February 2011

Egypt's bloggers; MDGs v revolution; brides for toilets; UN Women; a Green Wall across Africa; Gadaffi as fashion icon: links I liked

admin - February 28, 2011

So much to read, so little time…. Two Egyptian bloggers reflect on events: ‘I’m not sure how long the general Egyptian public can maintain the bizarre idea that the army is so great. This is the army that took power in a coup in 1952 and ended political pluralism, lost tons of wars after that and continued to justify its predation on the national budget …

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How to use research for influence on climate change and Arab meltdown; why aid donors are losing the plot; green growth v degrowth; Darth Vader on youtube: links I liked

admin - February 25, 2011

The Washington-based Center for Global Development is great at spotting opportunities for influence, not least by dusting off and recycling previous work in response to events – a key, and often under-used, way of getting research into policy (academics are often too caught up with their next project, and NGOs with their next campaign, to spot opportunities in this way). The Korean government wants an …

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Food prices: what's happening in local currencies and how are governments responding?

admin - February 24, 2011

Most of the discussion around the renewed food price spike is conducted in terms of world prices, dollar denominated. But people buy food in local currencies, which may or may not follow the dollar trend. UNICEF has a helpful new (30 page) paper out which looks at local food prices across 58 developing countries in 2010 and fills in some of the gaps in our …

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What's New in Development and 'Why I don't have a girlfriend': talks from the Warwick Economics Summit

admin - February 23, 2011

I spoke at the ‘Warwick Economics Summit’ at the weekend – an annual event meticulously organized by students. The corridor talk was all about jobs and internships – the banks are apparently back and hiring en masse. Well organized? Thinking about jobs? Students have changed since my day… My talk was on ‘What’s New in Development’. Powerpoint here – feel free to cut and paste. …

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Drivers of Change in Egypt: Mulling over the comments on last week's post

admin - February 22, 2011

Here’s my reaction to a couple of dozen very helpful comments and links on last week’s posts on this blog and the Guardian site, along with a couple of new articles. There are two main clusters of comments: the most important is probably the one that distinguishes between the drivers of change, and the dynamics of change. Thinking in terms of drivers (as I largely …

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Arab meltdown live; T shirts and development; what's changed because of the global crisis?; MDGs 2.0; big news on climate science; Schwarzenegger c/o a 9 year-old Tanzanian: links I liked

admin - February 21, 2011

What to follow on the Middle East Crisis? How about a single site with the twitter feeds and Al Jazeera live feed on breaking events across the Arab World? [h/t Wronging Rights] Or a pleasingly splenetic ‘Top Five Myths’ about US media coverage of the crisis? [h/t Chris Blattman] World Vision gets a blogosphere battering for shipping thousands of unwanted T shirts to Africa, and responds …

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Why we westerners are wrong about China

admin - February 18, 2011

Since he reinvigorated the thinking of the British Left as editor of the pioneering journal Marxism Today back in the 1980s (coining the term ‘Thatcherism’ among other things), Martin Jacques has consistently proved a provocative and original thinker. His passion these days is China, and he has a book out – When China Rules the World: the Rise of the Middle Kingdom and the End of …

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Egypt: What are the drivers of change?

admin - February 17, 2011

An edited version of this piece appeared today on the Guardian’s ‘Poverty Matters’ blog. When interpreting something like the Egyptian upheaval, people tend to project their own passions onto the screen. The twitterati see a social media revolution; the foodies see food price hikes at its core; others see a hunger for democratization; the human rights groups see a backlash against torture and abuse. So …

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Newton v Complexity: Robert Chambers on competing aid paradigms

admin - February 16, 2011

This is taken from a longer two part piece by Robert Chambers on the excellent ‘Aid on the Edge of Chaos’ blog. Worth spending some time studying the diagrams. “Today we can see two broad paradigms at work in international development. On the one side are Neo-Newtonian practices – those processes, procedures, roles and behaviour which emphasise standardisation, routines and regularities in response to or assuming …

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Food price crisis 2.0 – speculation, poverty impact, African land grabbing and the Chinese drought; inequality round-up; sticky culture; who emits how much CO2?: links I liked

admin - February 15, 2011

First, some food price related pieces: Round and round we go on speculation – is it driving food price volatility or not? Tim Wise disagrees with Paul Krugman (a speculation sceptic – specscep?) Meanwhile, at the snarky end of things, Tim Worstall really doesn’t think much of the Guardian’s John Vidal and his ‘banks are killing people’ line. ‘Instability will be most felt by those in …

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