Brit aid rocks; economists’ letters; out of order; gods v condoms; what did dev pundits get wrong?; carbon taxes; land grabs + bent pols in Malaysia: links I liked

March 25, 2013 1 By admin

I generally tweet links these days (@fp2p if you want to follow), but for the untwittered, here are a few recent highlights:

A wonderful (and politically inexplicable) thing happened last week. Amid gloom and austerity, the UK government kept to its promises and increasedUK-Aid-as-Share-GNI aid to 0.7% of national income – the first G8 country to do so. It barely warranted a mention in the press coverage, but Owen Barder had a nice piece + graph showing the turnaround (right, from 1960 to present, turnaround is 1997).

Oxfam did its bit as part of the IF campaign, sending in 500 George Osbournes to spread the word, and persuading 100 economists to sign a letter supporting the move. Save the Children also got a pile of economists to sign up to a letter on why inequality should be at the centre of the post2015 debate. But be warned, these are economists – only a matter of time before they start charging.

Out-of-Order-1A smart Australian campaign – slapping ‘out of order’ signs on vending machines of bad companies (here, Coca Cola. Allegedly).

Religious leaders are up to their old tricks in Kenya, getting TV to drop a USAID and UKAid-funded advert encouraging condom use. Sigh.

Alex Evans lists ten things development pundits like him missed/got wrong in the 2008/9 food/finance meltdown. Excellent corrective for anyone involved in the bla bla business.

The gulf between reason and politics is nowhere greater than on climate change. The Financial Times had a well-argued editorial making the case for carbon taxes. Anyone listening?

Some great investigative campaigning from Global Witness on corruption and land grabs in Sarawak (Malaysia). Got a mention in this week’s Economist too.