Who is the richest man in history? The answer (ICYMI) might surprise you

Duncan Green - September 25, 2015

3rd in this series of re-posts of the most read FP2P pieces over the summer comes from Ricardo Fuentes, who has since gone off to be big boss at Oxfam Mexico. Here he introduces Oxfam Mexico’s new report on one of Mexico’s many claims to fame – the richest man in history. In his 2011 book, The Haves and The Have Nots,  Branko Milanovic asked a simple …

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Low-fee private schooling: Prachi Srivastava responds to The Economist (ICYMI + other summer posts on private sector & development)

Duncan Green - September 24, 2015

Continuing the catch-up series for those who’ve been away/not been receiving email notifications, the 2nd most read post from the last 3 months was this great response to a particularly one sided Economist piece. Prachi Srivastava is one of the experts on ‘low-fee private schooling’ who was interviewed for last week’s remarkably one sided Economist Paean to the Private (my words not hers). She wants to …

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The Politics of Results & Evidence. Most read post from this summer (ICYMI)

Duncan Green - September 23, 2015

OK, Oxfam’s IT whizzes finally seem to have fixed a really frustrating problem – several thousand people who had signed up for email alerts about new FP2P posts haven’t been receiving them for the last 3 months. Many of them assumed Oxfam had finally got round to sacking me and/or I’d got fed up with blogging/gone under a bus. Sorry to disappoint – I’ve been …

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Some cautionary thoughts on this week’s SDGs summit

Duncan Green - September 22, 2015

The crescendo of discussion and debate over the successor to the Millennium Development Goals reaches its climax this weekend in New York, with the Sustainable Development Summit. The Guardian has a good scene setter. I’ve ploughed a contrarian furrow on the SDGs so far, so why stop now? Here are some things you might want to keep in mind over the next few days, with …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - September 21, 2015

[Welcome back email subscribers – and heartfelt thanks to the IT wizards who sorted out the glitch. More on this tomorrow] Europe’s refugee crisis: The cartoonists are having a field day [h/t Helge Torvund]  The Onion has a satirical go with an 11 step guide to how migrants reach Europe (step 6: Trudging; Step 10: Angela Merkel bestows each migrant with their new German name) …

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How are disasters linked to inequality? Review of ‘The Disaster Profiteers’

Duncan Green - September 18, 2015

[The IT guys tell me they’ve finally found a fix on the email notification problem. If you get an email about this post for the first time in months, please either leave a comment, or vote in the poll to the right, to tell us it’s working] Debbie Hillier, Oxfam’s Humanitarian Policy Adviser  reviews The Disaster Profiteers: How natural disasters make the rich richer and …

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What are the key principles behind a theory of change approach? Top new ODI paper.

Duncan Green - September 17, 2015

Craig Valters of ODI is consistently incisive on Theories of Change, cutting through the flannel surrounding one of the aid business’ favourite new(ish) fuzzwords to identify what is genuinely significant. His new, crisply written paper is a must read for anyone interested in how change happens, doing development differently, or the results agenda. Some excerpts: ‘The development industry is unbalanced in a number of ways. …

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How can INGOs get better? A surprisingly interesting conversation with some Finance Directors

Duncan Green - September 16, 2015

Spent an afternoon with a bunch of NGO Finance Directors this week. I was presenting Fit for the Future (memo to self, never write another paper about the future of INGOs – their thirst for navel-gazing is limitless). The discussion was more interesting than you might think – money is the lifeblood of the aid business, and FDs have the best overview of how that blood …

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Aid and Development: A Brief Introduction. Book review of handy new bluffer’s guide

Duncan Green - September 15, 2015

One of the best things about Aid and Development: A Brief Introduction, by Myles Wickstead, is the user-friendly format: a 90 page basic introduction to the aid system from World War Two to the SDGs, followed by a 65 page compendium of 20 ‘key words and concepts’ from aid effectiveness to the UN system. Another plus is the author: Myles is a charming UK government …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - September 14, 2015

The main global Diabetes hot spots are in Middle East and Latin America – not Europe or US. [via Conrad Hackett] I’ve never met a meeting I couldn’t sleep through [h/t Chris Jochnick, zzzz] Dani Rodrik argues that economics is a craft not a science: why economists should stop arguing about which is the ‘correct’ model and learn to apply different ones according to circumstances …

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