Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Aid & Development links: 2016 not so bad, a Lagos holiday, UK frets and more

Visitors celebrate New Year's Eve in front of Cologne Cathedral, Germany (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)
Visitors celebrate New Year's Eve in front of Cologne Cathedral, Germany (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

  • For many 2016 felt like a punch in the guts. Max Roser helps provide some perspective with his Our World In Data website. Writing for the Washington Post, he discusses why we are programmed to think things are getting worse and tend to ignore or overlook the slow transformations that change our world for the better.
  • The Centre for Global Development has released its 2016 Commitment to Development Index, a holistic aggregator of a developed countries pro-poor country policies. It is summarised here. Australia has fallen from equal 10th to 17th since 2015.
  • A new report (summarised here) tallies all financial resources that are transferred between rich and poor countries each year and found that, despite record aid and remittance levels, the flow of money from rich countries to poor countries pales in comparison to the flows that run in the other direction.
  • Oxfam is continuing its campaign against inequality, with a new report launched at the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos noting that the world’s eight richest people have the same wealth as the poorest 50%.
  • USAID will again go without a leader as Gayle Smith departs with the Obama administration. You can read her 14-page exit memo here.
  • Meanwhile, The Economist details how frustration is growing in the UK over the newfound largesse of its aid program.
  • Tyler Cowen writes of his (odd) decision to take a holiday to Lagos, Nigeria, a city with one of the worst reputations on the planet, to check out its gross domestic product.
  • One of my favourite development bloggers Chris Blattman was on a recent episode of the EconTalk podcast (another great resource) discussing his research into sweatshops.
  • The Devpolicy team provides further analysis of their audit of Australian aid transparency. Their original report was picked up by the ABC earlier this year


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