Useful sources

McCain, Obama, Clinton

The ONE campaign, the modern US incarnation of the Make Poverty History / Global Call to Action on Poverty campaign of 2005, has put together a handy comparison of the presidential candidates’ positions on key development issues. Of the major candidates, as a rule, Hillary Clinton’s are the most detailed and John McCain’s vaguest, with the similarities between Barack Obama and Clinton outweighing the differences.


This is becoming a wonderful, ever-growing saga, like The Land Before Time, although I think that ended after episode five, or Rocky, which I suppose will only end with Sylvester Stallone’s death. Having put together a spreadsheet detailing the history of African governance since independence, my friend John kindly put together a chart summarising the transition between governance classes over time. It was, bluntly, a hit, with several blogs around the world linking to it. Which was great!

Now John and my friend Pete have collaborated on this latest version. Like the previous, it shows the transition from colonialism to, in many cases, despotism, and more recently towards democracy. But now it’s weighted by population, so you can see just what proportion of the African population lived under each form of government at any one time.


We are, it seems. As you may have noticed the author of The End of Poverty, Director of the Earth Institute and all-round celebrity economist recently served as the BBCs’ 2007 Reith lecturer. These annual lectures are the jewel in the crown of the beeb’s public-service current affairs broadcasting, so it’s quite a big deal. Better still, each lecture is followed by questions and answers, meaning you get to hear Sachs responding to some of the criticisms commonly put forward about his ideas. (more…)

The BBC World Service recently broadcast a two-part documentary about Ghana’s independence and history since, and it offers a nice intro to follow up on the previous post. It’s expired from the “listen again” function, but you can listen to it here by clicking the arrows below or right-clicking the links.

Episode 1:


Episode 2:


I don’t normally tell you guys about individual information resources, preferring to distill them down into¬†a meanigful melange of facts and theory. But this one’s so fabulous I’ll make an exception. (more…)