Davos is here again, so it’s time for Oxfam’s new report on prosperity and poverty, wealth and work.

January 22, 2018
As the masters of the universe (or at least planet earth) gather in Davos, here’s a curtain-raiser from Deborah Hardoon, Oxfam’s Deputy Head of Research, introducing its new report. Gotta love a data release. Every year I look forward to the release of the Credit Suisse Global Wealth databook. An immense piece of work, developed over a decade and led by

Can economic growth really be decoupled from increased carbon emissions in Least Developed Countries? Ethiopia’s Story

March 14, 2017
Guest post from Steve Baines These are definitely not the research findings I expected to be presenting. The data in front of me has challenged some of my long-held assumptions. Climate negotiations through the years show us one thing very clearly – that Least Developed Countries demand the right to develop their own economies and build their own prosperity for

Why those promoting growth need to take politics seriously, and vice versa

October 14, 2015
Nicholas Waddell, a DFID Governance Adviser working on ‘Governance for Economic Development’ (G4ED) explores the links between governance and economic growth.  Should I play it safe and join a governance team or risk being a lone voice in a sea of economists and private sector staff? This was my dilemma as a DFID Governance Adviser returning to the UK after

Impact investing: hype v substance, the importance of ownership and the role of aid

July 2, 2015
Oxfam’s Erinch Sahan tries to disentangle hype from substance and makes a pitch for a new approach to impact investing. Impact investment is the next black. It’s already worth about $46 billion, and rapidly growing. In 2010, when it was a mere $4 billion, JP Morgan predicted it would be between $400 billion to $1 trillion within a decade. Forbes

Have technology and globalization kicked away the ladder of ‘easy’ development? Dani Rodrik thinks so

June 26, 2015
Dani Rodrik was in town his week, and I attended a brilliant presentation at ODI. Very exciting. He’s been one of my heroes ever since I joined the aid and development crowd in the late 90s, when he was one of the few high profile economists to be arguing against the liberalizing market-good/state-bad tide on trade, investment and just about

Bob Diamond v Dani Rodrik on Africa’s growth prospects

December 18, 2013
Two diametrically opposed views of Africa appeared in my e-intray on the same day this week. The Financial Times reported that Bob Diamond, ex-boss of scandal-plagued Barclays Bank, had secured the preliminary support of several big institutional investors for Atlas Mara, his planned $250m cash shell, targeting the African banking sector. The FT gushed ‘Africa offers growth potential on a vast

Development optimism from Justin Lin: review of ‘The Quest for Prosperity’

January 9, 2013
‘Every developing country has the opportunity to grow at over 8% a year for 20-40 years, and to get rid of poverty within a generation.’ There’s something very refreshing about listening to East Asian development economists, in this case the prolific Justin Lin, a former World Bank chief economist, launching his new book The Quest for Prosperity, at ODI just

The state of India – an advocacy masterclass from Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze

December 6, 2011

By 2015 Nigeria will have more poor people than India or China

July 27, 2011

Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding. Review of Charles Kenny's new book

March 21, 2011

Will the new UN Panel on Global Sustainability have an impact?

August 11, 2010
The diplomatic circus is full of high level commissions and panels on this and that, most of which deliberate, publish and sink without trace. But the UN’s new High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability, launched this week by Ban Ki-moon, may just be an exception. It certainly has a hell of a job description: ‘finding ways to lift people out of

Can democracies kick the growth habit? A debate with Tim Jackson

July 8, 2010
Last month I spent an enjoyable hour debating zero growth with Tim Jackson in his back garden, for a slot in the July issue of New Internationalist magazine. Tim is the UK’s first Professor of Sustainable Development (at Surrey University) and author of the excellent Prosperity Without Growth (reviewed here). We largely went over the ground covered in previous posts