Obama v Kofi Annan: Who has the best model for agriculture in Mozambique?

This guest post from Joseph Hanlon (right) was also published today on the Guardian’s Poverty Matters blog Mozambique is a development paradox. Rural poverty is increasing despite high growth rates and billions of dollars in aid. Now the country has been targeted by two contrasting models of agricultural development. The Obama model was backed by the […]

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African art; UK v Rwanda (et tu ODI?); please vandalize economics textbooks; ferocious oaths; microfinance heretics; Olympic Falklands: links I liked

Contemporary African fashion, music and art (like this ‘street’ art from Western Sahara) [h/t Global Voices] UK blocks aid to Rwanda in protest at its actions in Congo. How will ODI’s Kagame praise singers respond? Kate Raworth on why it’s time to start vandalizing economics textbooks  ‘I will answer only the truth, in accordance with […]

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Welcome (sort of) to the London Olympics

Update: skip to the bottom for some conclusions on an epic and weird opening ceremony OK, it’s been another heavy duty week on the blog, so some light relief for Friday. Especially for the 70% of you who don’t live in the UK, here’s the unofficial welcome video, featuring London’s studiedly eccentric Mayor Boris Johnson (yes, we […]

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Holding out for the super-voucher: Kevin Watkins responds to Justin Sandefur on private v public education

Kevin Watkins (right), senior visiting research fellow at the Brookings Institution, responds to yesterday’s guest post by Justin Sandefur After reciting the familiar evidence on the learning achievement problems in poor countries, Justin Sandefur offers an even more familiar ‘one-stop’ solution – a market-based fix, with low-fee private schools, vouchers, and the apparently talismanic Pearson corporation […]

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Waiting for Superman in Lahore: do poor people need private schools? Guest post by Justin Sandefur

Public v Private provision of education is a hot and divisive topic. So let’s get started. Today, CGD’s Justin Sandefur (right) puts the case for private. Tomorrow Kevin Watkins of the Brookings Institution responds. Be warned, their posts are pretty long and very passionate. Fasten seatbelts please: While traveling in Pakistan a couple weeks ago, I took […]

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Should poverty be defined by a single international poverty line, or country by country? (and what difference does it make?)

This guest post comes from ubercrunchers Ugo Gentilini (World Food Programme), left and Andy Sumner (Institute of Development Studies), right International poverty lines are calculated by the World Bank: $1.25 per day per person is said to represent the ‘absolute poverty line’, below which a person can hardly survive. This is calculated from the mean of […]

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Tragic bears; religious migrants; programming in fog; mega capital flight and tax dodging; US drought -> food reserves & climate change; the latest on HIV/AIDs: links I liked

Lots of graphics and visuals today. First, am I alone in finding the arrested Greenpeace polar bear disturbingly tragicomic? A fascinating interactive map breaks down migration flows from each country by religion (no idea how reliable the data are tho) How can an aid agency programme when it doesn’t know what works? Examples from San […]

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Global Humanitarian Assistance 2012 – what are the emerging trends?

Ed Cairns (right), Oxfam’s senior policy adviser on humanitarian advocacy, reviews the new 2012 Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) report, released yesterday  Like all landmark reports, the GHA’s greatest value is not really in what it says about the year under review. It’s what it reveals about the longer-term trends facing the humanitarian world. This is […]

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How can INGOs improve their work in fragile and conflict states?

There’s nothing like the impending threat of giving a talk to make you mug up on an issue, usually the morning before. Today’s exercise in skating on thin ice (the secret? Keep moving. Fast as possible) was a recent talk to some Indiana University students studying the developmental role of the state while enjoying our […]

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Is there a global crackdown on civil society organization and if so, how should we respond?

I’ve got a nasty feeling that we could be heading towards a strategic train wreck on the role of civil society in development. Let me explain. Increasingly (and not just among NGOs), development is understood in terms of politics, power, and struggles to redistribute the latter. That has produced a shift in resources towards advocacy […]

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Federer 4 Oxfam; Olympic (black) power; how (not) to criticize aid; crunch issues 4 arms trade; exciting accounting; informal institutions; democracy v growth: links I liked

Getting into the Olympic mood (though late to the party with this first item). ‘In 2003 Nick Newlife, from Oxfordshire, made a wager of £1,520, at odds of 66/1, that Roger Federer would win seven Wimbledon titles by 2019. Mr Newlife died in 2009 but left the betting slip to Oxfam in his will.’ Not […]

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Fighting for food security in India

Biraj Swain (right) is Oxfam India’s Campaigns Manager and Co-Editor and author of the IDS-Oxfam India Special Bulletin “Standing on the Threshold: Food Justice in India”, launched in Delhi this week In India, over the past 15 years the debate about food, under a rights-based perspective, has become increasingly complex. Earlier concerns about famines, emergency relief […]

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