One of the many baffling aspects of the post-2015/Sustainable Development Goal process is how little research there has been on the impact of their predecessor, the Millennium Development Goals. That may sound odd, given how often we hear ‘the MDGs are on/off track’ on poverty, health, education etc, but saying ‘the MDG for poverty reduction has been achieved five years ahead of schedule’ is not …Continue reading
Health and Education
Oxfam America researcher and inequality guru Nick Galasso hails a new report that finds the poor and middle classes are the main engines of growth – not the rich In a new report, the IMF effectively drives the final nail into the coffin of trickle-down economics. The top finding, in their words, is that “if the income share of the top 20 percent (the rich) increases, …Continue reading
News flash: officials are people too. With feelings. If you treat them as untrustworthy scumbags who only do good things for voters and tax payers when they are threatened or offered cash, they are likely to get thoroughly demoralized and may even end up behaving that way. You don’t have to take it from me, you can instead read it in From New Public Management …Continue reading
Part of the feedback on last month’s post calling for a ‘lessons of history’ programme was, inevitably, that someone is already doing it. So last week I headed off to Kings College, London for a mind expanding conference on ‘Why Change Happens: What we Can Learn from the Past’. The organizers were the History and Policy network and Friends of the Earth, as part of …Continue reading
Could the UN’s new Progress of the World’s Women provide the foundations for feminist economic policy?
Yesterday I went to the London launch of UN Women’s new flagship report, Progress of the World’s Women 2015-16, in the slightly incongruous setting of the Institution of Civil Engineers – walls adorned with portraits of bewigged old patriarchs from a (happily) bygone era (right). The report is excellent. These big multilateral publications are usually a work of synthesis, bringing together existing research rather than …Continue reading
Sport can reach places where other aid and development programmes struggle. So why are we ignoring it?
Mel Paramasivan (@melparamasivan) says she was ‘that kid who was always picked last’. But now she is the Communications and Fundraising Manager at the Sport for Development charity International Inspiration, who are credited for all the pics in this piece. “Oh, that’s nice” was the patronising response from another delegate at an international women’s rights conference when I explained how sport is being used to …Continue reading
MOOCs are taking over. If you aren’t yet excited about Massive Open Online Courses, you should be. When I was first getting interested in development the only way to bridge the gap between reading the news and coughing up squllions for a Masters was to cycle through the rain every Tuesday evening to London’s City Literary Institute to sit at the feet of Jenny Pearce …Continue reading
Oxfam is going through its own (belated but welcome) process of ‘Bric-ification’, with the rise of independent Oxfam affiliates in the main developing countries. Oxfam India is one of the leaders, founded in 2008 and focussing its work on 7 of the most deprived states in India. It is rapidly becoming an advocacy powerhouse within India, running campaigns on everything from gender inequality to ‘Stand strong …Continue reading
What to do about Inequality, Shrinking Wages and the perils of PPPs? A conversation with Kaushik Basu, World Bank chief economist
Along with a bunch of policy wonks from NGOs and thinktanks, I had an exchange with World Bank chief economist Kaushik Basu this week. Rules of engagement were that the meeting was off the record, but I was allowed to blog as long as the Bank saw a draft to make sure I wasn’t about to get him the sack. In the end, however, the …Continue reading
My colleague Max Lawson (@maxlawsontin ), Oxfam’s head of global policy and campaigns, lost a friend to illness recently, and wrote this fine, angry polemic in response (it appeared earlier this week in Huffpo): My friend died last week. Mr Kumambala was a great man, who had taught mathematics to Malawi’s children for more than forty years. His huge smile and loud gasps and gesturing on …Continue reading