The past two weeks have been intense, and now I’m glad to have my life back. Aside from working, I had to brush up on what I actually know about development, what I don’t know, and on top of that, two two-hour evening French classes per week. C’est ma vie! Our JPA group is also abuzz with organizing a half-day symposium on Monday, which World Bank President Jim Yong King will be attending as a panelist.
I’ve also picked up the book, Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. The authors look at poverty through a historical-institutional lens, meaning poor countries are poor not because of geography, culture or ‘ignorance’ of the ‘right policies; rather, countries are poor because of inequitable post-colonial institutions that continue to persist today. Most illustrations are Latin American and African countries, although the Philippines could have perfectly fit in as an example. I’m still in the third chapter, and it’s only getting more interesting.
The busy-ness and the publication are related, but can’t say much for now. As I read the book, it got me into thinking: how do I change these institutions? It must be the operational version, and comes a close second to the question How do I change the world? Hit me up if you have the answer.