Topic: Global Financial and Economic Crisis

"Be Outraged!" Some big names in development take on the Austerians

This week Oxfam supported the publication of ‘Be Outraged’, an angry and eloquent broadside from some big names in the development scene, including Richard Jolly, Carlos Fortin, Giovanni Andrea Cornia, Diane Elson, Ruth Pearson, Frances Stewart and Stephany Griffith Jones. Many of them led the fightback in the late 1980s against the excesses of the […]

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‘As serious as a heart attack’: Robin Hood Tax Global Week of Action Kicks Off

Update on substantial progress (and the risk the money raised won’t go to development and climate change) from Oxfam head of advocacy (and generally merry man) Max Lawson This week sees a Global Week of Action for the campaign for the Robin Hood Tax (aka the Financial Transactions Tax, or FTT). The FTT rose to prominence […]

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'It’s the share of the rich, stupid': brilliant inequality stats + politics from Gabriel Palma

A while back I reposted Andy Sumner’s blog on new research on inequality from the Chilean economist Gabriel Palma (right). But I’ve now read the paper, catchily titled ‘Homogeneous middles vs. heterogeneous tails, and the end of the ‘Inverted-U’: the share of the rich is what it’s all about’ and am so blown away, that I […]

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How can we measure Scotland's well-being? New index from Oxfam.

Really interesting project from Katherine Trebeck and colleagues in Oxfam’s UK Poverty Programme – constructing and testing a wellbeing index for Scotland. Guardian coverage here. Here’s how it works: Oxfam consulted 3,000 people across Scotland (focus groups, community workshops – see pic, street stalls, an online survey, and a YouGov poll) to establish what aspects of […]

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How poor people get through crises: some excellent 'rapid social anthropology' from IDS and the World Bank

On Wednesday, I spoke at the launch of a new book, Living Through Crises: How the Food, Fuel and Financial Shocks Affect the Poor, by Rasmus Heltberg, Naomi Hossain and Anna Reva. It’s a joint World Bank and IDS publication, also available for free online. I think it could prove quite influential. The starting point […]

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Why are rich countries trying to silence alternative economic voices at the UN?

The UN system is normally a terribly polite sort of place, but something is seriously amiss at UNCTAD. Despite its name (The UN Conference on Trade and Development), UNCTAD is a permanent body founded in 1964, which even at the height of Washington Consensus orthodoxy, provided developing countries with an invaluable source of thinking on […]

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Are aid cuts inevitable and if so, what should aid campaigners do about it?

While I was snowed in in a holiday cottage last week (quite fun actually, especially when you’ve packed your West Wing box set just in case), the 2011 OECD aid numbers came out (see table). The numbers show total aid falling in real terms for the first time since 1997. What was also striking was […]

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Robin Hood Tax update: more campaign success on the Financial Transactions Tax

The RHT campaign continues to show the remarkable ‘how change happens’ potential of a response to shocks (in this case, financial crash + austerity = governments desperate for new sources of revenue + impending collapse of aid flows from many donors + massive public antipathy towards the banking sector = perfect time to campaign for […]

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What should a European Voice on Development actually say?

Had a slightly frustrating session (but they’re often the most productive) at ODI recently on the next-but-one (2013) European Report on Development, which will be on the post-2015 debate, aka what comes after the MDGs (ODI’s doing lots on this). My frustration sprang from the contrast between the avowed mission of the ERD – to […]

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Is this the UN's most powerful critique to date of finance-driven globalization?

Ten years ago, Supachai Panitchpakdi was in charge of the World Trade Organization as it led a global push for the liberalization of trade, investment and just about everything else in the early days of the Doha Round. The talks ran aground (they still aren’t concluded) amid a big pushback from many developing countries (backed by […]

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How will political and economic shocks drive social change? Please help me write a paper…..

Something almost unprecedented has occurred – I’ve finished an article early. Oxfam Peru is a redoubt of intellectuals and every year publishes an annual collection of essays on the state of Peru and development in general. This year they’ve asked me to focus on shocks and change, so I’ve donned my false beard and cardigan […]

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Social Cohesion – there's a lot more to it than the OECD version

Fuzzword alert: the term ‘social cohesion’ seems to be popping up across the development landscape like toadstools in autumn. The G20 prefers to talk about social cohesion rather than inequality; the World Bank is using it to discuss jobs in its forthcoming World Development Report, and the OECD recently published Perspectives on Global Development 2012: […]

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