Tunisian rap uprising; so you want to be an aid worker? Donate your fat: videos for the weekend

admin - January 21, 2011

One video which inspires, and two which don’t ‘Although western audiences are still waiting for a reflowering of political music to capture the spirit of the times, in Africa it never went away’. Africa’s protest music is booming –  Tunisian rapper The General is just the tip of an inspiring iceberg.     ‘So you want to be an aid worker?’ Latest in the rash …

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Want to avoid financial crises? Then reduce inequality, says the IMF

admin - January 20, 2011

What are they putting in the water at the IMF these days? Following its recent advocacy of not one, but two new global taxes, a new IMF working paper by Michael Kumhof and Romain Ranciere links inequality with financial crises. “The United States experienced two major economic crises over the past century—the Great Depression starting in 1929 and the Great Recession starting in 2007. Both …

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What does the future hold for civil society organization?

admin - January 19, 2011

I’ve been struggling to make sense of the changing landscape for civil society organizations, North and South, and could do with your help. Here are some initial thoughts, but please send in your own, plus useful references: One door opens, another shuts There are contradictory and ambiguous trends for civil society at national and global levels. On the plus side: · Growing size, strength and sophistication …

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The Upside of High Food Prices

admin - January 18, 2011

Nice pieces from agricultural economist Steve Wiggins on the ODI and Guardian blogs, which I quote at length, because I think it’s an important correction to the discussion on the current food price spike. ‘In 2008 developing countries, and poor people within them, were hit hard by the price spike in the international cereals market. Once again food prices are moving up, not that far short …

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Ivory Coast blog-battles; food riots; China's economy overtakes America; IMF is bad for health; Haiti anniversary; some other stuff: links I liked

admin - January 17, 2011

Paul Collier’s suggestion that foreign governments should support a coup to resolve the standoff in the Ivory Coast, based on the arguments of his book ‘War, Guns and Votes’ has prompted a furore in the blogosphere, including some sharp satire from the Wronging Rights blog, as well as more serious discussion. More from Chris Blattman here and here. Bill Easterly weighs in for good measure as does Aid Thoughts. …

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Rape is not the only story in the Congo

admin - January 14, 2011

Emma Fanning is Oxfam’s protection manager in the DRC If you’ve been following the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recently – and given its unchanging, grim headlines, it’s not surprising if you haven’t – the story has probably been about rape. Large scale, brutal, dehumanising rape. The Congo has been dubbed the « rape capital » ; in just one attack in Walikale, a mining …

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State of the World report 2011 – innovation but no politics

admin - January 13, 2011

Yesterday the WorldWatch Institute launched its new State of the World 2011 report, (or at least the overview chapter, which is the only one I can find online – if people can point to an online downloadable version, please help me out here). The overall report website’s here, but as a confirmed techno-neanderthal, I found it pretty un-user friendly. Tech whinge over. The SoW reports …

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Haiti; South Sudan; China's 300 year eco-battle; anarchist histories of the state; who arms autocrats?; human rights imperialism; the world's most overpaid leaders: links I liked

admin - January 10, 2011

Haiti and Sudan set to dominate the development news this week. For this week’s first anniversary of the Haitian earthquake, Oxfam is reporting back on its own relief work and publishing a ‘plague on all your houses’ critique of the failings of both the Haitian government and aid donors. Guardian coverage of the latter here.  Plus the protectionist American law that could prevent US aid supporting …

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