Topic: Economics

Doing the Doughnut at the G20?

For the G20 and this week’s big climate change gabfest in Poland, Kate Raworth pulled together this smart piece on where the world’s countries have got to on living inside the doughnut, and where the burgeoning band of doughnut economists have got to in turning Kate’s big idea into a practical tool. It originally appeared […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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, […]

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Dr Pangloss and Mr Ludd: Stefan Dercon revisits Technology and Development

Stefan Dercon of the Blavatnik School of Government introduces two new reports. Am I alone? Was I the only one who could not believe it when the World Development Report 2016 said that 85 per cent of jobs in Ethiopia could disappear due to automation? Am I also the only one who sighs when a […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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What I’ve learned about how the structures of businesses determine their social mission

Exfamer Erinch Sahan reflects on his first 100 days as boss of the World Fair Trade Organization 100 days ago. I left Oxfam to lead the World Fair Trade Organization. After seven years in Oxfam I had got hooked on one specific question: ‘are business structures that maximise power and returns for investors the only […]

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Escaping the Fragility Trap? Why is it so hard to think constructively about fragile states?

Just been reading the report of the ‘Commission on Fragility, Growth and Development’. Hosted by LSE and Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government; big name chairs (David Cameron, Donald Kaberuka and the LSE’s Adnan Khan). And I think it’s a bit disappointing. But the reasons for that are actually quite interesting and instructive. First the positives. […]

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Public Pressure + League Tables: Oxfam’s campaign on food brands is moving on to supermarkets.

Tim Gore explains the evolving theory of change behind Oxfam’s new supermarkets campaign ‘First the brands, now the retailers.‘ That was the reaction of a senior staffer at Mars – one of the 10 biggest global food manufacturers targeted in our award-winning Behind the Brands campaign – to the Behind the Barcodes launch last month. […]

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