The Guardian goes global; development success stories; China v US on sustainable energy; Americans love the UN; stats made easy; emergency universities; what really happened in Copenhagen: Links I liked

admin - September 20, 2010

Welcome to this blog’s 500th post….. Check out the Guardian’s new Global Development website and its accompanying  ‘GD Blogosphere‘ portal  The ODI has launched a new website on ‘development success‘, with some great case studies. China overtakes the US on sustainable energy finance – who’s walking the walk on climate change? How about this for a US opinion poll? · 54% think the UN needs to be …

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We love road blocks; flushing toilets and murder rates: random facts about Latin America

admin - September 16, 2010

The Economist has a big report on Latin America this week, to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the start of its struggle for independence (unfinished business, some would say). Here are some of the more striking statistical nuggets and other bits and pieces. The region has 15% of the world’s oil reserves, a large stock of its minerals, a quarter of its arable land …

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How Change Happens: Improving the Education system in Niger

admin - September 15, 2010

I’m always keen to pick up and explore examples of ‘how change happens’ in different situations (feel free to send suggestions). Here’s one from a conversation with Oxfam’s country director in Niger, Mbacke Niang, As one might expect in one of the world’s poorest countries, Niger has a dysfunctional, poorly managed and inaccessible primary education sector. Adult literacy is less than 30% and rates of …

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Ha-Joon Chang's new book: 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism

admin - September 14, 2010

I still remember watching with delight as Ha-Joon Chang kebabed a US trade negotiator, shortly after the launch of the WTO’s Doha round of negotiations. At one of those ‘schmooze the NGOs’ sessions in Geneva, the diplomat was explaining to us the folly of governments ‘picking winners’ – industrial policy. Those who did so were doomed to fail, apparently. From the floor, Ha-Joon pointed out …

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The public and aid; let them eat meat; extraordinary women; Chilean miners; land grabs, resource scarcity and conflict, and an honest politician: links I liked

admin - September 13, 2010

Lawrence Haddad reviews some fascinating new polling data on what the British public thinks about aid George Monbiot decides that eating meat doesn’t destroy the planet after all, (as long as it’s the expensive, free range variety) “Mama Muliri responded to the threats by going to Lubutu herself and facing the tribal leaders eye to eye. As promised, they met her brandishing machetes and guns. …

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Last post from Manchester: social protection and how do we get to grips with politics and power?

admin - September 10, 2010

More thoughts (increasingly incoherent as workshop fatigue sets in) from the Manchester conference. What are the big changes in thinking from ten years of research on chronic poverty in dozens of countries? First, social protection, which has mushroomed from fringe issue to magic bullet with extraordinary speed. If the SP advocates really have won the argument on this, the next stage will involve a lot …

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Random Highlights from the Manchester War on Poverty Conference

admin - September 9, 2010

Some random observations from the ‘Ten Years of War Against Poverty’ conference in Manchester, before I head off to Edinburgh for tomorrow’s conference on ‘Making the Most of Scotland’s Aid (it’s that time of year…) Ravi Kanbur (one of my heroes for his paper on why NGOs and the  big institutions disagree all the time) has an intriguing proposal for every country to run a …

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Joe Stiglitz and David Hulme on 'What have we learned from 10 years of war on poverty?'

admin - September 8, 2010

I’m spending a couple of days at a big development conference in Manchester. It’s called ‘Ten years of war against poverty – what have we learned?’ and it’s heaving – there are about 500 people here. It’s hosted by the Chronic Poverty Research Centre, and is both a review of 10 years’ work, and a moment of transition as its research funding from DFID comes …

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