Topic: Health and Education

Panels of the Poor: What would poor people do if they were in charge of the post-2015 process?

Many of the attempts to introduce an element of consultation/participation into the post-2015 discussion have been pretty perfunctory ‘clicktivism’. So thanks to Liz Stuart, another Exfamer-gone-to-Save-the-Kids, for sending me something a bit more substantial: 5 day in-depth participatory discussions with small (10-14 people) ‘ground level panels’ in Egypt, Brazil, Uganda and India, culminating in a […]

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Development Impact Bonds and Impact Investing – genuine Impact, or snake oil?

The private finance people in development baffle me. They speak a different language; great swirling clouds of jargon, the fuzziest of fuzzwords, all laced with a level of macho market can-do talk that makes me deeply suspicious. Baffled but sceptical – not a good place to be. And there’s a lot going on at the […]

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Pakistan’s Lady Health Workers – empowerment + healthcare

Just finished the paper for the UN on where/how governments have managed to empower poor and excluded groups and individuals. Thanks to everyone who suggested links when I blogged the outline back in June. I’ll do a summary when it’s out, but thought I’d share a few of the dozens of case studies dug up […]

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China and India are building welfare states at a scale and speed unprecedented in human history

Take a look at this table, from a new paper by Arjan de Haan. It shows the last 15 years of social policy initiatives in China and India, and their breathtaking scale. And here’s a chunk from the accompanying one pager: Though social spending in both countries appears rather low, and many deficits remain in […]

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Has the Arab Spring Failed? Not yet, reckons the Economist – Highlights from its excellent Special Report

By blog-reader standards, the Economist’s Special Reports can be pretty long (15 pages in this case), but they are sharply written and stuffed full with great stats. As long as they steer clear of economic policy, they are also not as ideology-laden as some of the magazine’s other content. So if you can spare half an […]

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Some Monday Morning Inspiration: Malala Yousafzai at the UN

Moving and astonishingly confident speech at the UN last week by Malala Yousafzai on the UN-declared ‘Malala Day‘ (12 July – her birthday). Think we’ll be hearing a lot more from her – a future president? Here’s the film my sister-in-law Mary Matheson made for Plan International to celebrate Malala’s birthday (which got shown at the […]

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Pretty good so far, what’s next? Jim Kim’s first year at the World Bank

By Nicolas Mombrial, head of the Oxfam International’s Washington office A year ago today, the World Bank got a new chief. In all its 66 years, the bank head has always been an American, and Jim Yong Kim was president Obama’s pick. We’ll never know if Jim Kim was the best person for the job, […]

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Which rich countries are good/bad on hunger and nutrition? A new index takes aim at the donors.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the new Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index of developing countries. Yesterday, IDS published a second HANCI for the donor countries. The Index assesses governments on both their promises and performance, strokes the good guys and slaps the bad, provides arguments and data for civil society and scrutinizes aid […]

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When/how does aid help Africa’s public services work better?

I seem to be spending most of my life at the ODI at the moment, largely because it is producing an apparently endless stream of really useful research papers and seminars. Yesterday saw a combo of the two, as it launched Unblocking Results: using aid to address governance constraints in public service delivery (OK, maybe […]

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Are illicit drugs a development issue and if so, what should we do about it?

I spent Wednesday morning taking drugs seriously. OK that’s the last of the lame do/take drug jokes. What I actually did was have a coffee with Danny Kushlick and Martin Powell of the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, and then attend a Christian Aid seminar on drugs and development. Both conversations addressed the same questions: are […]

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