Topic: Technology

What are the limits of transparency and technology? From three gurus of the openness movement (Eigen, Rajani, McGee)

After a slightly disappointing ‘wonkwar’ on migration, let’s try a less adversarial format for another big development issue: Transparency and Accountability. I have an instinctive suspicion of anything that sounds like a magic bullet, a cost-free solution, or motherhood and apple pie in general. So the current surge in interest on open data and transparency […]

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How can advocacy NGOs become more innovative? Your thoughts please.

Innovation. Who could be against it? Not even Kim Jong Un, apparently. People working on aid and development spend an increasing time discussing it – what is it? How do we get more of it? Who is any good at it? Innovation Tourette’s is everywhere. Most of that discussion takes place in areas such as […]

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Government to Government trade – a new development issue, but is it threat or opportunity?

I have a love-hate relationship with The Economist – hate its lazy, evidence-free, anti-state, privatizing ‘priors’, but love the range of thought-provoking new angles, and its coverage of development. In general, the further it gets from economics, the more I like it. Usually I just tweet links to the good stuff, but last week’s piece […]

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Carnage on the roads v good news on malaria and guinea worm disease (and a brewing Opium War on Tobacco)

This week’s Economist resembles a reader on some of development’s top Cinderella issues (which are becoming a bit of a thing on this blog), covering road traffic, ‘tropical diseases’ and tobacco. First up, the contrast between the falls in road deaths in rich countries (deaths there peaked in the 1970s), and rising carnage in the […]

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Yep, this is still FP2P, but with an upgrade

Welcome back. Sharp-eyed readers may have noted that the blog looks a bit different this morning. It’s time for an upgrade, in response to an accumulating backlog of glitches and the need to, you know, keep up with the times n tech. Blog masters Eddy Lambert and Ian Sullivan have worked their magic, and this […]

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Obesity, Diabetes, Cancer: welcome to a new generation of ‘development issues’

I failed miserably to stop myself browsing my various feeds over the Christmas break (New Year’s resolution: ‘browse less, produce more’ – destined for failure). One theme that emerged was the rise of the ‘North in the South’ on health – what I call Cinderella Issues. Things like road traffic accidents, the illegal drug trade, […]

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HNY everyone, and here are the blog stats and most read posts for 2013

Welcome back, HNY etc. Hope you had a good break (if you took one). Personally I’m glad it’s over – tried to ski, knackered my knee, and meanwhile back home, our cats got trapped in a room and pissed all over my son’s final year university notes. For some reason they took particular exception to […]

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Should India be sending a rocket to Mars when 40% of children are malnourished? Vote now.

We interrupt complexity week with a quick question – what do you think about India’s Mars space  project? The Indian Space Research Organisation today launches a rocket which it hopes will get to Mars before the Chinese space programme – BRICS in space. Cue lots of outrage – in a country where 40% of children are malnourished […]

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How can Complexity and Systems Thinking end Malaria?

This is complexity week on the blog, pegged to the launch of Ben Ramalingam’s big new book ‘Aid on the Edge of Chaos’ at the ODI on Wednesday (I get to be a discussant – maximum airtime for least preparation. Result.) So let’s start with a taster from the book that works nicely as a […]

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Blogging about development: some tips for NGOs and would-be bloggers

Blogging about blogging – the ultimate in cyber-narcissism. Last week Twaweza invited me in to their office to pick my brains on their impending launch into the blogosphere, so I thought I’d turn my notes into a quick post (and cribsheet for future talks). I’ll try to avoid duplication with my last post on ‘why […]

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Twaweza, one of the world’s cutting edge accountability NGOs

Rakesh Rajani is an extraordinary man, a brilliant, passionate Asian Tanzanian with bottle-stopper glasses and a silver tongue. The persuasive eloquence may stem from his teenage years as an evangelical preacher, but these days he weaves his spells to promote transparency, active citizenship and the work of Twaweza, the organization he founded in 2009. Rakesh […]

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Making All Voices Count – promising new initiative (and source of funding)

A big new initiative on citizen voice, accountability etc was launched this week. OK it’s a bit obsessed with whizzy new technology, and light on power analysis and politics, but it still looks very promising, not least because it is being run by three top outfits – Hivos, IDS and Ushahidi. It is also a […]

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