Best story in development; evidence and aid; who holds the mobile?; tax inspectors without borders; CSR v democracy; Kenya's Quakers; Living the Language: links I liked

Falling African child mortality – much tweeted ‘best story in development’ (see bar chart, showing average % fall over most recent 5 year African U5MRperiod) but only partial and unsatisfactory answers to the really important question – why?

Ian Thorpe summarizes twenty years of agonising on the use of evidence in aid policy 

In the Philippines ‘mobile phone ownership by the farmer is associated with a 5-percent increase in the price received by the farmer for his onions. When we remove outliers, mobile phone ownership by the farmer’s spouse is associated with a 7-percent increase in the price received by the farmer for his onions.’ [h/t Claire Melamed] And (cf best story in development), there’s not much discussion about why that might be true……

Mick Moore applauds the OECD’s idea of creating ‘tax inspectors without borders’ 

Does corporate social responsibility (as a response to resource nationalism) damage democracy in Africa?

A third of the world’s Quakers live in Kenya, and they are developing non-violent direct action as a third way ‘between submission and riot’

Al Jazeera continues to excel as the world’s best development channel. Check out its Living the Language video series, ‘bringing us the stories of indigenous activists and communities throughout the globe who are standing up against stigma and proposing solutions to recover the spaces for indigenous languages’. More background here.  Here’s the 22m video on Aymara identity in Bolivia

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Comments

2 Responses to “Best story in development; evidence and aid; who holds the mobile?; tax inspectors without borders; CSR v democracy; Kenya's Quakers; Living the Language: links I liked”
  1. Thanks for linking to our paper on the intrahousehold allocation of mobile phones in the Philippines, Duncan.

    Regarding the “Why?,” we speculate about this a little bit in the paper. One explanation is that for all the public good nature of (price) information, a mobile phone — the mechanisms by which information is collected — is a club good. So if a child has a mobile phone, it doesn’t mean the parents necessarily always have access to it.

    Still, given how much we caution the reader against over-interpreting our results as anything but an interesting set of correlations, we remain even more cautious about potential stories. We do encourage others, however, to look into the mechanism through which our finding obtains.

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