‘The Saviour of the Mothers’ in times of Covid-19: A Brief History of Hand-Washing

March 24, 2020
Guest post by Vanita Suneja of WaterAid Covid-19 is currently   occupying our collective mind space.  Apart from avoiding mass gatherings, the foremost message given through public media and health advisories across the world is on hand hygiene. We are being been advised to clean our hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water or with alcohol-based sanitizer. Hand washing is
Featured image for “Development Nutshell: Audio Summary of FP2P Posts, w/b 16th March”

Development Nutshell: Audio Summary of FP2P Posts, w/b 16th March

March 21, 2020
No excerpt

COVID-19 and the Global Education Emergency

March 20, 2020
By Prachi Srivastava, Associate Professor, University of Western Ontario Nous sommes en guerre. ‘We are at war’—President Macron, 16 March 2020. With global attention rightfully focused on immediate health impacts, the fact that COVID-19 has brought about an unprecedented immediate global education emergency of unimaginable magnitude, is now catching attention. On 4 March 2020, UNESCO released its first update on

What Might Africa Teach the World? Covid-19 and Ebola Virus Disease Compared

March 19, 2020
This is an edited-down version of a post by Paul Richards that first appeared yesterday on African Arguments, launching its promising new ‘Debating Ideas’ series. Covid-19 is a flu-like illness (symptoms include fever, cough, and breathing problems) caused by a corona virus (SARS CoV-2). Like Ebola, the virus causing Covid-19 circulates within populations of bats and crossed over to humans

Highly Topical Book Review: Plagues and the Paradox of Progress, by Thomas Bollyky

March 17, 2020
If you want to step back and think more broadly about Coronavirus, the Universe and Everything, you could do worse than start with Plagues and the Paradox of Progress, by Thomas Bollyky, which combined a ‘germ’s eye view’ of human history with some powerful reflections on the challenges that face us over the coming decades. First the history. The book

New Oxfam guide to Market-Based Programming (+ great comms)

February 5, 2020
Stumbled across a really sharp new Oxfam briefing on ‘market-based programming’ (MBP). Super concise, with lots of graphics, and a powerful practical rebuttal to any idea that we are kneejerk ‘anti-market’. It starts from the obvious, yet often ignored, observation that markets show a remarkable ability to survive disaster and resurface at speed: ‘Communities and markets have relationships at all

Links I Liked

January 30, 2020
Trust Filipinos to take the piss out of SWEDOW (Stuff We Don’t Want). 30 Funny Pics Of Filipinos Dressed Up In Ridiculous Donated Clothes At A Volcano Evacuation Centre ht Tobias Denskus Davos saw some important additions to our understanding of inequality. The new UNDP Human Development Report covered Inequalities in human development in the 21st century. While the latest
Featured image for “2 Malawian school students who addressed the London Climate March, on the Crisis in Malawi”

2 Malawian school students who addressed the London Climate March, on the Crisis in Malawi

September 22, 2019
At the climate strike march in London on Friday I heard two Malawian high school students describing the critical situation back in their country. Later on I bumped into them at the Oxfam office (turns out we had invited them) and they kindly agreed to speak for a few minutes, even though they looked pretty tired. Here’s what they said:
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How can we think about climate change financing within a climate of inequality?

September 17, 2019
Starting this Friday, young people, their parents and entire communities around the world are mobilising in a special week of action to call for climate justice, 20-27 September. In this post, Harpreet Kaur Paul argues that just as the impacts of climate breakdown are not the same for everyone, neither is the responsibility for financing transformative repairs and solutions. Harpreet
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The Politics of Climate Change: Is This Time Different?

August 29, 2019
I’ve had a couple of people asking why I haven’t been doing more on climate change on this blog. Be careful what you wish for…… I spent a lovely summer’s evening recently discussing the politics of climate change with Matthew Lockwood. Matthew is an old friend, who has just revived his must-read Political Climate blog. Over the years, Matthew has

What do Witch Doctors actually do? I interviewed one to find out – their job description may surprise you

December 19, 2018
Guest post from Robin Oryem (@oryem_robin ), a researcher for LSE’s CPAID programme in Northern Uganda. As part of trying to understand how Public Authority operates in such messy places, Robin has been interviewing local witch doctors. One of the things that any Acholi person wants to avoid is to be associated with a witch doctor, but I took courage and

What matters more in a disaster response – evidence or judgement? Lessons from the Nepal earthquake  

August 21, 2018
This guest post from Ajoy Datta was first published on the On Think Tanks blog. Ajoy also works for OTT Imagine you’re a mid-level policymaker in a government agency or a manager in an NGO. A major incident has just occurred. You have to drop everything you’re doing and shift all your attention into understanding and managing the situation. This