Month: December 2012

Turning garbage into music this Christmas.

Aaah, this is too sweet to hold over until the New Year. Paraguay’s Recycled Orchestra is the creation of Favio Chavez, a landfill worker and musician. It transforms garbage into classical instruments, played by the kids of local people  (Garbage not garage?). Their story is being turned into a film (if they can raise enough…

By admin December 21, 2012 0

Natural Disasters and Humanitarian Crises in 2012: how did we do?

Ed Cairns, an Oxfam senior policy adviser, looks back on a very mixed year in the response to humanitarian crises. You might not have noticed it from the headlines, but this year Oxfam has responded to more crises than ever before. Not megadisasters like Haiti’s earthquake in 2010, but the daily struggle for survival that…

By admin December 20, 2012 3

Money can’t buy me….. what, exactly?

For those of you afflicted by the stresses of Christmas, tis the season of crass materialism to be jolly. But even if you are spared, here’s a fun exercise I was asked to conduct a few months ago for some piece of press work that probably never saw the light of day. Two questions: What…

By admin December 19, 2012 5

Are global value chains really the right answer for small farmers? Great new study from IIED and HIVOS

If you’re interested in livelihoods, value chains, or agriculture, you absolutely have to read a great new paper from IIED and HIVOS.Small producer agency in the globalised market, by Bill Vorley, Ethel del Pozo-Bergnes and Anna Barnett, does for our thinking on livelihoods what the Africa Power and Politics Programme does for governance, or Portfolios…

By admin December 18, 2012 2

Inequality and the rise of the global 1%: great new paper by Branko Milanovic

Ricardo Fuentes on an important new paper. Tomorrow, Ricardo and I continue the conversation The rich in the West are getting richer. Many countries have experienced a sharp concentration of incomes over the last three decades. The top 1% of Americans have doubled their share of national income (from 8 to 17%) since Ronald Reagan…

By admin December 13, 2012 1

Why ‘Why Nations Fail’ Fails (mostly): review of Acemoglu and Robinson – 2012’s big development book

Every now and then, a ‘Big Book on Development’ comes along that triggers a storm of arguments in my head (it’s a rather disturbing experience). One such is Why Nations Fail, by Daron Acemoglu (MIT) and James Robinson (Harvard). Judging by the proliferation of reviews and debates the book has provoked, my experience is widely shared.…

By admin December 12, 2012 10