General

What do aid agencies need to do to get serious on changing social norms?

Duncan Green - March 24, 2017

Earlier this week I spent a day with Oxfam’s biggest cheeses, discussing how we should react to the rising tide of nationalism and populism (if you think that’s a Northern concern, take a look at what is going on in India or the Philippines). One of the themes that emerged in the discussions was how to engage with social norms – the deeply held beliefs …

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If we want to innovate, we need to disrupt our relationships and embrace tension

Duncan Green - March 21, 2017

Guest post from Caroline Cassidy, Communications Manager in ODI’s Research and Policy in Development team Henry Ford famously said ‘if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’ The same can be said for our relationships. When it comes to getting evidence into policy no one can dispute that to have any success you need strong working relationships, champions, …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - March 20, 2017

Either a genius subeditor placed this ad, or serendipity is a wonderful thing [h/t Mark Perkins] Branko Milanovic at his brilliant best on why 20th Century tools cannot be used to address 21st Century income inequality, and what to do instead Edible drones are a thing, apparently, or soon will be. 50kg of food and soon you’ll be able to eat the vehicle. Here’s the …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - March 13, 2017

Current refugee numbers are high, but certainly not unprecedented, and a small fraction of total global migration. Honduran farmers sue World Bank private lending arm over human rights violations. I went there in 2012 and the palm oil sector is indeed a grim place. Why does the Gates 2017 letter ignore ‘behaviour’, ‘politics’ and ‘institutions’? asks Suvojit Chattopadhyay Nice summary of research and debates on …

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What do we know about when data does/doesn’t influence policy?

Duncan Green - March 8, 2017

Josh Powell, Chief Strategy Officer at the Development Gateway weighs in on the Data and Development debate While development actors are now creating more data than ever, examples of impactful use are anecdotal and scant. Put bluntly, despite this supply-side push for more data, we are far from realizing an evidence-based utopia filled with data-driven decisions. One of the key shortcomings of our work on …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - March 7, 2017

A little humour ahead of International Women’s Day. It’s the manbun that does it. A lot of chat about the idea of a Universal Basic Income: the New York Times gave a glowing review of a UBI experiment in Kenya (h/t Josh Williams). Chris Blattman and Berk Ozler provided the bah humbug/’much more complicated than that’ response. An initiative to fill the funding gap left by …

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Links I Liked

Duncan Green - February 27, 2017

A long Links I Liked this week – reading at the top, videos at the bottom War Defence budgets. 2016 update from the International Institute of Strategic Studies. The top 10 now spend a total of $1.1trn (8 times the global aid budget). The US is still top but the balance of spending is moving to Asia. DFID & the EU are going large on …

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Duncan Green - February 20, 2017

Forget the headlines. American attitudes toward Muslims have improved over the last 3 years via Ranil Dissayanake Interest in a Universal Basic Income is growing. The World Bank’s Shanta Devarajan sets out the case and Todd Moss asks ‘What Would Mahatma Gandhi Do?’ over the UBI debate in India Good to see other aid donors mobilizing in response to the US restoring the ‘Global Gag …

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Duncan Green - February 13, 2017

We lost a giant last week. Hans Rosling made geeks look cool, proved that Swedish students are less intelligent than chimps, and made everyone who has ever lectured realize just how boring we really are. Whether you are celebrating his life, or discovering his genius for the first time, here’s a sample: 200 years, 200 countries and a massively positive story of human development, all …

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Duncan Green - February 6, 2017

First there’s the search for the best placards – seems like humour is the best response to ugly/angry. Then there’s the analysis. Are institutions strong enough to withstand disruptive populism? Francis Fukuyama makes the case against panic. The World Bank’s Sina Odugbemi is less sure. And protest? Excellent lessons from Tina Rosenberg on lessons from previous waves As for longer reads, try What Trump is …

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