I’ve been a little quiet recently as I’m on holiday at the moment, flitting around East and South-East Asia visiting relatives and friends, while trying to keep in touch with the office. I’m still doing a bit of work, and so to make room for my mission to eat all of Asia and see as many friends as possible, blogging has fallen on the wayside and my link to the news has been tenuous at best (as best as I can work out, someone got married and someone else got killed in the last couple of days and I hope I have them the right way round).
That said, a lot of the people I’ve been meeting with are development friends, so I’ve had a few vigorous arguments that I’m going to blog about on my return. Prior to setting out my thoughts in detail, there are two questions in particular that I am really interested to get some initial views on before I return to set out my own thoughts in detail. They are:
- With Uganda seemingly in incipient rising (this follows widespread riots less than 2 years ago), would a series of revolutions or popular risings be a good thing in Africa? Do readers think that a widely-backed movement to remove leaders in the southern portion of the continent would be met with the same scarcely contained glee from the West, and would it offer any more hope for the future than what we have now?
- And secondly, a question about the structure of development work: should we have different criteria on which we assess multilateral and bilateral agencies? What is the right mix of the two approaches to development intervention and support? Do we need both? Are their incentives sufficiently different, and their efficiency sufficiently similar to justify both kinds of development support?
The latter question arises after a long and thoughtful argument with some friends just a few nights ago. My own position (on a different phrasing of these questions) was very much in the minority, so I’m keen to open it up a bit and listen more before I go off on one of my epic rants. Thoughts welcome.