Topic: Aid

How has the World Bank performed on the global economic crisis?

The Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group – an internal watchdog with a good track record in spotting problems, has just published an evaluation of the World Bank Group (WBG)’s response to the crisis. Nothing earth-shattering, but here are some highlights: ‘The greatest part of the Bank’s response in fiscal 2009 was a large increase in IBRD […]

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Millions Fed: 20 case studies of agricultural success

‘In the late 1950s around a billion people—about one-third of the world’s population—were estimated to go hungry every day. Famines were threatening millions in Asia and Africa in particular, and prospects for feeding the world’s booming population looked bleak. In response to this alarming picture, scientists, policymakers, farmers, and concerned individuals initiated a concerted push […]

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Why has the Tobin Tax gone mainstream?

So the Tobin Tax finally went large at the G20 finance ministers’ meeting last weekend. Gordon Brown supported a financial transactions tax to repay some of the costs of the bailout and provide extra cash for development and climate change action, and a predictable backlash promptly consumed the finance pages. I won’t rehearse the press coverage […]

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Charter Cities – visionary, naive or bonkers?

Charter Cities are a proposal to build cities from scratch in the world’s poorest nations, outsourcing their design and government to rich countries. Visionary, naïve or plain bonkers? Probably a bit of all three. They are the brainchild of US economist Paul Romer, who explains his idea on this (20 minute) video. He’s serious – […]

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25 years after the Ethiopian famine, what have we learned?

It’s 25 years since the Ethiopian famine and the region is again being flayed by drought. Expect lots of media coverage, at least some of it along the lines of ’why did we bother? Nothing’s changed.’ Not so. Band Aids and Beyond, an Oxfam briefing paper published today, summarizes what’s been learned since then and […]

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Cleaning up Dirty Elections – what works?

The Centre for the Study of African Economies in Oxford (home to Paul Collier, among others) is putting out some fascinating two pagers on its work, including two recent papers on ‘dirty elections’. In ‘Cleaning up Dirty Elections’ Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler go to work  on a new data set spanning nearly 30 years […]

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Jasmine Rice in the Weeping Plain: successful adaptation to climate change

Lured by its wonderful title, I’ve just been reading a new briefing about some successful adaptation work in Northeast Thailand. Here’s a summary: In 2007, farmers in Yasothorn Province, north-east Thailand, experienced the longest dry spell during a rainy season in decades. Yasothorn, one of the 10 poorest provinces in the country, is part of […]

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What comes after the MDGs?

Gave a presentation on this last week. I’ve blogged before on the strengths and weaknesses of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but if you want more,  ‘Promoting Pro-poor Policy after the MDGs’ a recent conference organized by EADI, ActionAid, IDS and others has dozens of background papers (prize for most world-weary title goes to Pietro Garau […]

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What happened at the Pittsburgh G20?

I didn’t attend the G20 summit in Pittsburgh last week, but I’ve been poring over the communiqué. Here are some initial thoughts on what it all means (numbers in square brackets refer to paragraphs in the original), incorporating analysis and intel from the Oxfam team at the event. Headline: Pittsburgh formally enshrined the rise of […]

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Do poorer countries have less capacity for redistribution? A new paper

When can a country end poverty by redistributing wealth from its rich people, and when must it instead rely on aid or growth? That’s a question Martin Ravallion, head of the World Bank’s research department seeks to answer in a new paper. Essentially he is trying to put precise numbers on the relatively obvious point […]

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Cash for Climate: how the financing numbers break down

Cash will be king in the next few months as the crescendo of climate change negotiations builds to the big December summit in Copenhagen. In the words of Alf Wills, a South African negotiator, ‘no money, no deal’ (although European Commission President José Manuel Barroso is also credited with the soundbite). If developing countries are […]

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World Bank pronounces on climate change: WDR 2010, published today

This year’s World Bank flagship publication, the World Development Report 2010, is on climate change – a significant departure from the tradition of devoting turn of the decade WDRs to an overview of poverty. It’s an unabashed bit of climate change advocacy, remorselessly upbeat and optimistic (even when the story it tells suggests rather more […]

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