April 2013

Anyone fancy a post-2015 wonkwar? Me v Claire Melamed on the biggest development circus in town

admin - April 30, 2013

I’ve been good friends with Claire Melamed for ages, but recently we’ve found ourselves on opposite sides of the post-2015 debate. As ODI’s growth and inequality supremo, Claire is deeply immersed in the ever-proliferating discussions, whereas I decided early on that I had massive reservations about the whole process. So for your amusement (and who knows, perhaps enlightenment), we’ve decided to air our differences in …

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What is Social and Solidarity Economy and why does it matter?

admin - April 29, 2013

UNRISD Deputy Director Peter Utting introduces the theme of his organization’s big conference in May Having had my professional and political interests shaped during the somewhat heady days of the 1980s in Sandinista Nicaragua, I’ve long been interested in the potential and limits of collective action—of people organizing and mobilizing through associations, unions, cooperatives, community organizations, fairtrade networks and so on. The Sandinista “revolution” soon …

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In Boston, New York, Washington and Ottawa for the next two weeks, if you want to come and chat/ buy a book

admin - April 26, 2013

I’m heading off this weekend for (almost) the last leg of the FP2P promo tour. I’m doing quite a few public lectures/conversations if anyone out there wants to come along. If you want to meet up on the margins/for a beer, let me know. Here’s what we know so far. If there’s no link that means it’s either not a public event or I haven’t got …

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Incantations, inclusive growth and the illusory ‘we': whatever happened to politics in the post-2015 process?

admin - April 25, 2013

French development guru Pierre Jacquet laments some of the gaps in current debates on the ‘post-2015’ successor to the MDGs It is altogether amazing how wishful and incantatory discussions on global issues have become. We seem to be content with passionate statements about what “we should”, “we need”, “we must” consider and do. “Inclusive growth” may well have become the new global development objective to …

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Make Inequality History? What would change if we focussed on inequality rather than poverty?

admin - April 24, 2013

Last week I spoke at a Brussels conference on inequality, organized by the Belgian NGO coalition 11.11.11. Inequality is flavour of the month right now, showing surprising staying power within the post-2015 process and elsewhere. Inequality gabfests usually involve violent agreement that inequality is indeed a Bad Thing, lots of evidence for why this is the case, and polite disagreements on what inequality we should …

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Merit, Privilege or Slumdog Millionaires? Income Inequality and Social Mobility

admin - April 23, 2013

In memory of Sebastian Levine, who liked to read these posts. This post is written by Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva, Oxfam’s Head of Research (twitter @rivefuentes) In Danny Boyle’s movie Slumdog Millionaire, the young character wins a large pot of money against all odds. The movie is a fantasy tale for all practical purposes. The hero knows the responses posed to him in a quiz show through a …

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Government Spending Watch – a new initiative you really need to know about

admin - April 22, 2013

I’m consistently astonished by how little we know about the important stuff in development. Take the Millennium Development Goals – the basis forinnumerable aid debates, campaigns, and negotiations. A large chunk of the MDG agenda concerns the size and quality of public spending – on health, education, water, sanitation etc. So obviously, the first thing we need is to know how much governments are spending …

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Learning the Lessons: Why is change NOT happening in the response to hunger crises?

admin - April 19, 2013

I know I go on all the time about ‘how change happens’, but often in development the important question is ‘why doesn’t change happen?’, and we need to get better at answering it. On Tuesday Oxfam published Learning the Lessons, an analysis of the response to the 2012 Sahel food crisis, which affected some 18m people across 9 countries. It’s a serious piece of work, …

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FP2P greatest hits: top posts & comments by theme (ag, inequality, results, education etc) now available

admin - April 18, 2013

Oh boy, I have a greatest hits album. This blog was launched back in 2008 to help promote the first edition of From Poverty to Power, but rapidly acquired an identity and readership of its own. I reckon there’s about half a million words or so up there now, and some of them have to be worth reading (monkeys, typewriters etc). So my long-suffering colleagues …

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Land Grabs: the Coldplay version

admin - April 17, 2013

Monday’s post had Rob Nash arguing that the World Bank has got itself into a tangle on land grabs. Now Coldplay have decided to add their rather more harmonious voice, with the help of crowd-sourced footage from 7000 supporters in 55 countries. The Bank has promptly responded to Coldplay (not to Rob, sorry Rob) with a tweet ‘@WorldBank: .@coldplay protecting the rights of farmers worldwide …

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