Global Financial and Economic Crisis

Tackling the jobs crisis: new thinking from the World Bank and UNESCO

admin - October 17, 2012

Oxfam’s head of research, Ricardo Fuentes (right) reviews two big reports on jobs from the World Bank and UNESCO Youth unemployment is making headlines everywhere – and with good reason. One in eight people between 15 and 24 are unemployed and the problem affects rich and poor countries alike. In Spain, almost half of young adults are unemployed; in the Middle East and North Africa …

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Is effective global governance now impossible? If so, what comes next?

admin - August 2, 2012

As negotiations on a global Arms Trade Treaty kicked the can down the road last week, adding to a litany of stalemates that includes talks on climate change (UNFCCC), trade (WTO) or sustainability (Rio+20), it’s worth reading a thought-provoking new paper from CGD’s William Savedoff (right) on the reasons for this collapse of effective global governance. Savedoff distinguishes two basic patterns: ‘global governance’ based on expanding …

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Why is migration a Cinderella issue in Development?

admin - July 11, 2012

Last week I had to speak on ‘Why is migration not a bigger development issue?’ at an IPPR/CGD seminar. The seminar (and the question) really got me thinking. The main speaker was Michael Clemens, CGD’s migration guru (as well as part-time bête noire of the Millennium Villages Project). He was brilliant – going well beyond the standard arguments (migrants contribute more to an economy than …

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What kind of sustainable development goals should emerge from Rio?

admin - June 15, 2012

This post was also published today on the Guardian’s Poverty Matters blog I attended an ‘expert panel’ discussion recently on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Originating in a proposal by the Colombian government for what comes after 2015, when most of the Millennium Development Goals expire, some initial progress on the SDGs is being increasingly seen as one of the few wins from a rather …

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"Be Outraged!" Some big names in development take on the Austerians

admin - May 25, 2012

This week Oxfam supported the publication of ‘Be Outraged’, an angry and eloquent broadside from some big names in the development scene, including Richard Jolly, Carlos Fortin, Giovanni Andrea Cornia, Diane Elson, Ruth Pearson, Frances Stewart and Stephany Griffith Jones. Many of them led the fightback in the late 1980s against the excesses of the Washington Consensus, working out of UNICEF and producing the hugely …

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‘As serious as a heart attack’: Robin Hood Tax Global Week of Action Kicks Off

admin - May 18, 2012

Update on substantial progress (and the risk the money raised won’t go to development and climate change) from Oxfam head of advocacy (and generally merry man) Max Lawson This week sees a Global Week of Action for the campaign for the Robin Hood Tax (aka the Financial Transactions Tax, or FTT). The FTT rose to prominence as a result of the financial crisis, which continues to …

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'It’s the share of the rich, stupid': brilliant inequality stats + politics from Gabriel Palma

admin - May 10, 2012

A while back I reposted Andy Sumner’s blog on new research on inequality from the Chilean economist Gabriel Palma (right). But I’ve now read the paper, catchily titled ‘Homogeneous middles vs. heterogeneous tails, and the end of the ‘Inverted-U’: the share of the rich is what it’s all about’ and am so blown away, that I have to come back for another go – it really …

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How can we measure Scotland's well-being? New index from Oxfam.

admin - May 3, 2012

Really interesting project from Katherine Trebeck and colleagues in Oxfam’s UK Poverty Programme – constructing and testing a wellbeing index for Scotland. Guardian coverage here. Here’s how it works: Oxfam consulted 3,000 people across Scotland (focus groups, community workshops – see pic, street stalls, an online survey, and a YouGov poll) to establish what aspects of life make a difference to them. The consultation process produced …

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How poor people get through crises: some excellent 'rapid social anthropology' from IDS and the World Bank

admin - April 19, 2012

On Wednesday, I spoke at the launch of a new book, Living Through Crises: How the Food, Fuel and Financial Shocks Affect the Poor, by Rasmus Heltberg, Naomi Hossain and Anna Reva. It’s a joint World Bank and IDS publication, also available for free online. I think it could prove quite influential. The starting point for the book is that we live in a world …

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Why are rich countries trying to silence alternative economic voices at the UN?

admin - April 13, 2012

The UN system is normally a terribly polite sort of place, but something is seriously amiss at UNCTAD. Despite its name (The UN Conference on Trade and Development), UNCTAD is a permanent body founded in 1964, which even at the height of Washington Consensus orthodoxy, provided developing countries with an invaluable source of thinking on alternative, heterodox policies on trade and finance (see my recent …

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