Topic: Technology

Does “Rational Ignorance” make working on transparency and accountability a waste of time?

Guest post from Paul O’Brien, Vice President for Policy and Campaigns, Oxfam America (gosh, they do have august sounding job titles, don’t they?) As the poorest half of the planet sees that just 62 people have more wealth than all of them, collective frustration at extreme inequality is increasing.  To rebalance power and wealth, many […]

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Industrial Policy meets Doing Development Differently: an evening at SOAS

It’s always interesting when a neglected issue suddenly resurfaces in multiple locations. That’s been happening with industrial policy – in particular the role of governments in developing their manufacturing industries. ActionAid has a new report out, arguing that promoting manufacturing through industrial policy is essential if countries want to generate decent work and tackling inequality. […]

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Why everyone should have an RSS feed for daily news (and should help me replace the one I just deleted by accident)

Well that’ll teach me. I was just trying to write a post about my RSS feed and I’ve managed to delete the lot. No idea how. Can you help me reassemble/improve on my daily reading list? The background: chatting to colleagues at Oxfam, I’m always surprised how few of them use RSS software (which apparently […]

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Where are the ‘Digital Dividends’ from the ICT Revolution? The new World Development Report

OK, book done, back from recuperative holiday, time to get back to daily blogging. Earlier this month I headed off for the London launch of the 2016 World Development Report, ‘Digital Dividends’. The World Bank’s annual flagship is always a big moment in wonkland, and there has been a lot of positive buzz around this one. […]

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How many readers? Where from? What were their favourite posts? Report back on 2015 on FP2P

Hi there, I’m briefly emerging from writing purdah to do the usual feedback post on last year’s blog 2015 stats: Overall: 318, 825 ‘unique visitors’ – not quite the same as ‘different readers’, as if you read the blog on your PC, laptop and mobile, that counts as 3 people.  Within the year, the usual […]

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What’s changed since Copenhagen? Curtain raiser for the Paris climate talks  

Tracy Carty, Oxfam Climate Change Policy Adviser, with an excerpt from its Paris media briefing, published today The last time leaders got together to agree a global climate deal it ended in multilateral meltdown.  Copenhagen was widely condemned as a failure – a failure that still haunts the climate negotiations, and one that governments meeting […]

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Links I Liked

Top geek cartoonist XKCD supports World Polio Day, while managing to satirise innovation fetishists On the other hand, for all the tech sceptics out there, here’s the price of light over the last 700 years, from Max Roser Where to go for reliable gender stats, including that 2/3 of the world’s illiterate adults are women: […]

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The Politics of Data – the bit the geeks forget?

Had a really thought-provoking conversation with Dustin Homer of Development Gateway last week. Development Gateway was originally set up inside the World Bank, then spun off as an independent tech organisation, and focuses on helping governments and international organizations make better use of data in their decision-making. So far, so technocratic, but Dustin got in […]

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Geek Heresy, by Kentaro Toyama: book review

Guest post by Gawain Kripke, Oxfam America’s Director of Policy  I love my smart phone. It’s awesome and it makes me more awesome. I honestly think that my life is much better with it than without. It makes me a better worker – able to review documents, communicate with colleagues, keep projects moving smoothly even when […]

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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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Africa’s renewable future – the coming energy revolution

Apologies for extra post today, but the guest posts and new papers are coming thick and fast. John Magrath, Oxfam researcher and renewable energy fan, celebrates a new report by Kofi Annan. In Zimbabwe last week I was talking to a nurse at a rural health centre who described how the cost of two candles can […]

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Is a Data Revolution under way, and if so, who will benefit?

Guest post from the beach big Data Festival in Cartagena, Colombia, by Oxfam’s Head of Research and paid up member of the numerati, Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva (@rivefuentes) A spectre is haunting the hallways of the international bureaucracy and national statistical offices – the spectre of the data revolution.  Now, that might suggest a contradiction in terms […]

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