If you only read one thing this week…


Removing the Rural-Urban Divide by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
September 29, 2006, 4:57 pm
Filed under: Development theory, If you only have 15 mins

The International Food Policy Research Institute has put out an interesting briefing paper (3 pages) that challenges the conventional segregation of populations into ‘rural’ and ‘urban’. It argues that this is no longer an accurate separation given advances in roads, communications systems and the increasing fluidity of populations moving between cities and villages. Moreover such segregated thinking can actually cause damaging policies and programs to be developed.

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Are slums the future of human habitation? by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
September 29, 2006, 4:56 pm
Filed under: Articles, Book reviews, Development theory, If you only have 15 mins

Buenos Aires may have the worst feng shui in the world” writes Mike Davis (MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellow) in Orion Magazine. He writes about how the growth of cities is essentially the runnaway growth of slums, and how health, geography and economics intersect. Continue reading



Is a ‘green revolution’ really what Africa needs? by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
September 29, 2006, 4:28 am
Filed under: Articles, Development theory, If you only have 15 mins

Grist covers Bill and Melinda Gates and Rockefeller’s launch of a new ‘green revolution in Africa’, with mixed feelings. Click here for the launch, and here for the Grist article.
They point out that “a recent report from the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization on “Women and the Green Revolution” comments bluntly (if blandly) on the issues at hand. The Green Revolution delivered higher incomes to “the better-off strata of rural society,” the report states, whereas “the poorest strata have tended to lose access to income that was available before its introduction.” The study goes on: “The introduction of high-yielding varieties of rice in Asia has had a major impact on rural women’s work and employment, most of it unfavorable.“”



Largest donation ever (3bn) to climate crisis fight by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
September 29, 2006, 4:05 am
Filed under: Articles, Environment, If you only have 15 mins

Grist is reporting on Richard Branson (head of the Virgin Group)’s pledge to capitalize the Clinton Global Initiative to the tune of 3 bn dollars. They report that “Climate change drew in more dollars and cents than the other issues, and that’s surely attributable at least in part to the fact that climate solutions — be they energy-saving technologies or fossil-fuel alternatives — have enormous profit-making potential. Continue reading



If you only recommend one thing this week… by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
September 16, 2006, 12:50 am
Filed under: accountability

Let us know what you’re reading that you’d recommend to colleagues – comment here by pressing the comment button below, or by emailing nmacdonald or ayoung (at) mercycorps (dot) org to get your name in lights!

Articles, journals, books and book reviews, web sites, news – anything you find interesting or useful that you’d like to share.



Microcredit in disaster recovery by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
September 15, 2006, 5:18 pm
Filed under: Development theory, If you have 30 mins, Interesting links

The Year of Microcredit has a fascinating World Bank document called Surviving Disasters and Supporting Recovery: A Guidebook for Microfinance Institutions (click the link to download a pdf). It’s a good starting point for looking at how microfinance institutions can support disaster preparedness and recovery.

For those who can’t get enough, the ProVention Consortium (a UN led consortium seeking to reduce the risk and social, economic and environmental impacts of natural hazards on vulnerable populations in developing countries in order to alleviate poverty and contribute to sustainable development) has a great introduction to micro-insurance



Culture and Context: Capacity Building for Youth Led Social Change by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
September 1, 2006, 8:05 pm
Filed under: Articles, Book reviews, If you have time for longer reading!

Following the identification of youth as a strategic priority, Jana Potter, Mercy Corps’ Middle East regional Youth Programming Officer recommends a great resource for youth programming from the Collaborative Fund for Youth-Led Social Change (CFYS). Continue reading