Live where you want; powerpoint MLK; world's most isolated man; Aid data galore; development jobs and Soviet Union meets tetris on youtube: links I liked

So if everyone in the world could live wherever they wanted, where would they all end up? Not the countries you might suspect – biggest proportional population increases would be in Singapore and New Zealand, according to a survey by Gallup. Biggest losers less surprising – Sierra Leone, Haiti and Zimbabwe would each lose half […]

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Is food the new oil? Fertiliser wars and Brazil as food superpower

In the Financial Times, Javier Blas gives us the back-story to the attempt by the world’s largest mining company, BHP Billiton, to buy its largest fertiliser company, PotashCorp. Suddenly fertiliser is big business: in the first eight months of the year, deals valued at $61bn have been announced by companies in the industry, a high that […]

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How about some MDGs for the TOP billion?

In the run up to the big UN MDG summit next month, this sweet idea comes from Andrew Revkin on his dot earth blog: “Here comes a question to ponder over the weekend. There is a set of Millennium Development Goals for the poorest of the poor – a cohort of humanity sometimes described as […]

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Locked latrines, meat offsetting and development apps

I just spent an enthralling couple of days at a get together of Oxfam GB’s country directors (CDs). A combination of group discussions and speed-dating as I talked to as many as possible of the incredibly impressive people who are on Oxfam’s frontline, lobbying ministers and officials, consulting poor communities and doing (lots of) management stuff. […]

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Africa's four different kinds of economies

I’m a sucker for typologies. I guess they’re a wonk’s equivalent of those ‘what were the ten best punk/ska/heavy metal albums of all time?’ discussions in the pub. Here’s a nice one from ‘Lions on the Move’, a breathlessly upbeat new McKinsey report on Africa. It finds four clusters of African economies + a few […]

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Fun with data: the history of the world 1960-2008, and you're in charge

I just spent a happy half hour playing with this – the first of many, I suspect. It’s the latest version of the Hans Rosling/Gapminder graphs that I’ve blogged on before and this one is really user friendly – even I can get it to work. Just click here to start messing around. It allows […]

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Missing revolutionaries; food regulation; localism is wrong; China v Japan; invasion of the Austerians; liberalism and 21st Century enlightenment and hello, humanitarian workers: links I liked

‘What have all the African Revolutionaries Gone?’ muses Chris Blattman (I think he means ‘where’) Food corner: It’s time to regulate food markets, reckons former IFPRI director-general Joachim von Braun, reacting to the wheat price spike caused by the Russian export ban. Is eating local food environmentally virtuous? Nope, says James Choi in the New York […]

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Visual metaphor of the week – the hanging donkey

My colleague Kate Raworth includes this gem in her presentations on research methods. It illustrates the tendency for policy papers to endlessly expand their remits – ‘just add it to the terms of reference’. Sharp, focussed initial ideas come to resemble Christmas trees decorated with everybody’s particular passion. From working on many Oxfam papers over […]

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What are African countries already doing to adapt to climate change?

While climate change negotiators seem to be wading through metaphorical cement, national governments have no choice but to get on with adapting to current and future climate change, as far as they are able. A recent review of 10 African countries’ adaptation plans by IFPRI shows some patterns to the response. (The countries were Burundi, […]

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How much does US corn dumping cost Mexican farmers?

Remember dumping – the rich country farm subsidies that allow them to dump their products in poor countries at artificially cheap prices, thereby wiping out local agriculture? Tim Wise on the Triple Crisis blog has been running the numbers on the impact of NAFTA (US-Canada-Mexico Free Trade Agreement, in force since 1994). He calls it […]

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The world's next 20 years on one slide – and it's pretty scary

This is the summary slide from a recent powerpoint on the global challenges facing humanity between now and 2030. It sets out the key questions (easier to read if you click on the slide). The answers to any one of which might well be ‘no’, with scary consequences. And please don’t try and dismiss this as […]

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Slum tourism; world population; inequality in Latin America; where did all the Keynesians go?; the mirage of structural adjustment and is the cow driving the bike? Links I liked

 ‘I was 16 when I first saw a slum tour. I was outside my 100-square-foot house washing dishes, looking at the utensils with longing because I hadn’t eaten in two days. Suddenly a white woman was taking my picture. I felt like a tiger in a cage. Before I could say anything, she had moved […]

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