Is Brazil’s social/economic miracle running out of steam just as the World Cup arrives?

Duncan Green - June 4, 2014

Is Brazil’s shambolic preparation for the World Cup a symptom of a deeper malaise? Oxfam researcher Katherine Trebeck (@ktrebeck) reflects on a recent visit I bandy about the term ‘economic model’ quite a lot, usually prefaced by the word ‘broken’ in reference to the UK’s purported economic recovery. But the UK is not alone in meriting a derogatory descriptor.  In a recent trip to Brazil I …

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Pakistan’s Lady Health Workers – empowerment + healthcare

admin - August 1, 2013

Just finished the paper for the UN on where/how governments have managed to empower poor and excluded groups and individuals. Thanks to everyone who suggested links when I blogged the outline back in June. I’ll do a summary when it’s out, but thought I’d share a few of the dozens of case studies dug up by my brilliant research assistant Sophie King (if you’re looking …

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Is India getting serious on health? And if so, why?

admin - May 17, 2011

The Indian government aims to increase investments in its health sector to 2-3 per cent of the total GDP, according to union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. That compares with current spending of 1.1%, so if true, it represents a massive leap. Success has many fathers, and doubtless loads of people and organizations will take the credit, but two jump out. First …

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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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Can the law advance education and healthcare in poor countries?

admin - November 3, 2009

I recently spent two weeks doing jury service in an inner London court – a grim experience of leaking municipal toilets, undrinkable coffee, frequently incompetent barristers and Dickensian judges, overseeing a squalid litany of petty crime. In between the alleged threats and beatings, I read Courting Social Justice, a new book on the use of the courts to enforce social and economic rights (in particular …

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Medical myth-busting: Why public beats private on health care provision

admin - February 12, 2009

Today Oxfam publishes Blind Optimism: Challenging the myths about private health care in poor countries, written by my colleague Anna Marriott. She summed up the arguments in this op-ed on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website, and was in Washington this week driving the message home to the World Bank, whose default position of ‘private good, public bad’ has so far proved remarkably impervious to reason or evidence.

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