Asia’s welfare revolution; results and complexity; China in Africa; Jim Kim gets blogging; Illicit finance; ignorance on fragile states; celebrating informality: links I liked
Everybody sorted out the gremlins on the new blog format? If you’re still having problems, here’s how to sort it. Even my mum managed it and she’s even more tech-challenged than I am.
‘Asia’s next revolution’ – a classic Economist cover story on the ‘mind-boggling’ speed with which countries like China and Indonesia are building welfare states. Read the editorial or the three page main report.
More good news. The Lancet devotes its cover story to the momentum behind universal health coverage. Editorial here.
‘The main value of a results focus in development is not squeezing greater efficiency out of current service providers; rather it is in enabling people to innovate, experiment, test, and adapt.’ Essential reading on complexity and the results agenda from Owen Barder and Ben Ramalingam
New World Bank president Jim Kim looks like being a prolific blogger (or his press team is – how do we know if they’re ghost written?) On his first overseas trip, (to Cote d’Ivoire) he highlights job creation as a way to rebuild fragile states. Then on to South Africa for a ‘development junkie’ wonkfest.
Illicit financial flows are all the rage at the moment (I mean campaigning on them, not doing them – that’s always been popular). Ann Holingshead has a three part series of prezi presentations that explains how they work (prezi makes powerpoint look terribly staid, but be warned, all that swooping can induce nausea). And CGD Europe is about to start work on flows (and hire a specialist).
I’m always struck about how little we really know about anything important in development, despite the huge investment in development research – what do all those researchers do all day? ‘The Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium has recently produced a series of country working papers which review the evidence on livelihoods, basic services and social protection in seven countries and identify key knowledge gaps. All of the working papers found the country evidence bases on livelihoods, basic services and social protection to have particular areas of weakness. The papers revealed:
1. poor understanding of the relationships between service provision, legitimacy and state-building
2. little evidence on the service delivery and human wellbeing outcomes of external actors’ state-building and capacity development efforts in conflict-affected situations
3. a lack of comparable and longitudinal research into how people are able to maintain or create secure livelihoods during and after violent conflict’
Robert Neuwirth, author of Shadow Cities, celebrates the dynamism of the informal economy