General

Development 2.0, the Gift of Doubt and the Mapping of Difference: Welcome to the Future

Duncan Green - August 28, 2015

Just came across this great post by the ODI’s Arnaldo Pellini, summarizing a recent talk by Michael Woolcock, the World Bank’s Lead Social Development Specialist. Michael is one of the big brains pushing the ‘Doing Development Differently’ agenda. What struck me in particular is the emphasis on the importance of ‘the mapping of variation’, which goes further than previous stuff I’ve read/talked about on just concentrating …

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Is power a zero sum game? Does women’s empowerment lead to increased domestic violence?

Duncan Green - August 27, 2015

I’ve been having an interesting exchange with colleagues at Oxfam America on the nature of power. They argue that empowerment is zero sum, i.e. one person acquiring power means that someone else has to lose it. In a new post, OA’s Gawain Kripke sets out their case. ‘The development community should recognize that women’s economic empowerment is a threat to established power holders. Women’s economic …

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Embracing Complexity – a good new book on systems thinking (and action)

Duncan Green - August 26, 2015

Jean Boulton is a regular both here on the blog and in the corridors of Oxfam. She’s a onetime theoretical physicist turned consultant, and one of her passions is complexity and systems thinking, and their implications for how organizations, including development agencies, go about their work. Now she’s teamed up with fellow lapsed physicist Peter Allen, and Cliff Bowman (a ‘theorist and practitioner of strategy’, …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - August 24, 2015

Apologies for the interruption in normal service, but I’ve been away at the wonderful, parched-hinterland-restoring Edinburgh fringe (8 days; 30 shows of every genre from comedy to misery, with some ventriloquism and photography thrown in – highly recommended). Apologies too for the problems with the email alerts – we’re working on fixing that. Anyway, here’s last week’s top tweets. The biggest development story in Europe …

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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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Duncan Green - August 10, 2015

Well, the blog makeover has been met with a fine blend of approval and indifference – heart-warming stuff. The world is getting a lot better in lots of ways, and Max Roser has a graph for all of them The US is getting a bit of a pasting from assorted economists: Jo Stiglitz thinks it’s on the wrong side of history on tax and other global reforms. …

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Duncan Green - August 3, 2015

Like the new format? Got any comments/suggestions for improvements? Please feed back in comments or vote (over there on the right) so we can try and deal with any glitches On with the show: 79 nations have never had a woman leader, including most of Africa and the US (tho that could change…..) Latin America, Asia and Europe do a bit better Being overweight/obese now …

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The blog’s just had a makeover – what do you think?

Duncan Green - July 31, 2015

Our wonderful new webmaster has redesigned the blog to make it more mobile-friendly, provide a better range of reading etc. Hopefully it will also sort out ongoing problems with people not receiving the email alerts they’ve signed up for. So please could you take the following highly sophisticated poll, and send any thoughts, and use the comments to tell us about any remaining glitches or …

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Duncan Green - July 27, 2015

Sciences v Humanities….. Unpacking last week’s global soft power index (Britain and Germany top, Mexico and China bottom). Some particularly tasty wonkwars last week – must be the summer heat: Deworming: No need to read all the exchanges, because Chris Blattman has spoken. Twice (initial discussion and then very sensible conclusions after a day of online debate); Miguel-Kremer wins: ‘you have to throw so much …

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