Month: April 2013

Anyone fancy a post-2015 wonkwar? Me v Claire Melamed on the biggest development circus in town

I’ve been good friends with Claire Melamed for ages, but recently we’ve found ourselves on opposite sides of the post-2015 debate. As ODI’s growth and inequality supremo, Claire is deeply immersed in the ever-proliferating discussions, whereas I decided early on that I had massive reservations about the whole process. So for your amusement (and who…

By admin April 30, 2013 7

What is Social and Solidarity Economy and why does it matter?

UNRISD Deputy Director Peter Utting introduces the theme of his organization’s big conference in May Having had my professional and political interests shaped during the somewhat heady days of the 1980s in Sandinista Nicaragua, I’ve long been interested in the potential and limits of collective action—of people organizing and mobilizing through associations, unions, cooperatives, community…

By admin April 29, 2013 5

Incantations, inclusive growth and the illusory ‘we’: whatever happened to politics in the post-2015 process?

French development guru Pierre Jacquet laments some of the gaps in current debates on the ‘post-2015’ successor to the MDGs It is altogether amazing how wishful and incantatory discussions on global issues have become. We seem to be content with passionate statements about what “we should”, “we need”, “we must” consider and do. “Inclusive growth”…

By admin April 25, 2013 2

Make Inequality History? What would change if we focussed on inequality rather than poverty?

Last week I spoke at a Brussels conference on inequality, organized by the Belgian NGO coalition 11.11.11. Inequality is flavour of the month right now, showing surprising staying power within the post-2015 process and elsewhere. Inequality gabfests usually involve violent agreement that inequality is indeed a Bad Thing, lots of evidence for why this is…

By admin April 24, 2013 6

Merit, Privilege or Slumdog Millionaires? Income Inequality and Social Mobility

In memory of Sebastian Levine, who liked to read these posts. This post is written by Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva, Oxfam’s Head of Research (twitter @rivefuentes) In Danny Boyle’s movie Slumdog Millionaire, the young character wins a large pot of money against all odds. The movie is a fantasy tale for all practical purposes. The hero knows the…

By admin April 23, 2013 18

Government Spending Watch – a new initiative you really need to know about

I’m consistently astonished by how little we know about the important stuff in development. Take the Millennium Development Goals – the basis forinnumerable aid debates, campaigns, and negotiations. A large chunk of the MDG agenda concerns the size and quality of public spending – on health, education, water, sanitation etc. So obviously, the first thing…

By admin April 22, 2013 5

Learning the Lessons: Why is change NOT happening in the response to hunger crises?

I know I go on all the time about ‘how change happens’, but often in development the important question is ‘why doesn’t change happen?’, and we need to get better at answering it. On Tuesday Oxfam published Learning the Lessons, an analysis of the response to the 2012 Sahel food crisis, which affected some 18m…

By admin April 19, 2013 3