role of the state

Will Bill Gates’ chickens end African poverty?

Duncan Green - June 23, 2016

  Joseph Hanlon and Teresa Smart are unimpressed by a new initiative, but disappointingly avoid all the potential excruciating puns Bill Gates announced on 7 June that he is giving 100,000 chickens to the poor because chickens are “easy to take care of” and a woman with just five hens in Africa can make $1000 per year. For Mozambique where we work, this is remarkable …

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Is Decentralization Good for Development?

Duncan Green - March 30, 2016

My LSE colleague Jean-Paul Faguet has got a book out on decentralization. Here’s where he’s got to on the narrative, following multiple launch events I’ve just published a book by this name, and have spent a fair part of the last few months lecturing on it in various countries. Many people have asked me “So is decentralization good for development?” I thought I should answer: …

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Education wonkwar: the final salvo. Kevin Watkins responds to Justin Sandefur on public v private (and the reader poll is still open)

admin - August 10, 2012

The posts are getting longer, so it’s probably a good time to call a halt, but at least you have the weekend to read Kevin Watkins‘ response to Justin Sandefur on private v public education provision (and to vote – see below). If you have even more time, it’s worth reading (and relishing) the whole exchange: Justin post 1; Kevin post 1; Justin post 2 …

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Private schools or public? Justin Sandefur responds to Kevin Watkins (and this time you can vote)

admin - August 9, 2012

Everyone enjoyed last week’s arm-wrestle on public v private education, so in a titanic struggle for the last word, Justin Sandefur (right, in the private corner) and Kevin Watkins (in the public one) are back for another go. And this time, you get to vote – tick as many options as you agree with on the poll below. Seconds out, round two….. Dear Kevin, Thanks …

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How should our influencing strategy vary with the kind of state we're working in?

admin - June 27, 2012

Despite the deeply unimpressive response to my last attempt (on top killer facts – not too late to chip in), I’m willing to give you another chance to provide us with unpaid consultancy crowdsource some useful ideas. This time it is helping us think through how an INGO’s influencing strategy at national level (whether through advocacy, programming or both combined) needs to adapt to the institutional …

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How can aid agencies promote local governance and accountability? Lessons from five countries.

admin - May 31, 2012

This post also appeared on the World Bank’s ‘People, Spaces. Deliberation‘ blog Oxfam is publishing a fascinating new series of papers today, drawing together lessons from our programme work on local governance and community action. There are case studies from Nepal (women’s rights, see photo), Malawi (access to medicines), Kenya (tracking public spending), Viet Nam (community participation) and Tanzania (the ubiquitous Chukua Hatua project), and a very …

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Agricultural policy, poverty and the role of the state: the OECD responds

admin - March 17, 2012

Today Jonathan Brooks author of the OECD’s new book on agricultural policy and poverty reduction, responds to my rather critical review. (For footie fans, the photo behind him is taken in a Brazilian bar, and celebrates the lobbing of the English goalkeeper David Seaman by Ronaldinho in the 2002 World Cup) Duncan, Thanks for this review, and the opportunity to reply. I wouldn’t make quite …

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Is this the UN's most powerful critique to date of finance-driven globalization?

admin - March 7, 2012

Ten years ago, Supachai Panitchpakdi was in charge of the World Trade Organization as it led a global push for the liberalization of trade, investment and just about everything else in the early days of the Doha Round. The talks ran aground (they still aren’t concluded) amid a big pushback from many developing countries (backed by organizations like Oxfam) against the free market fundamentalists. Now Supachai …

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Ha-Joon Chang uncovers what's worked in the history of agricultural policy

admin - November 16, 2009

I vividly remember the impact of Ha-Joon Chang’s 2002 book ‘Kicking Away the Ladder’. At the time I was an NGO lobbyist on the WTO’s Doha round of trade talks, and Ha-Joon’s book showed how when they were still poor, today’s rich countries had systematically used the industrial policies and other forms of state management of the economy that they were now urging the WTO …

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How are effective states going to emerge in Africa?

admin - February 19, 2009

[Sorry to anyone who got a premature alert yesterday – hit the wrong button!] There’s nothing like a visit to Africa – in this case ten days of book promo and financial crisis impact interviews in South Africa and Zambia, to get you thinking about the role of the state. In Southern Africa, as on earlier launches in Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia, discussions invariably turn …

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