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Five Development Success Stories

South Korea South Korea’s recent development has been nothing short of spectacular. In less than half a century, it has gone from being wracked by poverty and dependent on foreign aid, to one of the most advanced countries in the world. In 1960, the average income per person was the equivalent of just $155 a

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

How do you know if your chosen fabulous looking charity is providing good value for your money? Charities frequently report percentages of money spent on “Programs”, “Administration” and “Fundraising” or some similar ensemble. While I understand the motivation for this approach, I think it is the wrong way to go about finding out if your

The Seed Change Connection

The internet. The repository of all knowledge. One internet connection and all the information in the world could be yours. The information is available so go and get it; things which were genuinely impossible less than 10 years ago have become very much possible now. Take the 15-year-old kid from Mongolia who got a perfect

What is ‘Inclusive Growth’?

Guest post by Andy Norman. This blog was originally posted on   A little while ago I wrote a post arguing that recent strong growth here in Tanzania has not been inclusive. Poverty prevails because growth has not benefited the poor as much as it has benefited the rich. Growth has not, lamentably, been inclusive. Inclusiveness is

African Entrepreneurs

Who hasn’t heard of an African farmer with a few dozen chickens building her own business or of the rag picker who saves up for two years, buys a cart and doubles productivity. These are the part of the great mass of budding African entrepreneurs. They will be one of the primary drivers of growth

Difficult Democracies

Presidents. Prime Ministers. Chancellors. Taoisigh. Premiers. The rulers of countries, lords and ladies of the levers of government. Well to a point. Governments, in general, are run through consensus, through compromise, through institutions. As much as we may sometimes dislike them, the rulers of Western democracies, in general, can’t really do such a terrible job.

How Does Change Happen?

When I joined Seed Change for a 3-month internship last January, I had just finished studying for a master’s in Development Economics – a discipline which seeks to solve such problems as how poor countries can become rich and how they can grow both their economies and their citizen’s incomes. Development Economics may sound like

Effective Altruism

At the end of last year, in a state of giddy, philanthropy-inducing delight after the birth of their first daughter, Mark Zukerberg and Priscilla Chan pledged to give away 99% of their Facebook shares during their lifetime. At the moment, this equates to a whopping $45 billion! To put that in perspective, it’s more than

Inclusive Growth in Tanzania

The Tanzanian economy is growing. Fast. Economic growth has been hovering around 7% since the mid 1990s and is expected by those who claim to know these things to continue in this vein for some time. This makes Tanzania one of the fastest growing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and represents a refreshing change from the

The Science Is In: Seed Change Works

According to this recent article in The Economist, Seed Change’s model of tackling poverty is pretty close to the ideal. The article outlines recent work done by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo (and several others) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (who are also authors of the highly readable and informative Poor Economics of a few years