Articles

Reflections from our recent work, and topical issues for the sector

Celebrating Lionel Cliffe

A remarkable colloquium was held in Cape Town on October 20-21 to celebrate the life and work of Lionel Cliffe, who died of cancer last year.[1] Lionel was a man of very many parts – a prolific radical academic, a committed activist, a keen cricketer, the principal founder in 1974 of the Review of African…

Electronic surveys: pleasures and pitfalls

  With the advent of web-based electronic surveys it is now possible, with just a few clicks, to create a professional-looking survey and send it out to hundreds of people all around the world, effortlessly garnering their views on a whole variety of topics.  This is a great boon for evaluators who no longer have…

The Changing Climate of NGOs

In the past forty to fifty years, the landscape in which NGOs function has morphed into a very different picture to the one that existed when many NGOs were conceived. As a result, a situation has arisen where old strategies and structures are becoming increasingly less relevant and sustainable for the future of these organisations….

Travelling Hopefully in the Eastern Caribbean

In the Lesser Antilles, the market of the hotel industry is geared to pre-booked travellers, with accommodation reserved in advance through US-based on-line agencies, at a price. On my recent assignment, I wanted to avoid holiday hotels and, where possible, find low-cost accommodation and use local transport. I travelled light with a small carry-on brief…

Researching Change and Continuity in Rural Ethiopia

The WIDE (Wellbeing and Illbeing Dynamics in Ethiopia) research began in 1994 when Pip Bevan, sociologist working at the University of Oxford, and Alula Pankhurst, anthropologist working at the University of Addis Ababa, obtained funding to research fifteen rural communities. These had been selected by economists from the two universities to exemplify different types of…

Nutrition, Food Security & Livelihoods

With the significantly increased pressure on the global health and development community to meet its commitments on hunger and undernutrition, Mokoro’s recent seminar came as timely and topical. The seminar brought forward some leading research in nutrition, food security and livelihoods from three of our partners: NutritionWorks, Valid International and The Food Economy Group. Paul…

Artemisia annua – an antimalarial miracle?

The malaria problem In the mid 1990s my late wife Ruth (a medical doctor and epidemiologist specializing in malaria control) and I (an agricultural planner and manager specializing in small farmer development schemes), both of us old friends of Mokoro, were working in Tanzania in the East Usambara Mountains. Despite the widespread use of preventive…

Democracy and Development

In the course of the last six months I have had the opportunity to work in two countries with very different profiles in terms of their relative wealth and economic complexity. Brazil today is claiming world power status, with the seventh largest economy and a modern industrial base that includes nuclear energy and an aviation…

A night and day in Zimbabwe

In probably my shortest field mission so far, I recently spent two nights and three days in Botswana and Zimbabwe, scoping some proposed work on enhancing rural infrastructure. I had at least expected to spend the two nights in the same bed, but arrived in Kasane (northern Botswana) to be told that we would leave…