Saturday Morning Reading #7

Here’s your Saturday morning reading…

1) Why expats?
J follows up the much-discussed recent post on “The Field” with something even more provocative: “The idea that aid […] is a thing which at some level requires a foreigner, an expat, to leave here and go there to do is one of the Great Unquestioned Assumptions of the aid industry as we currently know it.”

2) Grading the Bill and Melinda Gates letter on poverty and aid predictions
Chris Blattman grades this year’s Gates’s letter as if it were an essay by one of his students. Also see Bill Easterly’s response in the FT.

3) Lant Pritchett on why we struggle to think in systems and look for heroes and villains instead
Duncan Green highlights an interesting passage in Pritchett’s new book on education: “System explanations just have no appeal to people, myself included. Agent-centered explanations are powerfully appealing to us, on a very deep level. ” This has all sorts of implications for theories of changes and campaigning efforts.

4) A manifesto for half-arsed development reforms by Ben Ramalingam
E.g. “6. Evidence and results over politics and vested interests but we must be free to select evidence and results on the basis of politics and interests”

5) The World in 2014
A great collection of thinking and links on trends in 2014 by some of Ian Thorpe‘s colleagues at UNICEF


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