January 2015

Migrant remittances are even more amazing that we thought

Duncan Green - January 30, 2015

At least in economic terms, migration appears to be some kind of developmental wonder-drug. Remittances from migrants to developing countries are now running at some three times the volume of aid, and barely faltered during the 2008-9 financial crisis (see graph). The World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects report looks at the impact of migrant remittances on developing countries and consumption, especially during crises. Here’s …

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Why ending poverty in India means tackling rural poverty and power

Duncan Green - January 29, 2015

Vanita Suneja, Oxfam India’s Economic Justice Lead, argues that India can’t progress until it tackles rural poverty More than 800 million of India’s 1.25 billion people live in the countryside. One quarter of rural India’s population is below the official poverty line – 216 million people. A search for economic justice for a population of this magnitude is never going to be possible only by relying on …

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What are governments doing on inequality? Great new cross-country data (and some important conclusions) from Nora Lustig

Duncan Green - January 28, 2015

Oxfam and Oxford University held a big inequality conference last week, timed to coincide with Davos and the launch of our new pre Davosbriefing (massive media coverage – kudos to author Deborah Hardoon and Oxfam press team). I generally find conferences pretty disturbing. This one at least spared us the coma-inducing panels of nervous researchers reading out their papers. All the speakers were confident and convincing. …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - January 26, 2015

Kids in Nairobi’s Kibera slum take on the land grabbers to defend their playground against cops, dogs & tear gas. And win, at least for now. Last week was Davos week: Oxfam’s Winnie Byanyima starred in a truly brilliant BBC debate on inequality (Christine Lagarde was the other standout, other panellists were Robert Schiller, Mark Carney, Martin Sorrell and Klaus Kleinfeld). Try and find an …

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Why Bill and Melinda’s Annual Letter is both exciting and disappointing

Duncan Green - January 23, 2015

Judging by his latest annual letter, if you could bottle and sell Bill Gates’ optimism, you’d probably make even more money than he has from software. In what they call a ‘big bet’ (actually, more like a prediction), the letter sets out Bill and Melinda’s personal version of some post-MDG goals for 2030 (Charles Kenny sees it as an implicit criticism of the official UN …

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Why ‘what’s your endgame?’ is a better question for aid agencies than ‘how do we go to scale?’

Duncan Green - January 22, 2015

Maybe it’s partly an age thing, but a lot of senior people in the aid business seem to obsess about scale. What’s the point of running a few projects, however successful? No, the only worthwhile end is ‘going to scale’, affecting the lives of millions of people, not a few hundred. It’s understandable and laudably ambitious, but it can have some bad side effects: It …

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14 ways for aid agencies to better promote active citizenship

Duncan Green - January 21, 2015

As you may have noticed, I’ve been writing a series of 10 case studies of Oxfam’s work in promoting ‘active citizenship’, plus a synthesis paper. They cover everything from global campaigns to promoting women’s leadership to labour rights. They are now all finished and up on the website. Phew. Here’s the accompanying blog which summarizes the findings of the exercise (with links to all the …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - January 20, 2015

America the Outlier. Belief in Evolution v national GDP per cap. Spot the odd one out. I’ve seen similar graphs on life expectancy v health spending. Any other candidates? The Napoleonic war, infant industry protection and herpes. Vintage Chris Blattman Then there’s some bad news Trade Bullies? EU holds Kenya’s big and job-creating flower industry hostage to force it to open its markets and sign …

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Davos: new briefing on global wealth, inequality and an update of that 85 richest = 3.5 billion poorest killer fact

Duncan Green - January 19, 2015

This is Davos week, and over on the Oxfam Research team’s excellent new Mind the Gap blog, Deborah Hardoon has an update on the mind-boggling maths of global inequality . Wealth data from Credit Suisse, finds that the 99% have been getting less and less of the economic pie over the past few years as the 1% get more. By next year, if the 2010-2014 trend for …

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