Should India be sending a rocket to Mars when 40% of children are malnourished? Vote now.

admin - November 5, 2013

We interrupt complexity week with a quick question – what do you think about India’s Mars space  project? The Indian Space Research Organisation today launches a rocket which it hopes will get to Mars before the Chinese space programme – BRICS in space. Cue lots of outrage – in a country where 40% of children are malnourished and half the population have no toilets, wouldn’t the mission’s …

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How are the emerging donors (from China to Azerbaijan) changing the aid business?

admin - September 11, 2013

Oxfam’s ‘BRICSAMIT’ group (BRICS + Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey) is now up and running and doing some innovative thinking about the role of the emerging powers, including their role as donors. Here Russia/CIS regional researcher Daria Ukhova (right) explores recent developments. While the eyes of many international aid observers are currently on the BRICS bank (already discussed in this blog), another trend has yet to get …

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The BRICS Bank gathers momentum: another sign of the world’s shifting power balance

admin - June 7, 2013

The momentum behind the creation of a new international bank by the BRICS countries seems to be building steadily. Its leaders will review progress on the BRICS Bank at a special BRICS summit in the sidelines of the St Petersburg G20 Summit in early September. They expect to finalise plans for the Bank at the Sixth official BRICS Summit in Brazil in early 2014. And …

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The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Synthesis > novelty in a big new UN report.

admin - March 22, 2013

Of the big reports that spew forth from the multilateral system, some break new ground in terms of research or narratives, while others usefully recap the latest thinking on a given issue. Last week’s 2013 Human Development Report, The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World, falls into the latter category, pulling together the evidence for a tectonic North-South shift in global …

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Brazil v South Africa: what can the BRICS tell us about overcoming inequality?

admin - March 20, 2013

The blog’s inequality week here in South Africa continues with some thoughts on inequality and the BRICS. An edited version of this post appeared earlier this week on the FT’s Beyond BRICS blog The acronym may have been cooked up in far-off New York, but the BRICS grouping of countries is starting to generate some interesting life of its own. Last week, I was in …

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‘Bricifying’ international NGOs is hard work: the challenges facing Oxfam India

admin - November 5, 2012

I spent last week trying to understand an intriguing experiment. About five years ago, Oxfam GB’s ‘white men in shorts’ left India, alongwith all the other Oxfam affiliates, and a new, completely Indian-run Oxfam India took over. All part of ‘Bricification’ within the Oxfam family (there’s an Oxfam Brazil in the pipeline too). So what’s changed? After a period of reflection Oxfam India has opted …

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How are China, Saudi Arabia and other non-traditional donors doing on aid?

admin - August 10, 2011

Traditional aid donors share information and work together in the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD, known as the DAC. But what about non-DAC countries? Development Initiatives has a typically useful update on non-usual suspect aid donors like the Arab countries (led by Saudi Arabia) and rising powers like the BRICs, whose growing international clout is bringing in its wake an increased role in the …

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What can the BRICS teach us about reducing poverty?

admin - November 19, 2009

An excellent new paper from the prolific Martin Ravallion, head of the World Bank’s research department, compares the successes in poverty reduction in three of the biggest beasts of the developing world: China, India and Brazil. Between them, these countries are home to a bit less than half the world’s poor people, but it used to be a lot more. Each has combined market-oriented reforms …

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