Technology

The World Bank’s flagship report this year is on the future of work – here’s what the draft says

Duncan Green - April 26, 2018

The World Bank’s 2019 World Development Report will be on ‘The Changing Nature of Work’ and It’s worth reading because, even though this kind of annual flagship format feels a bit dated, WDRs are always a treasure trove of references and ideas, while what they miss out adds important insights into mainstream thinking in the aid biz. In late March a 140 page working draft …

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Africa’s First Panther Economy? Wakanda’s development dilemmas

Duncan Green - April 6, 2018

Guest post by Dulce Pedroso (Manager, Health) and Taylor Brown (Director, Governance), Palladium Wakanda is in transition. This small, but prosperous East African nation has never been colonised. It has never received foreign aid, technical assistance, loans or outside advice. Yet Wakanda has thrived in its seclusion. It has managed its vast resource wealth wisely. Its isolationist foreign and autarkic economic policies have delivered prosperity, …

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Bruised but better: the stronger case for evidence-based activism in East Africa

Duncan Green - March 22, 2018

Wrapping up Twaweza week, Varja Lipovsek (left) and Aidan Eyakuze reflect on the event that has provided the last week’s posts It was a stormy couple of days in Dar es Salaam. First, it is the rainy season, so the tent in which we held our meeting flapped and undulated over our heads like a loose sail. More importantly, we crammed the tent with more …

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When does Tech → Innovation? Here’s what 178 projects tell us

Duncan Green - March 20, 2018

Next up in Twaweza week, a realists’ guide to tech and development. I’m basically a grumpy old technophobe who can’t even manage Excel, and whose hackles rise whenever geewhizz geeks pop up and claim that the latest digital gizmo (blockchain, clicktivism or whatever) is going to usher us all into the promised land. I dislike the implicit individualism, the blind eye to issues of power …

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Book Review: Aids Drugs for All: Social Movements and Market Transformations, by Ethan B Kapstein and Joshua W Busby

Duncan Green - February 23, 2018

Thanks to Chris Roche for sending me back to re-read this wonderful case study of how activists can change markets (here’s a free pdf of the first chapter). Kapstein and Busby painstakingly researched the rise, tactics and successes/failures of the global advocacy campaign around access to medicines for HIV/AIDS. Their (hugely ambitious) aim is not just to understand a movement that has saved thousands of …

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Top tips on how to get a reply to your emails

Duncan Green - February 20, 2018

Some of my LSE students are pulling their hair out. A number of them are doing consultancies for various bits of the aid industry. They have composed their requests for interviews, links, suggestions etc, hit ‘send’ and then…. Silence. So short of doorstepping the unresponsive (which will probably get you arrested), how can you maximise your chances of getting a reply to your email? I …

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What can other cities learn from Mexico City’s bike-sharing scheme?

Duncan Green - December 19, 2017

Some smart thinking from one of my LSE students from last year, Naima von Ritter Figueres. Originally published on the LSE International Development blog Most cities over the past few decades have been shaped by the car. Heavy traffic, air pollution, safety hazards, and losses in public space, social cohesion and economic competitiveness are all associated with the ever-increasing unsustainable dependence on this form of transport. Mexico …

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How Data Analytics can Unlock the Knowledge in Development Organisations

Duncan Green - December 6, 2017

Guest blog by Itai Mutemeri (@tyclimateguy) is Head of Analytics at London based Senca Research In September 2017, I headed up to the Oxfam head office in Oxford to present our research paper: Big Data Opportunities for Oxfam – Text Analytics. Like all good research titles, it’s a mouthful.  The paper explored the potential application of text analytics in response to Oxfam’s call for proposals …

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What are the politics of our survival as a species? Introducing the Climate Change Trilemma

Duncan Green - November 22, 2017

So a physicist, an anthropologist, and two political economists have lunch in the LSE canteen and start arguing about climate change….. I was (very notionally) the physicist; my other lunchtime companions were Robert Wade, Teddy Brett and Jason Hickel (the anthropologist). Jason was arguing for degrowth and reminded me of the excellent debate on this blog a couple of years ago between Kate Raworth and …

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