By Lowy Institute Research Fellow Jonathan Pryke and Melanesia Program intern Chloe Hickey-Jones

  • Dr Mark Dybul, Executive Director of Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria will deliver the 2016 Harold Mitchell Development Policy Annual Lecture at ANU tonight at 5.30pm. You can watch the livestream here.
  • Ahead of tonight’s lecture, The Australian Financial Review has a piece  exploring innovation in effective foreign aid delivery.
  • Bill and Melinda Gates released their annual letter last week, asking the question of what superpower they each wish they could have (more energy and more time, respectively). They have summarised the letter for CNN, talked about it on Bloomberg, and raved about it on The Tonight Show.
  • Earlier this month the World Bank released its 2016 World Development Report, which focused on the digital dividends to development from the ICT revolution. Duncan Green and Ben Ramalingam have both provided their thoughts on the report, which wasn’t as upbeat as one might expect.
  • While ICT is certainly no panacea, The Guardian discusses how new technologies are being harnessed by developing countries to assist in monitoring governments and elections. A notable example: 20,000 ghost voters were discovered on electoral rolls in Uganda after data from the electoral commission was made public.
  • The 2015 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics, Professor Angus Deaton, discusses global and national inequalities, foreign aid effectiveness, mortality rates in the US and lost narratives with Pamela Falk at the Council of Foreign Relations. He also refines his reputation of being an ‘aid sceptic’, saying that he is supportive of foreign aid but sceptical of certain methods of aid delivery.
  • Leif Wenar, Chair of Philosophy and Law at King’s College London, has  an opinion piece in The New York Times that asks ‘Is Humanity Getting Better?’. Wenar notes that climate change, resource scarcity and overpopulation are ‘the burdens of our success': 

Humanity does learn, painfully, and often only after thousands or even millions have died – like giant starfish hurrying over a jagged reef, with only primitive vision, slicing off spines on its way yet regenerating as it grows slowly adapting its motion. The currents are pushing the starfish faster, the reefs ahead are sharper – humanity must become sharper too. 

  • What do you want to be when you grow up?’  features photos of Syrian girls dressed up for the jobs they one day hope to have. The project aims to raise awareness about education and help the children and their communities visualise a different life.  
  • Finally, The UN Development Programme celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. On 24 February 2016, UNDP hosted a ministerial meeting to celebrate the Programme's past and discuss its future. Watch 50 years of UNDP contributions condensed into a three minute video below: