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Patent rules are still stopping us helping our children, and this time it’s personal

August 6, 2019
I arrived at Oxfam towards the end of its big Make Trade Fair campaign on global trade rules. One of its core figures was Romain Benicchio, who just got in touch with this piece about how one aspect of that campaign has become all-too personal. One of the major illustrations of the rigged rules and double standards that shaped (and

What kind of Evidence Influences local officials? A great example from Guatemala

May 29, 2018
I met Walter Flores at a Twaweza seminar in Tanzania a couple of months ago, but have only just got round to reading his fascinating paper reflecting on 10 years of trying to improve Public Health in Guatemala. It is short (12 pages), snappily written, with a very crisp, hard-hitting thesis, so no need to do more than provide some

What are the politics of reducing carnage on the world’s roads? Great new paper from ODI

May 25, 2018
There’s a form of casual violence that kills 1.25 million people a year (3 times more than malaria) and injures up to 50 million more. 90% of the deaths are of poor people (usually men) in poor countries. No guns are involved and there’s lots of things governments can do to fix it. But you’ll hardly ever read about it

Carnage on the roads v good news on malaria and guinea worm disease (and a brewing Opium War on Tobacco)

January 27, 2014
This week’s Economist resembles a reader on some of development’s top Cinderella issues (which are becoming a bit of a thing on this blog), covering road traffic, ‘tropical diseases’ and tobacco. First up, the contrast between the falls in road deaths in rich countries (deaths there peaked in the 1970s), and rising carnage in the developing world. New WHO stats