Topic: Technology

Book Review: The Business of Changing the World, by Raj Kumar

I found reading The Business of Changing the World rather disturbing – a bit like being taken hostage by a cult and submitted to polite but persistent brainwashing for several days (I’m a slow reader). The cult in question is what Anand Giridharadas calls ‘MarketWorld’ – an effusive, evangelical belief in the power of markets, […]

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Maps in Court: how the Waorani are upholding their rights in Ecuador

Aliya Ryan is an anthropologist working with Digital Democracy on their Ecuador programme to support the Waorani and Siekopai territory mapping projects.  Last month the Waorani hit the headlines due to a landmark win against the Ecuadorian Government. Sixteen Waorani communities contested the supposed consultation that the government carried out in 2012 before putting millions […]

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Can digital really revolutionise health and education in the Global South?

Guest post from Elizabeth Stuart, executive director of the  Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development. One of many puzzles in development is that increasing spending on health and education doesn’t necessarily deliver expected results. To turn this on its head: Madagascar, Bangladesh and South Africa all have similar child mortality rates, but […]

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Big demographic tides are sweeping the world: how should aid organizations respond?

Recently I spent half day BS’ing (breeze-shooting, obviously) about future trends and challenges for international organizations like Oxfam. Confession: we’re supposed to hate these, but often they’re really fun. A table on demographic shifts got me particularly excited. Great human tides are sloshing around the globe, populations are moving geographically, and their age make-up is […]

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Book Review: Nanjala Nyabola, Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics: How the Internet Era is Transforming Politics in Kenya

Most of the stuff written about online activism is primarily based in the North (eg New Power, which I reviewed recently). So I was v excited to find a book written by a Kenyan (Nanjala Nyabola is a Kenyan writer, humanitarian advocate and political analyst, currently based in Nairobi) about how New Power applies to […]

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We’re changing up FP2P: here’s the plan (but we haven’t got a name yet – please help!)

In the 11 years since I launched this blog, it’s churned out getting on for 2 million words across 2,500+ posts, generating 12,600 comments (thanks everyone). It’s time to change things up. Up to now, I’ve been running the blog as pretty much a solo effort – roughly a day and a half a week to […]

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Can watching a few videos really reduce Violence Against Women?

I’m not generally a big fan of randomised control trials (oversold, squeeze out other forms of knowledge – more here), but a recent RCT on violence against women in Uganda by researchers at Columbia University got my attention. Here are some excerpts from the summary on the website of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). First […]

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How can digital bring Millennials into International Development? A ginger session with Save the Children

‘I don’t like Save the Children’. That opening line from a guest speaker at a gathering of SCF’s global big cheeses earlier this week certainly got the room’s attention. But then the speaker was pretty extraordinary. Mariéme Jamme, whose online bio includes this para: ‘Mariéme grew up in rural Senegal, from an oligarch mother who […]

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2018 FP2P report back: stats; most-read posts and some big plans for 2019

Hi everyone, Happy New Year and all that. Thought I’d kick off with the usual feedback post on last year’s blog stats: According to Google Analytics, overall reader stats for 2018 were: 328,887 ‘unique visitors’ – not quite the same as ‘different readers’ – if you read the blog on your PC, laptop and mobile, […]

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Book Review: New Power: How it’s Changing the 21st Century and Why you need to Know

Here’s my recommendation for a last minute panic Christmas pressie for your activist friends. You’re welcome As befits a grumpy old technophobe, I have long been sceptical of the hype around online activism. I’ve cited Malcolm Gladwell’s bah humbug piece on the Arab Spring ‘why the revolution will not be tweeted’ as pretty much summing […]

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It’s time to change up From Poverty to Power – Know Anyone Who Can Help?

Should I be worried/offended when someone pays me to write less? Nah, actually I’m very excited. As regular readers may have noticed, In recent years I’ve been inviting more guests onto the blog, but have always struggled to find the time and resources to do it properly. Now the Ford and Hewlett Foundations have kindly […]

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Can new tech revive the world’s trade unions?

The Economist never ceases to surprise and inform. This week’s issue carries an excellent special report on ‘trade unions and technology’. Here’s an edited extract:   ‘Support for organised labour is rising again (see chart). And technology may again play a central role in helping a revival—particularly in America, where activists are trying inventive new ways to organise […]

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