What can poverty researchers in the UK learn from the South and vice versa?

March 4, 2011

How can better models of change sharpen up our work on development?

March 4, 2011

Food prices – US bad, IMF worried; Big Oil transparency; India shifts on cash transfers; blog news; the state of global education: links I liked

March 4, 2011
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Food prices update: Alex Evans berates the Obama Administration’s silence on biofuels as a factor driving up corn prices. Meanwhile, the IMF warns “Since the turn of the century, food prices have been rising steadily – except for declines during the global financial crisis in late 2008 and early 2009 – and this suggests that these increases are a trend and don’t just reflect temporary factors.”

 “Britain is throwing its weight behind European efforts to force oil and mining companies to publish details of every penny they pay to governments in poor countries where they operate.” Britain backing a French initiative? Whatever next… More analysis on Aid Thoughts. And rather than just slagging off governments, Transparency International has helpfully turned its attention (and league tables) to oil companies. For most countries, country-level disclosure on international operations is the Achilles’ heel.

India shifts from fuel and food subsidies to direct cash transfers to poor people. [h/t Steve Price-Thomas]

Some blog-related stuff: What’s the best way to spend £11m on development? Help Lawrence Haddad with his dilemma. For Spanish speakers, my friend Gonzalo Fanjul has moved his brilliant blog to El Pais’ website, where it should flourish.

Calling all development bloggers – do you want to be researched? If so, contact Jane Sparrow:
“I am a research student in international development at the University of Bath, UK. As part of my studies I am looking at blogs in development (specifically the blogs of international NGOs). You are invited to share your experience of blogging and participate in this study which will take place during March 2011. Please send an email to: jsn23@bath.ac.uk and I will send you a short questionnaire by email to complete. All information, including your identity, will be anonymous and I will of course send you my research report if you would like a copy. ”

“What do you think offers the best value for money? A global education initiative that could put over 67 million kids in school, or a week’s spending on military hardware.” Kevin Watkins launches his latest UNESCO broadside on the failings of the global education system, with a focus on the impact of armed conflict.

Or watch UNESCO’s 7 minute video


  1. Thankyou for posting this video. In September I’m going to Bogota, Colombia on a work Visa to teach ESL. I also want to volunteer while I’m there. Although I’ve learned that it is much safer now to travel to Colombia, I recognize that there is so much poverty and I would like to contribute to the education of these young kids while I’m there…..I’m wondering if anyone knows of a website or somewhere I can go to find out about some volunteer opportunities in Bogota. Thanks!

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