Health and Education

The 2016 Multidimensional Poverty Index was launched yesterday. What does it say?

Duncan Green - June 3, 2016

This is at the geeky, number-crunching end of my spectrum, but I think it’s worth a look (and anyway, they asked nicely). The 2016 Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index was published yesterday. It now covers 102 countries in total, including 75 per cent of the world’s population, or 5.2 billion people. Of this proportion, 30 per cent of people (1.6 billion) are identified as multidimensionally poor. The …

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Some fascinating new research on how food prices affect people’s lives and politics

Duncan Green - April 5, 2016

One of the projects I was proudest of getting off the ground while in (nominal) charge of Oxfam’s research team was ‘Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility’, a four year study of the impact of the chaotic food prices of recent years on the lives of poor people and communities in rural and urban communities in ten countries. DFID funded it (thanks!), and …

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What can historical success teach us about tackling sanitation and hygiene?

Duncan Green - April 1, 2016

Ooh good, another ‘lessons of history’ research piece. Check out the excellent new WaterAid report: Achieving total sanitation and hygiene coverage within a generation – lessons from East Asia. The paper summarizes the findings of four country case studies: Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia and Thailand, all of which produced ‘rapid and remarkable results in delivering total sanitation coverage in their formative stages as nation states’. …

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Is Decentralization Good for Development?

Duncan Green - March 30, 2016

My LSE colleague Jean-Paul Faguet has got a book out on decentralization. Here’s where he’s got to on the narrative, following multiple launch events I’ve just published a book by this name, and have spent a fair part of the last few months lecturing on it in various countries. Many people have asked me “So is decentralization good for development?” I thought I should answer: …

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Book Review: What can Activists learn from the AIDS Drugs Movement?

Duncan Green - March 10, 2016

Still catching up with reviews from my holiday reading – Alex de Waal’s new book (already reviewed) and AIDS Drugs for All, which came highly recommended. (I also read and enjoyed Marlon James and Elena Ferrante – I’m not completely sad/obsessive, honest.) AIDS Drugs for All is a forensic account of ‘a heroic effort on the part of social activists, policy entrepreneurs and sympathetic corporate …

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Four Years On, The World Has Changed on Disability

Duncan Green - December 3, 2015

Tim Wainwright, CEO of ADD International (& also chair of BOND), finds much to celebrate today Four years ago I wrote a blog, expressing my concern about how I felt that mainstream development was largely overlooking a large and highly excluded group: persons with disabilities. [Quick note on terminology: we use the term ‘persons with disabilities’ to reflect the UNCRPD terminology, but we recognise that disability …

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Why is the World Bank Group dragging its feet over its disastrous PPP policy on funding healthcare?

Duncan Green - November 20, 2015

Oxfam health policy lead Anna Marriott gets back from maternity leave to find that the World Bank Group is dragging its feet over a disastrous health contract in Lesotho Back in April 2014, World Bank Group President Jim Kim said in a televised interview (19 ½ minutes in) that his organisation would be ‘the’ go-to group to understand how health sector public private partnerships (PPPs) …

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What can we learn from Mexico’s tax on fizzy drinks?

Duncan Green - November 17, 2015

Alice Evans of Cambridge University looks for lessons from a small victory in the global struggle against obesity We in the development industry are often frustrated by lack of government transparency, disregard of the evidence, and lack of political will to address major social problems. Such obstacles are universal. Perhaps we might learn ‘how change happens’ (to use Duncan’s title) by comparing common processes in the Global North …

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Hello SDGs, what’s your theory of change?

Duncan Green - September 29, 2015

As Jed Bartlett would say, what’s next? Now the SDGs are official, there will be big discussions on financing and a geekfest on metrics and indicators. Both are important. But to my mind the big task is to collectively think through what the SDGs are meant to change and how they can best do so – in other words a theory(ies) of change. Here are …

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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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