Urinals; development songs; nail salons; economics v physics; state-building; Obamacare; Global Health Fund; apologies to Haiti; guns and anthropologists and more data for aid geeks: links I liked
A graphic history of the urinal [h/t a seriously underemployed John Magrath]
It’s a brave man who publishes his musical preferences, so hats off to IDS director Lawrence Haddad for this list of top development songs
Job clusters among US immigrants – Bill Easterly finds that Vietnamese work in nail salons and Chaldeans (Roman Catholics from northern Iraq) in liquor stores
‘Economics achieved coherence as a science by amputating most of human nature. Now economists are starting with those parts of emotional life that they can count and model (the activities that make them economists). But once they’re in this terrain, they’ll surely find that the processes that make up the inner life are not amenable to the methodologies of social science. The moral and social yearnings of fully realized human beings are not reducible to universal laws and cannot be studied like physics.’ David Brooks lays it on the line in the New York Times [h/t John Magrath again]
‘State weakness in Africa may be exacerbated by attempting to graft the West’s idea of a 20th century developmental state onto structures not fully capable of providing the basic bits of law and order.’ Chris Blattman wonders if we’ve got it wrong on state building and should be putting rule of law ahead of health and education.
David Steven draws lessons from the US healthcare reform soap opera for anyone who wants the US to do anything.
Jeff Sachs argues for expanding the Global Fund for TB, Malaria and HIV/AIDS into a single Global Health Fund, and putting in the necessary cash (an extra $12bn a year)
‘”It may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked. It was a mistake,” Bill Clinton apologises for dumping US rice on Haiti throughout the 1990s, leaving the country unable to feed itself. Better late than never I guess. [h/t Phil Bloomer]
Smart power and the military-industrial complex, aka why arms manufacturers are hiring anthropologists and legal rights advisers, c/o Aid Watch. Scary.
Calling all aid data geeks: AidData catalogues nearly one million projects that were financed between 1945 and 2009, adding or augmenting data on $1.9 trillion of development finance records. We currently have data from 87 different donors, and data from even more donors will come online every few months. Happy crunching.