Month: August 2011

We measure relative poverty in rich countries; absolute poverty in poor ones – what if we combine them?

Martin Ravallion, the World Bank’s head of research, has been doing some interesting thinking on poverty lines. We currently have an odd divide between poor countries, where absolute measures are more often used (eg $1.25 a day, the current international poverty line) and rich countries, which tend to use measures of relative poverty. For example,…

By admin August 31, 2011 7

Robin Hood breakthrough; emerging market businesswomen; China v India v The West in Africa; Libya's oil; climate change, conflict and US double standards; South Sudan's GDP: Links I liked

Max Lawson updates us on a breakthrough moment on the Financial Transactions Tax (aka Robin Hood) and a new acronym – HFT or high frequency trading. ‘In China, 32% of senior managers are female, compared with 23% in America and 19% in Britain. In India, 11% of chief executives of large companies are female, compared with…

By admin August 30, 2011 0

Can Cities build local 'developmental states'? Some surprising good news from Colombia

Discussions of the role of states in development, and in particular the role of the hands-on ‘developmental state’ in producing impressive take-offs in East Asia and elsewhere, almost exclusively focusses on the national level. But in many countries, particularly since the push for decentralization in recent decades, local and city governments play an increasingly influential…

By admin August 26, 2011 3

Learning by failing; integrity v humour; China in Africa; South-south solar; behind India's corruption protests; Rick Perry on climate change: links I liked

The first step to ‘learning by failing’ is recognizing and admitting the failures. Hats off to the World Bank on that one – what other development organization (including NGOs) would have the courage to admit publicly to a 40-70% failure rate on ICT projects? [h/t Chris Blattman]. It’s probably too optimistic to expect some belly…

By admin August 24, 2011 2

Is inequality the root cause of global crisis? The World Bank's lead research economist thinks so

Back from my week off (Edinburgh Festival – fab) with a load of holiday reading to review. Here’s the first installment – an eccentric new book by Branko Milanovic, inequality guru and lead economist at the World Bank’s research division. The Haves and the Have Nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality is…

By admin August 22, 2011 8

How can advocacy NGOs respond to the global meltdown? FP2P Flashback

OK, it’s looking ever more likely that we are heading for a European double plunge recession (double dip sounds too pleasant), so here’s some thoughts from December 2008 about how to respond. Ever since the global financial and economic meltdown broke, NGO colleagues have been debating how to respond. That debate is now focused on…

By admin August 19, 2011 0

10 Challenges to 'business as usual' for development agencies: FP2P flashback

OMG, nearly three years on and almost everything on this list would still be on today’s version. But at least I could point to progress, in the shape of specific bits of thinking, reseach and/or programming. on nearly all of them. What new additions would go on today’s list, I wonder? Domestic taxation; resource scarcity…

By admin August 18, 2011 6