Links I Liked

June 15, 2015
Wow, more new US immigrants now come from China & India than from Mexico. (Less push, less pull, higher walls, apparently) Brilliant from Amartya Sen: The economic consequences of austerity. Updating Keynes on the UK election & irrational/ahistorical fear of debt Exemplary synthesizing from David Evans. 50 papers from a recent World Bank conference on Africa and conflict, grouped by
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A new/better way of measuring the fragility of states?

June 12, 2015
Tolstoy opened Anna Karenina with the much-quoted line ‘Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’ Does the same apply to states? The OECD’s new report on Fragile States goes some way down that route. Instead of its past (much criticised) single dimension of ‘fragile/non fragile’, it assesses fragility across five dimensions: Violence, Justice,
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Reforming FIFA: what can we learn from experience with (other) corrupt autocrats?

June 11, 2015
This guestie comes from Birmingham University’s Paul Jackson and Heather Marquette Acres (how many football pitches-worth, we wonder) have been written about the footballing earthquake that followed the arrest of several FIFA officials and the melodramatic end of Sepp Blatter’s reign. But here’s another angle. In the world of development politics there are striking parallels between Blatter’s leadership of FIFA since
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What future for Development Advocacy? Three Paradoxes and Seven Directions

June 10, 2015
Oxfam America’s head of policy and advocacy, Paul O’Brien wonders if he’ll still have a job in a few years, based on his remarks to a recent Gates Foundation gathering on the evolution of Policy and Advocacy work.  A century from now, how will development historians characterize our policy advocacy in a post-2015 world?   In a year that aims to
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What happens when historians and campaigners spend a day together discussing how change happens?

June 9, 2015
Part of the feedback on last month’s post calling for a ‘lessons of history’ programme was, inevitably, that someone is already doing it. So last week I headed off to Kings College, London for a mind expanding conference on ‘Why Change Happens: What we Can Learn from the Past’. The organizers were the History and Policy network and Friends of
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Links I Liked

June 8, 2015
First rule for learner drivers: don’t pull out in front of tanks. [h/t Francisco Toro]  Must read. Is that the sound of another tech hype bubble popping? Tom Carothers asks why the tech surge hasn’t had more impact on democracy ‘Why humanitarianism doesn’t get religion…and why it needs to’. Includes excellent discussion of the ‘totem of neutrality’ [h/t Nigel Timmins] If
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Africa’s renewable future – the coming energy revolution

June 5, 2015
Apologies for extra post today, but the guest posts and new papers are coming thick and fast. John Magrath, Oxfam researcher and renewable energy fan, celebrates a new report by Kofi Annan. In Zimbabwe last week I was talking to a nurse at a rural health centre who described how the cost of two candles can be a matter of health
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Latest high level broadside on inequality – “In It Together…” from the OECD

June 5, 2015
Guest post from Oxfam inequality researcher Daria Ukhova Last month, the OECD published a new flagship report on inequality In It Together: Why Less Inequality Benefits All, continuing a series and building on the findings of the previous reports Growing Unequal? (2008) and Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising (2011). At Oxfam since the launch of our Even It
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Why 17 goals and 169 targets are not enough – your chance to vote

June 4, 2015
Time for a little (non-Oxfam) contrarianism, and a new poll (see right). In September, the UN will agree the new framework for global development for the 15 years to 2030. This week the 43 page ‘zero draft of the outcome document‘ was published and the interwebs will rapidly fill with aid wonks and politicians scoffing at the ‘christmas tree’ of goals and targets 
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How looking through a doughnut can test if South Africa is on track for inclusive and sustainable development

June 3, 2015
Oxfam researcher Katherine Trebeck introduces some new work on doughnut economics, (whose inventor, Kate Raworth has left Oxfam to write a book on it) There is an African proverb that says: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’ It could be taken as call for inclusivity, solidarity, and equality of people and
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What can soccer tactics tell us about the limitations of planning and logframes?

June 2, 2015
Universal outrage over Fifagate reflects the fact that football/soccer is fast becoming a universal institution (at least for the male half of the universe), creating some useful common reference points. As an example, check out this use of soccer tactics to explain the limitations of the logistical framework tools that we increasingly depend on (logframes to insiders), from an organization with
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Links I Liked

June 1, 2015
Tobacco-related diseases kill 4.3 million people each year in low- and middle-income countries. That’s more than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined (see figure). So could someone please explain why it isn’t a ‘mainstream development issue’? Chocolate is good for you: The Chance Result the Whole World Yearned to Believe [h/t Richard King] What did Otpor (Serbian protest movement) get right, that Occupy
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