Topic: General

Links I Liked

Livestock demography: where do the world’s 1.4 billion cows, 19.6 billion chickens & 0.98 billion pigs live? Here’s the cows Tolkien’s ‘one ring to rule them all’ as a parable for the attractions and perils of new technologies UK aid watchdog criticises DFID for its efforts to expand work in fragile states, but accepts real […]

Read More »

Why making an assassinated Archbishop into a Saint is a great victory for social justice (and not just for Catholics)

No-one does long term campaigning better than faith groups – the Quakers led the anti-slavery struggle for 50 years in the early 1800s. As for the Catholics, when your institution is a couple of thousand years old, you tend to take the long view. I thought of this last week, as I cycled past ‘Romero […]

Read More »

Links I Liked

Never make predictions, especially about the future: 42 predictions by futurologists from c1960 (some correct – driverless cars) [h/t Tim Harford] Flurry of posts on life and love in the aid biz: How not to get a job in development. Some painful examples of pressing the self destruct button ‘Your mother will love the fact […]

Read More »

Links I Liked

This week’s displacement-activity selection from the best of the twitterstream Lots of traffic about the need to destigmatize mental illness, but what really got to me was this reinterpretation of Winnie the Pooh. Is nothing sacred? Extraordinary takedown of Winston Churchill (by Churchill) – choice quotes include “I am strongly in favour of using poison […]

Read More »

Why ending poverty in India means tackling rural poverty and power

Vanita Suneja, Oxfam India’s Economic Justice Lead, argues that India can’t progress until it tackles rural poverty More than 800 million of India’s 1.25 billion people live in the countryside. One quarter of rural India’s population is below the official poverty line – 216 million people. A search for economic justice for a population of this magnitude […]

Read More »

What are governments doing on inequality? Great new cross-country data (and some important conclusions) from Nora Lustig

Oxfam and Oxford University held a big inequality conference last week, timed to coincide with Davos and the launch of our new pre Davosbriefing (massive media coverage – kudos to author Deborah Hardoon and Oxfam press team). I generally find conferences pretty disturbing. This one at least spared us the coma-inducing panels of nervous researchers reading […]

Read More »

Links I Liked

Kids in Nairobi’s Kibera slum take on the land grabbers to defend their playground against cops, dogs & tear gas. And win, at least for now. Last week was Davos week: Oxfam’s Winnie Byanyima starred in a truly brilliant BBC debate on inequality (Christine Lagarde was the other standout, other panellists were Robert Schiller, Mark […]

Read More »

Why Bill and Melinda’s Annual Letter is both exciting and disappointing

Judging by his latest annual letter, if you could bottle and sell Bill Gates’ optimism, you’d probably make even more money than he has from software. In what they call a ‘big bet’ (actually, more like a prediction), the letter sets out Bill and Melinda’s personal version of some post-MDG goals for 2030 (Charles Kenny […]

Read More »

14 ways for aid agencies to better promote active citizenship

As you may have noticed, I’ve been writing a series of 10 case studies of Oxfam’s work in promoting ‘active citizenship’, plus a synthesis paper. They cover everything from global campaigns to promoting women’s leadership to labour rights. They are now all finished and up on the website. Phew. Here’s the accompanying blog which summarizes […]

Read More »

Links I Liked

America the Outlier. Belief in Evolution v national GDP per cap. Spot the odd one out. I’ve seen similar graphs on life expectancy v health spending. Any other candidates? The Napoleonic war, infant industry protection and herpes. Vintage Chris Blattman Then there’s some bad news Trade Bullies? EU holds Kenya’s big and job-creating flower industry […]

Read More »

Davos: new briefing on global wealth, inequality and an update of that 85 richest = 3.5 billion poorest killer fact

This is Davos week, and over on the Oxfam Research team’s excellent new Mind the Gap blog, Deborah Hardoon has an update on the mind-boggling maths of global inequality . Wealth data from Credit Suisse, finds that the 99% have been getting less and less of the economic pie over the past few years as the 1% […]

Read More »

Civil Society and the dangers of Monoculture: smart new primer from Mike Edwards

Mike Edwards has just written a 3rd edition of his book ‘Civil Society’. It’s a 130 page primer, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy reading. I found some of the conceptual stuff on different understandings of civil society pretty hard going, but was repaid with some really interesting and innovative systems thinking, leading to what […]

Read More »