• William Easterly writes for the New York Review of Books about why it is time for the war on poverty to separate itself from the war on terror (ungated version here.)
  • Facebook has released high-resolution population maps for Ghana, Haiti, Malawi, South Africa, and Sri Lanka for their internet connectivity project. The data also has great potential in helping focus development efforts in these countries.
  • The UN has finally apologised for not doing enough to prevent the cholera outbreak in Haiti saying that it 'leaves a blemish on the reputation of UN peacekeeping'. It stopped short of apologising for the fact that it was Nepalese peacekeepers that introduced cholera to Haiti in the first place.
  • The UN is also expected to launch its largest ever appeal for annual humanitarian funding today. Last year’s $20.1billion appeal resulted in a funding shortfall of $10.7 billion.
  • The World Bank has recently released its latest 'Doing Business' flagship index, which ranks countries based on the burden their regulations place upon business. Jose Antonio Ocampo and Edmund Fitzgerald call out the methodology of the index for its blatant promotion of tax competition. 
  • The index is oft criticised, with its own internal review calling for the practice of ranking countries to be shut down. As one of the World Bank’s most cited and influential research products, the prospects of that happening are unlikely.
  • David Evans of the World Bank provides his insights on how to effectively scale up an education intervention.
  • The Institute for Poverty Action has put together a favourites list of podcasts from 2016, many of which are development-related.
  • The Radi-Aid Awards are now on, providing people the opportunity to vote on the best and worst charity videos of 2016. Here’s some background to the competition, and my favourite of their ‘best’ finalists: 

Photo: Getty Images/Mario Tama