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Are states indispensable to markets?

In our informality debate, Keith Hart and others have been vigorously taking me to task for arguing that states are 'indispensable for making markets work on a large scale.' Keith rightly points out that a lot of international market standards are privately enforced and work reasonably well. Chanayka says that regulatory evasion may be efficient when states are predatory rather than enabling.

Oxfam: still against user fees

According to William Kramer at NextBillion, Oxfam continues to bash private sector approaches to development:

As I read this report, the private sector is seen as the enemy at worst and a wild beast to be caged at best, the profit motive as antithetical to welfare, and more aid as the solution.

The aid debate in 1,000 words

Mark Doyle from the BBC summarizes the Sachs/Easterly debate in addressing the question: Can aid bring an end to poverty? 

Hilary Benn, Britain's Development Minister, also gets into the discussion. He sticks to the UK's governance line, arguing that government-to-government aid is good for encouraging accountability of recipient governments with their own people.

The economics of vaccine commitments

The Center for Global Development has released a working paper that puts some numbers and momentum behind the G8's advanced market commitment idea for vaccines in developing countries. Sponsors would commit to paying a minimum price per person immunized against common diseases if a vaccine is developed, but they pay nothing upfront.

Aceh Diary: an Indonesian Esperanto

David Lawrence's picture

Indonesia has more than 300 languages spread over its 6,000 inhabited islands. But incredibly, there is a single, national language: bahasa Indonesia, which literally means the language of Indonesia. This is an amazing accomplishment. How did they manage to linguistically unite so many diverse people?

Oxfam report blasts private sector

The title of Oxfam's press release today, Public not private - the key to ending global poverty, sums up the subject of their brand-new report on how to provide health, education and water for the world's poor. From the release: