only 30% [of EU citizens] see education as a priority [for development] … There is still a lot of awareness raising we need to be doing in the education sector. (says Global Partnership for Education staff member)I’m trying to keep the snark to a minimum these days but this was too tempting. Personally I think it is appalling that the EU public doesn’t see improving the welfare of economists and consultants as the top continent-wide priority, and there is a lot of awareness raising to be done to help citizens appreciate just how under-appreciated economists are.More constructively, call me crazy but maybe just maybe it should be developing country citizens who are setting the development priorities rather than EU citizens?And finally, “raising awareness” is actually already on the development #bannedlist so just stop it.
Author Archives: Roving Bandit
Greg Smith is blogging at Ndoronomics.com – sharp analysis on macroeconomics in Ghana and elsewhere. Self-recommending.
Depressing news from Givewell on the Against Malaria Foundation (AMF).The good news: Givewell has directed $10m in the last 2 years to AMF. The bad news: This is a massive increase in scale for AMF, and they haven’t yet managed to spend the money. This seems to be primarily because the transparency and accountability measures that help to make them such an attractive proposition for donors, also makes them a pretty unattractive proposition for implementers such as national governments. There’s something about a sexy new NGO innovation which then runs into trouble when it tries to scale-up working through national government that sounds somehow familiar.We shouldn’t be too disheartened – this is hopefully just a set-back and the money will still eventually be spent.
# cyclists killed in London in the past 2 weeks: 6# police deployed to street corners in response, to patronise cyclists and warn them about cycling sensibly, wearing helmets, and listening to music: 2,500% cyclists killed in London whilst breaking the law: 6%% cyclists killed in London by a HGV turning left right into them: 50%Average annual cycle deaths in Amsterdam (where most people don’t wear helmets): 6Average annual cycle deaths in Paris: 2
Best aeroplane movie I’ve seen in a while, following the adventures of some street kids in Kinshasa who start a rap group.My favourite scene:Kid 1: What I want is to start a music band so I can escape to Europe. Kid 2: I want to be a policeman so I can steal in peace. Kid 3: Ah, you have to be a politician to steal with ease!
Really excellent stuff from Jishnu Das, tearing apart a recent Economist article on cash transfers: recall that in welfare economics there are two rationales for government interventions to make people better off. First, governments fix market failures. … Second, governments redistribute income by giving cash to the poor. …
There were a few good comments on my Guardian piece the other week that are worth highlighting. One of the most most important points is that when private schools get the same results as public schools for a fraction of the cost, they are still getting woefully bad, unacceptably poor learning outcomes. Suvojit and Heather raise the issue that results are only going to be comparable when teacher effort can substitute for training – this is possible at lower grades but likely to get more difficult at higher grades with older children and more difficult material. But neither of these for me damage the case for directly supporting private primary schools if they are still doing the same job substantially cheaper.
Madame Chantal Compaoré, First Lady of Burkina Faso, holds the baby given the first dose of rotavirus vaccine at the official launch ceremony of pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines, which took place in the rural community of Tanghin Dassouri. About the guest author October 31st was a big day for my country, Burkina Faso, because finally introduced vaccines against rotavirus and pneumococcal disease in our routine vaccination program! Thanks to these new vaccines, we will be able to save thousands of children’s lives. read more
This one has been sitting in my drafts folder for months, but Hausmann just got me thinking about it again. “Meze Fresh” is probably one of the best places to eat in Kigali. Certainly one of the fastest. It’s a Chipotle-style Mexican place, with a range of salads, meats, salsas, and sauces in a bar at the front that are thrown together in a tortilla in no time at all. Plus they do margaritas
Very interesting hypothesis from Ricardo Hausmann on Project Syndicate. The bottom line is that urbanization, schooling, and Internet access are woefully insufficient to transmit effectively the tacit knowledge required to be productive. That is why today’s emerging markets are so much less productive than rich countries were in 1960, even though the latter were less urban, had higher birth rates and less formal schooling, and used much older technologies. The policy implications are clear. Knowhow resides in brains, and emerging and developing countries should focus on attracting them, instead of erecting barriers to skilled immigration
“There are 17,000 aid workers in South Sudan, making it one of the largest aid operations in the world. In 2012 there were 25 major attacks on aid workers … With 9 murders of aid workers, that puts the aid worker murder rate in South Sudan at 53 per 100,000. How does this compare to the murder rates of other places?” From Aid Leap
Annie Lowrey interviews Lant Pritchett in the NYT, who argues 1. We need to think about the whole system rather than just single interventions 2. We need clear goals in terms of learning outcomes, what we are trying to achieve 3. We need local flexibility to come up with solutions to achieve those clearly agreed goals I’m struck that if we believe this (and I think I do), then effective management of systems of public service delivery looks a lot like effective management of individual people – set clear outcome goals but don’t micromanage the process. Well worth reading in full.
I wrote a thing for the Guardian blog defending aid in support of private schools in developing countries. Which is very exciting because I’ve been reading the Guardian every day since I was 16. Some of the comments are a bit colourful, so for the record I feel I should burnish my lefty credentials (even though this feels really lame as it’s exactly the kind of thing that annoys me when the likes of Goodhart and Collier do it before they go on to support mainstream Conservative party opinion). But for what it’s worth, I started my lefty career when I was 6, when my “Dennis the Menace fan club says no Gulf war” poster made it to the local news. I went campaigning door-to-door for the Labour party when I was 8.
In India, remittances are larger than the country’s earnings from IT exports. From Dilip Ratha