June 2014

Strengthening active citizenship after a traumatic civil war: dilemmas and ideas in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Duncan Green - June 25, 2014

I went to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) last week to help Oxfam Italia develop advocacy and campaign skills among local civil society organizations. They have their work cut out. Firstly, there is a crisis of trust between the public and CSOs, which are poorly regulated, often seen as little more than ‘briefcase NGOs’, only interested in winning funding, and under constant attack from politicians. Many …

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20 years after the war, politics is frozen in Bosnia and Herzegovina: first impressions from last week’s visit

Duncan Green - June 24, 2014

Just got back from a week visiting Oxfam Italy’s programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH from now on). It wasn’t what I expected. For a start, it never stopped raining (and I say this as an Englishman). And the traumatic war of 1992-95, which left some 100,000 dead (the exact figure is still disputed), and engraved names like Srebrenica, Tuzla and Mostar on the memories …

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Links I liked

Duncan Green - June 23, 2014

My twitter feed has been disrupted by being on a trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina (more on that later), and the over-excited outpourings of World Cup tweeting (sour grapes, moi?) but here’s a few that slipped through. Maptastic The disease most likely to kill you, by country (some doubts on the stats, but they come from WHO) Latin America still has the highest murder rates, …

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‘Economists know almost nothing about anything’. Yet another reason to love Thomas Piketty

Duncan Green - June 20, 2014

From the intro to ‘Capital in the 21st Century’, a taste of his great approach to learning, the easy discursive style, (but also why the book is 600 pages long – succinct he ain’t. I’ve got to page 164): “To put it bluntly, the discipline of economics has yet to get over its childish passion for mathematics and for purely theoretical and often highly ideological …

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Working with unlikely bedfellows to turn BP Deepwater Horizon fines into local jobs: How Oxfam America adapted to doing advocacy in the Deep South

Duncan Green - June 19, 2014

Next up in the series of case studies on ‘active citizenship’ is an impressive bit of campaigning by Oxfam America’s domestic programme, in response to the horrendous BP oil spill of 2010. Here’s the draft case study (Draft AC case study Gulf RESTORE campaign June 2014: comments welcome), which I summarize below. ‘We started with two Senators and ended up with 74 Senators supporting the bill.  …

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What works in reducing gender inequality? Great overview from Naila Kabeer

Duncan Green - June 18, 2014

We’ve been having an interesting internal discussion on inequality over the last few weeks, and this contribution from Naila Kabeer jumped out. So I thought I’d nick it for FP2P A gendered analysis of essential services highlights the scale of the inequality challenge but it also offers useful pointers for the design of more inclusive and effective social protection strategies. Social protection interventions need to …

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Links I liked

Duncan Green - June 17, 2014

Here’s the cream of last week’s twitter-crop Some pretty pictures Average number of firearms per 100 people (right). Yemenis and Yankees slugging it out for top spot. Datasource: The Guardian Every country’s highest value goods export, [h/t John Magrath] Relax, population controllers: the global slowdown is well advanced [h/t Kate Raworth] Oxfam gets bashed for being ‘too political’ in its advocacy on rising hunger in UK …

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Are we measuring the right things? The latest multidimensional poverty index is launched today – what do you think?

Duncan Green - June 16, 2014

I’m definitely not a stats geek, but every now and then, I get caught up in some of the nerdy excitement generated by measuring the state of the world. Take today’s launch (in London, but webstreamed) of a new ‘Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2014’ for example – it’s fascinating. This is the fourth MPI (the first came out in 2010), and is again produced by …

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Where does power lie in a fragile state like Eastern Congo? What does it mean for aid organizations?

Duncan Green - June 13, 2014

Here’s the last (at least for now) reflection on my recent trip to the DRC. The roads in DRC are extraordinary; a skeleton-rearranging, dental filling-loosening, vehicle disintegrating nightmare. From now on, when I talk about infrastructure and effective states, roads will be top of my list. In the rainy season, trucks charge $1200 to bump and crawl a load of sand the 5 hours from …

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