Overseas Development Institute


End of extreme poverty by 2030? Not so fast | 

Big statements about ending extreme poverty by 2030 were tossed about last year.  It is a possible outcome, though far from certain.

Present estimates say that there are 1.2 billion people still experiencing extreme poverty. That means that they have, on average, less than $1.25 each day. That $1.25 is not the US dollar converted into a foreign currency. It is an equivalent to how much that $1.25 could buy in the US in 2005. Or something like this:


If the social, economic and cultural forces that keep people in poverty are not addressed soon, there could be as many as 1 billion people living in extreme poverty in 2030. That is the warning contained in The Chronic Poverty Report 2014-2015: The road to zero extreme poverty, a report from the Chronic Poverty Advisory Network, hosted by the London-based think tank the Overseas Development Institute.

To avoid this possibility, the authors recommend that the world invest in three things: social assistance, education and economic growth that reaches the world’s poorest.  Not doing so would represent a major slow down in anti-poverty progress that saw historic gains over the past two decades. According to the World Bank, 700 million fewer people live were living in extreme poverty in 2010 as compared to 1990.

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The Public-Private Climate Change Spending Gap | 

If you spend it, they will come.

That was thought to be the way to go about getting the private sector to invest in climate mitigation and adaptation activities. As this graphic shows, it is not working so well.

Public spending Climate

The private sector spent twenty-five cents on the dollar as compared to the public sector between 2010 and 12. The data is a bit murky because it depends on private companies disclosing their spending on climate change activities.

“This can make it hard to understand how best to use public finance to attract private finance to tackle climate change,” says the Overseas Development Institute.

Thought what to do is unknown, the information at least points towards a need to get the private sector more involved.

Guardian: Time to abandon the democracy vs dictatorship debate? | 

Flickr, People's Open Graphics

Mussolini praises Mubarak

The Guardian has published this very thought-provoking article arguing we need to stop thinking so simplistically when it comes to pushing for political progress in other countries.

Well, who would argue with that?

But David Booth, with the Overseas Development Institute, actually appears to be suggesting donors and development organizations stop demanding dictatorial or authoritarian regimes convert to open and free democratic governance — especially in Africa. Booth says:

We should be thinking more actively about alternative ways of improving governance based on the “local reforms” and practical hybrid institutions that we are finding here and there in several countries (Ghana, Malawi, Niger), and more comprehensively in at least one (Rwanda).

Malawi? Wasn’t the British ambassador just kicked out for describing it as a dictatorship? Here’s a BBC columnist asking if Malawi is slipping back into dictatorship. Continue reading