Dr Pangloss and Mr Ludd: Stefan Dercon revisits Technology and Development

October 4, 2018
Stefan Dercon of the Blavatnik School of Government introduces two new reports. Am I alone? Was I the only one who could not believe it when the World Development Report 2016 said that 85 per cent of jobs in Ethiopia could disappear due to automation? Am I also the only one who sighs when a young entrepreneur claims the app

20th Century policies may not be enough for 21st Century digital disruption

March 31, 2017
It’s often a good sign when you rock up at a conference and hardly know anyone there. That was my experience at a recent, rather grandiosely-named, ‘Digital Development Summit’, hosted by IDS, Nesta and the Web Foundation, which clearly got people’s attention – the places were fully booked within a day of going live. Participants were diverse: developing country ministers,

How can governments raise money from automation and ICT to compensate the losers?

March 17, 2017
Got a feeling I’m going to end up looking pretty stupid with this post, but hey, what’s the point of a blog if you can’t humiliate yourself in public? Went to a ‘digital development summit’ earlier this week (here’s a prior curtain raiser on this blog). The theme was the ‘future of work’ (see earlier musings on this blog). Proper

What do we know about when data does/doesn’t influence policy?

March 8, 2017
Josh Powell, Chief Strategy Officer at the Development Gateway weighs in on the Data and Development debate While development actors are now creating more data than ever, examples of impactful use are anecdotal and scant. Put bluntly, despite this supply-side push for more data, we are far from realizing an evidence-based utopia filled with data-driven decisions. One of the key

What does the rise of Digital Development mean for NGOs?

February 28, 2017
  Matt Haikin, an ICT for Development (ICT4D) practitioner, summarizes a new paper on digital development in East Africa reports, and the challenges for Oxfam and other international NGOs I’d been living in Nairobi for a couple of months, meeting all the interesting ‘tech for good’ types I could find (and there are a LOT for one city!), when an

Shaping the future of work in a digital world – why should development organisations care?

February 17, 2017
On 13th March, IDS together with the Web Foundation and Nesta, are hosting the inaugural Digital Development Summit, with the support of DFID and the DFID-ESRC Impact Initiative (FYI: I will be one of the final panel speakers). This blog post is the first in a series that will be published by organisers and participants over the coming weeks. Here

Where are the ‘Digital Dividends’ from the ICT Revolution? The new World Development Report

February 22, 2016
OK, book done, back from recuperative holiday, time to get back to daily blogging. Earlier this month I headed off for the London launch of the 2016 World Development Report, ‘Digital Dividends’. The World Bank’s annual flagship is always a big moment in wonkland, and there has been a lot of positive buzz around this one. Here’s how the Bank summarizes

My first week on twitter: impressions of a newbie

May 9, 2012

The realtime challenge: some cutting edge data-gathering from the UN (yep, you heard that right)

January 26, 2012