The Shri Kshethra Dharmasthala Rural Development Programme, which won the well-deserved international gold award at the
“Neoliberal, capitalist economics is bankrupt, morally and intellectually, but nothing changes,” were the opening words of Neal Lawson from Compass at a debate Putting the Green Economy on Trial.
He described the infrastructure of consumerism and marketing that has developed under the current system as difficult to escape; a seductive new vision of what it is to be human is needed, he said.
Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo's book, Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, is making waves in development circles. Beyond the strong focus on randomised control trials, the book distinguishes itself by wading into issues on which the development community has often ignored or made uninformed guesses. These include the rationale behind the decisions made by the poor, whether they make the "best" decisions available, and how policymakers should respond.
Microcredit, often viewed as vital for low-income groups, is experiencing financial and social sustainability problems. Is the preference for and dominance of financial metrics over social metrics eroding instead of underpinning the sustainability of the industry?
Almost unnoticed by the world, Iran has moved towards the adoption of a basic income grant to distribute money from its oil industry directly to its citizens. This could be a good example of how distorting fossil fuel subsidies used in many developing countries could be repealed without adversely impacting upon the poor. Furthermore, the outcomes of this policy could have a wider impact on the way rents from natural resources are used - allowing households to choose how to spend profits from resource extraction.