November 2011

Europe's technodreamers; seeing like a statistician; Bill Easterly luvs aid; tax havens explained; slapping the CAP; water grabs; the last lonely dictator: links I liked

admin - November 30, 2011

Paul Krugman explains why Europe’s ‘technocrats’  (like technocrats everywhere) are actually dangerous dreamers, not seekers after truth. This worries me – I am increasingly thinking like a statistician (see right)……. [h/t Grandiloquent Bloviator] Bill Easterly defends aid; man bites dog etc. Excellent new website on tax havens – definitions, killer facts, policy solutions and a funky Prezi presentation (must get round to learning how to …

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Can Durban be the bridge to a better future on climate change?

admin - November 29, 2011

Tim Gore, Oxfam’s Climate Change policy adviser sets the scene for this week’s climate summit in South Africa It’s now two years since the frantic campaigning and manic diplomacy that led to the Copenhagen climate change conference, and the blame games that followed its inadequate result. As the next UN climate talks get under way this week in Durban, South Africa, we need a new script …

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Power and change – how do they fit in development work?

admin - November 28, 2011

This is a summary of a briefing paper I bashed out for last week’s discussion on ‘how change happens’ with Oxfam’s big cheeses (with thanks to Jo Rowlands and Thalia Kidder for their help). It’s work in progress, so all comments and suggestions very welcome. In the last few years, ‘how change happens’ (HCH)  has gone viral as a development fuzzword. In meetings and documents, people …

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Soccer, mobile workshops and struggle: how change happens in Bolivia

admin - November 25, 2011

I’ ve been locked away all week with Oxfam’s big cheeses, who meet twice a year for a week’s deep thought, collective therapy and an avalanche of management-speak. The theme this time was ‘how change happens’ (HCH): everyone arrived with a programme story + analysis of the change process. They were fascinating, and I’ll probably run them as part of a series on the blog …

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The future of aid – what's at stake in Busan

admin - November 24, 2011

The next couple of weeks see big international conferences on aid effectiveness (Busan) and climate change (Durban), providing a chance to take the temperature of the multilateral system. Here Gideon Rabinowitz of the UK Aid Network assesses the prospects for Busan. From 29 Nov-1 Dec over 2,000 aid policy-makers and practitioners – including over 100 Ministers, amongst them Hillary Clinton – from across the world will …

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Water fights; creative Diasporas; untranslatable relationships; magic mobiles; Bangladesh land grabbers; online data on doing evil/good; cash transfers and pregnancy; sympathy for the vulture: links I liked

admin - November 23, 2011

Two useful briefings in this week’s Economist. On the gloomy side, a survey of rising water conflicts in South Asia. More positive, a look at how international diaspora networks of migrants are some of the most creative, dynamic players in the global economy, which these days are more likely to link host and home country economies than to leave one for the other. “Cafuné (Brazilian …

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Poles Apart: why climate change journalism varies so much between countries

admin - November 22, 2011

My friend James Painter has a new report out, so my colleague John Magrath has kindly reviewed it to avoid any accusations of favouritism….. Why is media coverage of climate change – and other scientific issues – so radically different in countries across the globe? And what are the social and political implications of such uneven and contrasting reporting? To explore these questions James Painter …

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The Spider Trees of Sindh

admin - November 21, 2011

An unexpected side-effect of the flooding in parts of Pakistan has been that millions of spiders have climbed up into the trees to escape the rising flood waters. Because of the scale of the flooding and the fact that the water has taken so long to recede, many trees have become cocooned in spiders webs. People in this part of Sindh have never seen this …

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Why don't more NGOs work on water? Guest post from Dan Yeo, WaterAid

admin - November 18, 2011

Daniel Yeo, Senior Policy Analyst at WaterAid (twitter handle @yukinosaru), indulges in some outrageously blatant lobbying about why Oxfam should do more on water. A few weeks ago, Duncan posted his reflections on Oxfam’s discussions on water. As pleased as I am about Oxfam’s interest, it begs the question, why haven’t more development NGOs dived into water already?  We can all relate to water – and any …

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So how many of the world's people are hungry? Dunno. Work in progress…….

admin - November 17, 2011

Richard King, my highly numerate colleague, grapples with the confusion surrounding the FAO’s hunger numbers. Global hunger numbers must be among the most widely quoted and over-interpreted of all the indicators at development wonks’ and campaigners’ disposal. ‘One billion people (one in seven of the world’s population) go to bed hungry’ is a compelling headline and is used variously to argue for more effective social …

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