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Author Archives: Guest Blogger

It takes more than a cow, but…girls still count

By Amanda Glassman, Director of Global Health Policy at the Center for Global Development, and Miriam Temin, co-author of Start With A Girl

In her blog post on Aid Watch last week, Anna Carella took on the “Girl Effect,” using some faulty logic and evidence oversights. Marketing may have over-simplified the message in the translation of research to advocacy in the campaign, but let’s take the post point-by-point:

[The campaign…] relies…on the view that women are innately

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Women and gender | 19 Comments

So now we have to save ourselves and the world, too? A critique of “the girl effect”

by Anna Carella, PhD student in political science at Vanderbilt University

Women have increasingly become the focus of international economic development projects, as exemplified by “the girl effect,” a catchphrase and global phenomenon that suggests that development projects aimed at women will succeed because women are more likely to nurture their families and communities.

The “girl effect” initiative was launched by the Nike Foundation in 2008 and has gained traction in the media (Save a Girl,

Posted in Badvocacy and celebs, Stereotypes, Women and gender | Tagged , | 45 Comments

Aid Watch Rerun: Nobody wants your old shoes: How not to help in Haiti

NOTE FROM THE EDITORS: Over the holidays, we’ll be publishing reruns of some of our posts from the first 2 years of Aid Watch. This post originally ran a week after the Haiti earthquake, on January 16, 2010.

The following post is by Alanna Shaikh. Alanna is a global health professional who blogs at UN Dispatch and Blood and Milk.

Don’t donate goods. Donating stuff instead of money is a serious problem…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Disaster relief | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Human Development Index Debate Round 2: UNDP, you’re still wrong

by Martin Ravallion, Director of the Development Research Group at the World Bank

Francisco Rodriguez has defended the HDI against recent criticisms by Bill Easterly and Laura Freschi, who drew in part on my new paper, “Troubling Tradeoffs in the Human Development Index.”

Francisco would make a good lawyer, since he defends his case vigorously on multiple fronts. But this leaves a puzzle about his true position. On the one hand…

Posted in Academic research, Data and statistics | Tagged | 5 Comments

What the New HDI tells us about Africa

by Francisco Rodríguez, Head of Research at the Human Development Report Office

In a post published last Thursday, Bill Easterly and Laura Freschi criticize the new formula for the Human Development Index (HDI) introduced in this year’s Human Development Report.  Borrowing on a recent paper by the World Bank’s Martin Ravallion, Easterly and Freschi argue that our decision to shift from an additive to a multiplicative mean makes Africa look much worse than it…

Posted in Data and statistics | Tagged | 4 Comments

Understanding India’s Microcredit Crisis

by David Roodman, Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development

As Vivek Nemana reported here, the Indian microcredit industry has pitched into what appears to be a replay of the American subprime debacle. I just spent a week in India, talking to nearly everyone. I learned there were so many complexities—history, politicsinstitutional rivalries— that to just view events through the foreign lens of the subprime crisis is…actually about right.

The microcredit industry…

Posted in Financing development, In the news, Organizational behavior | 9 Comments

Living in Emergency

by Pierluigi Musarò, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Bologna at Forli, and a visiting scholar at NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge

A few months ago I organized a conference in Bologna on the topic of humanitarian emergencies and communication. I invited the communication manager of one of Italy’s most famous and most influential NGOs, called Emergency. He accepted but told me, “You should know that we do not deal with…

Posted in Language, Organizational behavior | 10 Comments

Addicted to misery?

by David Zetland, S. V. Ciriacy-Wantrup Fellow in Natural Resource Economics & Political Economy, UC Berkeley

While Bill and others were messing around with the New Yorker piece on Chinese development, they overlooked another piece in the same issue that may be even more significant (!) than debates over China’s growth.

In “Alms Dealers” [sub reqd] Philip Gourevitch reviews Linda Polman’s book, “The Crisis Caravan: What’s Wrong with Humanitarian Aid?” The central…

Posted in Books and book reviews | 23 Comments

TransparencyGate: the end of the road

by Till Bruckner, PhD candidate at the University of Bristol and former Transparency International Georgia aid monitoring coordinator.

Sixteen months after I first filed a Freedom of Information Act request with USAID for the budgets of American-financed NGO projects in Georgia, I have reached the end of the road. Rejecting my appeal, USAID has confirmed that it continues to regard NGO project budgets as “privileged or confidential” information, and will not release…

Posted in Accountability and transparency | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Lant Pritchett on what Obama got right about development

by Lant Pritchett, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Obama’s speech at the MDG conference and the announced US Global Development Policy are the result of long preparation and internal discussions within the administration as part of the Presidential Study Directive, lead out of the NSC, announced a year ago, and the QDDR, prepared by State, both processes having been watched over by the Washington think tanks and advocacy groups.

While one could immediately focus…

Posted in Financing development, Maps | Tagged , , | 11 Comments