Coalition campaigns: the role of the global south

I was asked by Bond – following the Enough If campaign and others – to write a piece on the role of the Global South in campaign coalitions.

Here’s a link:

See what you think…  any thoughts??

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Celebs and journos: any good for development?

Does INGO use of celebrities have any positive impact in the real world, or is it really just a sneaky way for charities to attract corporate sponsors to their brand? Dan Brockington’s research into INGO use of celebrities for advocacy purposes has now been made available via open access licences here, and it includes some interesting reflections.

For those in London on 19 June, Dan’s new book ‘Celebrity Advocacy and International Development’ will be launched at 6pm at the Open University, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London NW1 8NP. The first chapter can be previewed for free here.

The event comes at the end of a half-day workshop on development and the media organised by the Development Studies Association, and will also feature Martin Scott’s new book on Media and Development. To book a place, email or


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More stereotypes

Here’s an interesting blog about why every novel on Africa has the same cover image.  Its not about development, per se, but what interested me most is that it shows that the development sector is just one perpetrator of myths amongst many.  We need to be conscious about the fact that we, too, are influenced by a wider set of cultural norms that infiltrate media, art, film and literature.  The question is: what is our role in combatting these myths and representations more widely?  We can merely be influenced by them, or we can seek to influence proactively.


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Rock star economist destroying the American dream

Rock star economist destroying the American dream

You may have to log in to view this, but it seems the inequality debate is picking up a real head of steam in the land of the American Dream. Piketty’s new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century might be one for some holiday reading!

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Does money make you mean?

This is a really interesting talk showing how people change as they become richer. It uses the simple technique of rigging a monopoly game, but interestingly the winners actually believe it’s all down to their own talent.

It’s well worth watching as it helps to explain why we continue to grow less equal as a society and for the hopeful note struck at the end.

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Great short video – World Bank’s “Doing Business” rankings

The World Bank might not have been all it used to be in recent years.  But in some ways it’s hardly changed at all.  The annual “Doing Business” rankings rate countries in order of how corporate-friendly their policies are! 

It effectively grades – and rewards – governments on how well they’ve performed in terms of helping large corporations avoid annoying things like tax and regulation.

This great little video gets across the message really well and succinctly:

And here’s a really good article that goes into more detail:



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Inequality: possible joint working in 2015

Last Friday saw an exploratory meeting that came out of discussions at the Progressive Development Forum (but which are ultimately aimed at a broader audience) in order to explore what appetite there might be for joint work around the issue of inequality in 2015, which is both a general election year and also the starting off point for the post-MDG era. The meeting heard short presentations from Health Poverty Action, Oxfam, TUC, Bond and the Gender & Development Network before breaking into more general discussion. A total of 30 people from trade unions, NGOs and networks participated and several more sent in apologies, with a request that they be kept informed of outcomes from the meeting. These brief notes aim to provide that feedback.

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