Month: November 2012

The World Bank’s new chief economist on redistribution, taxation, economists, climate change and, errm, multi-player sudoku

The World Bank’s new chief economist, Kaushik Basu (right), came through London last week and had a good initial exchange of views with some NGO wonks. I went to a similar exercise with his predecessor, Justin Lin (blogpost here), and the comparison was interesting. Whereas Justin focussed on industrial policy and structural upgrading, Kaushik talked…

By admin November 28, 2012 0

What are the ingredients of democratic breakthroughs?

Don’t know much/anything about the politics of the United States Institute of Peace (but handle with care – in the US, any institution with ‘peace’ or ‘freedom’ in the title is usually pretty suspect), but it has a very interesting paper out on ‘Democratic Breakthroughs: the Ingredients of Successful Revolts.’ It’s a bit reductionist, but…

By admin November 27, 2012 2

Small arms psychedelia; innovation Tourette’s; Women and Food; Post-2015; DRC; inconvenient corruption; Why Authors Fail; 4 degree world; Africans for Norway: links I liked

Psychedelic infographic on small arms and ammunition trade by country [h/t Chris Blattman] Innovation Tourette’s – the latest occupational disease in the aid industry Some Oxfam news: We’re half way through a provocative two week online debate on women and the food system and we’ve just tidied up and published our in-house research guidelines on…

By admin November 26, 2012 1

Love, death and violence against women in the DRC (and elsewhere): what are we missing?

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, so expect a rash of stories about sexual violence in the DRC’s current conflict. Here Rachel Hastie, Oxfam’s protection adviser,  cautions against a simplistic ‘heart of darkness’ narrative, and argues for a more nuanced and human understanding of the phenomenon. There’s a lovely…

By admin November 25, 2012 5

A Muslim tiger? Turkey’s rising power and influence

Oxfam Private Sector Adviser Erinch Sahan (right) is blown away by Turkey’s rising influence across the Muslim world Turkey is on the rise. It’s become a confident middle power with visions of becoming a regional super-power. The one time ‘sick man of Europe’ is expanding its influence, across region and beyond and is seen as…

By admin November 22, 2012 7

Lant Pritchett v the Randomistas on the nature of evidence – is a wonkwar brewing?

Last week I had a lot conversations about evidence. First, one of the periodic retreats of Oxfam senior managers reviewed our work on livelihoods, humanitarian partnership and gender rights. The talk combined some quantitative work (for example the findings of our new ‘effectiveness reviews’), case studies, and the accumulated wisdom of our big cheeses. But…

By admin November 21, 2012 18

Commodities of War: What the people without guns say about life, death and fear in the DR Congo

I was supposed to be in the Democratic Republic of Congo this week, with today being devoted to visiting the Kanyaruchina camp (right) for ‘internally displaced people’ (IDPs) near Goma. Instead, the trip’s been cancelled, I am still in London and Kanyaruchina has been abandoned, as some 30,000 people have fled (again). The reason is the…

By admin November 20, 2012 0