Fortnightly links: pirates, polls, Brazil, #allmalepanels, Kunduz bombing, and more

Plummeting oil prices have had worrying impacts on development and livelihoods in many countries around the world. They have also sparked a change in piracy tactics, according to PRI’s The World.

A new report from the Center for International Media Assistance argues that media – and access to information more broadly – should itself be considered a form of aid. And like all aid, it can be given well or poorly.

If you are anxiously following the polls in the lead-up to the Australian election on July 2, The Guardian has a smart poll aggregator.

A team of researchers led from the University of Queensland has systematically examined the combined effect of sea-level rise and wave action on low-lying islands in the Solomon Islands, detailing a number of islands that have been abandoned as a consequence. One key finding of their research has been that wave action plays a crucial role in transforming the effects of sea level rise into erosion of the sort that leads to islands being abandoned. The paper is here, and a blog post on the conversation is here.

ABC’s Rear Vision has a good episode on Brazil’s ongoing political crisis, and The Guardian has an excellent primer on the woman at the centre of it, president Dilma Rousseff. (Although note that both the ABC show and Guardian article were produced prior to some of the more recent twists in the saga. This Guardian article is more or less up to date.

NPR’s Goats and Soda blog takes a look at the phenomenon that is #allmalepanels in global development sphere.

The merit of various development projects and funding mechanisms was a prominent theme in our inboxes this fortnight. A new World Bank paper finds evidence suggesting child sponsorship offers benefits that continue into adulthood, at least in some contexts. On the Financial Times, Caroline Fiennes makes the case for unrestricted giving using the example of ‘toilet roll philanthropy’. And Lee Crawfurd highlights what is arguably the world’s worst development project on his Roving Bandit blog.

And lastly, a distressing long-read from the New York Times Magazine in the lead-up to next week’s World Humanitarian Summit. Did Afghan forces deliberately lead the US into bombing the Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Kunduz?

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Camilla Burkot

Camilla Burkot was a Research Officer at the Development Policy Centre, and Editor of the Devpolicy Blog, from 2015 to 2017. She has a background in social anthropology and holds a Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and has field experience in Eastern and Southern Africa, and PNG. She now works for the Burnet Institute.

Terence Wood

Terence Wood is a Research Fellow at the Development Policy Centre. His research focuses on political governance in Western Melanesia, and Australian and New Zealand aid.

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