Get money, get aid.


Me vs Ministry of Livestock

This is an actual conversation I had with a Delegate Ministry of Livestock some months back. The man was either a clearly insane but brilliant Agro-Economist, or clearly insane and someone’s cousin…

Me: Hello, I’m looking for the delegate from the ministry of livestock?
D: This is he.
Me: hi your excellency, I work for Bros Sans Frontiers* and-
D: who?
Me:  I work-
Me:I work for BSF and-
D: ennnh
Me: Yes, I work for BSF and I wanted to know if we could meet to-
Me: yes…that is clear. I’m at BSF- You’re at the Ministry of Livestock
D: You want to talk about what?
Me: The activities of the ministry of livesto–
D: You want to ask me questions?
Me: Yes
D: Questions is what you want to ask?
me: Yes.
D: So would I be correct in saying that you want to ask me questions?
Me: indeed.
D: That is….you want to ask me questions?
Me: yes, about the activities of the ministry of livesto—
me: I’m sorry?
D: CAMELS!!!!!!!!
D: …..camels
Me: I was hop—

*the name of the NGO has been changed. But Bros without Borders can be found here.


In Oxford February 15th?

If you fancy learning a bit about Bhutan, IT for Education, and theories of Technology and Modernisation in Development swing by Oxford for the day where there will be an interesting lecture given on these topics at 5pm, St. Anthony’s College, Oxford. More information below:

Information technology, education and modernisation in Bhutan: the cultural space between policy and practice

Nick Fiore, London School of Economics
15 February 2011 17:00 –
Dahrendorf Room, St Antony’s College

Conveners: David Johnson and Chelsea Robles

Part of the seminar series: Education and the Politics of Culture and Modernisation in Bhutan

Guide to the Sudan Referendum

On your way to a fundraising dinner for George Clooney’s satellite project? Or perhaps hoping to seduce impressionable hipsters at a Snow Patrol concert for Sudan?  Maybe you’re a  gun-toting preacher hell-bent on saving Sudanese orphans…

In any case, you need the right kind of background on the Sudan referendum. Thankfully, the work has already been done for you! The Royal African Society has an excellent guide to the Sudan Referendum here.

Fats Vlad

While the link to development here is tenuous at best nearly nonexistent, I just can’t get enough of this. Cheers to Gabe Amo for the link.

What gives? The best and worst funded responses this decade.

OCHA and IRIN recently compiled a list of the best and worst funded humanitarian appeals for the decade.

Best funded appeals of the decade

  1. Lebanon Crisis 2006 (123% of US$96,520,410)
  2. Great Lakes Region and Central Africa 2003 (121% of US$115,327,113)
  3. Southern African Region Preparedness and Response Plan 2008 (111% of US$26,430,016)
  4. Kenya 2006 (105% of US$35,252,275)
  5. Timor-Leste 2006 (103% of US$24,236,207)
  6. Madagascar Flash Appeal 2008 (100% of US$18,838,643)
  7. Yemen Floods Response Plan 2008 (100% of US$5,113,261)
  8. Chad 2007 (100% of US$277,415,892)
  9. Angola 2004 (96% of US$136,020,262)
  10. Great Lakes Region 2004 (96% of US$85,461,521)

Worst funded appeals of the decade

  1. Zambia Floods Flash Appeal 2007 (12% of US$8,852,453)
  2. Zimbabwe 2004 (14% of US$90,045,002)
  3. Republic of Congo 2000 (17% of $US719,289,617)
  4. Swaziland 2002 (18% of US$11,292,618)
  5. Lesotho 2002 (20% of US$5,532,050)
  6. Zimbabwe 2002 (21% of US$50,965,458)
  7. Burkina Faso Floods Flash Appeal 2007 (21% of US$5,967,000)
  8. Somalia 2001 (22% of US$140,442,999)
  9. Zambia 2003 (22% of US$14,503,757)
  10. Philippines 2004 (23% of US$6,395,635)

What do all of the best funded appeals have in common? They all had a significant percentage of the appeal weighted in food aid. Between all 10, food aid averaged 46% of their appeals. And the worst-funded? Food aid averaged a mere 14% of each appeal (four of them didn’t even have a food aid component). What does this prove? Dumping food aid is still the most attractive response to a crisis.

Check out how food aid weights in the total 2010 humanitarian contributions here.

In London on December 1st?

Time for some shameless self promotion!

One of us will be launching a briefing at SOAS (Russel Square). Also speaking will be Hannah Roberson, a researcher at Action Against Hunger and Dr. Laura Hammond, author of This Place Will Become Home. Refugee Repatriation to Ethiopia.

We’d love to meet any Arrested Development readers (yes, all four of you) that might be in London. We’ll have free wine and copies of the briefing.

Official Flyer below:

CHAD:A Call to end decades of hunger
Wednesday 1st December6pm
Room 116
SOAS, Thornhaugh St, London WC1H0XG


Dr. Laura Hammond, Senior Lecturer (SOAS)
Samuel Haunstein Swan, Senior Policy Advisor (Action Against Hunger)
Alex Merkovic-Orenstein, Policy Mapping Officer (Action Against Hunger)
Hannah Roberson, Policy Researcher  (Action Against Hunger)
Chair: TBC

Event description:

Action Against Hunger and the Royal African Society invite you to the launch of Action Against Hunger’s report on the food crisis in Chad followed by a panel discussion.

The food crisis in the Western Sahel has reached catastrophic proportions. Yet what is most appalling is that this crisis has been allowed to continue for decades. Drought, policy failure and volatile food markets have created deep structural problems that could have been prevented and still can be tackled with appropriate interventions. Unfortunately, aid efforts have remained focused on short-term solutions. The recent scale-up of aid in the region provides the possibility of making deep, durable changes. Will international and government actors seize this opportunity to reverse the disastrous trends of the past?
Join Laura Hammond, Samuel Hauenstein-Swan, Alex Merkovic-Orenstein and Hannah Roberson to launch, discuss and debate the food crisis in Chad.
Please RSVP for all RAS events at

Facebook event

Royal Africa Society

In case you haven’t already seen it…

Trying to impress people at dinner parties with your vast knowledge of economic thought but haven’t actually read any of the work you want to talk about?

No readings? No problem! Here comes rap to your rescue.  Happy Friday!

(from Econ Stories)

Alan Partridge on Agriculture