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At the launch for my new book Getting Better: Why Global Development is Succeeding, And How We Can Improve the World Even More, Nancy Birdsall announced a twitter competition –tweet what was getting better and win a copy of the book.   We had a number of entries to #gettingbetter in response, including:

@ONECampaign: Why is the world #gettingbetter? 10 yrs ago, 2,000 ppl in the Ivory Coast had access to HIV med. Today? 50,000. @CGDev

@JacobClere:? @charlesjkenny @CGDev I think Hans Rosling makes a good case for things #gettingbetter YouTube - Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 ...? -

@m_clem: When I was a child, Bulgarians could be shot for trying to go to Austria. Starting soon, they won't even need permission. #GettingBetter

@jordanengel Car radio theft at an all time low according to NPR so things are #gettingbetter

@rovingbandit @CGDev what is #GettingBetter ? How about books about international development? (This, plus Banerjee/Duflo and Karlan/Appel this year!)

@nancymbirdsall For every $ man's pay, women's pay in U.S. up from $.59 20 years ago to $.80 now, so things are (slowly slowly) #gettingbetter

@GlassmanAmanda: More Moms! Less maternal deaths in Bangladesh thx in part 2 family planning & later marriages #GettingBetter

@Welhai: What's #gettingbetter? Americans biking more. Bike commuters up avg 62% in 70 US cities 2000-2009. @CharlesMKenny

BeeArgo? Backed into a parking spot & it only took 4 times. #gettingbetter

LauraDanBen? Zombies!!! #cod #killstreak #gettingbetter #excited

rfleming03? Ate both poptarts in the package as a snack #dietfail. Put the second package back in the drawer #gettingbetter!

@starryyday Only blew my nose 5 times today. Hooray for #gettingbetter !

@jessicooke For the first time, I haven't gotten superglue on my fingers when trying to superglue something #gettingbetter

Some of these last ones we’re not sure were directed at the competition… Indeed, piggybacking on an existing hashtag was a good schooling in humility related to the book –for most people the good life isn’t about avoiding war, plague and famine, it is about not supergluing your fingers together.  That right there: a sign of things got better.  But without further ado, the winner: Jacob Clere.  He’s right –Hans Rosling’s video on global progress in life expectancy is a beautiful illustration of the point the book is trying to make.  A copy of Getting Better on the way to him.

And finally, showing I didn’t absorb that lesson in humility (there’s a difference between schooling and learning, after all), it has been exciting to see some interest in the book from David Leonhardt at the New York Times and WAMU’s Kojo Namdi, amongst others.


CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.