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

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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 »
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The Liberia Marathon and 10km

The first Liberia Marathon is on 28 August 2011.

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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

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Tony Blair on Development Drums

Tony Blair is my guest on the latest Development Drums. He talks about his Africa Governance Initiative, and more broadly about democracy, leadership, globalization, DFID, and his own future.

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Deborah Brautigam and her book, the Dragon's Gift

China in Africa – Deborah Brautigam [podcast]

The latest edition of the Development Drums podcast is now online. It was the last one I recorded before leaving Ethiopia.

Deborah Brautigam, a scholar renowned for her work on China-Africa relations, discusses her book, The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Go to to read the rest

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Election Poster for Bingu wa Mutharika

Malawi success and donor fallibility

On the Oxfam blog, Max Lawson has an excellent guest post telling the story of how Malawi has used an extensive programme of fertilizer subsidies to generate seven years of economic growth, reduductions in poverty and child deaths.

Max cites … Go to to read the rest

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