Latest Opinion

Sustainable Development Goals risk being unworkable

22 September 2014 - Andrew Norton
"Aside from the question of whether the Sustainable Development Goal set has enough focus, there is also a real challenge about converting the agenda into something that actually works in practice. If we don’t address this now, the entire project risks being unworkable."

Navigating 'wicked' problems in development

18 September 2014 - Ben Ramalingam
'Wicked' problems are hard to identify, difficult to define, and change constantly. Yet the development sector continues to try to tackle them with tools designed for much simpler problems. As aid agencies begin to acknowledge complexity, they need to trial tools to help bridge this gap.

History is so not over

17 September 2014 - Alina Rocha Menocal
'Despite momentous shifts in formal political structures, only a small number of the democracies that have emerged over the past three decades have become deeply rooted. Instead, many of them have become mired in transition, occupying a precarious gray zone between outright authoritarianism and fully-fledged democracy.'

Green growth could be China’s second Marshall Plan

17 September 2014 - Julian Doczi
China’s incredible economic growth since the late 1970s took the world by surprise. The speed and scale of its growth were unprecedented, comparable only to Europe’s post-war Marshall Plan. The singular focus on growth lifted millions out of poverty but created serious environmental problems for the country. Since the early 2000s, however, China has progressed toward a new, greener growth path. Will China surprise the world once again?

Governments must enable bold action on climate finance

16 September 2014 - Sandra Leticia Guzmán Luna, Smita Nakhooda
It’s crunch time in the long-running efforts to secure a global deal on climate change. With just over a year remaining until world leaders meet in Paris to agree a global response to climate change, there is considerable work to be done. Lima Climate Finance Week brought experts, governments and practitioners together to reflect on the best options to finance ambitious action on climate change, and also convened an informal negotiators’ dialogue on potential ways forward. There are a lot of options on the table. But it will take some bold commitment to enable action.

A bigger killer than Ebola: seasonal malnutrition in Sierra Leone

16 September 2014 - Richard Mallett
"Sierra Leone is currently grabbing headlines due to the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola to date. But those working on health in this small West African country have pointed to the many other diseases and conditions that kill people on a much more regular basis. These include malaria, TB and – perhaps the largest killer – malnutrition."

Development finance: we need a plan, not a wish-list

14 September 2014 - Jonathan Glennie
"Politics is prioritisation... when development finance experts arrive in Ethiopia next year, they should remember that the world does not need another list of financial problems and solutions, another meta-analysis of the situation. It needs priorities."

Pakistan’s democracy on the rocks

8 September 2014 - Maryam Mohsin and Steven A Zyck
"If Imran Khan’s quest for a more democratic and less corrupt political system is genuine, surely it makes more sense to prove himself effective in opposition, hold the government to account, help put the right transparency measures in place and only then let the nation decide on a change at the next general election in 2018."

Ambitious and coherent? Reviewing the pre-zero draft of the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

4 September 2014 - Tom Mitchell, Emma Lovell, Virginie Le Masson, Amy Kirbyshire, Kashmala Kakakhel, Thomas Tanner, Katie Peters, Emily Wilkinson, Lindsey Jones, Julie Caulkins, Aditya Bahadur
After 18 months of consultations across six continents, we have the first glimpse of the new post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction (DRR). Released on the 8th August 2014 by the Thai and Finnish co-chairs of the Bureau overseeing the process, this pre-zero draft is the basis of a negotiating document to succeed the existing Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA). It is dueto be agreed in March 2015 at the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR). But how good is this initial offering? What have the co-chairs got right and what do they need to improve?