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Category Archives: Maps

OK let’s get really rigorous about using local knowledge on US regions

One great response to Friday’s post on David Brooks’ less-than-perfect-knowledge about the Midwest was a Discover Magazine blog post by Razib Khan that provided the following evidence-based map:

and for those who missed it in the comments section, here’s a story from my favorite news source:

‘Midwest’ Discovered Between East And West Coasts

“I long suspected something was there,” said Franklin Eldred, a Manhattan native and leader of the 200-man exploratory

Also posted in Satire and parodies | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Red states & Blue cities: Divided we’ll endure anyway

Happy election day! Aid Watch is unable to maintain any pretense of doing its normal business in the midst of all the excitement. Please vote early and often for the candidate of your choice, as long as they passed 8th grade science.

This cool 3-D map shows the Red – Blue split in a way that captures the large Democratic vote in large urban areas. Thanks a lot, cool mapmaker, now we seem even more divided.

We…

Also posted in Political economy | 8 Comments

World according to Blattman

Honoring Stealing from Chris Blattman’s great blog, I am reproducing some of his recent posts because they have been unusually fun & good and because I’m just too lazy to write my own blog today.

Favorite distorted maps of Africa:

Favorite wordle on which countries are mentioned in Journal of Development Economics shown below.

I’m fascinated by this. One idea that I am investigating in my own research is that…

Also posted in Metrics and evaluation | 2 Comments

The plight of the African intellectual – a moral fable

Once upon a time, there were two great lands: Donorlandia and Africa. Donorlandia had many intellectuals who opined about the solutions for Africa, who received much attention in the media of Donorlandia. Few African intellectuals received as much, or even any, such attention when they discussed their own land.

Donorlandia’s intellectuals could work for great universities, or for think tanks, or for aid agencies. What’s more the aid agencies and charitable foundations often gave no-strings-attached…

Also posted in Satire and parodies | 23 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…

Also posted in Financing development | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Diary of a serial summit attendee

One week. Two development summits. Hundreds of heads of state, development luminaries, CEOs, and social entrepreneurs. Celebrity star power. No poor people. Aid Watch spent three days trying to make sense of the greatest show on earth to help the world’s lowest.

TUESDAY

0930 hrs: I am crammed into a press box at the back of the world’s most glamorous development meeting, craning over the photographers to catch a glimpse of this year’s distinguished

Also posted in Field notes | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Beautiful fractals and ugly inequality

UPDATE 4pm: is there any point to this post? see end of text

UPDATE II: 4:30pm Critic cuts me some slack. see end of text

UPDATE III 11am, 9/10/10: Paul Krugman says he had the idea first (see end of text)

In our ceaseless search for trendy themes, let’s consider today the beauty of fractals. The picture below shows one fascinating kind of fractal called a “Koch snowflake.” Fractals have the same amount of…

Also posted in Metrics and evaluation | Tagged , | 43 Comments

Constructivist cartography

The development blogosphere recently lit up with news of South Sudan’s plan to rebuild some of its urban centers in the shape of various animals.

The plan elicited no shortage of guffaws, as is appropriate. But in the interest of maintaining AidWatch’s contrarian reputation, this post argues that we should be careful about focusing our ridicule on the Sudanese. Criticism should to be leveled at the appropriate target: cartography!

Also posted in Grand plans and aid targets, In the news | Tagged | 7 Comments

This just in: there was a flood in Pakistan

We have chronicled here on Aid Watch how media coverage of disasters influences disasters, and how late the US media has been to the story of the disastrous flood in Pakistan, with apparently anemic donor response as a result.

Puzzlement deepened this morning at 7:30 am when I picked up my NYT off my doorstep and saw the four column front-page headline: Much of Pakistan’s Progress is Lost in Its Floodwaters.  The NYT devotes…

Also posted in Disaster relief, In the news | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Our internal foreign aid program

The US Recovery Act (aka “stimulus package”) has put out this great map of where the money is being spent by Congressional District.

As I looked at where the money is being spent in the part of the country pictured (the part I know best), there did not seem to be a lot of rhyme or reason between Congressional Districts as far as population or need. Is it random? Could…

Also posted in Accountability and transparency | 12 Comments