Archive for Building Markets, May, 2010

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Chairman Mao: Aid visionary

Chairman Mao knew how to improve aid

I’ve been recalling the period before I quit my job as a diplomat to launch Peace Dividend Trust. I was a rash thing to do. So, before I leapt, I cautiously tested the wat... More

Sudan: Logali and Hand Relief

A month or so ago I was in Juba, South Sudan. While there I stayed at a remarkable place. The Logali House.... More
SWEDOW Flowchart V2

Send, Sell, or Trash? Use the SWEDOW Flowchart (2.0)

Got a million t-shirts to give away? Aid mob hot on your heels? Don't know if you should send the shirts to Africa? Sell them? Trash them? Worry no more. This handy SWEDOW ... More
Or is it more gravel jobs?

How many jobs? We have no bloody idea.

I think this is one of the most important and fascinating problems facing us and other aid agencies trying to generate economic growth in post-disaster or post-conflict econom... More

Donald Rumsfeld, Naked Joe, and Aid Data

In the bustling world of epistemology, however, Donald’s ramblings were not dementia, but a good summary of an important element of decision theory (which can be applied dir... More

Kim Kardashian Saves Haiti

Last year I gave a lecture at a Canadian university that culminated with one student standing up and shouting “This is bullshit!” before marching out. To be honest, while... More

UNMIT – Missed the Boat, despite being offered a berth?

Came across a little gem in the hard drive this evening, and what a hard drive it is. A real tickle trunk of goodies.... More

The Aid Industry and Making Good Pencils

No one knows how to make a pencil. It looks simple, though. Wood. Graphite. Pink eraser. It’s not. There is the wood itself, which needs to be chosen for certain qualitie... More
Screen shot 2010-05-15 at 12.34.10 PM

What Aid can learn from Hollywood

The movie going public understands that spending more isn't the secret to success. This weekend at Cannes, you won’t hear people demanding that Hollywood spend more money o... More

Point Us Towards the Best Aid Info Portal

We want your opinion and your help. What is the best country-specific aid data portal you’ve seen? We are looking for the best example of a website that is a one-stop-shop... More
Juba Airport 3 May 2010

Coordination in the Field v. the “Policy Wonkasphere”

For anyone who has worked in a UN peace operation you will know that who you know is important. It is the currency of the mission, and is how things get done. What you know i... More

Business: South Sudan

One thing I loved about Juba was the Veterans Security Sign at one of the main round abouts in Juba, South Sudan. Whatever you may think about private security, especially the... More
Famous? Need to save the world? Start here!

Celebrity? Need to save the world? Start here.

There are unwritten rules to Celebrity Aid. For example, if Tina Fey showed up in Haiti cursing about the slow UN deployment, it just wouldn’t be right. Or if Kim Kardashi... More
Partners in Health

Send us the money or the kid gets it

Meet “Abdul”. That’s not his real name. I don’t know his real name. We never met. But I saw his photo every day for a year or so on the front page of PDT’s websi... More
Afghan First

“Shovelling S*%t Uphill”

In mid 2007 I told my boss in the Best Practices Section of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) in New York that I would be resigning in September ... More
Don't Touch the Red Stapler

Not Wanted: Mercenaries, Missionaries, and Madmen

It’s hard to compete with Wall Street and even Main Street, when the most you can offer is a slightly higher salary, longer hours, some good med-evac insurance, and all the ... More

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