What does Tolstoy's War and Peace teach us about Causation, Complexity and Theories of Change?

October 8, 2012

Top tips for more effective advocacy

October 8, 2012

Oxfam and the Beatles; crowdmapping corruption; no more pity; rise of the megacities; telenovelas v babies; big in Bangkok; land grabs on camera: links I liked

October 8, 2012
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Oxfam GB was 70 last week, and the Beatles were 50. Here’s a pic from when they combined forces in 1963. You never give me your Beatles and Oxfammoney?  Give me money (that’s what I want)?  Money can’t buy me development love?

Crowdmapping corruption through mobile phones has now spread from India (ipaidabribe.com) to Russia, Colombia and Kenya.

No more ’pity shit’: ‘African wildlife is portrayed with dignity. We have all seen the majesty of giraffes, lions, zebras and elephants parading across the screen. But African people are either portrayed as corrupt, evil or pathetic.’ From the Guardian’s promising new Africa blog.

Also from the Guardian, rise of the megacities, ornate interactographic

So girls education may not be the best contraceptive after all. Studies of TV soap operas and fertility in Brazil concludes that getting access to TV coverage (where women soap stars usually have zero or one child) has an impact on fertility ‘comparable to that associated with an increase of 1.6 years in women’s education’. Not quite sure what to make of this……

My interview in the Bangkok Post from last week’s book launch

Hard hitting 1.5 minute video from Guatemala to back up Oxfam’s campaign for a freeze on land deals


  1. Here’s an opportunity to plug Naila Kabeer’s wonderful paper, Money Can’t Buy Me Love? Re-evaluating gender, credit and empowerment in rural Bangladesh’ – an IDS Discussion Paper from 1997, but at fifteen years old, it’s young stuff compared to the Fab Four, and I know you’ll vouch for it still being a really important read, Duncan – about choices, aspirations and what really counts to people in their lives – and how they need MONEY and RESOURCES to put their dreams into action – a radical vision for us all today, which I need, having visited my local supermarket on Saturday and been asked to donate to a food bank for all those people who are denied living wages, etc etc… and I was shocked the other day to see on children’s TV that police in London routinely get called out to shops where child shoplifters are now stealing bread and other staples to stave off hunger at school – as they don’t have any food to eat for breakfast at home. The police tell them there’s no shame in not having anything to eat and send them in the direction of the food banks. Glad Oxfam is working in this area in the UK – and disgusted that 70 years after we were founded, we don’t need to go as far as Greece right now to find hungry people in need of justice…

  2. Hi Duncan,

    Did anyone ever reveal the full picture of the Beatles helping Oxfam? If you search ‘Beatles Oxfam’ in Google images, and you will find an interesting young gentleman standing next to the Beatles who was destined to go places, (including prison).

  3. There is quite a lot about the background to the photo and the Hunger £Million campaign in A cause for our times : Oxfam, the first 50 years in Chapter 4 – A Crusade for our times. It’s available as a pdf at http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/a-cause-for-our-times-oxfam-the-first-50-years-123014

    Almost as odd as the involvement of the ‘Oxford student’ (not at the University but at another institution in the city) was the role of the Daily Mail as the main sponsor and cheerleader for the campaign.

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