What did we learn in the global economic crisis? Multimedia wrap-up on resilience, gender impact and fiscal holes (plus me waving my arms around)

August 10, 2010
We’ve been churning out a bunch of materials on the global economic crisis summarizing our conclusions to date on its developmental impact (though who knows if this is the end, or just a pause, in the financial chaos). The Global Economic Crisis and Developing Countries brings together our findings from research in 12 countries involving some 2,500 people. It’s the final

Low income countries have a $65bn hangover from the global crisis -will it destroy the MDGs?

August 9, 2010
I wrote this for the Guardian Comment is Free site (went up last Friday), summarizing the findings of a new Oxfam research paper. Take note, anyone involved in next months’ big UN MDG summit. “Sometimes the things we don’t know about what is happening in the world take your breath away. A global economic crisis strikes just a few years before

Videos I liked: animated marxism; leadership and the dancing guy; adapting to climate change

July 30, 2010
OK, this week’s posts have been fairly demanding, so let’s relax a bit. I’ve been getting a pile of links to excellent youtubes and the like. If you’re in an open plan office like me, sticking on the headphones and watching videos during office hours can be a bit awkward (‘it’s work related, honest’), so either brave the disapproval or book

What can we learn from Chinese aid?

June 10, 2010
I’m at a two day EU conference ‘Development in times of crisis and Achieving the MDGs’ (snappy eh?). It’s in Madrid, but you wouldn’t know it. We’re in an airless, windowless room in an aircraft hangar of a conference centre miles out from the city. I was on a panel on the impact of the crisis on how we think

The gender impact of Europe’s recession

April 13, 2010
A recent report by Oxfam’s UK Poverty Programme looks at the impact of the global economic crisis on Europe’s women. Based on research in ten EU member states, the report finds (among other things): ‘The impact of the recession is significant and damaging for both men and women living in poverty. This report tracks the impact for women as a

The IMF debates the crisis and industrial policy

March 23, 2010
The Hanoi Hilton, IMF, Robert Wade and jet lag. One strange day. [any feedback on these wonku summaries, introduced in response to the reader survey?] My week in Vietnam kicks off with a weird jet-lagged day at the Hanoi Hilton c/o the IMF and the Vietnam State Bank, who organized a conference on ‘Post Crisis Growth and Poverty Reduction in

Will this time be different? Financial crises and aid collapses over the last 30 years.

March 11, 2010
What impact do financial crises in rich countries have on their aid budgets? You would probably expect them to lead to a big bank bailout, producing a debt burden and a fiscal hangover, triggering bouts of cabinet infighting over public spending with aid coming off worst (after all, aid beneficiaries aren’t voters, at least in the donor country). Now some

Some big development brains ask ‘what’s next?’

March 10, 2010
The Institute for Development Studies is a Good Thing. Located on the brutal 60s campus of the University of Sussex near Brighton, its gurus like Robert Chambers and Hans Singer have educated and inspired generations of Masters and PhD students, who then scattered to every corner of the aid industry and beyond (diplomats, politicians etc). I was down there last

Ending the Doomsday Cycle of global finance

March 4, 2010
‘Each time the system runs into problems, the Federal Reserve quickly lowers interest rates to revive it. These crises appear to be getting worse and worse.’ So begins a sobering analysis by Peter Boone and Simon Johnson in the CentrePiece, the journal of the LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance. The argument is contained in the two graphics. First the  historical

The State of World Hunger in Graphs

March 3, 2010
This from the FAO’s ‘State of Food Insecurity in the World 2009’. Click on the graphs. After decades of improvements, the number of undernourished people (in millions) in the world has been rising rapidly since the mid 1990s.       Even as a proportion of total population, hunger started rising in the middle of the last decade    

The gender impact of the global meltdown: 7 new papers and a video

February 24, 2010
One of the aspects which is almost invariably missing from substantive discussions on the global economic crisis (and which quite often, doesn’t even get lip service) is the gender dimension. Women and men experience crises in different ways, and are unequally affected by government responses. Often, pre-existing inequalities, which include under-representation of women at all levels of economic decision-making and

More IMF revisionism, this time on capital controls

February 22, 2010
Another day, another IMF U turn, this time in a ‘Staff Position Note’ on capital controls by Ostry, Ghosh, Habermeier, Chamon, Qureshi, and Reinhardt (they seem to prefer writing by committee at the Fund – personally, I’m with Sartre: ‘hell is other people’). This comes hard on the heels of its recent rethink on inflation, part of a laudable institutional