Poles Apart: why climate change journalism varies so much between countries

November 23, 2011

The future of aid – what's at stake in Busan

November 23, 2011

Water fights; creative Diasporas; untranslatable relationships; magic mobiles; Bangladesh land grabbers; online data on doing evil/good; cash transfers and pregnancy; sympathy for the vulture: links I liked

November 23, 2011
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Two useful briefings in this week’s Economist. On the gloomy side, a survey of rising water conflicts in South Asia. More positive, a look at how international diaspora networks of migrants are some of the most creative, dynamic players in the global economy, which these days are more likely to link host and home country economies than to leave one for the other.

“Cafuné (Brazilian Portuguese): The act of tenderly running your fingers through someone’s hair; Ilunga (Bantu): A person who is willing to forgive abuse the first time; tolerate it the second time, but never a third time.” Top ten untranslatable-into-English words about relationships. Worth it, despite the plodding commentary.

Mobile magic bullets again: ‘While M-Pesa users do not reduce consumption when faced with a negative shock, non-M-Pesa users reduce consumption by 7 to 10 percent’ Mobile phones as portable ultrasound scanners and social protection against shocks – does anyone use them just to talk to each other any more?

OK, this is tricky – Bangladesh is getting into the land grabs business to feed its people

Interactive map of the bribes paid in every Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case, totalling $4bn, by country and/or sector (arms, energy etc). In contrast, no map (yet), just a huge spreadsheet, but Oxfam is dipping its toe in the waters of data transparency, publishing data on all its projects.

‘Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) outperformed Unconditional Cash Transfers (UCTs) in terms of improvements in schooling outcomes, BUT rates of marriage and pregnancy were substantially lower in the UCT than the CCT arm.’  Berk Ozler gets into some fascinating detail on what we know about cash transfers.

Never thought I could feel sympathy for a vulture fund type, but Greg Palast really is an obnoxious interviewer, and what’s with the Raymond Chandler/private dick outfit? If you can’t see the video below, click here. Blanket coverage in Guardian of Vulture Fund activities in the DRC starts here.


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