Another 100m in poverty; 700,000 dead children in Africa: the latest World Bank predictions on the crisis

Chilling new numbers from the World Bank on the human impact of the global economic crisis. New estimates for 2009 suggest that lower economic growth rates will trap 46 million more people on less than $1.25 a day than was expected prior to the crisis. An extra 53 million will stay trapped on less than…

By admin February 18, 2009 1

Peasant activists v King Arthur; future geopolitics; nuclear self-love and an environmental good news story: links I liked

Monty Python and Development part 2: peasant activists debate good governance with King Arthur (thanks to Richard Cunliffe for that one) Katharina Pintor sets out some alternative geopolitical orders emerging from the crisis Extreme self promotion from AQ Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, c/o global Dashboard Ngaire Woods and co at Oxford’s Global…

By admin February 13, 2009 0

Medical myth-busting: Why public beats private on health care provision

Today Oxfam publishes Blind Optimism: Challenging the myths about private health care in poor countries, written by my colleague Anna Marriott. She summed up the arguments in this op-ed on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website, and was in Washington this week driving the message home to the World Bank, whose default position of ‘private good, public bad’…

By admin February 12, 2009 4

How Open is Your Government? Find out here

The latest ‘Open Budget Index‘ (2008), produced by the Open Budget Initiative, ranks governments according to the information they make available to the public throughout the budget process. The main findings are: Only five countries of the 85 surveyed—France, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States—make extensive information publicly available as required by…

By admin February 11, 2009 2

Why is development writing so turgid? George Orwell to the rescue

The literature on development can be pretty heavy going, littered with jargon, clunky prose, redundant phrases like ‘in the context of’ and euphemisms like ‘challenge’ (it means a problem). I spend a fair amount of my time reading draft papers, replacing ’employment opportunities are essential constituents of the livelihoods of the excluded population’ with ‘poor people need…

By admin February 6, 2009 5

Links I liked: Rodrik reflates; Brown goes Green; Ireland backslides on aid; plus Life of Brian

Dani Rodrik talks sense as always, this time about how to engineer a quick bailout for poor countries – the IMF engineers a massive fiscal stimulus Gordon Brown nails his colours to the climate change mast in Davos: ‘we cannot afford to relegate climate change to the international pending tray because of our current economic…

By admin February 5, 2009 0