Chris Blattman

IPA’s weekly links

Ethiopian Prime Minister and Nobel Laureate Abiy Ahmed Ali
Ethiopian Prime Minister and Nobel Laureate Abiy Ahmed Ali

Guest post by Jeff Mosenkis of Innovations for Poverty Action

  • Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali has won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work towards peace with Eritrea, though the committee acknowledged it’s still a work in progress. Ethiopia has also loosened some of its more repressive policies around security and journalism recently. Commentary from BBC starting around 6 minutes here (both stories h/t Laura Seay).
    For longer background on how Ali came from being a relatively minor figure to a reformer, listen to this UN Dispatch podcast from a few months ago (Apple/iTunes). I learned that Ethiopia still has a huge number of internally displaced people in the world because of internal conflicts – an astounding 3 million people.
    UPDATE: While the podcast said Ethiopia’s number was the largest, reader Pablo Abitbol pointed me to this UNHCR report, which reports Colombia has more than twice that amount, approaching 8 million people.
  • David Evans and Almedina Music round up let me see…. 150 papers from the NEUDC conference, on the Center for Global Development Blog with fancy expanding sections, or the Development Impact Blog for the traditionalists.
  • Uganda’s government announced it was reintroducing a bill to make gay sex punishable by death. The bill failed to pass by the required 2/3 majority in 2014.
  • USAID spent $70 million to build a commercial port in Haiti as part of earthquake recovery and successfully built two concrete electrical poles (no electricity or wires, just the poles). Also, the reporter informed the Haitian officials that USAID had cancelled the project, because apparently USAID hadn’t. According to the article:

By January 2019, nine years after the earthquake, USAid had spent $2.3bn in Haiti. Most of it was given to American companies and hardly any passed through Haitian hands. Less than 3% of that spending went directly to Haitian organisations or firms, according to research by CEPR. In contrast, 55% of the money went to American companies located in and around Washington DC. Most likely, according to the research, the majority of what USAid allegedly spent on Haiti’s recovery ended right back in the US.

  • The 2020 World Development Report is out, focusing on global value chains.
  • Mercy Corps’ CEO, two board members, and legal counsel, have resigned after a news investigation showing the organization allowed its founder to stay on, ignoring credible allegations that he’d sexually abused his daughter for years.
  • Sandip Datta and Geeta Gandhi Kingdon have a paper showing that gender bias favoring sons’ education over daughters’ in India appears to have gone down over the 20 years between 1995 and 2014, as daughters’ enrollment in school rose to levels similar to boys. However, if you look at expenditures, families still spend more on boys, particularly via private schools. (h/t Susannah Hares)

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