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Ryan Hahn's blog

How do we get the crowd-sorcerers and the muggles to work together?

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Humanitarian aid is not a standard topic for the PSD Blog, but I ran across a post recently on the disaster in Haiti that cuts across a lot of themes. Over at iRevolution, Patrick Philip Meier discusses the tension between those who helped crowdsource information related to the disaster -- what he calls the crowd-sorcerers -- and the formal humanitarian aid organizations -- playfully called "muggles".

The $35 laptop?

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The Indian Express is reporting that India's Ministry of Human Resource Development is set to launch a $35 laptop:

Looking as stylish as a large i-phone, this $35 “low-cost computing-cum-access device” is a 5/7/9 inch touchscreen gadget packed with internet browsers, PDF reader, video conferencing facilities, open office, sci-lab, media player, remote device management capability, multimedia input-output interface option, and multiple content viewer.

Doing industrial policy with limited government capacity

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Responding to a post on Duncan Green's excellent From Poverty to Power blog, World Bank Chief Economist Justin Lin argues that his proposal for an updated version of industrial policy does not assume exceptional talent on the part of government institutions:

Rotting rice

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The WSJ reports on the troubles that seasonal rains have brought to northern India. The federal government had previously bought up large quantities of local wheat and rice, and now has no place to store it, so seasonal rains are washing the rice away or causing it to rot. One New Delhi-based think tank says that the solution is simply to bring in the private sector:

The impact of impact evaluation

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More high quality blogging over at Bill Easterly's Aid Watch. Guest blogger Alanna Shaikh asks what the limits of impact evaluation are:

If we limit all of our development projects to those that have easy metrics for success, we lose a lot of programs, many of which support important things like rule of law. Of course, if they don’t have useful metrics, how do we know those programs are supporting the important goals?

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