Formalising smallholder agriculture and agri-business: what the evidence says

I’m a little late posting this, but I think the findings of this study I conducted on the formalisation of smallholder agriculture and agri-business are quite relevant and interesting. I was commissioned by the DFID-funded Business Environment Reform Facility to review the evidence available on how business environment reform (BER) can support the formalisation of…

The Impact of Business Environment Reform: Two Rapid Evidence Assessments

The UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) have just published to reports I co-authored this year with Peter Fortune. These present the evidence of the impact of business environment reform in two areas. Business environment reform and investment: rapid evidence assessment Over the past few years, business environment reform has increasingly been seen as…

Afrobarometer: After a decade of growth in Africa, poverty continues

Afrobarometer has just released a new policy brief: “After a Decade of Growth in Africa, Little Change in Poverty at the Grassroots”. In it, Boniface Dulani, Robert Mattes and Carolyn Logan present data collected across 34 African countries between October 2011 and June 2013, which demonstrates that “lived poverty” remains pervasive across the continent. For the 16 countries where…

Preferential option for the poor

The Catholic Church has been the subject of much deserved criticism on issues regarding birth control, sexual abuse and homosexuality in recent times. Amidst these hotly contested issues, it is interesting to see the re-emergence of discussions on Liberation Theology. The founding work on this topic is Gustavo Gutierrez’s, A Theology of Liberation. Gutierrez is a Peruvian…

Why development cannot help the poor without their help

A new report from the Participate Initiative emphasises the importance of social networks in development and the need to listen to the perspectives of the most marginalised. The report highlights the complex relationship between social networks and formal institutions and the need for development organisations to recognise this before implementing new programs or technologies. Participate is an initiative to…