Why is support for gender equality mainly growing in urban areas?

Duncan Green - May 8, 2015

Guest post from the LSE’s Alice Evans from the LSE  Across the world, support for gender equality is rising. More girls are going to school. Women are increasingly being recognised and supported in historically male-dominated domains, such as employment and politics. Growing numbers of men are sharing unpaid care work. In short, young women are ‘beginning to envision a future similar to young men: education, independence, …

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China’s meteoric rise: urban boom; NGOs in from the cold; overtaking the US on pollution and tourism

Duncan Green - April 25, 2014

A while ago, the Economist stepped up its China coverage and opened a separate section, putting placing the country on an editorial par with the USA. It’s taken a while to get going, but recent editions have been excellent. Last week saw a great piece on the rise of China’s NGOs (see chart). This week brings a 14 page special report on the extraordinary speed …

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A week at the Edinburgh festival: good theatre, bad music and great books

admin - August 29, 2013

Last week Cathy and I spent our annual week at the Edinburgh festival. It provides a high intensity restoration of the mental flora (colonic irrigation of the soul?) before the autumn grind begins. We tend to avoid the ubiquitous stand-up comedy, even though the heckling sounds pretty amazing, and go for a more NGO-compatible diet of miserabilist theatre, random music and heavy reading. Best theatre …

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How can development NGOs go urban?

admin - January 17, 2012

Just spent a fascinating week in Nairobi, taking part in a review of our three-year- old urban programme there. Like many large development NGOs, Oxfam’s traditional remit is deeply rural – goats, irrigation, drought, that kind of thing – but the world has gone urban, and so in a few countries, we are dipping our organizational toes in the water. Some impressions on the challenges of …

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10 Challenges to 'business as usual' for development agencies: FP2P flashback

admin - August 18, 2011

OMG, nearly three years on and almost everything on this list would still be on today’s version. But at least I could point to progress, in the shape of specific bits of thinking, reseach and/or programming. on nearly all of them. What new additions would go on today’s list, I wonder? Domestic taxation; resource scarcity and planetary boundaries; the damage wrought by an excessively large …

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Why is humanitarian work so hard in cities?

admin - January 21, 2010

By chance, the day before the Haiti earthquake, we were having a discussion at Oxfam about why, when it comes to feeding programmes, disaster relief etc urban work tends to be both harder and less attractive to NGOs than doing equivalent things in rural settings. This reflected an increasing conviction that we need to do more on urban issues. Although I’m no expert on Haiti, …

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Charter Cities – visionary, naive or bonkers?

admin - October 27, 2009

Charter Cities are a proposal to build cities from scratch in the world’s poorest nations, outsourcing their design and government to rich countries. Visionary, naïve or plain bonkers? Probably a bit of all three. They are the brainchild of US economist Paul Romer, who explains his idea on this (20 minute) video. He’s serious – last year he gave up his professorship at Stanford to …

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