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My favourite ToC cartoon

Current aid design and evaluation favour autocracies. How do we change that?

Duncan Green - June 30, 2015

I loved the new paper from Rachel Kleinfeld, a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and asked her to write a post on it What strategy can make a government take up smart development programs, better policing techniques, or tested education initiatives?  RCT and regression-based studies have taught us a great deal about “what works”, but we still know very little about how …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - June 29, 2015

It was a maptastic week (click maps to expand): First up, the number one reason people die early, by country (plus a top tweeted response from RJ Chilvers: ‘surprise is Saudi Arabia’s leading cause is road accidents. I think they need more women drivers…’)   Dear governments & aid agencies: Please stop hurting poor people with your skills training programs. Vintage Blattman   Causes of …

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Have technology and globalization kicked away the ladder of ‘easy’ development? Dani Rodrik thinks so

Duncan Green - June 26, 2015

Dani Rodrik was in town his week, and I attended a brilliant presentation at ODI. Very exciting. He’s been one of my heroes ever since I joined the aid and development crowd in the late 90s, when he was one of the few high profile economists to be arguing against the liberalizing market-good/state-bad tide on trade, investment and just about everything else. Dani doggedly and …

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Who is the richest man in history? The answer might surprise you

Duncan Green - June 25, 2015

Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva (@rivefuentes) is shortly leaving his current role as Oxfam GB’s head of research to take over as Executive Director of Oxfam Mexico (I’ll have to start being nice to him now). Here he introduces Oxfam Mexico’s new report on one of Mexico’s many claims to fame – the richest man in history. In his 2011 book, The Haves and The Have Nots,  Branko Milanovic …

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What if the best way to be innovative is not to try?

Duncan Green - June 24, 2015

This guest post comes from Oxfam’s James Whitehead ‘Is it innovative?’ ‘How can we be more innovative?’ When asked, my problem, which is slightly awkward as Oxfam’s Global Innovation Advisor, is that I’m not sure how useful the word ‘innovation’ really is. I’ve just written a research paper on the factors that enable or block innovation in Oxfam and one of the things that comes out …

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The SDGs are just getting interesting – what needs to happen next to make them have impact?

Duncan Green - June 23, 2015

I spent a day in Madrid last week talking to Spanish aid wonks (it was cold and wet, in case you’re feeling jealous). One of the main topics of conversation was the post 2015 process, and it convinced me that I need to move on a bit from my previous rejection of the whole process as a waste of breath. We are where we are …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - June 22, 2015

All male panels, the India version. Some good advice to organizers here on handling language, questions, roles etc  What’s the origin of the ICC’s Africa problem (since 2002, all 36 warrants have been for Africans)? ‘All you need is a big heart and access to the internet’. Great takedown of the DWSC (digital white saviour complex) Faces of the Somali Remittance Crisis [h/t Michael Clemens] Last …

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Is the IMF Dismantling Trickle Down Economics?

Duncan Green - June 19, 2015

Oxfam America researcher and inequality guru Nick Galasso hails a new report that finds the poor and middle classes are the main engines of growth – not the rich In a new report, the IMF effectively drives the final nail into the coffin of trickle-down economics. The top finding, in their words, is that “if the income share of the top 20 percent (the rich) increases, …

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Crunch time for global humanitarianism – funding can’t keep up with need, so what else is needed?

Duncan Green - June 18, 2015

Ed Cairns, Oxfam’s senior policy adviser on humanitarian advocacy, reviews the latest overview of global humanitarian aid. [Update: in response to readers’ comments, I’ve stuck up a very retrogressive humanitarian v long term aid poll to the right – please hold your nose and vote] This year’s Global Humanitarian Assistance report highlights some startling figures. For years these reports from the Development Initiatives stable have been the …

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How can big aid organizations become Fit for the Future? Summary of my new paper

Duncan Green - June 17, 2015

My navel-gazing paper on the future of INGOs and other big aid beasts came out last week. Here’s a summary I wrote for the Guardian. Thanks to all those who fed in on earlier drafts. Oxfam’s Deputy CEO Penny Lawrence gives a semi-official response. A miasma of existential doubt seems to hang over large chunks of the aid industry, even here in the UK, where …

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