Living in interesting times: one year in the life of Oxfam’s Women’s Rights Director

September 11, 2017

DFID is 20 years old: has its results agenda gone too far?

September 11, 2017

Links I Liked

September 11, 2017
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Shock revelation – our kids are ‘Anarcho-Communists’Anarchocommunism

‘We need no more marchers. We need more mayors’. Great reflection/book review by Nathan Heller on modern protest

Bollywood’s hot new topics: open toilets, menstrual hygiene and erectile dysfunction

What Guatemala’s political crisis means for anti-corruption efforts everywhere. Backgrounder on UN’s ground-breaking work in Central America

Oh dear. Giving Danish politicians more evidence makes their decision-making worse, not better ht Ranil Dissayanake

Oh dear continued: Uberblogger Chris Blattman has fallen out of love with blogging. Any evidence for his claim that overall blog readership is falling?

“I’m breaking my vow to remain silent on public affairs out of profound sadness.” Desmond Tutu condemns Aung San Suu Kyi’s silence on the Rohingya

A new evaluation from CGD and IPA of a Liberia private school pilot finds a mixed picture: if you pump lots of money in, you get better results. Wonkwar over what that means already well under way

Man plants a tree in the same place every day — 37 years later, the world is amazed by the result


  1. Sorry to be a sceptic , but isn’t the inspiring story for Jadev Payeng’s forest why people don’t need to chop down his trees for fuel like they did the original one ? and I’m definitely not an elephant biologist but 115 elephants in 1359 acres seems a large elephant to area ratio to me , but I don’t know anything about elephants?

  2. Payeng (the Forest Man) seems to be a remarkable simple great man. I have always respected and admired those with no material interests who have decided to immerse themselves into specific action with such a deep determination and passion. Many of my life-changing moments overseas have been during my contacts with people like Jadav and their perspectives of the way we approach development. Being based an ocean or two from the field, I guess one lesson I can take away from the Forest Man is this: Let’s be humble, stay grounded and have our brains commune with reality. The people in the communities are the asset and the source of potential solutions. There are people with good ideas and facilitating their work makes a lot more sense than having others far away to come up with all sorts of organizational processes, initiatives and/or decisions. Thanks.

  3. Like Ken, my first reaction is that the forest story, great though it is, seems a bit oversold. That seems a small area to be supporting tigers – Works out at 13,505 trees, which is pretty impressive for a one man show, and one presumes he did a lot of work caring for the ones he’d already planted as well. When with Oxfam in Afghanistan in the early 2000’s, one of our programs supported villagers in Hazarajat to plant half a million trees as part of a flood prevention/farmland protection (resilience in the techy language) program, though we worked on the basis that only half of them would survive. Its still tricky, though, as trees suck up a lot of groundwater in the short term – villagers cut down some that they believed were drying out their wells.

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