June 2009

Climate change latest: the impact in China and leadership from Scotland, plus a new journal on CC and development

admin - June 30, 2009

The amount of new climate change research, reports etc emerging in the run-up to Copenhagen summit already feels slight overwhelming, and the meeting is still five months away. Here are some recent bits and pieces: China and Climate Change An important new report from Oxfam Hong Kong and Greenpeace China unpacks the data on the impact of climate change on poor people in poverty. ‘The …

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Lessons from depressions; the end of the American dream; happy days at the IMF; Treason, corn and the US climate bill and an 11 year old Liberian wins the development debate: links I liked

admin - June 30, 2009

Christina Romer, the chairwoman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, takes time out (how? when?) to reflect on the lessons of 1937’s false dawn for today’s green shoots spotters Joe Stiglitz argues in Vanity Fair (where else?) that the crisis is driving developing countries away from the American dream Still, at least the crisis is improving the IMF’s finances – it is projecting a $126m …

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Paul Collier on post conflict reconstruction, independent service authorities, how to manage natural resources and the hidden logic of the G20 London Summit

admin - June 29, 2009

Paul came to give a talk to Oxfam’s big cheeses last week based on his new book War Guns and Votes (see my review here) and they invited me along. Here are some highlights: Post Conflict Reconstruction: The conventional sequence is ‘build the politics first, then the economics will follow’. Collier thinks the order should be reversed. Conflict is a zero sum game, he says – …

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Are we witnessing Decoupling 2.0? China and India rising fastest from the global wreckage

admin - June 26, 2009

Earthquake analogies and tectonic plates have been one of the most ubiquitous clichés of the global crisis, but they remain apt. The last week has thrown up further signs of the historic geopolitical shifts that are under way. The Economist has an excellent essay on the back of the first BRICs summit, exploring the sharp economic rebound in China and to a lesser extent, India and …

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War, Guns and Votes: what to make of Paul Collier’s latest book?

admin - June 25, 2009

War, Guns and Votes builds on the strongest section of Collier’s best selling ‘Bottom Billion’ – his investigation of the ‘conflict trap’ that afflicts a disproportionate number of the poorest counties, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa (Collier’s real passion). The book is in equal measure hugely stimulating and deeply exasperating. Stimulating because he is an original thinker and a brilliant communicator, as well as a policy …

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All the latest stats on the development impact of the global crisis

admin - June 24, 2009

My colleague Richard King, an indefatigable number cruncher, has pulled together this handy summary of the latest stats. All updates welcome. Unemployment (ILO) · Gender impact of the economic crisis in terms of unemployment rates is expected to be more detrimental for females than for males in most regions of the world and most clearly in Latin America and the Caribbean (only regions where expected to …

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Seizing the Moment: A Successful Campaign on Domestic Violence in Malawi

admin - June 23, 2009

Here’s an example of successful advocacy at national level, which is becoming an increasingly important part of Oxfam’s work. In 2005, Oxfam’s Malawi programme along with its partners mounted a campaign to eliminate gender based violence which led to the passing of the Prevention of Domestic Violence Bill in Parliament in April 2006.  How did it happen? In 2002, the Malawian chapter of a regional women’s …

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It's Our Turn to Eat; withering green shoots; the first advanced market commitment; aid and Africa; the BRICs' first summit and dreams of success in Copenhagen: links I liked

admin - June 22, 2009

Chris Blattman loves ‘It’s Our Turn to Eat’, Michela Wrong’s book on corruption in Kenya Martin Wolf pours cold water on talk of green shoots and argues that the recession is only just beginning and that policymakers have to stay the course on reflation Owen Barder hails the first ‘Advanced Market Commitment’ in which aid donors guarantee a market for new drugs aimed at the ‘diseases …

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Trade v climate change: what should developing countries be asked to do?

admin - June 19, 2009

Last week, Oxfam published its proposals on how the burden of reducing carbon emissions should be shared between countries, both rich and poor. What struck me was the contrast with the stance Oxfam and other NGOs have taken in their advocacy on trade at the WTO and numerous other trade agreements. There, they have focused on what the rich countries must do (cut their subsidies, …

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Does aid work? Ask Nepalese women.

admin - June 18, 2009

Ok I’m getting tired of picking holes in the arguments of aid sceptics, so here’s something positive – a specific example of what aid can achieve in a country like Nepal, which is recovering from a decade of conflict with devastating consequences for the delivery of basic services. One third of its population lives below the poverty line and one woman dies every two hours …

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