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March 31, 2017 (links edition #12)

Round-2 of the “cash vs chickens” debate, with Blattman laying out his views vis-à-vis Bill Gates’ and Pritchett forcefully weighing in (plus his new PDIA book).

Two views on fighting world poverty, 28th March 2017, Chris Blattman,

Getting Kinky with Chickens, 28th March 2017, Lant Pritchett,

So is ‘Doing Development Differently’ a movement now? And if so, where’s it going?, Duncan Green, 30th March 2017,

Building State Capability: Evidence, Analysis and Action (book), Matt Andrews, Lant Pritchett and Michael Woolcock, 2017, Oxford University Press


Some interesting pieces on resilience and fragility, including an IDS research agenda for semi-arid lands, a World Development special issue on natural disasters, two ODI reports on humanitarian assistance in war-torn urban areas, and a JDS article on shocks and remittances.

Resilience, equity and growth in semi-arid economies: a research agenda, Guy Jobbins, Declan Conway, Sam Fankhauser, Bara Gueye, Emma Liwenga, Eva Ludi, Tom Mitchell, Helen Mountfort and Abid Suleri, ODI Working Paper

Natural Disaster, Poverty and Development: An Introduction, Yasuyuki Sawada and Yoshito Takasaki, 2017, World Development Volume 94 pages 2-15

What’s the magic word? Humanitarian access and local organizations in Syria, Saleem Haddad and Eva Svoboda, March 2017, Humanitarian Policy Group Working Paper, Overseas Development Institute

Mass displacement and the challenge for urban resilience, Amy Kirbyshire, Emily Wilkinson, Virginie Le Masson and Pandora Batra, Overseas Development Institute Working Paper

The Impact of Natural Disasters on Remittances to Low- and Middle-Income Countries, Giulia Bettin & Alberto Zazzaro, 2017, The Journal of Development Studies


A couple of papers on violence-related matters, including the effects on youth and the role of the private sector.

Private sector engagement in complex emergencies: case studies from Yemen and southern Somalia, Sherine El Taraboulsi-McCarthy, Nisar Majid and Barnaby Willitts-King, 2017, Humanitarian Policy Group Report, ODI

How Does Work Feature in Literature on Youth Participation in Violence?, Caitriona Dowd, March 2017, Institute of Development Studies Working Paper 485, Volume 2017


Inequality writs large, with Branko Milanovic’s new blog (courtesy of Sashka), Ravi Kanbur’s examination of Chinese inequality, and a paper investigating global redistribution via additional and existing revenues.

Why 20th century tools cannot be used to address 21st century income inequality?, 12th March 2017, Branko Milanovic,

The Great Chinese Inequality Turnaround, Ravi Kanbur and Yue Wang, March 2017, Cornell University Papers

Is There Enough Redistribution?, Maya Eden, March 2017, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 8003


Three materials of delivery and institutions, compounded by a Brookings lessons learned note on scale-up.

The Contribution of Digital Technologies to Service Delivery: An Evidence Review, Shumona Sharmin, Becky Faith, Pedro Prieto Martín and Ben Ramalingam, March 2017, Institute of Development Studies Evidence Report 221

Scaling up the impact of development interventions: Lessons from a review of UNDP country programs, 15th March 2017, Miliça BegovicJohannes F. Linn, and Rastislav Vrbensky,

Interrogating Decentralization in Africa, Shandana Khan Mohmand and Miguel Loureiro (editors), March 2017, Institute of Development Studies Bulletin 2 Volume 48


The aid debate has been enriched with several new papers, including on fiscal effects in Ethiopia (positive ones), an article on conditionality by IMF staff, and a couple of blog posts around aid and social change.

The Fiscal Effects of Aid in Ethiopia: Evidence from CVAR Applications, Guilia Mascagni and Emilija Timmis, January 2017, The Journal of Development Studies

Does Conditionality Mitigate the Potential Negative Effect of Aid on Revenues?, Ernesto Crivelli & Sanjeev Gupta, 2017, The Journal of Development Studies

A new case must be made for aid. It rests on three legs, Duncan Green, 28th March 2017,

What do aid agencies need to do to get serious on changing social norms?, 24th March 2017,


Some technical contributions around welfare and poverty measurement and policy in the presence of poverty traps

Welfare Impacts of Index Insurance in the Presence of a Poverty Trap, Sommarat Chantarat, Andrew G. Mude, Christopher B. Barrett and Calum G. Turkey, 2017, World Development Volume 94 pages 119-138

Changes Over Time in Multidimensional Poverty: Methodology and Results for 34 Countries, Sabina Alkire, José Manuel Roche and Ana Vaz, 2017, World Development Volume 94 pages 232-249

Poverty Traps and Social Protection Paradox, Munenobu Ikegami, Michael R. Carter, Christopher B. Barrett and Sarah Janzen, March 2017, Cornell University Papers


Quite a lot on employment and jobs, with two papers on NREGA, an ALMP review, domestic and international migration, and skills.

An Employment Guarantee as Risk Insurance? Assessing the Effects of the NREGS on Agricultural Production Decisions, Esther Gehrke, March 2017, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 8015

The “Discouraged Worker Effect” in Public Works Programs: Evidence from MGNREGA in India, Sudha Narayanan, Upasak Das, Yanyan Liu, Christopher B. Barrett, Cornell University Papers

How Effective Are Active Labor Market Policies in Developing Countries? A Critical Review of Recent Evidence, David McKenzie, March 2017, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 8011

Barriers to labour migration in Bangladesh’s garment sector, 15th March 2017, Abu Shonchoy,

Decoding attitudes towards migrants, 3rd March 2017, IZA Press

Skills for a changing world: National perspectives and the global movement, 28th March 2017, Esther CareHelyn KimKate Anderson and Emily Gustafsson-Wright,


Some food and nutrition papers, including examining calories in war contexts, farmers’ views in the contexts of the ‘supermarket revolution’ in Africa, and a related piece on rural-urban linkages in the continent.

Calories, conflict and correlates: Redistributive food security in post-conflict Iraq, Arsalan San Ahmed and Garth John Holloway, April 2017, Food Policy Volume 68 pages 89-99

Farmers’ preferences for supermarket contracts in Kenya, Dennis O. Ochieng, Prakashan C. Veettil and Matin Qaim, April 2017, Food Policy Volume 68 pages 100-111

Encountering Africa’s agriculture challenges in its cities’ morning traffic, 29th March 2017, Anne Mbaabu,


The best last, with a UBI pilots being implemented in the U.S. under the Nixon administration.
That time when Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld ran a universal basic income experiment for Nixon, 13th March 2017, Lila MacLellan,




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