Month: September 2012

Migration, Sir Duncan, instant spouses and inflight Barry Manilow: final impressions of the Philippines

As always after an intense ‘immersion’ in our programme work, I left the Philippines with my head buzzing. Here are some impressions, memories and ideas that don’t fit into a more structured blogpost: Migration: One in 9 Filipinos are outside the country, constituting a major export sector (the government deliberately trains more nurses than the…

By admin September 28, 2012 9

In the Philippines: does Oxfam's livelihoods work go beyond trad income generation?

Last week I visited Oxfam’s Philippines programme. Such trips follow a pretty standard format – our national staff and relevant partners whisk me through a series of site visits and conversations with farmers, civil society organizations, local government officials and anyone else who’ll talk to you. For a few days, I’m engrossed, wrestling on multiple…

By admin September 25, 2012 6

Western failures; the case for small farmers; Mexican miracles; DFID consultancy row (and plebgate); global food waste scandal: links I liked

Important institutions saying stuff I agree with (always a warm feeling): ‘Amidst their fragile recovery, an unreformed (and unrepentant) financial sector and macroeconomic policies that are timid at best, and counterproductive at worst, the developing countries will find it difficult to sustain their own growth dynamic, let alone that of the global economy.’ UNCTAD’s 2012…

By admin September 24, 2012 0

Why don't Africa's politicians invest more in small farmers? The political economy of ag policy.

Interesting if rather impenetrable new(ish) paper from the Future Agricultures consortium on the political economy of Africanagricultural policy. It seeks to answer an important question – why hasn’t the spread of democracy produced more investment in the smallholder farmers that form the majority of the electorate in many countries? Here’s the summary: “Theories of policy neglect…

By admin September 20, 2012 9

We hate jargon; grain giants respond; evidence v ideology at the Bank; community paralegals; Africa, Brazil and flying geese; top site on human development: Links I liked

Just arrived in the Philippines for a week’s visit, heading off to Mindanao tomorrow morning if tonight’s  torrential monsoon downpour allows it. Back in Manila on Friday for a round table debate on active citizens and fragile states. In the meantime, here are a few things I’ve been reading: Development jargon we hate, (in the field,…

By admin September 18, 2012 0