January 2009

Links I liked: celebrity cheese, aid sceptics and antidotes for cynicism

admin - January 30, 2009

Celebrities, hope, cheese c/o Chris Blattman A clever video to help you rewind apathy here A happy day for all the aid sceptics out there – William Easterly is taking no prisoners on his new ‘Aid Watch’ blog James Meek in the Guardian on what it feels like to be living and thinking your way through a global meltdown and ponders what it all means for …

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What would a global food security policy look like?

admin - January 27, 2009

Sticking to yesterday’s theme of food, check out ‘The Feeding of the Nine Billion‘, an excellent new paper by Alex Evans. Alex combines the skills of academic and consultant with his insider experience as a former special adviser to Hilary Benn, then UK Secretary of State for International Development. He specialises in what George Lakoff calls ‘reframing‘ – here he pulls together a number of …

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A Billion Hungry People – remember the food price crisis?

admin - January 26, 2009

Read this paragraph: ‘Despite the recent creation of a United Nations High Level Task Force, there is still little coordination or collaboration among UN organisations, the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other donors. There is no functioning global mechanism to ensure coordination and policy coherence of the various actors, thus adding complexity to the response effort and reducing efficiency, particularly at country level. Reform …

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Links I liked: mobiles v coke; Obama’s Mandela moment etc

admin - January 23, 2009

Are mobiles the new Coca Cola? Mobile phones are held up as the most promising aspect of new technology in terms of helping poor people improve their lives, but some new research suggests people are cutting back on food and other essentials to pay for the all important status symbol. See here for a summary of the research and discussion. A promising new website called …

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Pregnancy and childbirth still killing 500,000 women a year, nearly all in Africa and South Asia

admin - January 22, 2009

Gender injustice is toxic to development, nowhere more clearly than in the stark fact that having a child remains one of the biggest health risks for women worldwide. Fifteen hundred women die every day from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. That’s half a million women every year, and the number has hardly budged in two decades, according to UNICEF’s flagship publication, The State of …

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Brazil is top of the world on an environmental issue – recycling

admin - January 21, 2009

I’m mugging up on green jobs as part of the research for a forthcoming paper on the need for a ‘global green new deal’ and came across this great and (to me) unexpected example from Brazil. It’s drawn from UNEP’s ‘Green Jobs’ paper. Brazil is the global leader in aluminium can recycling — some 10.3 billion cans were collected in Brazil in 2006. This saves the …

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Promises v Reality: The Widening Credibility Gap on Aid

admin - January 20, 2009

The backsliding began almost as soon as the ink was dry on the promises of increased aid made at the 2005 G8 summit in Gleneagles. Have a look at the graphic, based on the latest figures.     It comes from a recent analysis of the latest aid numbers by ace crunchers, Development Initiatives, by way of Owen Barder’s blog. Here are some key points:

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Dreams From My Father – what does his book tell us about Obama’s presidency?

admin - January 19, 2009

Imagine someone a bit like dozens of social movement and NGO activists who you’ve worked with over the years. Raised across three continents; a spell of community activism that tempers romanticism with hard knocks; all this interspersed with wrestling with the sense of identity to make sense of being of mixed race, the absent father, and all that moving around. What sort of president would …

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