Links I Liked

March 15, 2016

Which of these three books on complexity and development is right for you? Review/user’s guide

March 15, 2016

Why everyone should have an RSS feed for daily news (and should help me replace the one I just deleted by accident)

March 15, 2016
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Well that’ll teach me. I was just trying to write a post about my RSS feed and I’ve managed to delete the lot. No idea

Gone to that digital graveyard in the cloud.....

Gone to that digital graveyard in the cloud…..

how. Can you help me reassemble/improve on my daily reading list?

The background: chatting to colleagues at Oxfam, I’m always surprised how few of them use RSS software (which apparently stands for ‘Real Simple Syndication’) to keep abreast of their fields. I use Feedly to create a personal online newspaper – every morning after checking the inbox, I trawl through about 60 headlines covering anything published in the previous 24 hours by my favourite gurus or websites. I probably click on about 10 of them, and then, if they’re any good, tweet the links. Then I move on to my twitter feed. Takes about an hour over coffee while my brain is struggling to wake up and means I start the day with a sense of what’s new in the world outside – I’d hate to start the day by diving straight into internal Oxfam stuff.

When I looked at the subscriptions list for the first time, I was surprised to find 74 (and that’s after deleting half a dozen that had stopped publishing). Then I deleted them all. Really annoying.

So here’s what I’ve reconstructed from memory and the screengrab I did before disaster struck – can you help with suggestions please? Only upside, you can’t be offended if your site isn’t here – I may just not have restored it yet!

And Aishah, this is all your fault…….

[Update: Ben Grossman-Cohen just sent me a screen grab of his RSS feed. Very helpful. Should have thought of that before…..}





RSS logoDevelopment Stuff:

Brookings Future Development

Center for Global Development

China in Africa

Chris Blattman


Guardian Global Development


IDS Opinion

LSE International Development

OECD Insights

Overseas Development Institute

Owen Barder

Oxfam Policy and Practice

Oxfam: The Politics of Poverty

Pete Vowles

World Bank Impact Evaluation

World Bank Let’s Talk Development

World Bank People, Deliberation, Spaces



Dani Rodrik

Martin Wolf

Paul Krugman


General Interest

Economist Daily Chart

Global Voices

LSE Impact of Social Sciences

Open Democracy

Project Syndicate

Snippets of Random


So what am I missing? Is this how you use your RSS feed, or am I missing something?





  1. I fully empathise with your distress at losing your RSS feeds. You might find some of your lost feeds (and possibly more) on Sofoi, a new social platform dedicated to experts and researchers. The platform provides content drawn from hundreds of sources on topics such as governance, poverty and aid effectiveness. It’s entirely free – you just need to register to gain access:

    Hope you find it useful and good luck in reconstructing your feeds!

  2. I still update Blood and Milk every six months or so, and I recommend RSS as the best way of knowing that I’ve done so. I like the IPA blogs, and the blogs at the Center for Global Development. RH Reality Check and Science Speaks for Global Health news. Humanosphere and UN Dispatch for news and analysis. Global Dashboard for occasional but excellent commentary. WhyDev for the millennial view on development. Oh, and Dave Algoso’s fabulous Praxis blog.

  3. I don’t use RSS feeds yet as well-organized as you do (did?) Duncan, so that’s my take away. In return: the Broker Online. Not everything useful for my line of work, but every now and then interesting.
    And you inspired me to think of other possible RSS feeds. Why not for instance follow Business and Human Rights Resource Centre:

  4. Funnies:
    Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

    The Money Illusion (Scott Sumner)
    Macro and Other Market Musings (David Beckworth)
    _both are NGDP Level Targeting types, which I find to be the most interesting critique/analytical lens through which to view current monetary policy._
    Confessions of a Supply Side Liberal (Miles Kimball)

    General Interest:
    A Fine Theorem (I wish this updated more often. Always interesting to read the highlighted papers)
    Political Violence @ A Glance
    Roving Bandit
    Wait But Why?
    Wronging Rights
    3QuarksDaily (collator for some really great writing)

  5. When reading these comments, I can’t help wondering: “how do they manage their time?”.
    Thanks for the numerous and diverse links, which continue to humble me…

  6. This is a good topic and I’ve enjoyed the suggestions and learned about some great RSS feeds.

    If you lose the RSS list then just get it back from the most recent backup of your computer. If you don’t have a recent backup, and use the computer for anything even slightly important, you have far bigger issues to deal with than a lost RSS list. This could just be a really fortunate opportunity to learn about backups before something truly nasty happens.

  7. Hi Duncan, quick tip with Feedly (a bit late but hey), you can export and import an OPML file (the list of all your feeds) from the “Organise feeds” link, clicking “Export OPML” at the bottom. It’s part of my regular backup routine…

    In terms of feed suggestions:
    For the occasional long read:,

  8. Even better on back-up, you can get it to back-up automagically on your Dropbox every time you update the list. I would send you my own list but it seems like a lot of the blogs on there are now sadly defunct.

    Framechangers by Khanjan Mehta – clever development comics
    Poor People – brief but regular with good links
    An Africanist Perspective –
    Aidnography – – Reflections on development, communication & (social) media
    Tim Harford –
    African Arguments –
    Aid Without a Cause
    How Matters –

    1. thanks to everyone who’s sent in their lists – going to have a happy time next week adding them all, tho may have to delete some others to stay on top of the traffic!

  9. A well-timed reminder for a spring cull – currently at around 150 which, with completionist tendencies, gets a bit overwhelming. I’ve recently discovered – their daily email does a surprisingly good job at surfacing the gems from the tidal wave that is Twitter.

  10. Missing:
    Africa’s a Country – Youth social movements and critical analysis (and music) from across the continent
    Crisis Group blogs – Their blogs synthesize their deeper reports for in-depth and fast analysis of (potential) conflict
    Sahel Blog – He doesn’t post often but when he does it’s eye-opening on West Africa
    Pambazuka – Radical & Marxist, a lot to disagree with, a lot to nod along to

    How Matters

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