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Fortnightly links: crises, charts, sinking islands and worms (yes, again)

In this podcast [25mins] from ABC’s The Philosopher’s Zone, Princeton philosopher Harry Frankfurt argues, controversially, that inequality is not (or should not be regarded as) a moral question. Rather, “what’s important is not that people are unequal, but that some are poor and can’t lead decent lives.”

The release of the report from the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Cash Transfers has shaken up the humanitarian and disaster relief world over the last two weeks. As Panel Chair Owen Barder writes, unconditional cash transfers — while not always the best option — often offer significant benefits over in-kind aid in terms of response time, costs, transparency, and accountability. As such, he suggests that in future the default question should not be, “Why cash?” but rather, “Why not cash?”

There are still plenty of money woes in the sector, though. Although some $4.1 billion was pledged to assist Nepal in recovering from this year’s devastating earthquakes, the government has yet to begin spending any of these funds. The National Reconstruction Authority’s tentative October start date will be little consolation for those many thousands still living in tents as winter approaches.

The management of development assistance is also the subject of new research published in the Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies journal (open-access). Based on a set of comparative case studies, authors Maya Schmaljohann and Annalisa Prizzon report that the governments of PNG, Fiji, Timor-Leste, and Vanuatu prioritise capacity-building for government officials, ownership, and enhanced coordination between an increasing number of development partners operating in the Pacific.

For fans of elegant charts relaying the state of development, Our World in Data is great. Some of their charts pertain to declines of violence across time. One aspect of the decline is particularly controversial: the so-called Long Peace Hypothesis that …read more

Read more here:: Development Policy Centre – DEVPOLICY Blog

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