International development blogs

My Google alerts have been good to me. I have been heartened to discover more and more blogs which touch on international development in interesting ways. You may have seen my blog roll expanding; I’m trying to create something like a comprehensive list. Check it out and explore.

Here are a few highlights:

NGO blogs

Oxfam and Refugees International both have great organization blogs, which showcase deep topical knowledge and passionate writing. Medecins sans Frontieres has a whole compendium of personal accounts by aid workers. Project HOPE has a blog all about (and by) their field volunteers, which would be a great resource for someone who wanted the nitty-gritty about medical volunteering.

Individual blogs

Vasco Pyjama has amazing, amazing posts about life abroad doing international development work. She is the real thing; full of insight on the work she does and with a wry and engaging voice. Chris Blattman is a famous development economist (insofar as there is such a thing) and one of my personal heroes. The Road to the Horizon, by Peter Casier, is dense with interesting information, personal observations, and lovely storytelling.

Friday night blog round-up

Technology and social enterprise is reviewing the Playpump, a merry-go-round that harnesses childrens’ play to pump water from village wells.

Peter Casier is wondering if anything has gotten better in Sudan.

Shanta Devarajan has a post up about export controls on food as a response to the food price increases. Even while fearing a world food crisis, I am amused that India specifically delineates non-basmati rice.

Lastly, Chris Blattman’s got some great charts about economic recovery.

Dual Economies

Expats clearly distort the market in the countries they inhabit. The labor market for example, and the fancy restaurants. Distressingly often, the commercial sex workers. Chris Blattman has a nice post up on the phenomenon. He also links to a UN report on the macroeconomic consequences of peacekeeping missions. I haven’t read the report yet, but I plan to.