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

May 12, 2014

How can aid agencies help citizens reduce risks and fight for their rights in the middle of a war zone? Draft paper for your comments

May 12, 2014

The return of ‘Links I liked’ – do you want a weekly round up?

May 12, 2014
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I gave up doing ‘links I liked’ roundups when I went on twitter, thinking that they had become redundant. But a few people have suggested reinstating them, either because (shockingly) they haven’t yet joined the twitterati, or because they miss things in the twitterstream. So here are some of the best of last week’s tweeted links – want me to continue the exercise?

Harvard’s Ricardo Hausman on why technology doesn’t diffuse – not bad institutions, but the nature of technology itself

Aren’t stats silly sometimes? The World Bank’s new calculation of national GDP adjusted for local price levels magically reduced global absolute poverty bar_global_revisedby half last Tuesday (from 20% to 9%, according to calculations by CGD). Unfortunately, poor people won’t have noticed any difference…..

The aid business has acquired its very own satirical online magazine. Check out the first edition of DevBalls, with DFID in the crosshairs.

Rwanda tops the league for women in parliament (51 out of 80 seats, the only country over 50%) and Africa has 4 in top 10. UK ranks 65th [h/t John Burton]

Great news. Yemen to vote on comprehensive Child Rights Act banning child marriage and female genital mutilation

31 stereotype maps – ‘Africa according to Americans’ etc. Something for everyone in this lot [h/t Irungu Houghton]

‘The Most Important “Sexy” Model Video Ever’. Not sure what to make of this disturbing, provocative (both senses) video from Save the Kids. What do you think – clever? Bad taste? Both?


  1. Yes, please continue the roundup. I’d never have seen that Sexy Save video otherwise – very clever, very subversive. Makes a change from (+ how does it square with?) the usual Save TV ads of fly blown babies…..!!!

  2. Following up John’s comment I see this Sexy Model video is a Save USA Ad. I’d be very interested to hear if Save UK plan to use it , if there are any UK savers reading this who can comment.

  3. The SCF video manages to make a very powerful point, but not the one it intended to make – that is the point about sex being used to sell absolutely everything. And aid agencies including Oxfam are not innocent in this. How great if somebody had actually set out to say this, though – I didn’t think it particularly worked in its own terms. Another point is I’m glad they had a good gender mix and didn’t just use women. But Duncan, bearing in mind just how unbelievably offensive some of us find SCF UK’s advertising at the moment which flouts the UK aid agencies’ agreement to move away from passive victimhood and fly-blown children starving in front of our eyes, isn’t there a much more important blog post topic to be addressed, staring you in the face? Have you seen the one of the African woman giving birth and shuddering as she lies on her side in the immediate aftermath of showing her vagina and baby emerging to the whole of the UK Channel 4 viewing public, accompanied by a fundraising message about stats on babies dying and the need for trained birth attendants? Maybe good to get SCF to give its reasons for going that route?

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