Tag Archives: development

In Egypt, give ‘em entrepreneurship

In the frenzy to understand, analyze and predict the historic events unfolding in Egypt, many rightly have focused on the Egyptian economy.  Here are some interesting data points: A year ago, Egypt’s government released figures on the country’s poverty.  It showed that it had reached 23.4 percent, “up from 20 percent the previous year.” In [...]
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Obama to the world: Bring it

Tonight President Obama will deliver the State of the Union address.  We’re all pretty sure that the focus of it will be unity, then jobs, jobs, jobs.  (My guess on how many times he says it? 43).  On Saturday, during his weekly radio address, President Obama gave us a preview of what it’s really about: [...]
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Wonderment competition: What is development theory?

Leave it to me to pick out the smallest detail in an article.  That’s what I’ve done in reading Robert Kaplan’s op-ed “One Small Revolution” in today’s New York Times.  He writes about Tunsia’s revolution and what it means for other democratic movements in the Middle East.  In doing so he notes that deposed Tunisian [...]
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Ahem, what was that about human rights Mr. Hu?

Seems I’m not the only one who choked when Chinese President Hu Jintao said that he “recognizes and also respects the universality of human rights,” and that “a lot still needs to be done in China,” in terms of it.  It’s one of the lead stories in today’s New York Times and the subject of [...]
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Aid & transparency

Development expert Owen Barder writes in today’s Guardian about the transparency of aid.  His piece a result of a USAID and EU Foreign Affairs Council announcement that they will “publish details of (their) aid programs.”  Everyone will get to see how aid money is spent.  You can read the entire, brilliant piece here.  I just wanted [...]
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Nick Kristof & a few do-gooders

Nicholas Kristof is among today’s great writers.  I was instantly mesmerized when he transitioned from daily reporting in China to the New York Times op-ed page. Just consider this excellent piece “Cassandra Speaks” written in March 2003 on the eve of the Bush invasion of Iraq.  It thoughtfully questions the wisdom of the invasion, using [...]
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Social innovators of the world unite!.. in Japan

This is why the next social innovation conference needs to take place in Japan. It’s a pay phone shop — in Japan.  A pay phone shop was the last thing I would have expected to find in the East Asian island nation.  Isn’t it supposed to be the world’s technology capital?  Yet after attending a [...]
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The SNL foreign aid revolution

Like so many highly trained comedians these days, Kenan Thompson has choices. He could be working in a Manhattan office tower… oh wait, he does. This clip from last night’s Saturday Night Live captures what’s wrong with the rampant idealism put forward in D.I.Y. foreign aid. I’m all for idealism, within reason. Can we make [...]
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Pakistan postcard part one: Sight

A week ago, I visited what is supposedly one of the most dangerous places in the world: Pakistan.  While I do believe the country has serious security concerns, the only threat I came up against was traffic.  And that, compared to New York or Istanbul, wasn’t all that bad.  Here is the first of my [...]
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Rwanda: Progress or Democracy?

Rwanda is on everyone’s mind again.  Sixteen years after the country suffered through a civil war and endured the nightmare of a genocide, we’re once again concerned about the tiny east African nation, no bigger than Maryland.  This time our concern is over the country’s “democracy” in the hands of president Paul Kagame, who won [...]
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