Friday, 30 December 2011

A year of blogging: My favourite blog posts from 2011

By John Humphrey

As 2011 draws to a close, I thought I’d look back on a year of blogging from here in the Globalisation Team at IDS.

Here are my top 3 blog posts from 2011:
  • 2011 has seen much debate on the issue of innovative financing for development – as public sector budgets are squeezed and global financial systems are in a state of uncertainty. My former colleague Neil McCulloch blogged about his research on the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), with Do £20 notes get left on the pavement? which could provide a possible solution. It’ll be interesting to see going forward how the FTT debate progresses in 2012: perhaps an FTT is no longer seen as a source of financing development in the global South, but instead viewed as a revenue stream for plugging deficits in developed countries?
  • Food has been one of the major themes in development this year – sparked by volatility in food prices, popular uprisings across the Arab world, and famine in the Horn of Africa. 2011 was the year of Oxfam’s biggest ever campaign on food (GROW) and also the year that we at IDS held seminars looking at the role of business in issues of food, nutrition and development. My post on 'The food conundrum: Can small farmers and big business work together to solve the world food crisis?' reflects one of the toughest questions: who will solve the food crisis?
  • Finally, an ongoing issue for those of us that work in development is to fully understand what the public think about issues of aid and global poverty – this is going to become even more crucial in 2012 as public sector cuts begin to bite here in the UK. After all, it’s the public that so generously support development NGOs at times of crisis and disaster. And politicians who decide where government aid should be spent do pay attention to what voters think. My colleague Spencer Henson’s blog posts on public attitudes towards development, based on his research with the UK Public Opinion Monitor are always fascinating: his latest one is ‘Are the UK Public more supportive of aid than we thought?’.
We re-launched our blog in February this year, and have thoroughly enjoyed expressing our views, sharing ideas on new research, and hearing your comments. We hope you’ve also found the posts interesting and useful for your own work – let us know which are your favourites.

Best wishes for the New Year, and do visit again for more posts in 2012.