Christina Chang is CAFOD’s lead economic analyst and contributor to a new book in tribute to pioneering economist Elinor Ostrom.
At CAFOD, we work with hundreds of organisations in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Each one responding to people’s needs at a local level, looking for the solutions that work in their unique context.
Their experience has taught us that when it comes to managing economies big, one-size-fits-all solutions often don’t work on the ground.
That’s why I was delighted, on behalf of CAFOD, to contribute to a book in tribute to Nobel prize-winner Elinor Ostrom who died this June.
Ostrom is the first – and so far, only – woman to receive the Nobel prize in economics. Her work aimed to break down barriers between disciplines and mindsets to find practical ways of working to address one of our planet’s most pressing and significant challenges: how can we best manage our shared natural resources? Continue reading
Filed under Bolivia, CAFOD
Susan Kambalu writes:
As white elephants go, this seemed to be one of the biggest I’ve seen. We drove for half an hour through busy streets, then left the road and continued over bumpy, dusty earth. After some time, we stopped next to a pristine creamy yellow building that proudly proclaimed that it was a market. We got out. Where were all the people?
The building was eerily quiet as we approached, with none of the bustle that one normally associates with shopping. There were a few women who had set up small stalls, with a few oranges carefully balanced in displays, some pineapples, plantains, potatoes. Some sheets were blowing in the wind. A few children stood by their mothers, looking on curiously at first. We walked up the stairs to a second floor. There were small kitchens with sinks and basic utensils set out neatly around the edges, and benches and tables ready to become busy cafes for men and women to stop and chat, to take a break from their buying and selling and to catch up on the news… but everything was empty, there was no sign that any of these kitchens had ever been used.
The problem is that the people who live in this area do not have enough food to sell. The President has arranged for these lovely markets to be built, but at the moment food production in Bolivia is going down. It is often harder to farm the land, and many farmers are migrating from the countryside to places such as Lajastambo, a poor barrio (neighbourhood) on the outskirts of Sucre. Continue reading
Susan Kambalu writes:
Imagine a country where the constitution states that the Earth should be respected first and foremost. Imagine a country where the hope is for men and women to be represented equally at all levels of society. Imagine a country where people from different backgrounds come together to work for the common good. Imagine a country where an urban suburb, full of migrants, can bring about a change in the national law simply through speaking up for themselves and making their voices heard.
The country is Bolivia; the suburb, Lajastambo, a vast illegal neighbourhood on the outskirts of Sucre, one of Bolivia’s beautiful cities. Sucre is a traditional conservative city, where a small number of elitist families have always had control. It is known as the White City because of all the beautiful, old, white, colonial buildings. It appears to be a rich city. However, 70 per cent of the population are migrants from the rural areas, farmers and miners, who have settled in Sucre for a variety of reasons, and who often live in ‘illegal’ neighbourhoods. The neighbourhoods are called barrios. Continue reading
One of the many protest posters seen in Durban
Pascale Palmer, CAFOD’s Senior Advocacy Media Officer, sends the latest from Durban
Durban is a bustling town with an over-built seafront and surfing-sized waves. It doesn’t feel like Africa, it feels more like Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia. I’m trying to work out if that’s a good or a bad thing. But while I do there’s everything and nothing going on here at the United Nations climate talks.
Read about our hopes for the talks>> Continue reading
Bolivian President Evo Morales speaks at Cancun
Pascale Palmer, CAFOD’s Advocacy Media Officer, sends the latest from Cancun.
The Bolivians are always tainted with the melodrama brush at the climate change talks. Either openly or in cables (as revealed by yet another WikiLeaks allegation) Bolivia is seen as a loose cannon: a nation that won’t play the international political long game. There is a very strong argument for being inside the tent in order to bring about the change you want to see, yet even within an institution as plural as the UN that tent is still marshalled by the most powerful nations in the world. So when Bolivia walks in with its brand of all-or-nothing brokering, it is very much at odds with the Western-style politicking that holds sway. Continue reading