Tag: development

Is it useful/right to see Development as a Collective Action Problem?

The Developmental Leadership Programme is producing a good series of bluffer’s guides Concept Briefs. The latest is on Collective Action (previous ones on Political Settlements and State Legitimacy). They’re just 3 pages, including further reading, and are ideal for anyone who wants to impress in a meeting by bandying around the latest jargon. According to […]

Read More »

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 […]

Read More »

Should men boycott all-male panels at conferences?

A conversation on twitter this weekend triggered (yet another) ethical dilemma. Gosh it’s exhausting trying to be a do-gooder. Claire Melamed started it by sending round a link to an article arguing that men should sign a pledge stating publicly that they will refuse to take part in all-male panels at tech conferences (which are […]

Read More »

Can environment and development really come together next week in Rio?

This week is Earth Summit week on the blog, making my small contribution to the wonk feeding frenzy already in full flow in advance of next week’s Rio+20 event. Every organization is spewing out bulletins, position statements and curtain-raisers as if their lives depended on it (which I guess they do, in a way). I’m […]

Read More »

A nostalgic debate on globalization and development

When did talking on the subject of ‘globalization and development’ start to feel so retro? I got that distinct sensation at a lunchtime discussion at IPPR yesterday. The trench warfare of yesteryear – on the WTO, the Doha round, trade liberalization, protectionism etc, has somehow acquired a nostalgic glow. Most odd. In the room were […]

Read More »

Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding. Review of Charles Kenny's new book

Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding—And How We Can Improve the World Even More, published this month, is an exercise in ‘framing’ – trying to shift the way we feel, as well as think, about development and aid. It does it rather well. Two big frames: 1. Lives are getting better everywhere, including in […]

Read More »

Africa's four different kinds of economies

I’m a sucker for typologies. I guess they’re a wonk’s equivalent of those ‘what were the ten best punk/ska/heavy metal albums of all time?’ discussions in the pub. Here’s a nice one from ‘Lions on the Move’, a breathlessly upbeat new McKinsey report on Africa. It finds four clusters of African economies + a few […]

Read More »

What is the point of conferences?

Last week I sat dazed through an EU conference on aid, grappling with presentations in Spanish, English and Portuguese and fending off powerpoint poisoning (the acute version produced by academics putting up page after page crammed with tiny text and saying ‘you probably can’t read it, but what the table says is…..’). During brief periods […]

Read More »

Recession, development and climate change: the big picture

This article of mine first appeared in the 25th October issue of the Scotsman. If the 1930s are any guide, the seismic shock hitting the global economy has a long way to go. First came the plummeting stocks on Wall Street, then the social trauma of mass unemployment, soup kitchens and skid row. But they […]

Read More »

Is the Buzzword mightier than the Sword?

‘When ideas fail, words come in very handy’. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) By coincidence, I’ve been doing a lot of seminar-ing this last week, mostly under Chatham House rules (see previous post). When you’re sat in a room full of policy wonks, one of the more enjoyable pastimes is jotting down all the new candidates […]

Read More »