Monday, September 15, 2014

If We Talked About Men The Way We Talk About Women

If We Talked About Men The Way We Talk About Women: "If We Talked About Men The Way We Talk About Women
“His wife must be loaded.”"



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Friday, September 12, 2014

Why The U.S. Chills Its Eggs And Most Of The World Doesn't : The Salt : NPR

Why The U.S. Chills Its Eggs And Most Of The World Doesn't : The Salt : NPR: "We Americans, along with the Japanese, Australians and Scandinavians, tend to be squeamish about our chicken eggs, so we bathe them and then have to refrigerate them.

But we're oddballs. Most other countries don't mind letting unwashed eggs sit next to bread or onions.

The difference boils down to two key things: how to go after bacteria that could contaminate them, and how much energy we're willing to use in the name of safe eggs."



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From Poverty to Power » Can donors support civil society activism without destroying it? Some great evidence from Nigeria

From Poverty to Power » Can donors support civil society activism without destroying it? Some great evidence from Nigeria: "First up is some really exciting work from DFID’s State Accountability and Voice Initiative in Nigeria, which suggests that even big donors can successfully support citizen engagement with the state.  This is important because gurus such as David Booth have questioned whether donors are just too cumbersome to do this, while academics such as Masooda Bano have shown how chucking money at genuinely grassroots civil society organizations in Pakistan destroys them within months (because their members promptly assume the leaders will run off with the money and leave)."



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Why You Should Start Paying Attention to a Crisis in Lesotho - UN DispatchUN Dispatch

Why You Should Start Paying Attention to a Crisis in Lesotho - UN DispatchUN Dispatch: "There’s a political crisis in Lesotho–and it matters far beyond the borders of the tiny African country, which is nestled inside South Africa.
Late last month, military forces in the small kingdom surrounded key government installations prompting the prime minister and newly appointed commander of the armed forces to flee to neighboring South Africa. Since then, mediation by the regional inter-governmental body, the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), returned Prime Minister Thomas Thabane to power. But the incident underscores the general democratic backsliding the region has undergone over the last few years — and the central role SADC has played in condoning it."



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Why Asia is probably poorer than we think | Jayati Ghosh | Global development | theguardian.com

Why Asia is probably poorer than we think | Jayati Ghosh | Global development | theguardian.com: "The first target of the first millennium development goal (MDG) is to halve extreme poverty. It has been interpreted in terms of income poverty alone, relying on counting people living below the arbitrary global poverty line of $1.25 per day. According to this measure, there has been a global reduction of income poverty that indicates the target has already been met.



 Most of this is due to rapid poverty reduction in Asia, especially east and south-east Asia and more recently in south Asia, so it is generally felt that the region is a success story. But does this rather basic measure leave out some important aspects of poverty?



 A new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) makes important points about the nature of poverty in Asia and how this widely used measure is inadequate to capture it. At least three more elements should be factored in: the costs of consumption for poor people; food prices, which have been rising much faster than the general price level, and vulnerability to natural disasters, climate change, economic crises and other shocks."



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Notes from the field: The danger of programs that pay for performance | Impact Evaluations

Notes from the field: The danger of programs that pay for performance | Impact Evaluations: "The problems arise if we are trying to learn something, in a rigorous (i.e. impact evaluation) fashion.   The first problem is that this, in some cases, can discourage innovation and risk taking in programs.   If my contract says that I have to reach 10,000 firms with a certain set of information and I have a way to reach the firms that has worked in the past, I'll go with that, even if there are some innovative but unproven potential cheaper ways.
 
The second problem is that if the contract pays the implementer for "performance" then the deck is stacked against a rigorous evaluation.  Impact evaluations are rarely costless for the implementer; things such as needing to recruit or identify a control group, implementation delays due to survey rounds, and the like can add to the cost of program implementation (I discussed these costs in more detail in an earlier post).   And if the implementer has to reach a target they would prefer to put all of their cash towards that.   Or, if they're a for-profit firm, they definitely won't want to cut into those profits to produce the public good that is impact evaluation."



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Read the Full Text of Obama's ISIS Speech - The Wire

Read the Full Text of Obama's ISIS Speech - The Wire:



Syria is the new Somalia? The President’s speech last night did not break much new ground, except for this one passage: “This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.”  In other words, expect targeted airstrikes and drone strikes against ISIS targets in Syria, combined with limited humanitarian assistance.



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