The New Who’s Who of International Development Blogging

The Updated Blogroll

Blogging in the field…of international development

I realized the other day that I hadn’t updated my blogroll in about a year and a half. A lot has changed since then. Bill Easterly closed down the Aid Watch blog and is now blogging at NYU’s Development Research Institute; Tales from the Hood went off the air and locked many of his posts up under password protection (still has an active FB page though); others simply stopped blogging. I also starting following bloggers and sites, both new and old, that I hadn’t previously. Some of these are quite noteworthy, like Project Syndicate, Dave Algoso’s Find What Works, Duncan Green’s From Poverty to Power, and Ian Thorpe’s KM on a Dollar a Day. Take a look at the updated blogroll and find out who I think is worth following on matters related to international development. If you think I’ve grossly neglected a worthy blog or site, please let me know in the comments section. I’m always open to discovering new voices. Below is the list of new additions to my blogroll with this update. To see my complete blogroll (not just the new additions) click on the ‘About’ drop down menu on the top of the page and select ‘Blogroll’, or just click HERE.

Africa is a Country

A collective media blog with scores of contributors covering media, politics, sports, opinion, and events. Explicitly not covering famine, Bono, or Barack Obama. (But is it really an African blog without Bono?)

Aid on the Edge of Chaos

Written by Ben Ramalingam, this blog explores the nexus of complexity sciences and international aid. “It is hoped that the blog will provide a means of connecting up the emerging community of practitioners interested in alternatives to linear, mechanistic approaches to development.” Right on.

Development Research Institute – NYU

Oh rejoice, Bill Easterly blogs again!! No comments are allowed, which takes half the fun out of the experience, but Bill, along with Yaw Nyarko, keep their posts lively, short, and daily. A must follow.

Evan Lieberman

An associate professor in the Department of Politics at Princeton University, Evan manages to keep the posts accessible and non-academic. They are still informed and smart. He writes about governance, development, identity, and politics in Africa.

Find What Works

Dave Algoso is a young international development professional based in Kenya and a recent graduate of NYU’s Wagner School’s MPA program. He’s a very prolific and good writer – smart, articulate, and broad in scope. One of the best new additions to the blogroll.

From Poverty to Power

I can’t tell you why I didn’t have Duncan Green’s blog on the roll before. What an omission! Duncan is Head of Research for Oxfam GB. He can be a bit academic for some, but he is influential on a broad spectrum of topics related to international development: economics, aid, politics, climate change, global finance, gender, human rights, conflict and security, etc. A must follow.

Gernot Wagner

A young and brilliant environmental economist at the Environmental Defense Fund. Author of “But Will the Planet Notice?: How Smart Economics can Save the World.” He keeps most of his informative posts very short and focused.


Update: I forgot to add this one to the original post. (forehead slap!) Tom Paulson at KPLU (public radio 88.5 in Tacoma, WA – awesome jazz station!) gives us news and analysis of global health and the fight against poverty. It’s part news outlet and part blog, and completely worth following.

KM on a Dollar a Day

Ian Thorpe works in the UN on knowledge management, monitoring and evaluation. The blog is fairly focused, sometimes technical, and not for everybody. But for those interested in KM, DME, data analysis, research, transparency, and smart aid, there is no better blog out there than this.

Open the Echo Chamber

Ed Carr is an academic that blogs on a broad spectrum of topics related to international development, but is at his best when talking about climate change, food security, livelihoods, and adaptation. I don’t read his blog that often because his font is too darn small. Ed is definitely worth reading; I just wish he’d change his font.

Owen Abroad 

Another overdue omission. Owen Barder is an influential thinker from the Center for Global Development. Smart as they come, broad spectrum of topics, always timely. He has a huge following and with reason.

Poverty Matters

Along with DAWNS Digest, (and Humanosphere), a key source of news and commentary for those working or interested in global development.

Project Syndicate

Posts from global thought leaders like Jagdish Bhagwati, Jeffry Frankel, Kenneth Rogoff, Josesph Stiglitz, Joseph Nye, Dani Rodrik, Jeffrey Sachs, Andres Velasco, Bjorn Lomborg, Naomi Wolf, Christopher Hill, and Anne-Marie Slaughter. Need I say more? A must read.

Roving Bandit

Lee Crawfurd writes about economics, democracy, development, and Africa. He used to based in Southern Sudan. Today he’s at Oxford Policy Management. His voice is fresh, readable, and sometimes snarky, but always intelligent.

Stanford Social Innovation Review

Although there are a bunch of bloggers here writing about everything from education to technology to impact investing to nonprofit management to social entrepreneurship, I pretty much follow this because Matt Forti from the Bridgespan Group posts there about measuring social impact.


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Categories: Aid Blogging


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20 Comments on “The New Who’s Who of International Development Blogging”

  1. June 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Don’t know if you have looked at IDB’s “Development that Works” blog

  2. June 28, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    Humanosphere was a late addition. Sorry Tom for the omission on original post. I’ve really enjoyed and benefitted from Humanosphere since discovering it a few months ago.

  3. Asma Zubairi
    July 3, 2012 at 4:19 am #

    Have you had a look at aidthoughts at

    • July 3, 2012 at 10:15 am #

      Aidthoughts was already on my blogroll. I just highlighted to new additions in this post. Thanks.

  4. July 9, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    I can’t help noticing that not a single woman has made it into your list. Is that because women aren’t putting themselves out there in the blogosphere? Or are the women bloggers doing something you don’t like?

    • July 9, 2012 at 11:51 am #

      Amy, good observation and question – although the observation isn’t quite true. If you look at my complete blogroll (under the About menu), you’ll see that several are written by women. Blood and Milk, Good Intentions are Not Enough, How Matters, Lessons I Learned, and Wait… What? are all written by women. In addition, nearly all of the collective blogs I follow have substantial women’s voices. That said, the observation is still a good one as is the question. There are more blogs about economics, international development, and humanitarian aid written by men then there are ones written by women. I have no idea why that is, nor will I hazard a speculative guess. I will just say this: the women bloggers that I follow are most certainly not doing something I don’t like; on the contrary, they are producing some of the best material out there. If you have any suggestions as to who else I should be following, I welcome the recommendations. Thanks for reading and for your comment.

    • July 26, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

      Sorry to eavesdrop on this conversation, but that’s something that we notice quite a lot of at as well. One of the reasons why we set up WhyDev was because the existing conversation tended to be dominated by a certain type of voice, typically male. This is of course not to say that they didn’t add anything – far from it, but that we thought many others could add a new voice. We’re proud of the fact that over 70% of our contributors are female and we’re constantly searching for more women to add to the list.

  5. Anna Meliksetyan
    July 26, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    I’d like to direct to you a blog that has multiple authors, many of them youth of various social and intersectional identities in the international development sphere, which the blog refers to as international cooperation. I thought I would offer to include it in the list, as I too made an observation, that the youth voice is also missing from the list of blogs (although many of the aforementioned blogs are inspiring to youth – speaking as a member). The blog belongs to the international programs at the YMCA of greater Toronto.

  6. July 30, 2012 at 7:19 am #

    Thanks Aaron for this list. Do you think you or any of the sustainable development bloggers would be interested in live blogging from a conference/event in Florence, Italy in November 2012? I’m looking for bloggers in the somewhat related fields of cultural tourism and sustainability (the discussion will not always be on developing countries) for a call for bloggers, and we’ll be flying 5 bloggers over for the occasion. Please take a look at the Fondazione Florens for more info, the link is attached to my name, and I also sent you a tweet!

  7. September 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    Thanks for the list…very useful info. Please check out my blog:

  8. louellafitzsimmons
    January 17, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    this is such a great blog! I’m currently completing my Master of Social Science (International Development) and am so lucky to have stumbled across this- keep up the informative work!

  9. Tina
    November 5, 2013 at 12:34 am #

    Great list! Thank you. I would add Future Development- Economics to End Povery Blog which has some very interesting debates with its readers on different development issues. The editors are Shanta Devarajan, Homi Kharas and Wolfgang Fengler

    • November 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

      Thanks for the suggestion Tina. I’ll need to update this list at the start of the year, so any others I missed, I welcome.

  10. May 25, 2015 at 8:25 pm #

    I’m new to the whole international development blogging but I’m surprised to not see chrisblattman blog on the list.

    Can anyone recommend a good blog that focuses on international development in areas recovering from recent conflicts, specifically in the MENA region?


    • May 26, 2015 at 11:25 am #

      Hi Zaed,

      Yeah, I don’t know how I missed Chris – of course I do follow him. In my defense, I did write this a few years back and probably would do well to update it.

      Take care, Aaron.

  11. January 20, 2016 at 2:09 am #

    Gender equality is key, the world is both women and men. Most of these list are basically dominated by men i don’t know why is that women have nothing important to blog? please in future try and do the balancing.


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