March 2012

Invasion of the tuk tuks; soft handshakes; barred by the eco-KKK; shoe-tossing and an unlikely place for a charter city: final impressions of Central America

admin - March 30, 2012

Things that have changed since I roamed Central America as a ‘Sandalista’ in the 1980s: – Even though the civil wars are long gone, the homicide rates are some of the highest in the world, razor wire is everywhere, and the security brief for Oxfam staff makes it sound like a war zone. – Cellphones, obviously. A new ritual at the end of meetings with committees of …

Continue reading

Guatemala v Honduras: comparing prospects for change

admin - March 29, 2012

[This post is published in Spanish on the 3500 milliones blog] From Honduras, I went to Guatemala for a couple of days. Didn’t have time to get out into the countryside, which is a real shame since rural Guate has to be one of the most amazing places to visit in Latin America. But a series of conversations with NGOs and academics raised some really …

Continue reading

Is blood and sacrifice enough? The Honduran peasant movement's model of change

admin - March 28, 2012

[This post is published in Spanish on the 3500 milliones blog] I spent three days last week trying to understand the peasant (campesino) movement in Honduras. It was the perfect field trip in many ways, split between a flying visit to the Bajo Aguan region up on the lush Northern coast, site of the most intense land struggles in recent years, and a series of …

Continue reading

What can NGOs do in a political downturn? Ideas from Central America

admin - March 27, 2012

I spent last week in Central America, where in the 1980s, I got my political education in South and particularly Central America, hopping as a journo and writer between revolutionary Sandinistas in Nicaragua and guerrilla fighters in El Salvador.  So this week’s posts will mainly be a download and reflection on that visit. First, I took my ‘how change happens’ roadshow to Honduras, and a …

Continue reading

World Water Day in pics; tobacco as development issue; history of $1 a day; India acts on overpriced drugs; BAe in Tanzania; Zinisha: Links I liked

admin - March 26, 2012

Lovely collection of readers photos on the Guardian site to commemorate world water day. Lots more on the day here and from Oxfam’s West Africa essential services guy here. Another hitherto ‘northern’ issue that development agencies are going to have to start taking seriously – tobacco. ‘Tobacco use killed almost 6 million people last year and was the top cause of death in China, the …

Continue reading

He can rap, he can dance, but should Jim Yong Kim be the next President of the World Bank?

admin - March 24, 2012

I’m in Boston and should really be going off to teach a weekend course on How Change Happens at Brandeis University, but I can’t drag myself away from watching Jim Yong Kim on youtube. Kim, a Korean American health expert and currently president of the prestigious Dartmouth College, is Washington’s nomination for the next head of the World Bank, a choice presumably intended to wrongfoot …

Continue reading

Campaigners can still learn from the Abolition of Slavery: guest post by Max Lawson

admin - March 23, 2012

Max Lawson, Oxfam’s head of advocacy, reflects on what today’s campaigners on the Robin Hood Tax (or pretty much anything else) can learn from the anti-slavery movement A global industry, dominated by the UK, providing a third of our GDP. An industry that purchases politicians, and is deeply rooted in the establishment. An industry, formerly revered, now facing public condemnation for impunity and excess. The year- …

Continue reading

What should a European Voice on Development actually say?

admin - March 22, 2012

Had a slightly frustrating session (but they’re often the most productive) at ODI recently on the next-but-one (2013) European Report on Development, which will be on the post-2015 debate, aka what comes after the MDGs (ODI’s doing lots on this). My frustration sprang from the contrast between the avowed mission of the ERD – to open up a space for a European Voice on development, …

Continue reading

What have we learned from trying to help poor farmers use markets better?

admin - March 21, 2012

After some pretty rarified policy wonkery on agriculture and development last week, Erinch Sahan, an Oxfam private sector adviser, summarizes what we have learned from our work in the field  (for once, the right expression). And no, there doesn’t appear to be much obvious overlap with the topics covered in the earlier posts, but I think it’s there if you dig a bit. Like most …

Continue reading

What to do about Syria? How about declaring its oil and arms contracts illegitimate? Neat idea from CGD

admin - March 20, 2012

What to do about Syria? The inventive wonks at CGD think they have a neat answer: “The main financial and legal centres of the world should declare that any contracts signed after today by a regime which has been designated illegitimate will be regarded as odious, and will not be enforceable in their jurisdictions.” CGD’s proposal uses the location in US and UK of international …

Continue reading
Translate »