The World Bank’s flagship report this year is on the future of work – here’s what the draft says

April 26, 2018
The World Bank’s 2019 World Development Report will be on ‘The Changing Nature of Work’ and It’s worth reading because, even though this kind of annual flagship format feels a bit dated, WDRs are always a treasure trove of references and ideas, while what they miss out adds important insights into mainstream thinking in the aid biz. In late March

Will Bill Gates’ chickens end African poverty?

June 23, 2016
  Joseph Hanlon and Teresa Smart are unimpressed by a new initiative, but disappointingly avoid all the potential excruciating puns Bill Gates announced on 7 June that he is giving 100,000 chickens to the poor because chickens are “easy to take care of” and a woman with just five hens in Africa can make $1000 per year. For Mozambique where

Is Decentralization Good for Development?

March 30, 2016
My LSE colleague Jean-Paul Faguet has got a book out on decentralization. Here’s where he’s got to on the narrative, following multiple launch events I’ve just published a book by this name, and have spent a fair part of the last few months lecturing on it in various countries. Many people have asked me “So is decentralization good for development?”

Education wonkwar: the final salvo. Kevin Watkins responds to Justin Sandefur on public v private (and the reader poll is still open)

August 10, 2012

Private schools or public? Justin Sandefur responds to Kevin Watkins (and this time you can vote)

August 9, 2012

How should our influencing strategy vary with the kind of state we're working in?

June 27, 2012

How can aid agencies promote local governance and accountability? Lessons from five countries.

May 31, 2012

Agricultural policy, poverty and the role of the state: the OECD responds

March 17, 2012

Is this the UN's most powerful critique to date of finance-driven globalization?

March 7, 2012

Ha-Joon Chang uncovers what’s worked in the history of agricultural policy

November 16, 2009
I vividly remember the impact of Ha-Joon Chang’s 2002 book ‘Kicking Away the Ladder’. At the time I was an NGO lobbyist on the WTO’s Doha round of trade talks, and Ha-Joon’s book showed how when they were still poor, today’s rich countries had systematically used the industrial policies and other forms of state management of the economy that they

How are effective states going to emerge in Africa?

February 19, 2009
[Sorry to anyone who got a premature alert yesterday – hit the wrong button!] There’s nothing like a visit to Africa – in this case ten days of book promo and financial crisis impact interviews in South Africa and Zambia, to get you thinking about the role of the state. In Southern Africa, as on earlier launches in Uganda, Kenya