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PSD Blog has a birthday!

It has been one year since the PSD Blog's official launch. We can't believe it either, or that almost 1,000 of you subscribe to our RSS feed. Thanks to all of our readers and to our fellow bloggers for making the development blogosphere such a vibrant place!

Is less more?

I’m out of practice blogging these days, but couldn’t help but notice the Financial Times line from a short while back on efforts to expand the remit of the aid industry:      

While development is a grand and multi-faceted affair, aid cannot afford to be. Modesty, focus and a willingness to make mistakes in public are assets. Simple projects have worked wonders: benchmarking exercises of red tape that have shamed politicians into action, or randomised controlled trials to show what really improves attendance and results in schools.

Alan Beattie on development

Anyone who follows the development debate should check out Alan Beattie’s masterly review essay – unusually for the FT, no subscription seems to be required. He begins with a cornucopia of possibilities:

      

The global redistribution of income

The actual distribution of world income across countries is extremely unequal, much higher than the within country inequality faced by most countries. The question studied in this paper is: How do international policies on aid, trade, and factor movements affect the international distribution of income?… In brief, there is a contradiction in international policies where aid's equality-enhancing effect is somewhat offset by protectionism.

No jobs, no peace?

Last week the Jordan Times reported that the government has put in place a task force to simplify business regulations, to help stimulate entrepreneurship and jobs. The IFC is supporting this effort, as well as similar exercises in Lebanon - although I guess that one will be on hold for a while.

St Helena musings: about flax

St Helena was always as aid-dependent as it is today. Between the early 1900s and the mid-1960s the island's major industry was growing flax, or hemp, which was used to make ropes. Although there were ups and downs in the industry as world prices changed, it was the island's largest employer, apart from the government. In 1966 the whole industry suddenly closed down.

Peter Eigen will be blogging

Peter Eigen, the founder of Transparency International and now a member of Tony Blair's Africa Progress Panel, will be guest blogging next week on the Herald Tribune's blog: Managing Globalization. This week you can ask him your questions about corruption, development and the future of Africa.

Update: Here is the first round of Q&A.


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