June 2012

Carbon emissions per person, by country etc – here's the latest data (and it doesn't look good)

admin - June 29, 2012

The Guardian has an excellent interactive table summarizing the latest data on carbon emissions (for 2010). There’s also a nice interactive map where you can click and get the trajectory for any given country (see below). The data are published by the US Energy Information Administration, and our climate wonks tell me they are solid. The numbers are for energy emissions only, and so don’t …

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Who reads this blog and what do they think of it? Results of reader survey

admin - June 28, 2012

The indefatigable Sian Jones has crunched the numbers on the impressive 352 responses to last month’s readers’ survey, so I now have a much clearer picture of who reads this blog (or at least that subset of them able and willing to reply to annoying online questionnaires). Here’s the results (and Sian’s powerpoint summary): First the X-ray of the readership:  A pretty even gender balance …

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How should our influencing strategy vary with the kind of state we're working in?

admin - June 27, 2012

Despite the deeply unimpressive response to my last attempt (on top killer facts – not too late to chip in), I’m willing to give you another chance to provide us with unpaid consultancy crowdsource some useful ideas. This time it is helping us think through how an INGO’s influencing strategy at national level (whether through advocacy, programming or both combined) needs to adapt to the institutional …

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Measuring well-being: what can international development learn from the health sector?

admin - June 26, 2012

In this guest post, ODI’s Claire Melamed, Emma  Samman and Laura Kiku Rodriguez-Takeuchi pitch for partners for some work on developing new wellbeing metrics in development. Any takers? What do we think we’re doing when we do ‘development’?  Surely, it has to be about making lives better for people as they themselves experience them. But we know surprisingly little about how poor people actually define …

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Grammar fascism; 287m tonnes; development impact bonds; kickstriker.com; Germany 4 FTT; latest on aid, inequality; protectionism v regulation; 'I will never be cut': links I liked

admin - June 25, 2012

DFID minister Alan Duncan admits to ‘grammar fascism’ and orders staff to stop using words like ‘leverage’, ‘going forward’ or mainstream’. Wonderful. NGOs next? Time to start compiling a list of top offenders? [h/t Ben Phillips] Update: see comments for candidates and keep ’em coming, tho not sure how much will actually be left of any of our documents if we ban this lot…… OK, …

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When does accountability work have an impact? The importance of Implementation Gaps

admin - June 22, 2012

I’ve been reading the set of papers Oxfam recently published on local governance and community action (see previous blog) and was struck by how central the issue of ‘implementation gaps’ is in our work. An implementation gap arises when a set of institutions (often via decentralization), policies or budgets (or all three) exists on paper that should benefit poor people and communities, but is having almost no …

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How to write Killer Facts and Graphics – what are your best examples?

admin - June 21, 2012

Time for a spot of crowd sourcing. We’ve had research guidelines on our intranet for ages, covering everything from survey design to writing for impact. Now we’re updating them and, more importantly, making some of them public on Oxfam’s Policy and Practice website. I’ve been lumbered with revising the ‘Killer Fact’ two pager, so naturally thought I would try and use the blog to get …

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Urban Tipping Points – important new research on roots of violence

admin - June 20, 2012

Cities are often violent places – a social, ethnic and religious tinderbox of people piled up together with competing needs for space, housing or cash. Mostly the tension is contained, but not always – when and why does it spill over into bloody mayhem? That’s the question at the heart of a fascinating research project run by Caroline Moser, one of my development heroes, and …

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Development costs of a €-crash (or of getting TV); land grabs in Myanmar; an African saviour at the ICC; is the world getting more peaceful?; stuff for Rio; Elinor Ostrom RIP: links I liked

admin - June 19, 2012

Eurozone breakup could cost the poorest countries $30 billion in lost trade and foreign investment – top number crunching from Ricardo Fuentes behind this new killer fact  The spread of television destroys social capital (Indonesia), reduces domestic violence (India), increases divorce rates and reduces family size (Brazil) and improves kids’ test scores in poor households, while reducing them in middle class ones (US). Geek Dad summarizes …

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Big Decisions today on Food Crisis in the Sahel: here’s the background

admin - June 18, 2012

A high level collection of EC and member states officials, UN big cheeses and West African leaders are meeting in Brussels today to discuss the unfolding crisis in the Sahel, where a disaster is looming. Some communities already find themselves in crisis, others see disaster on the horizon as an early lean season approaches and the annual ‘hunger gap’ lengthens. Overall, 18.4 million people are vulnerable …

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