Economy

It’s the elites, stupid

by David Week on 08 August 2011

Aid-bashing I’ve spent most of my professional life working in the Pacific and Asia, and have only recently been invited to participate in a couple of projects in Africa. As a result, I’ve started to pay more attention to what’s happening in Africa, and I’m astonished to see the aid-bashing seems to be a popular […]

{ 2 comments }

The new colonial architecture

by David Week on 15 June 2011

I saw today a picture of a school in Cambodia, designed by Finnish architects. It is very nice looking. It photographs very well. It will be picked up and circulated widely in the architectural press, online and off. Without doubt. You can see more here. In the comments box, I wrote this: This is artistically […]

{ 5 comments }

Why a slum house is like a factory

by David Week 26 May 2011

Commenting on my post on the $300 house, Yodan said: And yet, David, it seems that in every advanced economy housing does become a commodity and is predominantly produced by big companies, and financed by big banks and savings and loans societies, and that is usually connected with levels of poverty going down significantly. In […]

Read the full article →

Critique of the $300 house

by David Week 10 May 2011

In the 30th April issue of “the capitalists’ bible”, The Economist, I read that: …Vijay Govindarajan, of Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, along with Christian Sarkar, a marketing expert, issued a challenge in a Harvard Business Review blog: why not apply the world’s best business thinking to housing the poor? His idea is to […]

Read the full article →

The river of urbanisation

by David Week 6 February 2011

I met all day yesterday with my colleagues/friends from the NGO startup CoDesign. In among the to-and-fro on agenda items, the following thesis was floated and briefly discussed: By making rural life better, can we stem/slow the drift of people into urban slums? My answer is: no, not in any way that matters. The importance of rural […]

Read the full article →

Marilyn Waring is someone you should know

by David Week 5 December 2010

Marilyn Waring At last, thanks to the National Film Board of Canada, this classic doco on my favourite feminist economist is now available for viewing online. In 1975, at the age of 23, she became the youngest MP in the New Zealand Parliament. As a member of the National Party, she famously (or infamously) crossed the […]

Read the full article →

“Smart Aid”: A cautionary note

by David Week 24 November 2010

Thanks to Good Intentions for inspiring this post, which started life as a comment. I have some qualms about the very idea of “smart aid”. It seems to imply that this is something new, while all has been done in the past is “dumb aid”. I think of the development of aid (the development of “development”?) […]

Read the full article →

The power of co-investment

by David Week 18 September 2010

Sharing the load Recently, I was advising a client who had the following problem: Four years ago, they had agreed to fund a project to the amount of USD1.0m. Now, for a variety of reasons, the cost at the commencement of implementation had increased to $1.6m. The question they asked me was: should they provide […]

Read the full article →

About “Architecture for Development”

by David Week 27 April 2010

Why this blog Below, I’ve pasted my professional “about” blurb from my CV, written in some version of bureaucratese. It serves as a potted history of my professional life, and provides some insight, I guess, into my professional persona. But I’m not blogging to further my professional career, which is doing just fine. Here are […]

Read the full article →