Here is a batch of links that I've enjoyed reading recently. Many are from the British newspaper The Guardian's development blog Poverty Matters. All of the links are worth a read - they challenge many of our prior assumptions about charitable giving and aid work.
- Want to avoid financial crises? Reduce inequality, says IMF Surprising words from this global body. If you have ears to hear...
- Global Peace Index. Colombia, at number 138, shares some rough company with North Korea and Nigeria. Maybe most surprising is the US, at 85. We often fail to realize the violence in our own country.
- Would publicizing failures lead to better aid? Would social accountability, writ large, work in international aid? In the church, we're certainly slow to own our failures, but the 'new paradigm' of mission is fairly standard practice these days among mainline mission organizations. What do we need to open up about now?
- Poverty reduction or Industrial capacity as the end goal? Here's a key quote "Indeed, the Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz has advised developing countries: "Don't do as the US tells you, do as the US did." Should western rich countries dictate the pattern of development of the economies of poor countries? Might there be a small conflict of interest for the rich to benefit from an export- oriented 'Washington Consensus' approach?
- Is India ready to refuse aid? Moving past aid in low income countries.
- What is the best aid? Cash, credit, or a guaranteed job?
- Where is the US going on Foriegn Policy - What is the Obama Doctrine? From the "From Poverty to Power" blog, written by an OxFam Researcher, Duncan Green and another interesting read.
- Does Facebook deepen poverty? This is a interesting read on how global connections can raise the awareness of poverty - with challenging results...
Adam Isacson at Just the Facts has the break down of the 2011 foreign appropriations requests. Well (as he notes) most of it, since a portion of our funds remain obscured - mostly in military channels. Here is a key graph concerning Colombia:
This may be the first Foreign Operations aid request we have ever seen that would provide Colombia with more economic and social assistance ($201.7 million) than military and police assistance ($196 million).While officials here in Colombia are not pleased with the decrease in military and police funding, many of you who have trekked to Capitol Hill year after year to talk about Colombia and the misguided direction of Plan Colombia's military focus, will recognize this as a strong step in the right direction. Colombia's problems will not be solved with more guns (our military aid) or more cash (our drug money infusion). Isacson also has a thorough and telling reflection on the first six months of President Juan Manuel Santos' administration, complete with many of the surprising actions for the better, but many of the long lingering problems of the past (Just the Facts - Six Months in, Colombia's Santos faces a murky security situation):
Impunity for even the most egregious past abuses awaits signs of progress. The practice of “false positives” – killings of civilians, their bodies presented as those of armed-group members killed in combat – has nearly stopped, with five to seven cases recorded in 2010. But investigating and punishing past cases, most of them from before 2007, remains agonizingly slow: a recent piece in the Colombian newsmagazine Semana found a verdict reached in only 5.7 percent of 1,487 “false positives” cases (with a larger number of victims) before the civilian justice system.I recommend the full read for a good snapshot of the hopes and setbacks of the first six months of Santos' administration. My take away - better than before, but far from a just administration.
Buy Diovan Without Prescription, Part 2 - This post was a bit longer than usual, so I broke it up into two parts. Read Part 1 here. Diovan buy,
Two stories, one country. How does the US media look at Colombia, Diovan in canada. Buy cheap Diovan no rx, How do you look at Colombia.
From the Boston Globe - "Colombia offers lessons for US aid efforts elsewhere"
From the Washington Post - "Despite Billions in US Aid, over the counter Diovan, Buy Diovan online without prescription, Colombia struggles to reduce poverty"
And now, consider the Washington Post article. It's not perfect. I disagree with parts of it. But read it, buy Diovan from canada, Buy Diovan without a prescription, and think about the story it is showing. Are you being told a story, or are you being introduced to the story, buy Diovan from mexico. Buy generic Diovan, It shows of picture of people outside of the capital, and has interviews - actual interviews, next day Diovan. - with people that are not in the business of policy or persuasion. The reporter visits Algarrobo, a town up here in the Caribe region (I haven't been there, but now I'd like to go) and digs a bit into the recent scandal involving the Colombian governement's direction of funds for small farmers and displaced peoples towards large, connected landowners, Buy Diovan Without Prescription. Buy Diovan without prescription, (for more on the Agro Ingreso Scandal, visit the original Cambio article here, Diovan trusted pharmacy reviews, Diovan in australia, or an English summary/commentary here.)
The story presents several of the same cases of success listed above (GDP, foreign investment, delivered overnight Diovan, Buy no prescription Diovan online, defeated guerrilla movement), but it also speaks of "the other Colombia, where can i buy Diovan online, Ordering Diovan online, " a counter narrative that gets full voice in this story. There are multiple sources, from professors to think tank types, sale Diovan, Real brand Diovan online, and actual people affected by the policies discussed. Information in this story is presented as lines in a web, Diovan over the counter, Diovan overseas, rather than as building blocks to the forgone conclusion.
In this story, Diovan in us, Over the counter Diovan, we are left to ponder what success looks like in Colombia, knowing the official reports of increased security, Diovan in mexico, Diovan to buy online, but also hearing of ideas about economic disparities and government corruption. Through this investigation, we begin to see connection between the economic conditions of the population and the security conditions, Diovan prescriptions. Saturday delivery Diovan, Clearly, I am much more inclined to agree with the Post story versus the Globe story. I think the topic of economic conditions, Diovan pills, Diovan in japan, as opposed to military achievement, are of far further reach in today's world. But the point is not that I like the second article. It is that in the first article, order Diovan no prescription, Cod online Diovan, I am led to agreement, while in the second I am presented a picture, buy Diovan no prescription, Purchase Diovan online no prescription, and from that picture, a choice is to be made. What is my connection to this picture? Do I support my own government's connection to this picture? Do I want this system of security and economic development spread further? What is right and good in light of my faith, Diovan discount. Free Diovan samples, Now I'm a pastor, and maybe its just because these posts have gone on longer than most of my sermons, Diovan in canada, Rx free Diovan, so I'm tempted to look at my scriptural tradition for some clarity on what is right and good. And to be clear my faith tradition does offer many resources on what is right and good in the eyes of God, for which I am deeply thankful. But the questions of how we read the news, buy Diovan online without prescription, Online buy Diovan without a prescription, of how we think of and interact with people around this world - they are not questions that are to be simplified into black and white. They are the gray that is our world, the gray that permeates each of our lives. All of us, Diovan in uk, Where to buy Diovan, those a part of faith traditions and those not, have to struggle with this complexity of our world, where can i buy cheapest Diovan online. Order Diovan from mexican pharmacy, I am the first to say these are not easy questions with tidy answers. Don't listen to anyone who says they are. And watch how you read, because if you are not asking these types of questions, where to buy Diovan, Diovan from canadian pharmacy, you aren't really thinking...
(In looking for information for this entry, Diovan in india, Buy Diovan online no prescription, I found this post from my friend Adam Isacson. Either we think just alike, or I read his volley at this type of journalism last year and it stuck, Diovan tablets, Buy Diovan online without a prescription, and I copied it when another obvious example came up. Clearly the later - credit where credit is due. And reporters - stop with these stories so we don't have to debunk them any more!). Fast shipping Diovan. Order Diovan online overnight delivery no prescription. Purchase Diovan. Diovan san diego. Buy cheap Diovan no rx. Where can i find Diovan online. Order Diovan online c.o.d. Diovan prices. Diovan to buy. Buying Diovan online over the counter. Order Diovan from United States pharmacy. Diovan for sale. Diovan gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release. Purchase Diovan online. Diovan price, coupon. Where can i order Diovan without prescription.
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Buy Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) Without Prescription, This post is a bit longer than usual, so I broke it up into two parts. To get the full picture it will help to do some homework and read the articles linked below, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) craiglist. Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) from international pharmacy, I'll start with the Globe story, tomorrow with the Post story, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) in usa. Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) paypal,
Two stories, one country. How does the US media look at Colombia, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) buy. Buy Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) online with no prescription, How do you look at Colombia.
From the Boston Globe - "Colombia offers lessons for US aid efforts elsewhere"
From the Washington Post - "Despite Billions in US Aid, Colombia struggles to reduce poverty"
There are certain types of article that you start to recognize when you watch a country closely, as I do now with Colombia, Buy Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) Without Prescription.
Stories can be designed to tell you a story, online buying Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) hcl, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) medication, i.e. feed you a narrative, buy cheap Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline), Buy Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) online cod, or they can be designed to introduce you to the story, i.e, sale Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline). Order Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) online c.o.d, pull back a curtain for you to see. So consider these two stories with me...
Say a major US newspaper wants to do a story on Colombia, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) discount, Purchase Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) online, maybe for an upcoming election, or a pending trade deal, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) price, coupon, Free Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) samples, whatever. But of course they don't have a bureau here, so they cough up a ticket and send a reporter down. And that reporter is assigned to go, purchase Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline), Where can i order Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) without prescription, find sources of info, talk to relevant people, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) from canadian pharmacy, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) prices, and then write up a story. Some sort of a summary view, for the 'general US audience, buy Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) online no prescription, Where can i buy cheapest Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) online, ' who it can be assumed doesn't know much about a place like Colombia. Buy Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) Without Prescription, So the reporter goes to Colombia, but it it much easier to stay in Bogotá - safer, convenient, and all the government people are there - so you stay and pull together a story from government statements and conversations with other people in the know... They really do seem to have it all together. Heck, you may even make the most of your stay in the Bogotá tourist scene - just to give the story a little texture:
It is a pretty typical scene even for a weeknight. Restaurants and bars are teeming with patrons, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) medication, Buy Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) no prescription, the beat of traditional Latin music spilling out on the crowded sidewalks. Stores are packed with evening shoppers and a steady stream of international business executives and tourists are checking in to gleaming new hotels.
But it is a remarkably different setting for Colombia’s capital than a few years ago, order Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) from United States pharmacy, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) buy, when many people rarely left their homes after dark for fear of bombings, homicides, buy Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) online with no prescription, Rx free Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline), and kidnappings by drug cartels, criminal gangs, delivered overnight Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline), Buy Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) online cod, and guerrilla fighters.
But here is the deal. You can't know what is going on in this country, or any country, order Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) online overnight delivery no prescription, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) to buy online, with a quick visit to the capital city. Even in today's information packed age, you just can't gather up the quotes and leave to paint the picture, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) from international pharmacy. Next day Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline), Our world, and Colombia in particular, buy cheap Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline), Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) in mexico, is far too complex to make a snap judgment based on government reports and impressive statistics. And really, judging based on hearing a 'latin beat' in the streets, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) trusted pharmacy reviews. Buy Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) from mexico, The article tells a story of a country that has undergone a huge turnaround, particularly since 2000-ish starting with two items - Plan Colombia and President Uribe. The story is that due to impressive results, buy Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) online without a prescription, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) craiglist, Colombia should now be a model for security and success for other countries. Read the article, but I don't think this is a bad summary of it's push, real brand Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) online.
The question is this - is this what news reporting should be? Is news reporting simply repeating statements and figures by those in charge, and maybe someone with some disagreement, and calling it a story? Or is there something more to reporting? Something more than re-presenting a government's public relations pitch, Buy Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) Without Prescription. Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) in japan, Now, I disagree with the direction of this story (I don't think that Colombia's security or economic policies have been all that successful, buy cheap Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) no rx, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) in india, and I don't think they should be a model for anyone) but apart from that, it is important to see the way we are being led by the article. And who is doing the leading, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) in us. Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) prescriptions, It is the same people who are carrying out the security and economic policies. You think they might have an interest in only presenting their best side.
This story does diligently have one voice of dissent, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) to buy, Purchase Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) online no prescription, in this case Markus Schultze-Kraft, of the International Crisis Group. It has this in the 25th and last paragraph, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) in usa, Cod online Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline), and gives only a slight mention to the topics of displacement and extrajudical killings by the government. These topics, along with the nature of a government that is willing to cover them up, buy no prescription Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) online, Where can i buy Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) online, would seem to warrant more investigation if we are to export the Colombian model, but not in this story. It doesn't fit the picture that we are being shown, where can i find Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) online. Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) in uk, The article uses statistics, but aren't we clear by now that statistics can be skewed which ever way you need them to be, buy Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) online without prescription. Buy Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) Without Prescription, (I take one case here to unpack - coca production - but each of the many figures reported have the same complexity underneath.) The story reports a drop in coca production by half since 2002. We're winning the war on drugs, right? And Colombia is no longer controlled by drug interests, right. Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) tablets, No. First, the figure of a 50% reduction since 2002: There are certain compelling statistics that show this level of decline. But there are also other compelling statistics that don't show such a decline. And to point out the obvious, order Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) from mexican pharmacy, Over the counter Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline), to measure illegal drug production across an area twice the size of Texas is hard.
Look here for all the most recent statistics concerning coca cultivation, production, Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) for sale, Buying Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) online over the counter, eradication, and interdiction from two different bodies - the United States and the United Nations, order Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) no prescription. Where to buy Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline), If you are telling a story, you might want to quote the most impressive drop (or gain) you could find; however showing the story points to the complexity and ambiguity of how the real world operates, buy Avodart (GlaxoSmithKline) without a prescription. (by my look, taking Bender's 2002-2008 time period, the US statistics show a drop of 18% in coca cultivation, and a drop of 50% in production, while the UN shows a drop of 50% in cultivation and a drop of 26% in production.)
My conclusion - There has been a shift in coca production/cultivation, but the overall picture is still troubling (and far from a resounding success), with parallel increases in other Andean countries. And no one, no one, is arguing that cocaine is less available, less prevalent on the streets (and in the office parks) of the United States. The supply may be shifting a bit, but as any economist would tell you, the demand is where this story really is.
So that's the cocaine figures, but the article presents many other cases with clarity that, to me, don't merit the certainty. Guerrilla attacks down, kidnappings down, thousands of armed actors demobilized. And looking at a different set of indicators - GDP is up, one million more kids in school, and 40% more are in health insurance systems (that one seems a little odd, what flack put that before him?)
But in reality, the picture for each of these is much, much muddier. I'm not arguing that his figures are wrong, but that they aren't the clarion indicators of success that his story presents. The International Red Cross came out yesterday with a report raising concerns about illegal armed groups' continued strength, Colombian think tank Nuevo Arco Iris reported a couple of months ago about increasing FARC attacks, including kidnappings. GDP tracks the economic output of a nation, but is massively skewed towards those with large economic means; it says very little about the vast majority of the Colombian population. It's just not that clear cut what is going on in Colombia. (And just today I saw this report where several paramilitary bosses, testifying in Colombian court, described the demobilization process as a fracaso - or screw-up, to put it nicely. )
Tune in tomorrow for another side of the coin...
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