Topic: Trade

5 times bigger than aid: important new research on drugs as a (missing) development issue

A couple of years ago I reported on an excellent meeting at Christian Aid on drugs as a development issue. They have continued that work and today published an important new paper by Eric Gutierrez, ‘Drugs and Illicit Practices: assessing their impact on development and governance’. The paper argues that the illicit drug trade is […]

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The Paradox of Britain’s role in Yemen’s unfolding disaster. Guest post by Mark Goldring

While all eyes are on Syria, a humanitarian disaster is fast unfolding in Yemen, and the UK government’s role is ambiguous. Here Mark Goldring, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, explains why it is challenging the government on the ‘paradox’ of the UK’s approach and introduces a new report, released today. Twenty one million people in Yemen […]

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What difference do remittances and migration make back home?

Reading the Economist cover to cover is an illicit pleasure – it may be irritatingly smug and right wing, especially on anything about economic policy, but its coverage on international issues consistently goes way beyond standard news outlets. This week’s edition had everything from the changing face of Indian marriage to the spread of pedestrian […]

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Unilever opens a can of worms on corporate human rights reporting

This guest post comes from Rachel Wilshaw, Oxfam’s Ethical Trade Manager Hundreds of millions of people suffer from discrimination in the world of work. 1.3 billion people live in extreme poverty, surviving on less than $1.25 a day. 34 nations present an ‘extreme’ risk of human rights violations. Nearly 21 million people are victims of […]

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How does Change Happen in global commodities markets? The case of Palm Oil

This week’s Economist had an interesting discussion of the change process in the global palm oil industry. I assume all its claims are highly contested, but still, allow me to walk you through it and what it says about how change happens in one bit of the private sector. The basics: a boom industry with a […]

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Impact investing: hype v substance, the importance of ownership and the role of aid

Oxfam’s Erinch Sahan tries to disentangle hype from substance and makes a pitch for a new approach to impact investing. Impact investment is the next black. It’s already worth about $46 billion, and rapidly growing. In 2010, when it was a mere $4 billion, JP Morgan predicted it would be between $400 billion to $1 […]

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Have technology and globalization kicked away the ladder of ‘easy’ development? Dani Rodrik thinks so

Dani Rodrik was in town his week, and I attended a brilliant presentation at ODI. Very exciting. He’s been one of my heroes ever since I joined the aid and development crowd in the late 90s, when he was one of the few high profile economists to be arguing against the liberalizing market-good/state-bad tide on […]

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Four roles for the Multilateral System – how well will it perform any of them?

Along with a bunch of Oxfam’s specialist policy wonks, I recently helped Francoise Vanni, our new Director of Policy and Campaigns, put together a presentation on the multilateral system. Writing a new powerpoint is also a pretty good way to generate a blog post – key messages, simply transmitted (assuming you obey the ‘less than […]

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What do we know about the politics of reducing inequality? Not much – it’s time to find out

Spent a fun day at the Developmental Leadership Program annual conference in Birmingham yesterday. I was on a panel pitching an idea for a research programme that has got me very excited (along with David Hudson and Niheer Dasandi from University College London). Here’s my pitch. One of my formative influences as a policy wonk […]

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What should Europe do about Illicit Financial Flows? Five take-aways from the African Union’s High-Level report

This post by tax campaigner Christian Hallum (@ChrHallum) also appeared on the Eurodad blog.  Last Saturday a landmark decision was taken when the African Union, made up of 54 African Heads of State, adopted the report of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows (IFF). This report documents the scale and impact of IFF from […]

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New research: A wage revolution could end extreme poverty in Asia, with massive knock-on effects in Africa

Spoke last week as a ‘discussant’ (my favourite speaking role, no prep required) at the launch of an extraordinary new ODI paper, with the deeply forgettable title ‘rural wages in Asia’ (we’ll come back to the title later). In one of those papers that restores your faith in economists, Steve Wiggins and Sharada Keats crunch […]

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Why I love the UN, aka the battle between policy space and trade/investment agreements

Being a fan of the UN is always a bit of a mixed blessing. Various bits (UNDP, UNICEF, UN Women and many more) churn out some really useful research. For many years, they provided the sole islands of sanity resisting the market fundamentalism of the Washington Consensus. But all too often their publications sink without […]

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