August 2012

What have the MDGs achieved? We don't really know… Heretical thoughts from Matthew Lockwood

admin - August 31, 2012

A second instalment in Matthew Lockwood’s series of valedictory boat-rocking blogs (his first was on fossil fuel subsidies) as he leaves the IDS Climate Change team for a new role in the UK energy sector. This time, he asks why the results agenda often stops short of being applied to the big picture stuff like the MDGs. One of the interesting things about having come …

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African techno-euphoria and the origins of Kenyan mobile exceptionalism

admin - August 30, 2012

I’m struck by one of those periodic waves of Africa techno-euphoria as I catch up on my post holiday reading (Google Reader, twitter, email, random subscriptions – is there no end to it?). The Guardian has pieces on how the web is changing Africa and 15 innovations that are transforming the continent. Meanwhile the Economist has a fascinating piece on mobile technologies in Kenya. Some …

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August wonkwar 3: Martin Ravallion v Ricardo Fuentes on inequality

admin - August 29, 2012

August was wonkwar month here on the blog, with an epic exchange on private v public provision of education, featuring Kevin Watkins v Justin Sandefur. Then I got all cranky about a new paper on NGOs and development. And now a third, and final, exchange (much the most polite) as World Bank poverty guru Martin Ravallion (right) responds to Ricardo Fuentes’ recent post on inequality …

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In praise of the Edinburgh Festival

admin - August 28, 2012

Please indulge me with this bit of off-topic blogging, because I’m just got back from a wonderfully restorative week at the Edinburgh Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival (this year, 25 days totalling over 2,695 shows from 47 countries in 279 venues). The format is a one hour maximum on performances, allowing you to hop easily (well, rush through the Scottish drizzle) between 3 or 4 …

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Campaigning on education and the Robin Hood Tax (and wise counsel from Dilbert)

admin - August 27, 2012

Keeping it visual and campaign-y today. First a nice 10 minute video on the role of civil society organizations in lobbying for better education (see previous education wonkwar debate if you want more analysis) They certainly know a thing or two about campaigning in Germany, recently getting major German banks to drop commodity funds and (contrary to the stereotype) they even use humour, albeit in …

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Tackling a cinderella issue – lethal indoor pollution

admin - August 23, 2012

In this guest post, Oxfam’s Ian Bray (left) looks at the latest developments in getting clean cookstoves to the world’s poor (and saving two million lives a year) The recent massive electricity blackout across India received a great deal of media interest and comment. The coverage, with the exception of the ever excellent Onion, masked a deeper problem that for too long has been a …

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Africa's other big BRIC – India

admin - August 22, 2012

Some nice analysis of India’s African footprint in a new paper by Sumit Roy (right) in LSE’s Global Policy journal (ungated – props to them). India’s exchange with Africa is rooted in the precolonial period with subsequent developments in the colonial and the post-colonial era. In the 18th century the territories were tied through migration and commerce. Indian links with business contacts in East Africa …

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If fossil fuel subsidies are so bad, why can't we get rid of them? Time for some politics

admin - August 21, 2012

My mate Matthew Lockwood (right) has decided (again) to abandon development and focus on UK climate change issues. In an earlier exit (from development to climate change) he wrote The State They’re In, a brilliant book on the political economy of African development. This time, as he heads for the exit, he is writing some valedictory posts on some of the biggest dilemmas he has …

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Intern wanted; Owen Barder, Elinor Ostrom and a falling cat on change, complexity and development; rapid welfare states in China and Mexico; Tyler's evil exam question: links I liked

admin - August 20, 2012

I need an intern to work with me to launch the 2nd edition of From Poverty to Power. Despite last week’s rant, I’m usually quite friendly, honest….. Owen Barder introduces development in text and online, through a one hour presentation, starting with THAT toaster (right) ‘Colonial powers assumed we have the answers, and destroyed social capital. Aid agencies, unfortunately, do much the same thing.’ From Ben …

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