Why is the World Bank Group dragging its feet over its disastrous PPP policy on funding healthcare?

November 20, 2015
Oxfam health policy lead Anna Marriott gets back from maternity leave to find that the World Bank Group is dragging its feet over a disastrous health contract in Lesotho Back in April 2014, World Bank Group President Jim Kim said in a televised interview (19 Âœ minutes in) that his organisation would be ‘the’ go-to group to understand how health
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Reading the tea leaves: What the women’s movement can learn from a victory in India

November 19, 2015
This piece by Devaki Jain, an Indian feminist economist, originally appeared on the scroll.in website The good news for the women’s movement in India came from Munnar, a hill station in Kerala, last month where a group of women workers won a signal battle against their employers, a tea estate by the name of Kanan Devan Hills Plantations. One of the slogans at
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What can violence/conflict people learn from the governance debate (and vice versa)? Report back on a day discussing new IDS research

November 18, 2015
I recently spent a day among conflict wonks (a thoroughly charming and unscary group) to discuss IDS’ research programme on Addressing and Mitigating Violence. There are piles of case studies and thematic papers on the website (here’s a collection of abstracts); this seminar was part of bringing them all together into some kind of overarching narrative. The starting point for
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What can we learn from Mexico’s tax on fizzy drinks?

November 17, 2015
Alice Evans of Cambridge University looks for lessons from a small victory in the global struggle against obesity We in the development industry are often frustrated by lack of government transparency, disregard of the evidence, and lack of political will to address major social problems. Such obstacles are universal. Perhaps we might learn ‘how change happens’ (to use Duncan’s title) by comparing common
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Links I Liked

November 16, 2015
Heavy on the video content this week – if you’re in the office, better get your earphones on Consent, sex and tea: quintessentially British and rather effective [h/t Richard Cunliffe] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXju34Uwuys&feature=youtu.be Last chance to vote in the Rusty Radiator awards for 2015’s worst aid charity video. Amazingly, they found one that’s even worse than Band Aid. As for the Golden
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Why being scooped by Piketty is no bad thing for Oxfam (but what will the government of India think?)

November 13, 2015
Guest post from Tim Gore, Oxfam’s climate change policy czar  No-one likes to be scooped, least of all researchers who have battled through Oxfam’s internal sign-off process. But when the authors who beat you to the publication punch include one of the most famous economists in the world – as we experienced last week – we can at least be
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A big win for climate change campaigners in the Philippines – how did they do it?

November 11, 2015
Some great news from the Philippines. The Philippines Survival Fund, which I blogged about a couple of years ago, is finally open for business – local governments and community organizations will now be apply to apply for funds up to 1 billion pesos (US$21m) a year, for projects that help communities adapt to climate change. The first lesson is the
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Great new IMF paper puts women’s rights at the heart of tackling income inequality

November 10, 2015
The IMF continues to surprise an old lag like me who cut his policy teeth condemning it as the incarnation of extreme market idolatry and anti-poor structural adjustment programmes in the 80s and 90s. Read its new ‘staff discussion note’, Catalyst for Change: Empowering Women and Tackling Income Inequality to see why. The authors point out that ‘Income inequality and
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Links I Liked

November 9, 2015
Powerful, harrowing photo essay of Syrian refugee children asleep. Suffragettes v suffragists. Nice movie, shame about the (lack of) theory of change – it was really the suffragists wot won it Oxfam America takes on Big Chicken in the US, using leader/laggard tactics to push for a better deal for 250,000 workers and getting some very quick wins Remember all
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5 times bigger than aid: important new research on drugs as a (missing) development issue

November 6, 2015
A couple of years ago I reported on an excellent meeting at Christian Aid on drugs as a development issue. They have continued that work and today published an important new paper by Eric Gutierrez, ‘Drugs and Illicit Practices: assessing their impact on development and governance’. The paper argues that the illicit drug trade is a ‘major blind spot in
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Is China’s rise relevant to today’s poorest states?

November 5, 2015
Am I allowed to say that a meeting held under Chatham House Rules took place at Chatham House? Let’s risk it. I recently attended a fascinating conference on UK-China relations, which discussed the two governments’ burgeoning cooperation on development issues. This seems to be turning into a triangular relationship, in which the UK and China combine brains, money and experience
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Doing Development Differently: a great discussion on Adaptive Management (no, really)

November 4, 2015
Went to a fascinating workshop last week on ‘adaptive management’ hosted and designed by USAID as part of their work on Knowledge, Information and Data (see final para for more links) and facilitated by Ben Ramalingam, who has just started at IDS as their new digital, technology and innovation czar. A whole load of participants are going to write posts for this
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