Health and Education

The World Bank’s 2018 World Development Report on Education: a sceptic’s review

Duncan Green - October 18, 2017

Guest post from Prachi Srivastava (@PrachiSrivas), Associate Professor in the area of education and international development at the University of Western Ontario. When the World Bank announced that the 2018 World Development Report (WDR) would be on education, I was sceptical. I’m not denying the Bank’s research expertise. It devotes substantial money and staff and has a trove of reports that are accessible in the …

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Book Review: The Aid Lab: Understanding Bangladesh’s Unexpected Success, by Naomi Hossain

Duncan Green - September 19, 2017

Over the summer I read a few absolutely brilliant books – hence the spate of book reviews. This week I will cover two new studies on development’s biggest recent success stories – China, but first Bangladesh. How did Bangladesh go from being a ‘basket case’ (though ‘not necessarily our basket case’ – Henry Kissinger, 1971) to a development success story, claimed by numerous would-be fathers …

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Can a new Index measure whether governments are serious about reducing inequality?

Duncan Green - July 18, 2017

Oxfam’s inequality ubergeek, Deborah Hardoon, needs your help with an ambitious new index As a researcher working on inequality, there are plenty of data and statistics for me to analyse, model and generate ‘killer stats’ from. Of course, there are many data gaps, plus lots of debate on which measures are the best to use (hint, not the one proposed for SDG10). But for the …

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Two days with the Radiographers of Power

Duncan Green - July 5, 2017

Spent another couple of days with the International Budget Partnership (IBP) last week. If budgets sound boring and bean-counter ish, consider this quote from Rudolf Goldscheid: “the budget is the skeleton of the state stripped of all misleading ideologies.” Follow the money, because the rest is spin. The IBP trains and supports civil society organizations (CSOs) in dozens of countries to become better radiographers of …

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Shouting or cooperating? What’s the best way to use indexes to get better local government?

Duncan Green - June 30, 2017

Went to an enjoyable panel at ODI last week, with the wonderful subtitle ‘Shouting at the system won’t make it work!’. It presented new research on how to improve the accountability of local government in Tanzania. Here’s the paper presented by two of the authors, Anna Mdee and Patricia Tshomba, the first of a series. The research is about how you construct a local government …

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How will we know if the SDGs are having any impact?

Duncan Green - June 8, 2017

As long time readers of the blog will know, I’ve been a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) sceptic since long before they were even agreed. However, I’ve been hearing a fair amount about them recently – people telling me that governments North and South, companies and city administrations are using them to frame public commitments and planning and reporting against them. So maybe it’s time to …

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Making Change in Closed Political Environments – what works?

Duncan Green - May 12, 2017

I’m a big fan of the International Budget Partnership, which manages both to get down and dirty in supporting national campaigns and movements for budget transparency, and to step back and spot the broader patterns of politics and change. Over the next few months I’m going to be helping them think through their strategy so I’ve been catching up a few recent research papers. First …

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Why is so little being done to stop traffic killing 1.25m people per year, and costing 3% of global GDP? Good new paper.

Duncan Green - May 4, 2017

Part of my purpose in life is to puff good new papers from the ODI, and it’s been a while, so here goes. Work in the aid business and you regularly hear grisly tales of deaths, injuries and near misses of colleagues and partners on the roads of the developing world. In Peru, I once had the disorienting experience of seeing the rear wheel of …

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How introducing electronic votes in Brazil saved lives and increased health spending by a third

Duncan Green - February 24, 2017

Just came across a paper which overcame even my scepticism about what often seems excessive hype around technology’s impact on poverty and human rights. Check out ‘Voting Technology, Political Responsiveness and Infant Health: Evidence from Brazil’ by Princeton’s Thomas Fujiwara. He has stumbled across one of those wonderful natural experiments that allow you to try and pin down the causal impact of a particular change. …

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The global state of child marriage #GirlsNotBrides

Duncan Green - February 16, 2017

OK, it’s finally happened, I’ve woken up with nothing to post – I’ve been on the road for the last two weeks, and it’s hard to keep feeding the blog between events, travel etc. So I thought I’d just repost the most powerful item from the 60 or so articles in my RSS feed today. Shanta Devarajan setting out the case for a Universal Basic Income …

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