A global X ray of the world’s budget processes shows progress has gone into reverse

Duncan Green - February 14, 2018

I dropped in on the London launch of the Open Budget Survey 2017 last week – I’ve been helping its creator, the International Budget Partnership, update its strategy. The survey has been running since 2006 – this is its sixth round. It now covers 115 countries, covering 93% of the world’s population, and assesses governments on their transparency, independent oversight of the budget process and …

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Africa’s renewable future – the coming energy revolution

Duncan Green - June 5, 2015

Apologies for extra post today, but the guest posts and new papers are coming thick and fast. John Magrath, Oxfam researcher and renewable energy fan, celebrates a new report by Kofi Annan. In Zimbabwe last week I was talking to a nurse at a rural health centre who described how the cost of two candles can be a matter of health or hunger, or even life …

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Not so mega? The risky business of large-scale public-private partnerships in African agriculture

Duncan Green - September 16, 2014

Oxfam policy adviser Robin Willoughby shrugs off the big ag groupthink and argues that the current trend of mega projects in African agriculture is a risky and unproven way to help poor farmers. Last week, I attended a large summit on the future of African agriculture in Addis Ababa, hosted by A Green Revolution for Africa (AGRA). My participation really made me reflect on the …

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Top new African Progress Report focusses on farms, fisheries and finance

Duncan Green - May 8, 2014

The Africa Progress Panel (a group of the great and good, chaired by Kofi Annan) launches its 2014 Africa Progress Report today. It’s an excellent, and very nicely written (heartfelt thanks) overview of some key areas: agriculture, fisheries and finance. Some highlights: ‘For more than a decade, Africa’s economies have been doing well, according to graphs that chart the growth of GDP, exports and foreign …

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Why are Africans getting ripped off on remittances?

Duncan Green - April 22, 2014

Whatever your views of migration, a consensus ought to be possible on one thing: if migrants do send money home, as much as possible of the hard-earned dollars that they send should actually get there, to be spent on putting feeding the kids, putting them through school or even having a bit of fun (that’s allowed too). But according to some excellent new research by …

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How to build local government accountability in South Africa? A conversation with partners

admin - March 18, 2013

This is what a good day visiting an Oxfam programme looks like. I skim the interwebs (and this blog) to put together some thoughts on a given issue from our experience or what others are writing (‘the literature’). Then sit down with local Oxfamistas and partner organizations (who are usually closer to the grassroots than we are) to compare these bullet points with their reality. …

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What does the UN’s first Africa Human Development Report say about food security?

admin - May 16, 2012

A guest post from Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva (right), who is taking over from me as head of research at Oxfam in a couple of weeks, (I’m not leaving, just changing jobs within Oxfam – more on that later). Over the past two years, I spent most of my time working on the first Africa Human Development Report (left), which was launched yesterday in Nairobi. It was about …

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Jobs, Justice and Equity: excellent new overview of Africa's progress

admin - May 11, 2012

Jobs, Justice and Equity is the title of a new report published today by the Africa Progress Panel, a high powered group of ten luminaries including Kofi Annan and Graca Machel. And Bob Geldof. The report does an excellent job of assessing the cup half empty v half full narratives on Africa, and has some great graphics – it should become a standard reference on …

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It's Our Turn to Eat; withering green shoots; the first advanced market commitment; aid and Africa; the BRICs' first summit and dreams of success in Copenhagen: links I liked

admin - June 22, 2009

Chris Blattman loves ‘It’s Our Turn to Eat’, Michela Wrong’s book on corruption in Kenya Martin Wolf pours cold water on talk of green shoots and argues that the recession is only just beginning and that policymakers have to stay the course on reflation Owen Barder hails the first ‘Advanced Market Commitment’ in which aid donors guarantee a market for new drugs aimed at the ‘diseases …

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Obama v Kofi Annan: Who has the best model for agriculture in Mozambique?

admin - July 31, 2012

This guest post from Joseph Hanlon (right) was also published today on the Guardian’s Poverty Matters blog Mozambique is a development paradox. Rural poverty is increasing despite high growth rates and billions of dollars in aid. Now the country has been targeted by two contrasting models of agricultural development. The Obama model was backed by the G8 in Washington in May, while the Annan model was …

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