The Rise of Social Protection, the art of Paradigm Maintenance, and a disagreement with the World Bank

Spent a mind-stretching day last week with a bunch of social protection experts from the LSE, IMF and assorted other bodies. Social Protection includes emergency relief, permanent mechanisms such as pensions and cash transfers, and ‘social insurance’ based on people’s personal contributions. LSE boss Minouche Shafik set the scene really well: ‘The failure of safety…

By Duncan Green November 8, 2018 2

One step forward, two steps back? Why WDR 2019 harms the World Bank’s role as a thought leader on employment and gender equality

Guest post on the new World Development Report by Shahra Razavi (left) and Silke Staab of the UN Women Research and Data Section. (The views expressed here are in their individual capacities and do not reflect the position of UN Women). Diego Rivera’s 1931 mural, The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City,…

By Duncan Green October 25, 2018 4

Legal earthquakes and the struggle against Mining in Mexico

Second post from a great visit to Mexico last week to launch the Spanish language edition of How Change Happens. Few things get development folk fired up as much as mining. For many NGOs and grassroots organizations, not much has changed since the Conquistadores: mining is plunder. Given their long history in terms of pollution,…

By Duncan Green October 19, 2018 1

Are fuel riots the food riots of the 21st century?

Ploughing through the papers for this week’s big IDS conference of the ‘Action for Accountability and Empowerment’ research consortium (of which Oxfam is a member), a new IDS paper on energy protests jumped out at me. Here’s the brilliant Naomi Hossain summarizing it in an IDS blog: ‘Modern life depends on fuel, even while tackling climate…

By Duncan Green September 19, 2018 3

What kind of Tax Campaigning works best in developing countries – top down or bottom up?

Tax Justice has become a big deal among a range of NGOs, including Oxfam. There’s a lot of global campaigning on things like tax havens and tax evasion by transnational corporations, but what kinds of campaign make sense at a national level in countries like Vietnam and Nigeria? Two new pieces dropped into my inbox…

By Duncan Green August 10, 2018 1

Don’t worry. Be factful: Review of Factfulness, by Hans and Ola Rosling, and Anna Rosling Rönnlund

Matthew Spencer reviews Hans Rosling’s posthumous manifesto When Hans Rosling, the TED talk phenomenon and professor of international health, was a young doctor in Mozambique in the 1980’s he was berated by a visiting friend and medic for not providing better care for a seriously ill child that been brought into his health clinic. Hans…

By Duncan Green August 8, 2018 3

Of the World’s top 100 economic revenue collectors, 29 are states, 71 are corporates

Oh good, researchers at the University of Amsterdam have updated the list of the world’s big hitters using 2016 figures. In the past, previous such lists offended purists because they compared apples (national GDP) with oranges (corporate revenue). This time the authors in their background paper say have tried to include only government revenue: ‘we…

By Duncan Green August 3, 2018 3