Can leaders sing?; IPad pie chart; 'lazy Africans'?; Cairo gloom; the next World Bank president; Borgen rocks; the world according to Lant: links I liked

So Barack can do a mean Al Green, but can other world leaders sing? [h/t Rob Bailey] Where does the price of your iPad go? Only 2% to Chinese workers Here’s a lesson in how to increase your blog traffic. Call a post You Lazy (Intellectual) African Scum! Then sit back and watch the comments […]

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Sustainable Development Goals: easy win or slippery slope?

Making sense of UN communiqués is never easy at the best of times, but it’s particularly hard when you are not involved in the process and so can’t decode the bland summit speak – a mind-numbing array of frameworks for action, toolkits, partnerships, dialogues and the like. So it’s hardly surprising that reading the draft […]

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Wrapping up the great Nairobi guesthouse pool debate

Wow. Hit a nerve there. I’m both gratified and slightly appalled by the level of interest generated by Wednesday’s post on the development-critical issue of whether Oxfam should keep the pool at its Nairobi guesthouse shut. For those people without the time or inclination to trawl through over 60 comments, here’s a summary. First the […]

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The realtime challenge: some cutting edge data-gathering from the UN (yep, you heard that right)

I’m still reeling from the overwhelming response to yesterday’s post (voting still open, by the way) and will respond in due course, but in the meantime, let’s get back to all that development stuff, shall we? One of the most striking aspects of exploring the human impact of the global financial crisis and food price […]

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The great Nairobi guesthouse swimming pool dilemma – cast your vote now……

Nairobi is a major NGO hub, currently the epicentre of the drought relief effort, and Oxfam’s regional office realized some years ago that we could save a pile of money if we ran our own guesthouse, rather than park the numerous visitors in over-priced hotels. It’s nothing fancy, definitely wouldn’t get many stars, but it’s […]

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Best blog awards; Dodd-Frank and Africa; India miscellany – high tech, low tech and anti-corruption; creme that egg: links I liked

Nominations for the ABBAs – Aid Bloggers’ Best Awards (how contorted an acronym is that?) are now open, asking for suggestions in about a dozen different categories – closing date is 27 Jan, so get stuck in. And while we are navel-gazing, here are last year’s ABBA winner Chris Blattman’s ten steps to better blogging […]

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What's going on with global inequality? Let's ask Andy Sumner……

When I was asking around about last week’s paper on the G20 and inequality, ace number cruncher Andy Sumner emailed to say that talking about inequality in terms of the Gini index is terribly old hat, and these days, everyone is trying out different indicators. So I went back to his July summary of the […]

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Hunting for green growth in the G20…….

In the second of two guest posts on Oxfam’s new paper on the G20’s performance on inequality and sustainability, senior researcher Kate Raworth tackles the thorny issue of green growth (can you make my pic about this size, not bigger) In 2010, the G20 committed to pursue equitable and sustainable  economic growth. That’s a big thing […]

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How the G20 is failing on inequality

Another day, another Oxfam report. This time it’s a ‘practice what you preach’ survey of the G20 countries’ performance on inequality and the environment. According to this guest post from co-author Caroline Pearce, they don’t come out of it very well……. G20 governments cannot afford to ignore inequality. An Oxfam report published today, Left Behind […]

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Why did help arrive so late? Evidence v Incentives in the Horn of Africa drought.

Oxfam and Save the Children have a new paper out today that worries away at the baffling fact that lots of organizations knew disaster was looming in the Horn of Africa (and said so), but the system was largely unable to respond until people actually started dying. From the exec sum of A Dangerous Delay: […]

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How can development NGOs go urban?

Just spent a fascinating week in Nairobi, taking part in a review of our three-year- old urban programme there. Like many large development NGOs, Oxfam’s traditional remit is deeply rural – goats, irrigation, drought, that kind of thing – but the world has gone urban, and so in a few countries, we are dipping our organizational […]

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Science and the Crisis of Uncertainty: Book Review of 'The Blind Spot'

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to read more books and fewer papers – books often push authors deeper, forcing them to identify and develop their underlying assumptions and ideas, whereas papers (whether single or in edited volumes pretending to be books) are often a rehash of their existing thinking, garnished with a dollop of […]

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