INESAD in the media

Can Games Influence Development Policy? SimPachamama in the news

SimPachamamaCoverPageSmallOn September 01, 2013, Americas Quarterly magazine published an article by INESAD’s Ioulia Fenton on whether or not games can influence development policy. Read the original article here.

Can Games Influence Development Policy?

By Ioulia Fenton

Often referred to as “games for good” or “games for change,” a new generation of socially- and environmentally-oriented online simulation games aims to go beyond entertainment by raising awareness of global issues and securing funds for projects—making a real-word difference.

Over 10 million people worldwide have played World Food Programme’s (WFP) “Food Force,” for example, spending money that goes to fund WFP-sponsored school meals projects. However, few simulations have been useful at the policy-making level—until now. Today marks the release of “SimPachamama,” a new game from Bolivia that could influence international, national and local-level policy decisions that affect forest communities. Read More »

Hasta Siempre Commandante: The Legacy of Hugo Chávez

By Nikole Hyndman

The death of Hugo Chávez rocked the world of international relations. As foreign governments scrambled to make public condolence statements, the world remembered just what a controversial figure Chávez was. While he was adored by the Venezuelan people, he was a thorn in the side of Western governments. He was also a close personal friend to remarkably controversial leaders like Fidel Castro, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Muammar Gadhafi.

Amidst the demonization of America and capitalism, Chávez kept the world watching Venezuela. His unrelenting criticisms of the Western imperialist powers got him significant attention from Western governments. His alliances with staunchly anti-American states like Iran, Belarus, and Syria gave him both power and influence in the international system. Chávez shaped a new, more powerful Venezuela.   Read More »

Morales Orders USAID Out of Bolivia

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was today ordered to leave Bolivia. According to the British Broadcasting Association (BBC), President Evo Morales accused the agency of ‘seeking to “conspire against” the Bolivian people and his government.’

USAID has been working in the country for over fifty years and has a current spending budget of around US$50 million. Here is some of the media features of the story and its analysis:

En Español:

El Universo: Bolivia Expulsa a la USAID

AVN: Presidente de Bolivia expulsa a la USAID de su país Read More »

Press Release: Bolivian Think Tank Ranks as One of the World’s Best

Bolivia’s Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD) is considered the best think tank in the country and one of the best in the world for environmental issues by the recently released Global Go To Think Tank Index.

La Paz, 11 February 2013The Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD), an economic and environmental not-for-profit research institute in La Paz, Bolivia, has made an impression on the world think tank stage. In a recent international survey by the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) of more than 6,500 think tanks, INESAD ranked number one in Bolivia, came in in the top six percent in Latin America and the Caribbean, and finished in the very top percentile of all institutions worldwide on environmental issues. 1,950 scholars, public and private donors, policy makers, and journalists helped rank all the surveyed think tanks using a set of 18 criteria developed by UPenn’s Think Tanks and Civil Society Program (TTCSP) and ranked them into a Global Go To Think Tank Index.

“We are honored to be recognized at the international level. These rankings are a testament to the high quality of work that INESAD researchers carry out, both domestically and internationally, and the increasing impact it has on the policy level,” said Ioulia Fenton, INESAD’s head of communications and outreach.

INESAD works closely with the Bolivian government on environmental and climate change issues in the country. It also engages with specialist and lay audiences in both Spanish and English through its research blogs Dessarollo Sobre La Mesa and Development Roast.

The institute was established in 2008 and has grown in recent years by participating in the Think Tank Initiative, a multi-donor program implemented by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) that is dedicated to strengthening independent policy research institutions in developing countries.

The full TTCSP 2012 report is available for download here.


A PDF version of this press release is available here:

PRESS RELEASE: Bolivian Think Tank Ranks as One of the World’s Best.


Guest Roast: Poverty – Who is to blame?

By David Harper.

Who’s to blame for poverty?  Is it the poor themselves?  Or society?  Or is it just bad luck or fate? Just over forty years ago, American sociologist Joe Feagin asked over a thousand Americans and found that 53 percent blamed the poor themselves, 22 percent blamed societal factors and 18 percent put poverty down to fate (1972). In a very real sense people were prepared to blame the victim. The tendency to blame the victims of poverty for their own fate is similar to what Melvin Lerner (1980) has called the belief in a just world – the Just World Theory – where people get what they deserve and deserve what they get. Thus if a person is poor they must somehow have deserved that poverty.

In 1990, some colleagues and I drew on Feagin’s work, designing a survey to examine how British people explained poverty in the developing world. The most popular explanations for poverty included the inefficiency of developing world governments, exploitation by other countries and climate. However we found that those with a stronger Just World belief were significantly less likely to agree that poverty in the developing world was due to exploitation by other countries, war or the world economic and banking system.

Does it matter what explanations people give for poverty? Read More »

INESAD News: Graffiti on the Great Wall—The Hidden Street Art Culture of Beijing

This week, INESAD’s Carolynn Look published an article in the October 2012 issue of Global South Development Magazine, where she is the editorial assistant and contributor:

Beijing, China. Hundreds of buildings tower over the people that bustle between them every day. Some get demolished, some get rebuilt, some just get a fresh layer of paint. But what strikes you as you walk through this eclectic monster of a city is that none of its buildings are covered in tags or graffiti as they are in other metropolises. Or so you would think on first sight. Read More »


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