Month: March 2010

Urinals; development songs; nail salons; economics v physics; state-building; Obamacare; Global Health Fund; apologies to Haiti; guns and anthropologists and more data for aid geeks: links I liked

A graphic history of the urinal [h/t a seriously underemployed John Magrath] It’s a brave man who publishes his musical preferences, so hats off to IDS director Lawrence Haddad for this list of top development songs Job  clusters among US immigrants – Bill Easterly finds that Vietnamese work in nail salons and Chaldeans (Roman Catholics…

By admin March 30, 2010 1

What makes Vietnam's informal economy tick?

Inside Vietnam’s informal economy – heroic struggles! Spent Wednesday talking to a range of people in the ‘informal economy’ of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). I was accompanying our excellent Vietnam team, who together with Action Aid Vietnam, are running a 5-year ‘poverty monitoring programme’ in 9 rural and 3 urban sites, including this…

By admin March 26, 2010 3

How does change happen in Vietnam?

Fascinating talk with an academic insider in the Vietnamese establishment, who set out some thoughts on how big changes happen in Vietnam (eg the introduction of the Doi Moi process of economic opening or the land reform of the early 1990s). Particularly important because Vietnam’s record on growth with equity, and poverty reduction, is second…

By admin March 24, 2010 5

Why no-one believes what scientists tell them

The Guardian’s George Monbiot is a former environmental scientist turned journalist-activist. Many moons ago I studied physics, before joining the development and human rights dark/light side (depending on your point of view). So his recent meditation on the nature of science and ‘public reason’ as Amartya Sen would call it, struck a chord, (and not just…

By admin March 18, 2010 9