What will future generations condemn us for?

That’s the intriguing question tackled by Ghanaian philosopher, novelist and Princeton professor Kwame Anthony Appiah in a recent opinion piece in the Washington Post. “Once, pretty much everywhere, beating your wife and children was regarded as a father’s duty, homosexuality was a hanging offense, and waterboarding was approved — in fact, invented — by the Catholic…

By admin October 5, 2010 8

How butter leads to women’s emancipation: a self help group in Ethiopia

In societies where women are traditionally confined to the home and denied any voice, how can NGOs help bring them together? Ethiopia week on the blog continues with a visit to a women’s group supported by an Oxfam partner, Rift Valley Children and Women Development. On the way, Hussen Delecha, an ex-Save the Children staffer…

By admin September 24, 2010 5

How Change Happens: Improving the Education system in Niger

I’m always keen to pick up and explore examples of ‘how change happens’ in different situations (feel free to send suggestions). Here’s one from a conversation with Oxfam’s country director in Niger, Mbacke Niang, As one might expect in one of the world’s poorest countries, Niger has a dysfunctional, poorly managed and inaccessible primary education…

By admin September 15, 2010 4

Random Highlights from the Manchester War on Poverty Conference

Some random observations from the ‘Ten Years of War Against Poverty’ conference in Manchester, before I head off to Edinburgh for tomorrow’s conference on ‘Making the Most of Scotland’s Aid (it’s that time of year…) Ravi Kanbur (one of my heroes for his paper on why NGOs and the  big institutions disagree all the time)…

By admin September 9, 2010 1

What can Sweden teach us about successful development?

What, if anything, can today’s developing countries learn from Sweden? That’s the question that a new paper by Ari Kokko, published by the UN University’s World Institute for Development Economics Research, seeks to answer. Sweden is particularly relevant because up until well into the 19th Century, it looked very much like a developing country: dependent…

By admin September 7, 2010 1