Links I Liked

Best selling toy this summer – ht The New Yorker

Been having fun browsing on what Matthew Spencer calls ‘the best simple guide to some of the principles of campaign strategy’. Example: ‘Do you really need to campaign? Campaigning can be fun but it’s often hard, dull, frustrating and unsuccessful. Even when it’s exciting, it’s a bit like Charlie Watt’s description of 20 years playing with the Rolling Stones – one year of playing and 19 years of hanging about.’

‘The international community assumes that peace is the opposite of war, and that all its efforts should be put into supporting the peace process. This assumption is wrong.’ Joshua Craze on his new paper on South Sudan

‘An African writer is either writing poverty porn or over-representing by telling stories of successful, latte drinking middle-class family melodrama.’ Thoughtful essay on the white gaze and Africa’s novelists by Emeka Joseph Nwankwo

‘In 2020, remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries are expected to drop by around 20% to $445bn, from $554bn in 2019’ (new World Bank report). That drop of $109bn is equivalent to losing 2/3 of the global aid budget ($153bn in 2019).

Humiliation is the Key to Understanding Widespread Rebellion’. More on the emotional chemistry of protest.  

‘Africa has a Covid case fatality rate of just 2.2% – far less than the global rate of 4.4%, or the fatality rate of 8% in Canada and 15% in Britain.’

How to measure political access and influence in fragile and conflict-affected settings. Looks interesting – any reactions?

‘Democracy is not a state. It is an act.’ Morgan Freeman reads John Lewis’ last words on the need to get into ‘good trouble’.

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4 Responses to “Links I Liked”
  1. Derek Thorne

    Thanks for the links as ever. However I’d suggest putting a health warning on those case fatality rate numbers (which sadly the linked article didn’t). Here is the health warning from the actual source (Our World in Data): “During an outbreak of a pandemic the CFR is a poor measure of the mortality risk of the disease.”
    Saying Africa has a lower fatality rate is not without foundation at all – but those particular figures are not a good way to make that case!

    • Duncan Green

      Thanks Derek, I was wondering about this. Given the lack of testing in many African countries, am I right in thinking the actual CFR may well be much lower than these figures?

      • Pete

        Many studies (probably mainly in Europe and the USA) estimate the Covid CFR to be between 0.5 and 1%. Any numbers higher than this are probably from a lack of testing. The UK hit very high mortality rates at a time when there were not nearly enough tests available, so only the very ill were tested and clearly a large proportion of them did not survive.

        Fatality rates will vary with the age profile of a population and lots of other factors.

  2. We often justify particular components of programming as giving access (and maybe influence), so its excellent to see this attempt to systematically specify what is meant by PAI, to measure and track it, so as to better incorporate it as we “work politically. “