December 2014

Links I liked

Duncan Green - December 22, 2014

Bumper crop of tweets last week, and here are some of the best. And with that I’m signing off for Christmas – see you in 2015. Highest % of children in poverty in the developed world: 1 Greece; 3 Spain; 4 Israel; 6 US; 16 UK; 41 Norway [h/t Conrad Hackett] Fascinating analysis of the process of change at the IMF – a paradigm shift …

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What are the links between authoritarianism, democracy and development? Magisterial (and short) new overview

Duncan Green - December 19, 2014

Sometimes, with heavy heart, I pick up yet another example of ‘grey literature’ only to find I’ve wandered into an Aladdin’s cave of ideas. That was my sensation on reading Tim Kelsall’s new paper for the Developmental Leadership Program, on ‘Authoritarianism, democracy and development’. In just 14 pages, he summarizes a huge literature, with the aim of boiling it all down into some useful advice for …

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$2 leaving developing countries for every $1 going in – big new report on the state of global financial flows

Duncan Green - December 18, 2014

A very useful new report from Eurodad, published today, provides ‘the most comprehensive review of the quantity of different financing sources available to developing countries, and how they have changed over the past decade.’ This in the run up to the big UN summit on financing for development (FfD) in Addis Ababa in July 2015. Here are some highlights from the exec sum: ‘We have …

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Local First: an excellent (and practical) counterweight to the more top-down versions of ‘doing development differently’

Duncan Green - December 17, 2014

I’ve been both engaged and excited by a lot of the recent networking on ‘thinking and working politically’/’doing development differently’, which emphasizes the importance of understanding and working with the grain of local context, and a project cycle which replaces ‘The Plan’ with a messy process of trying, failing, learning and adapting (and trying again). But one anxiety I have is that it all feels …

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The new World Development Report (on mind, society and behavior): lots to like, but a big fail on power, politics and religion

Duncan Green - December 16, 2014

This probably doesn’t need saying, but the World Development Report is a big deal. The World Bank’s annual flagships have a track record of shaping debates on particular issues, and raising them up the endlessly churning development agenda. So it pays to pay attention. This year’s WDR, published this month, is on ‘Mind, Society and Behaviour’. I (like most people) have only read the 20 …

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Links I liked

Duncan Green - December 15, 2014

This week’s selection from last week’s @fp2p twitter traffic  Relative girls & boys school enrolment worldwide. Red = more boys; Blue = more girls; Yellow = about equal. It’s getting complicated, people [h/t Conrad Hackett] The Harvard business school professor v the Chinese takeaway. Bonkers. [h/t Aditya Chakrabortty] Let’s talk governance and institutions: The recent Harvard meeting on ‘Doing Development Differently’ continues to generate interesting …

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The Living Wage: a remarkable story of global progress – how big could it get?

Duncan Green - December 12, 2014

A few years ago, I was struck by the fervour with which a student activist acquaintance of mine, Stefan Baskerville, talked about the Living Wage. Every holiday he would leave his life of student activism (and occasional study) in Oxford and head for the East End of London, where he worked for Citizens UK, a community organization, in a campaign to get the LW for …

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How can small countries make a difference with their aid programmes?

Duncan Green - December 11, 2014

Had a fun couple of days in Malta last week – amazing place, dripping with history – massive battlements, the Knights of Malta (right), amazing blinged-up churches, and some spectacular Caravaggios (my favourite one below). I was there to deliver a Kapuscinski Lecture  on ‘Citizen Empowerment and Mobilization’ – I’ll link to it when it goes online. But I also had a fascinating conversation on the role …

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You can’t take a supertanker white-water rafting: what future for International NGOs?

Duncan Green - December 10, 2014

This post also appears on the ‘Practice for Change’ blog I try to avoid those endless bouts of INGO navel gazing, but don’t always succeed. Which is lucky, because recently, I had a really interesting session on ‘the future of INGOs’ at La Trobe University’s Institute for Human Security and Social Change in Melbourne. I kicked off summarising a recent paper (The End of the …

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Did Britain’s Aid Programme (and maybe aid in general) just get its Mojo back?

Duncan Green - December 9, 2014

[Mojo: NOUN (plural mojos), chiefly US: A magic charm, talisman, or spell] I got back from Malta on Friday, just in time to watch the end of the House of Commons debate on enshrining in British law the longstanding, but widely ignored, international commitment to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income on international development. By an overwhelming majority (146 to 5), the bill passed. It still has to go to the House of Lords, …

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