Topic: Conflict and Security

Cash Transfers: what does the evidence say?

DFID, the UK’s Department for International Development, produces some really excellent research (and in case you’re wondering, our research team doesn’t see any of DFID’s research dosh, so I’m not singing for my supper here). The latest example is a really useful ‘evidence paper’ on cash transfers, summarizing a literature that is expanding at a […]

Read More »

7 steps from autocracy to democracy

From a recent speech by International Crisis Group’s deputy president Nick Grono, Alex Evans has distilled 7 very plausible lessons on how to ensure a successful transition from autocracy to democracy. 1) Reform has to happen quickly before impetus runs out – which it will, quickly. “If reforms don’t happen almost immediately, the opportunity is soon […]

Read More »

How not to run an aid programme: Afghanistan

  ‘The American marine captain [Patrick Lavoie – see pic] only has to step out of his base to be overwhelmed by turbaned men anxious to be his best friend. All along the main road they try to catch his eye and beg him for money to spruce up their shops. As part of his […]

Read More »

The Obama Doctrine – where is the US going on development and diplomacy?

Government reports don’t come with much less enticing titles than the US ‘Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review’ but as is often the way, a boring title signals important content, setting out big and in some cases excellent plans for US foreign and development policy. The director of the review, Anne Marie Slaughter, presented the review at […]

Read More »

Rape is not the only story in the Congo

Emma Fanning is Oxfam’s protection manager in the DRC If you’ve been following the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recently – and given its unchanging, grim headlines, it’s not surprising if you haven’t – the story has probably been about rape. Large scale, brutal, dehumanising rape. The Congo has been dubbed the « rape capital […]

Read More »

How can the global system manage scarcity?

Alex Evans is on a bit of a roll at the moment, with an excellent new paper on ‘Globalization and Scarcity: Multilateralism for a World with Limits’. It’s a great summary of the problems created by the threat of scarcity of food, land, water, energy, and ‘airspace’ (for greenhouse gas emissions). He confines his solutions […]

Read More »

We love road blocks; flushing toilets and murder rates: random facts about Latin America

The Economist has a big report on Latin America this week, to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the start of its struggle for independence (unfinished business, some would say). Here are some of the more striking statistical nuggets and other bits and pieces. The region has 15% of the world’s oil reserves, a large […]

Read More »

So do food price spikes cause riots or not?

I’m a big fan of Chris Blattman’s blog (as the number of ‘hat tips’ – [h/t] – on this one demonstrates), but he lost it a bit in his recent post on food riots. Here’s what he says: ‘Globalization and growth should reduce price spikes in future. More countries are producing crops. Climate shocks in […]

Read More »

Channel 16: a new crowdsourcing initiative on disasters and conflict

This is exciting – a new crowdsourcing initiative on humanitarian emergencies that combines wikipedia, youtube and Ushahidi to dig deeper, be more user-generated and more linked to taking action than standard media coverage. It’s called Channel 16, and here’s the blurb: “Named after the broadcast frequency of an international distress signal, Channel 16 creates a […]

Read More »

New books on development: bad microfinance; climate change and war; what works; inside the World Bank; mobile activism

One of the perks of writing a blog is that I can scrounge review copies of development-related books. I’m sure they’re all fascinating and I really want to read them but alas, they don’t come with extra hours in the day attached. So I now have a growing pile by my desk that is in […]

Read More »

Where have we got to on fragile states and what comes next?

Another week, another conference. This time it’s hosted by the UK development ministry, DFID, which among other things, has an impressive track record of funding research on development issues (declaration of interest – I worked for DFID for a year in 2004, and sometimes advise them on research issues). This week’s gabfest is called ‘The […]

Read More »

Who runs the world? The rise of the G5

The G5 countries will police each other and everyone else A thought-provoking and perversely optimistic take on 21st Century geopolitics from Paul Collier in this month’s issue of Prospect. It’s too well-written to edit, but in short, what he is saying is that the world will be run by the US, China, Japan, India and the […]

Read More »