Is this the best paper yet on Doing Development Differently/Thinking and Working Politically?

January 14, 2015
Some of the old lags have reacted to all the hype around TWP/DDD with ‘any aid worker worth their salt knows that all ready – what’s new’?’ An outstanding new paper from Jaime Faustino and David Booth takes up that challenge in one particular context – advocating reforms in the Philippines – that has much wider implications. Jaime works for

The Economist on the global spread of cash transfers and Jokowi’s flying start in Indonesia

January 13, 2015
Some fascinating coverage of the new Indonesian president and cash transfers in the Economist this week. First up, Indonesia: ‘Having trimmed petrol subsidies in November, Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, who is universally known as Jokowi, scrapped them entirely from January 1st. Small subsidies (1,000 rupiah, or eight cents, per litre) will remain in place for diesel, used for public transport

Links I Liked

January 12, 2015
Charlie Hebdo dominated the week. Here’s the best reaction piece I’ve seen so far (h/t Chris Blattman), and my two favourite cartoonist responses. For UK aid wonks: Simon Maxwell summarizes the OECD DAC peer review of Britain’s aid, raising some tough questions for DFID. Bloomberg Billionaires is tracking the wealth of the megarich. The world’s 200 richest gained $16.5bn in

Why gay rights is a development issue in Africa, and aid agencies should speak up

January 9, 2015
Hannah Stoddart, on secondment as Oxfam’s advocacy manager in Rwanda, calls for aid agencies to take a stand in defence of beleaguered gay rights in Africa (and I ask you to vote on her suggestion) First Gambia, then Chad. Recent months have seen two more countries join the rising tide of State-led homophobia sweeping across the African continent. A bill

Them Belly Full (but we hungry): great new study on food riots and food rights

January 8, 2015
A fascinating new report (with too many co-authors to list, but the invariably interesting Naomi Hossain was principal investigator) summarizes the findings of a four country research project on ‘food rights and food riots’ in Bangladesh, India, Kenya and Mozambique. Some highlights from the Exec Sum: ‘The green revolution and the global integration of food markets were supposed to relegate scarcity

Where do the world’s poorest people actually live? Big new databank on multidimensional poverty launched today

January 7, 2015
Has it ever struck you as pretty bonkers that we usually discuss poverty at national level, equating giant countries like India, with tiny islands whose population would disappear without trace in a single Indian city? If so, you, along with happy poverty nerds everywhere, should check out today’s Multidimensional Poverty Index from Sabina Alkire and co at the Oxford Poverty

Working With The Grain: an important new book on rethinking approaches to governance

January 6, 2015
Even though it’s relatively short (223 pages), Working With the Grain (WWTG) took me two months to finish, but I’m glad I did. It adds to a growing and significant body of literature on ‘doing development differently’/’thinking and working politically’ – Matt Andrews, Adrian Leftwich, David Booth, Diana Cammack, Sue Unsworth etc. (Like Matt and Adrian, WWTG author Brian Levy

How many people? What do they read? 2014’s most popular posts + visitor stats for the year

January 5, 2015
Had a much less traumatic Christmas than last year (at least until I stepped on the scales) but now it’s back to work, so let’s start with the blog stats and most popular posts of 2014 (I’ll skip the flops). First of all, a huge thanks to all of you who continue to read, comment and link to FP2P (if