Month: May 2016

Thomas Piketty on inequality in developing countries (great, but still not enough on politics)

I heard econ rock star Thomas Piketty speak for the first time last week – hugely enjoyable. The occasion was the annual conference of the LSE’s new International Inequalities Institute, with Piketty headlining. He was brilliant: original and funny, riffing off traditional France v Britain tensions, and reeling off memorable one liners: ‘meritocracy is a…

By Duncan Green May 31, 2016 6

Links I Liked

The grim power of data: heat map of migrant deaths and cemeteries in the Mediterranean since 2014 [h/t Max Galka] The IMF (or at least its more thoughtful parts) continues to startle old lags like me used to denouncing it as irredeemably ‘neoliberal’. The latest issue of its flagship magazine, Finance and Development, includes a glowing…

By Duncan Green May 30, 2016 0

Book Review, Augusta Dwyer: The Anatomy of Giving (on the aid industry and Haiti)

If you want a readable and short (167 pages) introduction to the many contradictions and debates that beset the aid business, I recommend The Anatomy of Giving (apologies for Amazon link – couldn’t find another). Dwyer’s subject is Haiti – ‘At just a two-hour flight from Miami, Haiti is the Western Hemisphere’s own little piece of…

By Duncan Green May 26, 2016 0

So what do we really know about innovation in international development? Summary of new book (+ you get to vote)

Ben Ramalingam of IDS and Kirsten Bound of Nesta share insights from their new open-access book on innovation for development (download it here). And you get to vote (see end) Innovation is increasingly popular in international development. The last ten years have seen new initiatives, funds, and pilots aplenty. While some of this involves genuinely…

By Duncan Green May 25, 2016 4

When/Why do countries improve the management of their natural resources? New 4 country study

Now I love Oxfam dearly but (you were expecting a ‘but’, right?) both as producers and consumers, we suffer from TL; DR syndrome (too long; didn’t read). Not only that but we don’t always make the most of executive summaries. Which is a shame, because some real gems often go unnoticed as a result. So…

By Duncan Green May 24, 2016 0

Links I Liked

Global life expectancy has now overtaken the biblical span for the first time, up by five years since 2000, (WHO figures). Global average now 71.4 years  Big International Inequalities conference at LSE on Wednesday (25th), including rock star Thomas Piketty. I’ll be on a practitioner panel (sounds painful) in the evening The horror of the…

By Duncan Green May 23, 2016 1

How can campaigners influence the private sector? 4 lessons from the Behind the Brands campaign on Big Food

Oxfam private sector researcher/evaluation adviser Uwe Gneiting reflects on 3 years of a campaign to change thebehavior of Big Food Last month we marked the third anniversary of the Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign with a new briefing paper that included an updated scorecard of the world’s ten largest food and beverage companies’ sustainability policies.…

By Duncan Green May 20, 2016 7

Do people identify as global or national citizens? New report suggests a tipping point, but North and South heading in opposite directions

This is interesting, and feels like it could be part of a big normative shift. According to a new report from Globescan (a polling company), across 20,000 people in 18 countries ‘more than half (51%) see themselves more as global citizens than citizens of their country, against 43 per cent who identify nationally. This is…

By Duncan Green May 19, 2016 8

How Change Happens: a conversation with 25 top campaigners from around the world

Spent an exhilarating morning last week with Oxfam’s ‘Campaigns and Advocacy Leadership Programme’. Must have been at least 20 nationalities in the room, with huge experience and wisdom. The topic was How Change Happens (what else). To give you a flavour, here are some of the topics that came up, with my takes on them:…

By Duncan Green May 18, 2016 3