On Friday the World Bank London office had a meeting on ‘the Future of Aid’. The meeting was, according to the tortuous language of the invitation, “conducted in an informal manner with interested stakeholders from governments, civil society,… Continue reading
I suspect most people in Britain think that detention without trial is a problem limited to dodgy dictatorships and Guantanamo Bay. In fact more than 3,000 people are being held in prison in Britain on the basis that… Continue reading
Michael Woolcock sent me this excellent quote from Thomas Paine:
When it shall be said in any country in the world, ‘My poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of… Continue reading
A new edition of the Development Drums podcast is now available online. Malini Mehra from the Center for Social Markets and Alex Evans from the Center on International Cooperation at NYU take a step back… Continue reading
During the mass migration between the middle of the nineteenth century and the outbreak of the first world war, about a third of Europeans migrated from their country of birth, mainly to America. Today levels of migration are proportionately… Continue reading
Tim Harford had an interesting article in the FT in August arguing that we are better off in most walks of life if there is experimentation and a multiplicity of approaches.
But how do we value diversity in the… Continue reading
Regular readers will have noticed that things have been quiet around here for a while. I’ll be back to blogging properly in a while.
In the meantime, I am dead impressed by this collection of very accessible briefs from the… Continue reading
An interesting Economist article about the uses of prizes to promote innovation is a missed opportunity to explain the economic logic of prizes for innovations for developing countries. The reported comments by Tachi Yamada at the Gates Foundation about the value of market success do not seem to take account of the shortcomings of the system of patents and markets when it comes to developing drugs for diseases that mainly affect developing countries, nor to the problem of ensuring access in developing countries for new drugs.
Welcome to my world:
Fortunately my partner has reality-based beliefs.
Ravi Kanbur has written an interesting paper (pdf) about how he feels as someone who makes a good living from analysing and writing about poverty. Here is an extract, but it is worth reading the whole, thoughtful piece:
What is… Continue reading
We have been told that the three largest parties in the UK are committed to retaining DFID as a separate government department, with its own Cabinet Minister, and with a budget that rises to meet the UK's commitment to increase aid to 0.7% of GDP. If we want to help to accelerate development, then some of the time we will need to put the UK's broad, long-term interest in building a safer, more equal and prosperous world ahead of the UK's narrower and short-term commercial or political interests. The most important international development question for the UK election should be: which of the political parties is willing to do that? Continue reading
The UK General Election campaign could start as soon as next week, and it is already clear that one of the battlegrounds will be the relationship between the citizen and society. Both parties are keen to demonstrate that they don’t… Continue reading
On January 13th, a leader in The Times and Kevin Watkins in The Guardian attacked the development policies of the UK Conservative Party, from opposite sides of the political spectrum. The Times Leader says that the Conservatives are wrong… Continue reading
When Google decided to set up a censored version of its search engine in China in 2006, I was among those who criticised the company for its decision (here and here).
As well thiking it was the wrong… Continue reading
I am grateful to Oxfam’s Duncan Green for his fair and thoughtful review of my paper about improving aid, Beyond Planning: Markets and Networks for Better Aid.
I’m glad that Duncan and Chris, his Oxfam colleague, endorse a… Continue reading
Michael Clemens from the Center for Global Development talks about immigration – which he describes as “The Biggest Idea in Development that No One Really Tried“. In this TED-talk style video, he addresses criticisms of open borders… Continue reading
Aid budgets are limited by the amounts that rich countries are willing to allocate for foreign assistance. There are limits to the generosity of parliaments, finance ministries and taxpayers. At the same time, in developing countries there is… Continue reading
Martin Wolf in the Financial Times says he is calling for “a debate” about immigration but his article is, in truth, a thinly-veiled diatribe against immigration on the grounds that it harms the economy, the environment and society.
The most… Continue reading
Daniel Kaufmann and Mushtaq Khan talk about corruption in the latest edition of Development Drums.
Though they come from quite different points of view, there is quite a lot of convergence between them. They agree that there is much… Continue reading
On the first World Pneumonia Day, spare a thought for the mothers and fathers of the five thousand children who will be killed today by pneumonia.
Pause for a moment in silent thanks to the staff of the GAVI… Continue reading