Can you comment on Oxfam’s analysis of the global economic crisis?

Global crisis logopoverty and poor communities, and the way governments and others have responded. With co-authors Richard King and May Miller Dawkins, I’ve now pulled together focus group discussions and in depth interviews with 2,500 people, 11 country case studies and regional overviews into a draft research paper, The Global Economic Crisis and Developing Countries: Impact and Response. The paper was published in draft on 27 January, and we have allowed a month (ending 26 February) to get comments and feedback from as wide a group as possible both inside Oxfam and beyond. After a research workshop back in November, I summarized the initial findings here. They haven’t changed much since then. What do we want from you? Send the link to anyone you know who is working on the issue, and send us: · Corrections of fact · Differences of interpretation of the nature and/or severity of the impact and the effectiveness of responses by governments and others · References for other sources of analysis, especially on countries not covered in the text – one of the more surprising aspects of the work was finding how little research has gone on into this subject I’ve got no idea whether this is going to work – releasing a draft for consultation is something of a new departure for us, but we are keen to stimulate as wide a discussion as possible. For that reason we are asking people to do two things – If you want to send comments in private, email them to – If you’re happy for them to be public, post them on this blog. Be as rude as you like – except when absolutely necessary, we will restrain our urge to contact the libel lawyers…….. Over to you And for the full collection of research papers, links etc, visit Oxfam’s economic crisis website.]]>

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9 Responses to “Can you comment on Oxfam’s analysis of the global economic crisis?”
  1. Cathie Wills

    Hi Duncan, May & Richard – Sorry, haven’t got time to read the full report but couldn’t see any mention of a ‘Tobin’ type tax on currency or financial transactions to generate pools for development funding.
    John Langmore from Australia recently wrote an interesting article about it and it seems like a good thing to advocate for at this time – refer
    Particularly for Oxfam Australia to push for our govt to get behind the UN group Leading Group on Innovative Finance for Development
    Throwing that into the pot for your consideration – cheerio,
    CW (Oxfam Vic State Committee group)

  2. pushpanath

    Thanks for the paper and giving an opportunity for comment at this stage.
    I wonder what would a person persons living in poverty will say-if we go to them with the popular version of vulverability and resilence and its conclusion.
    even the most benign social support-from family and friends can have many implications.One need to be careful about this.
    All resilence can also be looked as coping- and all coping has a price.
    Confession- i read the summary only. Any mention of Urban and rural-reslience and vulnerability would be useful interms of comparision or contrast.

  3. It appears to me as if one certain thing humanity cannot keep doing much longer is the very same thing we are so adamantly and foolishly doing now as the self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe among us choose to recklessly speed up the ever increasing, seemingly endless growth of the global economy as well as to deceptively manipulate human beings into going along with a conspicuous per-capita overconsumption and unreserved overpopulation agenda.
    If we keep doing what we are doing now and the human community keeps getting what it is getting now, I fear that sooner rather than later everything we are led to believe we are protecting and preserving will be ruined. In the not-too-distant future a distinct probability could exist that one of two colossal calamities will occur. The wanton dissipation of Earth’s limited resources, the relentless degradation of Earth’s frangible environment, and the approaching destruction of the Earth as a fit place for human habitation by the human species, when taken together, appear to be proceeding toward the precipitation of a catastrophic ecological wreckage of some unimaginable sort unless, of course, the world’s ever expanding, artificially designed, manmade global political economy (the modern “economic colossus”) continues to speed headlong toward the monolithic ‘wall’ called “unsustainability” at which point humanity’s runaway economy crashes before Earth’s ecology is collapsed.
    Could we talk about the need for a new vision for life on Earth?
    Months ago Andy Revkin of the NYTimes and the Dot Earth community asked the question, “What does humanity do when we grow up?” Dr. Joel Cohen has explained elsewhere how humanity is currently in an adolescent phase of its development and is moving toward maturity. Other experts have suggested that the behavior of people in many places is even more primitive, in the sense of being less grown-up than adolescents and more nearly infantile.
    Perhaps another way of coming up with a new vision would be to ask the question, “What might a human world look like when full grown, mature human beings with feet of clay design, construct and organize a new world order in the future?”

  4. Its an excellent report and the authors are to be congratulated.
    I would like to see more in the report on the relationship between the crisis and education. The authors rightly point out the crisis’ adverse impact on education, citing the recent UNESCO GMR, for example, but it may also be useful to more deeply explore how education can be a central tool for the solutions to the crisis, and highlight this in the recommendations or conclusions that the research supports. In this regard, basic education is critical. Some key facts:
    Education is essential for poverty reduction and economic growth, as no country has achieved rapid economic growth without investing in education and reaching an adult literacy rate of at least 40 percent.
    Households headed by a more educated person have, on average, higher wealth and lower poverty incidence.
    The private rate of return on an additional year of schooling ranges from 5 to 15 percent.
    Each one percent increase in the level of women’s education generates 0.3 percent additional economic growth.
    It has been estimated that the failure of 65 transitional, low- and middle-income countries to educate girls to the same standard as boys collectively costs them $92 billion every year.
    Thank you.

  5. I haven’t read Oxfam’s draft on the global economic crisis and its impact and response in 3rd World countries but being in 3rd World Philippines I certainly feel the impact of the crisis. There’s much worse poverty, prices are stratospheric, investments are insignificant, and the economy crawls with no end in sight.
    How did it come to this? Curiously, the current crisis appears to have similarities with the 1998 East Asian crisis which also devastated the Philippines. On decades-long view, both crises have apparently been caused by saturation of 1st World (especially US) markets. All the world sold to the USA until US consumers and industries could buy no more despite soft credits. Additionally, all the world parked their excess money in US financial papers for safety and ‘sure returns.’ In early 2000s, US and 1st World fund managers were already handling over $100 trillion in capital funds. Yet corporate demand for funds was slow, (saturated markets again?). Consequently, money managers engaged in ‘casino plays’ to generate some profit for investors. The home loan debacle is just another symptom of too much money chasing too few eligible debtors.
    So what’s the solution? Obviously, new world markets have to be created. How? The only way is to convert three billion 3rd World poor into a planet-scale market for all world companies. Impossible? Not per historical reports. In Asia, conversion of the poor into huge markets started with Japan in 1860s when the Japanese government imported entire industries from the West. In the 1960s-80s, Japan popularized factory sub-contracting and joint ventures in the Pacific Rim, thereby creating large middle class markets within the region. In late 1980s, Overseas Chinese companies started a ‘joint venture fever’ in China. By mid-90s Coastal China had some 200,000 factories and a 400,000-strong middle class market. The recent business process outsourcing fever in Asia shows how the poor can become middle class thru international business.
    But can the happy adventures be repeated during these difficult times? Indeed they can be, but not thru governments and elite entrepreneurship. These times the most potentially powerful ‘world force’ are blogging nets. We bloggers in our millions and with our worldwide reach can ‘fix the world’ initially thru agribusiness modeling. Projects may start in the Philippines where technologies and skills already exist for such endeavors. Here are hundred-hectare possibilities for upland Philippines: Multi-crop multi-livestock farms with managed forest. Heavily-reforested upland mini-dam hydropower chains. Forest ranches with high-protein forage trees. Ethanol distilleries with sweet sorghum plantations. Wetland forest resorts with breeding facilities for threatened animal species. Crab, fish and shrimp aquaculture with mangrove reforestation. Other agribusinesses as described in
    A few million bloggers pitching in $5-up each can set up all such projects one after another. Reward comes in the form of dividends at rates above market. Brazilians for instance report ‘petrochemical rate’ profits for ethanol distillation at an incredible 80% of sales! The social leverage however does the ‘world fixing.’ Our models’ profitability should encourage over 30 million Philippine employees and other tropical peoples to create copycats by pressuring their governments to pass laws that fund agribusiness joint ventures with 1st World companies. Joint ventures triple local capital thru equipment loans so the laws should create thousands of companies and millions of jobs yearly, for as long as humans exist. 3rd World governments ever short of funds will lobby for 1st World laws that dedicate say 5% of yearly budget plus 5% of private funds towards long-term lending to the agribusiness joint ventures. Agribusiness at such scale greatly reduces global warming while creating planet-size markets for 1st World industrial production (an end to the current recession). The 1st World laws should therefore pass with minimal friction. The logical results: Perpetual funding laws eventually employing all 3rd World poor. New planet-size markets ending the recession. Increasingly larger slices of the 1st World’s over $100 trillion in investment funds washing over to poor countries. Fortunes in stock shares and dividends flowing among 3rd World masses, thereby leveling the scandalous wealth imbalances that create unimaginable miseries among billions of people. As these things show, the recession brings great difficulties but it should draw out happy solutions as well.

  6. marry

    Thanks for the paper and giving an opportunity for comment at this stage.
    I wonder what would a person persons living in poverty will say-if we go to them with the popular version of vulverability and resilence and its conclusion.
    even the most benign social support-from family and friends can have many implications.One need to be careful about this.
    All resilence can also be looked as coping- and all coping has a price.
    Confession- i read the summary only. Any mention of Urban and rural-reslience and vulnerability would be useful interms of comparision or contrast.

  7. Anna

    Global Debt Crisis
    The greatest private fraud of human history.
    Who are the great fraudsters who are becoming the murderers of the human kind? How does the economy “illness” threaten Democracy and the freedom of people?
    By knowing what happened in indebted Greece, where loan sharks created “bubbles” and the current inhuman debt, one can understand the inhuman plan in total …understand where this plan started just to bring all states at the same end …understand how this type of plans are established…