July 2012

Obama v Kofi Annan: Who has the best model for agriculture in Mozambique?

admin - July 31, 2012

This guest post from Joseph Hanlon (right) was also published today on the Guardian’s Poverty Matters blog Mozambique is a development paradox. Rural poverty is increasing despite high growth rates and billions of dollars in aid. Now the country has been targeted by two contrasting models of agricultural development. The Obama model was backed by the G8 in Washington in May, while the Annan model was …

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African art; UK v Rwanda (et tu ODI?); please vandalize economics textbooks; ferocious oaths; microfinance heretics; Olympic Falklands: links I liked

admin - July 30, 2012

Contemporary African fashion, music and art (like this ‘street’ art from Western Sahara) [h/t Global Voices] UK blocks aid to Rwanda in protest at its actions in Congo. How will ODI’s Kagame praise singers respond? Kate Raworth on why it’s time to start vandalizing economics textbooks  ‘I will answer only the truth, in accordance with what I have personally seen, heard, know, and remember. If …

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Welcome (sort of) to the London Olympics

admin - July 27, 2012

Update: skip to the bottom for some conclusions on an epic and weird opening ceremony OK, it’s been another heavy duty week on the blog, so some light relief for Friday. Especially for the 70% of you who don’t live in the UK, here’s the unofficial welcome video, featuring London’s studiedly eccentric Mayor Boris Johnson (yes, we elected this guy) [h/t Ian Sullivan]. And the New York …

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Holding out for the super-voucher: Kevin Watkins responds to Justin Sandefur on private v public education

admin - July 26, 2012

Kevin Watkins (right), senior visiting research fellow at the Brookings Institution, responds to yesterday’s guest post by Justin Sandefur After reciting the familiar evidence on the learning achievement problems in poor countries, Justin Sandefur offers an even more familiar ‘one-stop’ solution – a market-based fix, with low-fee private schools, vouchers, and the apparently talismanic Pearson corporation leading the way to a better, smarter future. It seems that …

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Waiting for Superman in Lahore: do poor people need private schools? Guest post by Justin Sandefur

admin - July 25, 2012

Public v Private provision of education is a hot and divisive topic. So let’s get started. Today, CGD’s Justin Sandefur (right) puts the case for private. Tomorrow Kevin Watkins of the Brookings Institution responds. Be warned, their posts are pretty long and very passionate. Fasten seatbelts please: While traveling in Pakistan a couple weeks ago, I took advantage of a brief flicker of electricity to check my …

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Should poverty be defined by a single international poverty line, or country by country? (and what difference does it make?)

admin - July 24, 2012

This guest post comes from ubercrunchers Ugo Gentilini (World Food Programme), left and Andy Sumner (Institute of Development Studies), right International poverty lines are calculated by the World Bank: $1.25 per day per person is said to represent the ‘absolute poverty line’, below which a person can hardly survive. This is calculated from the mean of the national poverty lines for the poorest 15 countries. A …

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Tragic bears; religious migrants; programming in fog; mega capital flight and tax dodging; US drought -> food reserves & climate change; the latest on HIV/AIDs: links I liked

admin - July 23, 2012

Lots of graphics and visuals today. First, am I alone in finding the arrested Greenpeace polar bear disturbingly tragicomic? A fascinating interactive map breaks down migration flows from each country by religion (no idea how reliable the data are tho) How can an aid agency programme when it doesn’t know what works? Examples from San Francisco and Somaliland Great number crunching from the Tax Justice …

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Global Humanitarian Assistance 2012 – what are the emerging trends?

admin - July 20, 2012

Ed Cairns (right), Oxfam’s senior policy adviser on humanitarian advocacy, reviews the new 2012 Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) report, released yesterday  Like all landmark reports, the GHA’s greatest value is not really in what it says about the year under review. It’s what it reveals about the longer-term trends facing the humanitarian world. This is particularly true with GHA 2012, which would be horribly easy …

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How can INGOs improve their work in fragile and conflict states?

admin - July 19, 2012

There’s nothing like the impending threat of giving a talk to make you mug up on an issue, usually the morning before. Today’s exercise in skating on thin ice (the secret? Keep moving. Fast as possible) was a recent talk to some Indiana University students studying the developmental role of the state while enjoying our splendid British summer (ahem). I gave them the standard FP2P …

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Is there a global crackdown on civil society organization and if so, how should we respond?

admin - July 18, 2012

I’ve got a nasty feeling that we could be heading towards a strategic train wreck on the role of civil society in development. Let me explain. Increasingly (and not just among NGOs), development is understood in terms of politics, power, and struggles to redistribute the latter. That has produced a shift in resources towards advocacy and influencing, as a complement to more direct programming and …

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