In both low and middle income countries, well established arguments and solid evidence confirm that there is no real development without peace and only the peace of the graveyard without development. These conclusions have shifted the fulcrum of discussion about development over the past several years. But they have not yet added up to telling anybody how to do it. Continue reading
Development aid and peacekeeping: what can the money be spent on?
This week it was confirmed that in 2013 the UK will hit the target of spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on official development assistance (ODA). A long-standing campaigning goal for development NGOs and a moral goal for the country have been achieved. And the week before, UK Secretary for International Development Justine Greening said in the House of Commons on Wednesday that she thought it right to look at how DFID can work more closely with the Ministry of Defence.’ Let’s take a closer look. Continue reading
The unequal state of the world
The state of the world is not just one thing. Continue reading
Resources – the coming crunch and some things that could be done about it
As I remarked already, and it’s the starting point for the new edition of my State of the World Atlas (published this week), the human population is seven times greater than it was 200 years ago but our use of resources is disproportionately greater still: we produce 50 times as much, using 60 times as much water and 75 times as much energy. Where is that all going – and perhaps more to the point, how long can it keep on going? A new report offers insights. Continue reading
More, most and never before
What is the name of our age? The late Eric Hobsbawm wrote a series of brilliant histories that each named the era it covered – The Ages of Revolution, Capital, Empire and, for the age in which I grew up and whose aftermath still shapes us, the Age of Extremes. So what is the name of our age? Continue reading
The UN High Level panel on post-2015: new goals for old?
The UN High Level Panel looking at development goals after 2015 has been in London for the past three days for an intense round of meetings. In the late afternoon of Friday 2 November, about a third of the panel members met around 200 representatives of civil society organisations in a “town hall” style meeting – i.e., no speeches by the panel, everything driven by questions from the floor. Continue reading
Do British development NGOs not want to discuss development?
The UN High Level Panel looking at development goals after 2015 is coming to London and will meet representatives of British development NGOs who, it seems, don’t want to discuss development with them. Continue reading
Reconciliation and Reintegration in Rwanda
On Tuesday 9th, International Alert in Rwanda launched our report, Healing Fractured Lives, and the accompanying film (see my previous post) based on the photography of Carol Allen Storey. Discssuing the vivid personal accounts in the report and the film brought out some insights about how peacebuilding can work in even the most extreme circumstances. Continue reading
Assisting development = assisting what, precisely?
All around are the signs and sounds of a steady gearing up for the renewed development debate. Before it gets swamped by a demand for commitments based on GDP percentages, targets and indicators, it would be a good idea to reflect a little on what we really mean by development. Continue reading
Development aid debate – today and post-2015
Further to my 24 September post on the re-emerging debate in Britain about foreign aid, I neglected a major reason why the government’s commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of GDP on development assistance isn’t changing: Prime Minister David Cameron is co-chair of the UN High Level Panel on the future of development. No surprise, then, that he confirmed the 0.7 per cent commitment straight after the panel’s first meeting. Continue reading