Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
American legislation requires that food aid be bought in the US, that 50 percent of commodities be processed and packed in the US before shipment, and that 75 percent of food aid managed by USAID and 50 percent of the food aid managed by the US Department of Agriculture be transported in “flag-carrying” US-registered vessels. The result is that only 40% of money spent on food aid by the US actually goes towards buying food; the rest goes to US transport companies. Buying the food locally would be better, but best of all might be something even more radical. Why not give the money itself to people who are hungry?
...being poor in a poor country means having an income that is not just low but variable and unpredictable. At least as much as a family’s average level of income (such as $2/person/day), the volatility around the average drives how the poor manage money. If you make $1 today, $4 tomorrow, and nothing the day after, but need to put food on the table every day, you will engage in complex strategies of borrowing and saving to smooth the mismatch between your income and outflows. Thus out of necessity poor people deploy more complex financial strategies than do the rich.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
...To make progress against global warming, may require building a political coalition. A carbon tax pushes one very powerful and interested group, the large energy firms, into the opposition. If tradable allowances are instead given to firms initially, there is a better chance of bringing the large energy firms into the coalition. Perhaps it’s not fair that politically powerful groups must be bought off but as Otto von Bismarck, Germany’s first chancellor, once said,“Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” We can only add that producing both laws and sausages requires some pork.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Mongolia is about the size of Alaska and has a population of fewer then 3
million people. This translates into one of the lowest population
densities in the world. With almost half the population living in
Ulaanbaatar, the capital city, and the rest spread out across the country,
it may seem that Mongolia is not the ideal landscape for mobile financial
services...[but] it is actually one of the most banked countries in the
One question worth considering - do all these development finance programs (mobile banking, microfinance, crop insurance) get a free pass on regulation because they are seen as helping the poor? I sure hope not...
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Matthew Taylor of the Us Now film project said it best:
"The state needs to understand the potential of these new forms of collaboration and give them the kind of non-intrusive support that they need to grow. "
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
[ed. Malgorzata contacted zzzeitgeist and asked us to link to their film on HIV/AIDS in Mozambique.]
My name is Malgorzata Malak and I participated in a 3-month internship in a local Mozambican organisation, Kindlimuka http://www.kindlimuka.org.mz/ in August – November 2008. My sending organisation was GLEN http://www.glen-europe.org/.
During the internship together with my tandem partner, Verena Allinger, we made a documentary about HIV/AIDS in Mozambique. The film is called “Vida Positiva” and is an outline of the situation including reasons for HIV spread, national combat strategies, projects run by NGOs, ways of treating the disease and personal stories of HIV positive people and their relatives.
The film is available at: http://mlume.com/vida