One of the treats of my role at LSE is luring in some great development thinkers to lecture on Friday afternoons, and then sitting in to enjoy the show. Stefan Dercon came in just before the Christmas break and was typically brilliant, witty and waspish. Particularly enjoyable from an outgoing DFID chief economist (as well as Prof at the Blavatnik School of Government and Director …Continue reading
I want to convince you about the importance of universal healthcare – should I talk about numbers or people’s lives?
Tuesday was Universal Health Coverage Day. Anna Marriott, Oxfam’s Public Services Policy Manager reflects on the global campaign for decent healthcare If you operate outside of the global health bubble, you could be forgiven for not noticing that the 12th December was Universal Health Coverage day. A day that marks the anniversary of a 2012 UN commitment to ensure that everyone, everywhere gets the quality …Continue reading
Back from Myanmar today, and still processing an intense week of conversations. Here’s a first instalment. A week in, I was struck by the gulf between the aid bubble and the deep religiosity of people throughout the country. So I dashed off this vlog on a weekend visit to the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda, in the heart of Yangon. In it I make a few points: …Continue reading
Every year, the ‘rusty radiator’ site runs a poll on the year’s best/worst aid agency ads. Let’s start with the good ones. My favourite has to be War Child’s batman video – very moving The others are a smart Save the Children US take on children and Christmas gifts, a very knowing Below the Line film on aid stereotypes and a human trafficking film that I can’t …Continue reading
Notes from my talk at last week’s launch of Jean Drèze’s new book, Sense and Solidarity. Has anyone written Jean Drèze’s biography? If not, why not? A fascinating figure, surrounded by myths and legends (did he really sleep rough in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, the square next to LSE, when he was a lecturer there?). He’s a wonderful writer who reminds me of George Orwell, with …Continue reading
- Conflict and Security
- food and agriculture
- Health and Education
- how change happens
Our country director in DRC, Jose Barahona (right), sent round some interesting impressions from a recent visit to the Eastern Congo. South Kivu in Eastern Congo is one of the most beautiful landscapes in Africa and I am convinced that one day this area will be one of the world’s top tourist destinations. The day DRC is calm and stable, the millions of tourists fed up …Continue reading
Guest post from Larissa Pelham, who is a food security wonk with probably the longest job title in Oxfam (see end for its full glory) World Food Day has come around again and with it the annual report on the State of World Food Insecurity. In a year which declared a potential ‘four famines’ – with South Sudan tipping into famine in March, it is …Continue reading
The new Gates Foundation aid report: great at human stories; but where’s the power, politics and mess?
I’ve been reading the new Gates Foundation report, The Stories Behind the Data (lots of jazzy webstuff and graphs of bad stuff going down here – and if you dig hard enough, you can even find a good old-fashioned report to read here). On one level it is exemplary, setting out both an optimistic story of progress, and a warning that this could all be in jeopardy, not …Continue reading
Over the summer I read a few absolutely brilliant books – hence the spate of book reviews. This week I will cover two new studies on development’s biggest recent success stories – China, but first Bangladesh. How did Bangladesh go from being a ‘basket case’ (though ‘not necessarily our basket case’ – Henry Kissinger, 1971) to a development success story, claimed by numerous would-be fathers …Continue reading
Rising inequality is a global problem. Oxfam inequality guru Deborah Hardoon appraises a new report on its manifestations in the UK. Last week the IPPR, a progressive policy think tank, published a new report, ‘A time for change: A new vision for the British Economy’, which argues that “the economy we have today is creating neither prosperity nor justice. This is not inevitable, but the …Continue reading