Africa in 2019: 7 trends to watch, by Apollos Nwafor

January 15, 2019
I get lots of internal Oxfam emails. Some of them I even read. Here’s a particularly useful 2019 curtain raiser from Apollos Nwafor, our Pan African Director: ‘There are several issues that put Africa in focus this year: Reform at the African Union: The reforms agreed by the heads of state at the extraordinary meeting in November 2018 highlight a

Should India be sending a rocket to Mars when 40% of children are malnourished? Vote now.

November 5, 2013
We interrupt complexity week with a quick question – what do you think about India’s Mars space  project? The Indian Space Research Organisation today launches a rocket which it hopes will get to Mars before the Chinese space programme – BRICS in space. Cue lots of outrage – in a country where 40% of children are malnourished and half the population have

How are the emerging donors (from China to Azerbaijan) changing the aid business?

September 11, 2013
Oxfam’s ‘BRICSAMIT’ group (BRICS + Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey) is now up and running and doing some innovative thinking about the role of the emerging powers, including their role as donors. Here Russia/CIS regional researcher Daria Ukhova (right) explores recent developments. While the eyes of many international aid observers are currently on the BRICS bank (already discussed in this blog), another

Are the wheels coming off the BRICS juggernaut?

July 30, 2013
Nouriel Roubini (aka Doctor Doom) and the Economist cover story on the same topic? It must be serious. The issue is whether the glitter is coming off the BRICS growth surge. First the Economist: ‘China will be lucky if it manages to hit its official target of 7.5% growth in 2013, a far cry from the double-digit rates that the

The BRICS Bank gathers momentum: another sign of the world’s shifting power balance

June 7, 2013
The momentum behind the creation of a new international bank by the BRICS countries seems to be building steadily. Its leaders will review progress on the BRICS Bank at a special BRICS summit in the sidelines of the St Petersburg G20 Summit in early September. They expect to finalise plans for the Bank at the Sixth official BRICS Summit in

The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Synthesis > novelty in a big new UN report.

March 22, 2013
Of the big reports that spew forth from the multilateral system, some break new ground in terms of research or narratives, while others usefully recap the latest thinking on a given issue. Last week’s 2013 Human Development Report, The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World, falls into the latter category, pulling together the evidence for a

Brazil v South Africa: what can the BRICS tell us about overcoming inequality?

March 20, 2013
The blog’s inequality week here in South Africa continues with some thoughts on inequality and the BRICS. An edited version of this post appeared earlier this week on the FT’s Beyond BRICS blog The acronym may have been cooked up in far-off New York, but the BRICS grouping of countries is starting to generate some interesting life of its own.

'Bricifying' international NGOs is hard work: the challenges facing Oxfam India

November 5, 2012

How are China, Saudi Arabia and other non-traditional donors doing on aid?

August 10, 2011

What can the BRICS teach us about reducing poverty?

November 19, 2009
An excellent new paper from the prolific Martin Ravallion, head of the World Bank’s research department, compares the successes in poverty reduction in three of the biggest beasts of the developing world: China, India and Brazil. Between them, these countries are home to a bit less than half the world’s poor people, but it used to be a lot more.