A new/better way of measuring the fragility of states?

Duncan Green - June 12, 2015

Tolstoy opened Anna Karenina with the much-quoted line ‘Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’ Does the same apply to states? The OECD’s new report on Fragile States goes some way down that route. Instead of its past (much criticised) single dimension of ‘fragile/non fragile’, it assesses fragility across five dimensions: Violence, Justice, Institutions, Economic Foundations and Resilience. …

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Latest high level broadside on inequality – “In It Together…” from the OECD

Duncan Green - June 5, 2015

Guest post from Oxfam inequality researcher Daria Ukhova Last month, the OECD published a new flagship report on inequality In It Together: Why Less Inequality Benefits All, continuing a series and building on the findings of the previous reports Growing Unequal? (2008) and Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising (2011). At Oxfam since the launch of our Even It Up campaign, we have been …

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Why do countries need aid when the world is awash with capital? Latest thoughts from the OECD

Duncan Green - October 14, 2014

I chaired the London launch of the OECD’s annual aid report last week (when it comes to flagships, the multilateral system is starting to look like the Spanish Armada – more on that tomorrow). We opted for a radical new model for such meetings: the chair keeps people to time, says where the toilets are (when he remembers) but otherwise shuts up. Panelists speak to …

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Reformers v lobbyists: where have we got to on tackling corporate tax dodging?

Duncan Green - May 9, 2014

The rhythm of NGO advocacy and campaigning sometimes makes it particularly hard to work on complicated issues, involving drawn-out negotiations where bad guys have more resources and staying power than we do. Campaigns on trade, climate change, debt relief etc often follow a similar trajectory – a big NGO splash as a new issue breaks, then activists realize they need to go back to school …

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How to fix fragile states? The OECD reckons it’s all down to tax systems.

Duncan Green - February 25, 2014

‘Over-generous tax exemptions awarded to multinational enterprises often deprive fragile states of potential revenues that could be used to fund their most pressing needs.’ Another broadside from rent-a-mob? Nope, it’s the ultra respectable OECD in its Fragile States 2014 report. After years of growth, aid to fragile states started to fall in 2011, so the report centres around an urgent call for OECD member states …

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Are international conferences getting any better? A bit – thanks to some sparky new tech

admin - April 12, 2013

For a ‘club of rich countries’, the OECD spends a lot of time thinking about development. It’s Development Cooperation Directorate does the number crunching on aid; the OECD Development Centre publishes annual Economic Outlooks on Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia, or Latin American revenue statistics. Last week I spent a couple of chilly days at its Paris HQ at the 5th Global Forum on …

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Are aid cuts inevitable and if so, what should aid campaigners do about it?

admin - April 12, 2012

While I was snowed in in a holiday cottage last week (quite fun actually, especially when you’ve packed your West Wing box set just in case), the 2011 OECD aid numbers came out (see table). The numbers show total aid falling in real terms for the first time since 1997. What was also striking was the variation between OECD members, with crisis-hit Greece and Spain …

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Agricultural policy, poverty and the role of the state: the OECD responds

admin - March 17, 2012

Today Jonathan Brooks author of the OECD’s new book on agricultural policy and poverty reduction, responds to my rather critical review. (For footie fans, the photo behind him is taken in a Brazilian bar, and celebrates the lobbing of the English goalkeeper David Seaman by Ronaldinho in the 2002 World Cup) Duncan, Thanks for this review, and the opportunity to reply. I wouldn’t make quite …

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OECD versus Ha-Joon Chang on agricultural policy and poverty reduction: I'm with Chang

admin - March 16, 2012

A recent launch discussion at Chatham House (but mercifully on the record) on the new OECD book, Agricultural Policies for Poverty Reduction, (powerpoint presentation by author Jonathan Brooks here – keep clicking til it comes up) provides a nice counterpoint to the FAO study discussed over the last couple of days.  The contrast is pretty striking, especially on the role of the state, where Ha-Joon Chang’s …

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Social Cohesion – there's a lot more to it than the OECD version

admin - January 10, 2012

Fuzzword alert: the term ‘social cohesion’ seems to be popping up across the development landscape like toadstools in autumn. The G20 prefers to talk about social cohesion rather than inequality; the World Bank is using it to discuss jobs in its forthcoming World Development Report, and the OECD recently published Perspectives on Global Development 2012: Social Cohesion in a Shifting World. The Exec Sum is …

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