I tend toward curmudgeonry, as you might have noticed. And I don't spare new technologies of my skepticism even though I am a natural computer programmer. (Really, what was so bad about punch cards?) I don't have a smart phone, but am pleased with two features of my dumb phone: It can receive calls. And it can make them too.
CGD Policy Blogs
Congratulations to Sweden for ranking first in CGD’s 2009 Commitment to Development Index (CDI) for the first time since the creation of the Index in 2003. The United States, meanwhile, manages only a meager 17th place among the 22 wealthy countries ranked.
A theme I have hardly blogged is what the business perspective teaches us about how microfinance does and can work. A few years ago ABN AMRO commissioned CGD to write a report on why some microfinance institutions (MFIs), including non-profits, manage to cover costs, attract capital, and grow to serve more people---in a phrase, to succeed as businesses. Chapter 5 of the book (draft due soon) is based on that paper. Having worked this seam already, I think about it less now.
Mead Over recently wrote compellingly about the importance of collective action to strengthen surveillance of the swine flu and other contagious diseases. A major issue, of course, is the cost of such surveillance measures, the timely receipt of data on potential infections, and the accuracy (and completeness) of such information. Mobile phones may be part of the solution.