Climate change gets real in the US; flights v steaks; good governance isn't all it's cracked up to be; the future of capitalism and why clean stoves can save 1.6m lives a year: links I liked

Climate change becomes real politics in the US, according to Paul Krugman (is he the only Nobel laureate economist with his own tribute song on youtube?)    Cut out meat or air travel asks Owen Barder? You decide (unfortunately I’m addicted to both – any other options?) Dani Rodrik argues that the crisis proves that good governance isn’t […]

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Big UN conference on the global crisis is postponed – why?

At the last minute, the UN has postponed its ‘Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development’ from 1-3 June to 24-26th June, still in New York. This will allow it time to sort out the draft conclusions and try and convince a respectable number of world leaders to attend. […]

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What's different about the current spate of land grabs in poor countries?

This week’s Economist has an excellent overview of the issues surrounding what it calls ‘outsourcing’s third wave’ (the first two were manufacturing and services) – deals in which foreign investors are buying up huge tracts of land in poor countries to produce food to ship back home (see map). Some highlights: Saudi investors are spending $100m […]

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What are African leaders saying about the impact of the crisis? Latest overview

The African Development Bank is doing some excellent analysis and has just updated the paper submitted to the April G20 Summit by African Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (new paper here, original paper for G20 here). Main points: ‘For the first time since 1994, per capita income will contract in 2009 for the continent […]

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Fire brigades or arsonists? A UN debate on the economic crisis

I spoke at an UNCTAD symposium on the global crisis in Geneva this week (Oxfam’s pre-conference submission is here). A laudable attempt to get a conversation going with civil society organizations, but a classically frustrating UN event – dozens of developing country delegates mingling with NGOs and others, but any real exchange was deadened by […]

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US aid reform takes off

Shortly after the US election, I blogged about the promising discussions on US aid reform in Washington. Those are now starting to bear fruit. In late April, Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced a bill (The Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009–HR 2139). Here are some of his covering remarks: […]

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How do we get the institutions right on climate change?

Normally, I find the use of scenarios to think through policy issues pretty shallow and unhelpful. But a new paper on the institutional architecture for climate change, by Alex Evans and David Steven, has a horribly plausible and thought-provoking scenario among its three possible futures. A slightly truncated version follows in a couple of paras […]

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Should aid workers fly business class?; latest on land grabs; dodgy regressions; Chinese carbon emissions; how to set up your own tax dodge and a great climate change youtube: links I liked

Chris Blattman has kicked off a heated debate on whether aid officials should fly business class, see here for example Over on global dashboard, Mark Weston provides an overview on land grabs William Easterly applies his tests for dodgy regressions to Paul Collier’s latest book and Chris Blattman (again, when does he work or sleep?) joins in […]

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How is the recession hitting remittances from migrant workers?

Remittances sent to developing countries in 2008 from migrant workers overseas came to a massive $305bn – two and a half times greater than the (record) volume of global aid. But how are they weathering the global crisis? I’ve just been reading the World Bank’s latest (OK, end of March – I’m playing catchup as […]

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Building women's leadership – what works?

What can an NGO like Oxfam do to help build women’s grassroots leadership and participation? Just been reading a series of case studies from around the world, which throw up a strikingly similar set of conclusions. Drawing on experiences in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the UK, the study finds that progress relies on tackling […]

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What would feminist GM crops look like?

I was in a conversation on genetically modified crops with a feminist economist and a leading ecologist the other day (Chatham House rules, so no names, alas). As often happens, the unusual combination of disciplines led to some thought-provoking exchanges. After lamenting the way most new biotech and GM research is top down and biased […]

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108 countries now malaria-free. What's happening in the rest of them?

The Financial Times recently published an excellent special report on Combating Malaria (can you name any other newspaper that would do that?). It pulls together a really good overview of the disease, including the science, politics, examples of successful eradication in Mozambique and elsewhere, the role of community health workers, the debate over bed nets, […]

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