Topic: Technology

Is power and politics a massive distraction? Crossing swords with the World Bank.

This post is written on the hoof, dashing between presentations, so please pardon the rough edges. Yesterday I shared a platform with Marcelo Giugale, the World Bank’s Africa Director for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (right). We were coming from very different places, some might say different planets, which is always stimulating. I did my […]

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Why are there so few bloggers at the UN? A conversation with staff.

I spent a busy few days in New York last week, talking to (well, OK, mainly talking at) about 200 UN staff at various meetings in UN Women, UNDP and UNICEF. There was a lot of energy in the room (and even outside the room – people at UNDP spilled over into the corridor), and […]

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Are international conferences getting any better? A bit – thanks to some sparky new tech

For a ‘club of rich countries’, the OECD spends a lot of time thinking about development. It’s Development Cooperation Directorate does the number crunching on aid; the OECD Development Centre publishes annual Economic Outlooks on Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia, or Latin American revenue statistics. Last week I spent a couple of chilly days […]

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The poorest countries are under renewed threat from WTO rules on access to medicines (and yes, this is 2013)

This week is acquiring an oddly retro flavour. Wednesday had me reminiscing about the Access to Medicines campaign of the last decade. Now it turns out that the issues it raised have recently erupted again. In short, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are trying to get another extension to be free from implementing the WTO’s […]

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When it comes to closing down Google Reader, I’m with Hitler

I start most days catching up on the news via Google Reader. Anything new from all my favourite wonk gurus, handily collected together, to be read for subsequent blogging and tweeting. So of course they’re shutting it down. Grrrrrrr. Let me know when the campaign begins [h/t Chris Blattman]

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‘Technology Justice’ – what does it mean for how NGOs think about new and old tech in development? And would you like a job working on it?

I had an interesting exchange with Practical Action’s policy director, Astrid Walker Bourne (right) recently, about one of my (many) hobby horses – technology and its absence from the NGO agenda. Practical Action is trying to fill the gap with a work programme on ‘technology justice’, but a failed recruitment has got her thinking about […]

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Launch of ‘If’ – new megacampaign to tackle global hunger: how does it compare with ‘Make Poverty History’?

Sorry for a second post in one day, but the launch of If is a biggie Ah the perils of age – am I becoming one of those annoying old guys who greets every new idea (however excellent) with a weary sigh and ‘we already did/discussed all that back in the 19XXs’? I ask because […]

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Global Trends 2030: top report from US intelligence

My inbox regularly receives the latest ‘global trends 20XX’ reports from thinktanks and futurologists, and a lot of them are pretty bland, and the scenarios they describe threadbare and unconvincing. The new ‘Global Trends 2030’ report from the US National Intelligence Council shares the usual flaws on its scenarios, and is understandably US-centric (the NIC […]

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Development optimism from Justin Lin: review of ‘The Quest for Prosperity’

‘Every developing country has the opportunity to grow at over 8% a year for 20-40 years, and to get rid of poverty within a generation.’ There’s something very refreshing about listening to East Asian development economists, in this case the prolific Justin Lin, a former World Bank chief economist, launching his new book The Quest […]

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Who needs wisdom when you can have data? FP2P 2012 blogstats and most-read posts

Forget wisdom, here’s some data: blogstats and most visited posts of 2012 Welcome back, Happy New Year to all etc. As everyone else is doing it, I thought I’d repeat last year’s exercise of kicking off the year with a look back at this blog’s stats and highlights for 2012. First the numbers: Overall for […]

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Turning garbage into music this Christmas.

Aaah, this is too sweet to hold over until the New Year. Paraguay’s Recycled Orchestra is the creation of Favio Chavez, a landfill worker and musician. It transforms garbage into classical instruments, played by the kids of local people  (Garbage not garage?). Their story is being turned into a film (if they can raise enough […]

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Does agriculture have a future? Sonali Bisht wraps up Oxfam’s online debate

For the past two weeks, Oxfam has been hosting an online forum on the future of agriculture with a great range of viewpoints from every corner of the globe. Today is the last blogging day before the Christmas break (see you in 2013, everyone), so I’m handing over to Sonali Bisht, founder of INHERE, India, […]

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