Nothing like a good debate to wake one up! What I've been reading this week:
- The Arrogance of Good Intentions: NYU Economist William Easterly reviews Nina Munk's book 'The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty' and questions Sachs's seductive message of eradicating poverty through western aid.
- Going Against Duflo: Raj Patel critiques the Abhijit Banerji-Esther Duflo duo for focussing on 'what works' when tackling poverty, and ignoring critical contextual issues. [Key points: they ignore larger contextual issues, assume 'what works' in one place will work in other contexts, ignore ethical issues around randomised controlled trials]
- On Measuring Resilience: A new paper from IDS on possible directions towards 'measuring' resilience. Resilience has become the new 'sustainable development' and by that I mean it is being championed as the new goal to aspire to and has found a dedicated following amongst development academicians and practitioners. [Key points: resilience indicators must be multi-scale, multi-dimension, objective as well as subjective, scalable/generic, and built independent of factors affecting resilience].