Bad beer; Cancun Climate; aid competition v cartels; microfinance meltdown; your weekly fix of Hans Rosling: links I liked

December 6, 2010 2 By admin

Some great investigative research by Action Aid on corporate tax avoidance in Africa, in this case by beer giant SABMiller

Handy summary c/o the Guardian’s John Vidal of the first week’s progress (or lack of it) at the Climate Change summit in Cancun (or if you prefer, the photo version)

My best idea for getting climate change talks on track? Move them from December (freezing cold in key emitting countries) to sweaty July (making climate change more convincing to less evidence-based negotiators). George Monbiot agrees

C/o Wikileaks why African diplomats don’t like the sound of US-Chinese cooperation on aid to their continent – they prefer competition to cartels. And more on competition v collaboration, this time from Owen Barder:

‘The growing number and diversity of development organisations could be a source of strength in the aid system, if different organisations could stick to their specialities and if they worked in an aid environment which enabled them to work together effectively. Unfortunately, the political economy of aid encourages the opposite behaviour.’ Best example? ‘In the aftermath of the tsunami disaster a local doctor in Banda Aceh, one of the most affected areas, wrote: “In February, in Riga (close to Calang) we had a case of measles, a little girl. Immediately, all epidemiologists of Banda Aceh came in, because they were afraid of a propagation of measles among displaced people, but the little girl recovered very fast. Then, we realized that this was not a normal case of measles and we discovered that this girl has received the same vaccine three times, from three different organizations. The measles symptoms were a result of the three vaccines she received.”

Microfinance supporters and critics are out in droves to discuss the looming MF crisis in Andhra Pradesh (being likened to a kind of microfinancial subprime meltdown), The Aid Watch blog is following events here and here

This week’s fix of Hans Rosling, the data presentation guru, explaining the last 200 years of human progress in 200 countries – in 4 minutes, apparently in an abandoned building. Epic. [h/t Chris Blattman]

and you can see the man himself on BBC four Tuesday and 9pm, presenting ‘The Joy of Stats’. Oh dear.