Poverty

How on earth can you measure resilience? A wonk Q&A

Duncan Green - December 15, 2015

Resilience is one of today’s omnipresent development fuzzwords, applied to individuals, communities, businesses, countries, ideas and just about everything else. But how can it best be measured? To plug their new paper on the topic, Oxfam’s measurement wonks Jonathan Lain (left) and Rob Fuller (right) argue with their imaginary non-wonk friend…… So they’ve let the beancounters loose on resilience now. Do we really have to …

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How assets + training can transform the lives of ultra-poor women: new evidence from Bangladesh

Duncan Green - December 9, 2015

People are often very rude about ‘big push’ approaches to development – the idea that you can kickstart a country (or a millennium village) by simultaneously shoving in piles of different projects, technical assistance and cash. The approach hasn’t got a great track record, but now a kind of micro Big Push, targeting the ‘ultra poor’ in a range of countries, is showing some really …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - November 9, 2015

Powerful, harrowing photo essay of Syrian refugee children asleep. Suffragettes v suffragists. Nice movie, shame about the (lack of) theory of change – it was really the suffragists wot won it Oxfam America takes on Big Chicken in the US, using leader/laggard tactics to push for a better deal for 250,000 workers and getting some very quick wins Remember all that guff about the state …

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Is China’s rise relevant to today’s poorest states?

Duncan Green - November 5, 2015

Am I allowed to say that a meeting held under Chatham House Rules took place at Chatham House? Let’s risk it. I recently attended a fascinating conference on UK-China relations, which discussed the two governments’ burgeoning cooperation on development issues. This seems to be turning into a triangular relationship, in which the UK and China combine brains, money and experience to jointly support other countries’ …

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A nice example of how government-to-government peer pressure can lead to innovation

Duncan Green - October 29, 2015

Guest post from John Hammock of the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative In your thought-provoking blog ‘Hello SDGs, what’s your theory of change?’ you rightly identify peer pressure as a potentially very effective means of governments coming to internalise the SDGs in their domestic processes and influencing others to follow suit. Let me give an instructive case study based on our experience at OPHI. …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - October 26, 2015

Top geek cartoonist XKCD supports World Polio Day, while managing to satirise innovation fetishists On the other hand, for all the tech sceptics out there, here’s the price of light over the last 700 years, from Max Roser Where to go for reliable gender stats, including that 2/3 of the world’s illiterate adults are women: the UN’s new The World’s Women 2015: Trends and Statistics …

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Can we afford the super rich?

Duncan Green - October 22, 2015

Max Lawson, Oxfam’s Head of Global Campaigns and Public Policy, unpacks the political implications of the recent Credit Suisse report on global wealth. At the beginning of this year the Economist, a right leaning newspaper, criticised Oxfam for predicting that by 2016 the world’s wealthiest 1% would hold more net wealth than the other 99% put together, calling our projection ‘simplistic and arbitrary’. Last week, …

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Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities use 65% of the World’s land; how much do they actually own?

Duncan Green - September 30, 2015

Andy White, the Coordinator of the Rights and Research Initiative (RRI) introduces a new report. A new, unprecedented legal analysis has revealed that despite using and inhabiting up to 65% of the world’s land, Indigenous Peoples and local communities—a population of about 1.5 billion—possess legal rights to barely 18%. That’s a huge gap. And it’s a gap that explains a lot of widespread disenfranchisement, poverty, …

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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: what do we really know? Prachi Srivastava responds to The Economist

Duncan Green - August 11, 2015

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 set the record straight. I have been researching low-fee private schooling for nearly a decade and a half. In fact, the term did not exist until I coined it. The first time I …

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