Interns; World Aids Day and family planning; local music; environmental melancholia; Faces of Latin America; research into evidence via pictures: links I liked

December 4, 2012 33 By admin

Yesterday’s post on how to get a job in international development sparked a minor twitterstorm about the use of unpaid interns. Arguments against: It’s slave labour and privileges the middle classes who can subsidise their kids to do internships. Arguments for: how is taking away the first rung of the ladder going to help people start a career? As I agonise on this one, it would be great to hear fromHIV infections interns past and present, and of course, people who would have liked to do internships but couldn’t afford to.

World Aids Day was on Saturday and coverage was notably upbeat. Oxfam’s Mohga Kamal Yanni  reviews progress to date and asks what is needed to get the job done. The Economist noted that 70% of all new HIV infections are in Africa, but the number has fallen from a peak of 2.6m in 1998 to 1.8m in 2011 (see graph). US Congress’ weird fixation with (preventing) family planning doesn’t help though.

Which risks putting Congressional opponents somewhat behind the more progressive Islamic leaders in Pakistan. “An awareness campaign, aiming to reframe the debate on sexual health and contraception so it is less of a taboo in Pakistani society, was launched here on Thursday. Scholars from the three most popular Islamic sects in Pakistan – Barelvi, Shia and Deobandi – were consulted in order to tackle the myth that such discussions are un-Islamic, said Omer Aftab, the chief executive of LifeLine, a campaign of the Women’s Empowerment Group, a non-government organisation.”

On a lighter note, Stuff Ex Pat Aid Workers like tackles the cultural rapids of  ‘local music

Now back to ‘Environmental melancholia and dark optimism’. Lovely writing by Anne Karpf on climate change ignorers (i.e. most of us). But maybe carbon taxes are the way to avert both climate change and the fiscal cliff? Like the Robin Hood Tax, but x 100, or the moves to curb tax avoidance, the argument is that the national self interest of governments in solving their fiscal problem will lead them to introduce new kinds of tax wherever they can, offering a way round the collective action problem on climate change. Neat. If we could just sort out campaign financing to stop the lobbyists derailing the whole thing…….

faces-of-latin-america-300x415Boy I feel old. The 4th edition of my first proper book, ‘Faces of Latin America‘ (first published 1991) is now out

Supply and demand in using evidence to influence policy. With pictures.