Nkosi Sikelel Iafrika: Nelson Mandela RIP

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a […]

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An Uncertain Glory: Dreze and Sen’s fantastic introduction to India and its Contradictions

India dominates many debates on development – home to a third of the world’s absolute (<$1.25 a day) poor, the world’s biggest democracy, an emerging power with a space programme, a buzzing beehive of political and social activism and experimentation. With their new book, An Uncertain Glory, Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen have given us […]

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Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze on the changing nature of India’s caste system

This excerpt comes from An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions, a wonderful new book from Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen. Review tomorrow. ‘It is often argued that caste discrimination has subsided a great deal in the 20th Century. Given the intensity of caste discrimination in India’s past, this is true enough, without making the […]

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How do you measure the difficult stuff (empowerment, resilience) and whether any change is attributable to your role?

In one of his grumpier moments, Owen Barder recently branded me as ‘anti-data’, which (if you think about it for a minute) would be a bit weird foranyone working in the development sector. The real issue is of course, what kind of data tell you useful things about different kinds of programme, and how you […]

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Is India breaking new ground by requiring corporates to spend 2% of company profits on CSR?

This is a joint post with Avinash Kumar (right), Oxfam India’s Policy, Research & Campaigns Director Corporate responsibility in India is getting interesting – an unheralded aspect of the growth of its business sector. Recent legislation requires public sector enterprises to make social responsibility and stakeholder engagement part of their core business practices, while in […]

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