Nine month old Emabet is about to receive her measles vaccination, in Ethiopia's Merawi province

Malaria vaccine setback: what can we learn?

There has been bad news about the effectiveness of the leading candidate for a malaria vaccine. Has the time has come for donors to make an Advance Market Commitment? Read the full post »
Women preparing food in mud hut on March 20 , 2014 in Jaisalmer,India

End of year reflections

The Guardian development blog is running a series of end of year reflections on development, including one by me. Many of the articles are upbeat about progress in developing countries, but pessimistic about the short term economic prospects for … Go to to read the rest

Read the full post »
Boris Johnson in the Conservative Party Political Broadcast - East Africa Appeal

Conservative Party gives up party political broadcast

This is very impressive.  Here in the UK we do not have paid political advertising: instead political parties are given a limited number of slots on British TV for a ‘party political broadcast’ to put their point across.

This year … Go to to read the rest

Read the full post »
The BBC website showing the aid or immigration programme

Aid or immigration?

There was an interesting programme on BBC Radio 4 on Monday night, Analysis, which looked at the following question:

The government is committed to protecting the aid budget. Frances Cairncross asks whether a more relaxed policy on economic migration

Go to to read the rest Read the full post »
A woman holding her young malnourished baby queues for food at the Badbado camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IPDs). Famine has been declared in two regions of southern Somalia – southern Bakool and Lower Shabelle. The United Nations indicates that 3.7 million people across the country, that’s nearly half of the Somali population, are now in crisis and in urgent need of assistance. An estimated 2.8 million of those are in the south.

Famine and drought

Two things to keep in mind about famine and drought. First, famine is not caused by drought or overpopulation or insufficient food production. Second, development aid works. Read the full post »
Map view of Monrovia on a geographical globe

The Liberia Marathon and 10km

The first Liberia Marathon is on 28 August 2011. Read the full post »
Kenya. Mombasa. January 25, 2012 African students. School.

In school not learning

George Bush famously asked, ‘Is our children learning?’. That’s also the question by Uwezo, a coalition of NGOs working in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.  Their report published today makes dismal reading about the quality of schools.

First, a word … Go to to read the rest

Read the full post »