impact of the global crisis? New research from five countries.

admin - April 29, 2009

Some excellent new research on the impact of the global economic crisis: ‘Accounts of Crisis: Poor People’s Experiences of the Food, Fuel and Financial Crisis in Five Countries’. The project was run by the Institute of Development Studies, UK and builds on its pioneering work in participatory research methods to try and get inside poor people’s experiences. I’ve not come across this attempt at ‘real-time …

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The rise of the informal sector and why it should be taxed

admin - April 28, 2009

I’ve been reading a couple of interesting things on the informal economy recently. The OECD has a new book out with the engaging title ‘Is Informal Normal?’ which gives a pretty decent overview. Informal employment refers to jobs or activities that are not registered or protected by the state. Informal workers are excluded from social security benefits and the protection afforded by formal labour contracts. …

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Who's grabbing land?; Afghan women rise up; will corporate social responsibility survive the crisis?; China's global moment; the story of ‘oh dear-ism’ and I'm speaking in Dublin tonight: links I liked

admin - April 27, 2009

Dani Rodrik takes the long view and asks if it actually matters whether globalization is in retreat Global Dashboard provides a helpful map of the current spate of land grabs in which wealthy countries ensure their food security by buying up large chunks of poor ones. ‘Afghanistan’s women find their voice’, according to the Guardian, taking to the streets in the biggest women’s rights protest …

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Why the UK held the line on aid spending, despite the recession

admin - April 23, 2009

Apologies for a bit of British parochialism, but this story has wider ramifications. A combination of political leadership and grassroots activism scored a real victory for the UK aid budget yesterday. Here’s why. All the headlines on Wednesday’s budget statement by Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) Alistair Darling were about the dire state of UK finances, and the extreme pressure building on public spending. …

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Taxation and development: a great new book

admin - April 22, 2009

Finally finished an illuminating book on the link between taxation and development: (Taxation and state-building in Developing Countries), edited by Deborah Brautigam, Odd-Helge Fjeldstad and Mick Moore). Here are a few highlights – a bit long, but I’m trying to summarize a densely argued 260 page book, so bear with me. Taxation is the new frontier for those concerned with state building in developing countries. …

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Natural disasters will hurt 50% more people by 2015. Why? Climate Change + Inequality

admin - April 21, 2009

There has been some striking progress in reducing the death toll from natural disasters in recent decades. While Cyclone Sidr killed around 3,000 people in Bangladesh in 2007, similar or weaker storms killed 100 times that number in 1972 and 45 times more people in 1991, largely because governments and local communities have since taken action to reduce risk.

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Is the world running out of water?

admin - April 20, 2009

Excellent overview of water scarcity in last week’s Economist. Here are a few highlights ‘The overthrow of Madagascar’s president in mid-March was partly caused by water problems—in South Korea. Worried by the difficulties of increasing food supplies in its water-stressed homeland, Daewoo, a South Korean conglomerate, signed a deal to lease no less than half Madagascar’s arable land to grow grain for South Koreans. Widespread …

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What the IMF will be discussing this weekend

admin - April 20, 2009

The global diplomatic circus that so recently met at the G20 summit in London is reconvening in Washington for the IMF and World Bank spring meetings this weekend. These are usually the lesser of the Bretton Woods Institutions’ (BWIs) two yearly jamborees (the Annual Meetings are held in September) but the momentum provided by both the G20 and the unfolding global crisis means the meetings this …

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Getting women into paid employment has more impact on poverty than formalizing women's work or equalizing wage rates – findings from Latin America

admin - April 17, 2009

The International Poverty Centre (IPC) in Brazil churns out some interesting analysis and summarizes them in reader-friendly ‘one pagers’. One recent study looks at the role of gender inequality in explaining income growth, poverty and inequality. Here’s a summary of the one pager. The full paper is here.

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