Europe v America; Cheesy songs; planners v searchers; war in Southern Sudan; torturing English and the Gazprom song: links I liked

admin - January 11, 2010

‘what European experience actually demonstrates is that social justice and progress can go hand in hand’ Paul Krugman hits back at one of the US health reform critics’ key arguments: that a welfare state undermines economic dynamism. Cheesy idea and corny song , but people from 156 countries simultaneously singing ‘love is all you need’ to raise awareness about HIV in Africa gets to you anyway.   [h/t …

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Hillary Clinton on development: aid, agriculture, health and women

admin - January 8, 2010

Hillary Clinton gave a big speech at the CGD development thinktank on Wednesday. Here are some of the things that jumped out for me: Strategic importance of development policy: ‘Development was once the province of humanitarians, charities, and governments looking to gain allies in global struggles. Today it is a strategic, economic, and moral imperative — as central to advancing American interests and solving global …

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Can we improve aid through evolution rather than planning?

admin - January 6, 2010

Finally got round to reading ‘Beyond Planning’ Owen Barder’s CGD paper on aid reform. Owen’s a former DFID bigwig turned Ethiopia-based consultant and blogger. Here he writes like a true economist, which can be pretty heavy going, but the paper is worth persevering with. He can also write like a human being, for example in this thoughtful and human defence of aid on Open Democracy. …

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Aid Satire; Berlusconi's horrible year; migration in the recession; Bono does climate change (but the US media doesn't): links I liked

admin - January 5, 2010

Satire wars anyone? A flurry of New Year spoofs – what does that say about the next 12 months (or the effect of Christmas with the family) I wonder? Bill Easterly goes for the bludgeon rather than the rapier with ‘How to Write About Poor People’ Owen Barder sets out the arguments we will inevitably hear against any aid proposals in 2010 Aid Thoughts retaliates …

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Using mobile phones to combat medicine shortages in Africa

admin - January 4, 2010

Most of the coverage (and hype) around mobile phones and development is based on their potential to improve access to markets for small farmers, especially those in remote areas and to provide easy ways to transfer small amounts of money in the absence of functioning bank networks. But mobiles, which are rapidly becoming ubiquitous in most poor countries (like a kind of technological Coca Cola), …

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Are dogs the real population problem on climate change?

admin - December 23, 2009

After Copenhagen, allow me some bleak Christmas humour. If you’re a dog lover, look away now. But before you reach for the green ink, remember this is an attempt at satire. I got some fairly aggressive responses to my recent posts on population, and one of the core arguments of the population controllers seemed to be that because climate change and women’s rights over their …

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Copenhagen: where do we go from here?

admin - December 22, 2009

Wow, where to begin. I wasn’t in Copenhagen, but followed it from afar. A couple of reflections and then some highlights from two of the more comprehensive post mortems. Firstly, geopolitics. 2009 began with The G7 still apparently in the driving seat, saw the formal recognition of the shift from G7 to G20 in Pittsburgh, and then ended with the US negotiating the ‘Copenhagen Accord’ …

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Expanders v restrainers; garlic bubbles; AJ Ayer v Mike Tyson; cash on delivery and martial ping pong: links I liked

admin - December 21, 2009

Copenhagen round up to follow tomorrow, but in the meantime……. A couple of Copencurtain raisers worth reading: ‘Humanity is no longer split between conservatives and liberals, reactionaries and progressives. Today the battle lines are drawn between expanders and restrainers.’ George Monbiot gets better and better (and I never thought I’d say that). HelpAge International’s Copenhagen briefing argues that older people are both a (neglected) reservoir …

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