What I’ve missed — Sunday evening round-up

A few bits from my weekend reading that are worth sharing.


A case study of when things work well in global health. Karen Grepin highlights the pending launch of a new vaccine against meningococcal A meningitis in three West African countries. It’s kind of a big deal. Sounds like there was no vaccine a decade ago, and now there’s a vaccine cheap enough for distribution, along with a plan for distribution. All thanks to a nifty public-private partnership. PATH describes the effort in a case study here.


Land is not Linear: Towards the Brown Revolution. Ben Ramalingam describes the work of Operation Hope on agricultural production in Zimbabwe, and links the organization’s work to complexity science.


Happy Birthday 1325, or, Why women in Burundi won’t let me be cynical about (some) UN resolutions. Jina Moore marks the 10th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which called for greater roles for women in peace processes. The debate about 1325’s efficacy aside, Jina describes the grassroots work of peacebuilders in Burundi.

Aid reform

The Big Push Back. Rosalind Eyben is “worried about the donor trend to support only those programmes claiming to deliver easily measurable results rather than to support transformative processes of positive and sustainable changes in people’s lives” — which has resulted in a system in which “many development practitioners cynically comply with the performance measurement demands, often with a nod and a wink from a sympathetic bureaucrat equally despairing of what is now required.” Duncan Green hits a similar theme.

US politics

Nudge the Vote. US political strategists are increasingly using behavioral science and randomized trials in their voter outreach, not unlike the movement that has gained so much respect in development.


The Microfinance Impact and Innovation Conference Round Up. There was way too much written about this conference for me to review and link to it all. Fortunately, Tim Ogden has taken care of it.

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