Every key stat you could possibly want about humanitarianism, emergencies etc – please steal

Clearly you can’t use the term ‘killer facts’ when they concern actual deaths, so Oxfam has tweaked the name to Humanitarian Key Facts in a new compilation (to be updated on a regular basis). It’s a powerful collection that should provide lots of link-tastic, well referenced ammunition (sorry  – language problem again) for advocacy. The […]

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Civil Society and the dangers of Monoculture: smart new primer from Mike Edwards

Mike Edwards has just written a 3rd edition of his book ‘Civil Society’. It’s a 130 page primer, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy reading. I found some of the conceptual stuff on different understandings of civil society pretty hard going, but was repaid with some really interesting and innovative systems thinking, leading to what […]

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Is this the best paper yet on Doing Development Differently/Thinking and Working Politically?

Some of the old lags have reacted to all the hype around TWP/DDD with ‘any aid worker worth their salt knows that all ready – what’s new’?’ An outstanding new paper from Jaime Faustino and David Booth takes up that challenge in one particular context – advocating reforms in the Philippines – that has much […]

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The Economist on the global spread of cash transfers and Jokowi’s flying start in Indonesia

Some fascinating coverage of the new Indonesian president and cash transfers in the Economist this week. First up, Indonesia: ‘Having trimmed petrol subsidies in November, Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, who is universally known as Jokowi, scrapped them entirely from January 1st. Small subsidies (1,000 rupiah, or eight cents, per litre) will remain in place for […]

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Links I Liked

Charlie Hebdo dominated the week. Here’s the best reaction piece I’ve seen so far (h/t Chris Blattman), and my two favourite cartoonist responses. For UK aid wonks: Simon Maxwell summarizes the OECD DAC peer review of Britain’s aid, raising some tough questions for DFID. Bloomberg Billionaires is tracking the wealth of the megarich. The world’s […]

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Why gay rights is a development issue in Africa, and aid agencies should speak up

Hannah Stoddart, on secondment as Oxfam’s advocacy manager in Rwanda, calls for aid agencies to take a stand in defence of beleaguered gay rights in Africa (and I ask you to vote on her suggestion) First Gambia, then Chad. Recent months have seen two more countries join the rising tide of State-led homophobia sweeping across […]

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Them Belly Full (but we hungry): great new study on food riots and food rights

A fascinating new report (with too many co-authors to list, but the invariably interesting Naomi Hossain was principal investigator) summarizes the findings of a four country research project on ‘food rights and food riots’ in Bangladesh, India, Kenya and Mozambique. Some highlights from the Exec Sum: ‘The green revolution and the global integration of food markets […]

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Where do the world’s poorest people actually live? Big new databank on multidimensional poverty launched today

Has it ever struck you as pretty bonkers that we usually discuss poverty at national level, equating giant countries like India, with tiny islands whose population would disappear without trace in a single Indian city? If so, you, along with happy poverty nerds everywhere, should check out today’s Multidimensional Poverty Index from Sabina Alkire and […]

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Working With The Grain: an important new book on rethinking approaches to governance

Even though it’s relatively short (223 pages), Working With the Grain (WWTG) took me two months to finish, but I’m glad I did. It adds to a growing and significant body of literature on ‘doing development differently’/’thinking and working politically’ – Matt Andrews, Adrian Leftwich, David Booth, Diana Cammack, Sue Unsworth etc. (Like Matt and […]

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How many people? What do they read? 2014’s most popular posts + visitor stats for the year

Had a much less traumatic Christmas than last year (at least until I stepped on the scales) but now it’s back to work, so let’s start with the blog stats and most popular posts of 2014 (I’ll skip the flops). First of all, a huge thanks to all of you who continue to read, comment […]

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