The first Angle of 2014 comes amidst the start up of our new research programme which is now kicked off. It has three big themes: transformation, inclusion and sustainability. We'll be putting up further details of projects and conferences on the website as things evolve. Right now, I'm in Dar es Salaam where we are building up the Tanzania side of our programme--and this looks especially exciting. Tanzania has come far since I first came here to begin my career in development in 1980, so it's great to see the optimism around. And there is at least a 30oC degree difference in temperature between Dar and Helsinki at the moment--where we were recently down to minus 15oC.
Despite the cold, our spirits were raised by the results of the 2013 Global Go-To Think Tanks Report report. We are in the top ten of international development think tanks for the fourth year running. The ranking goes: Brookings Institution; Centre for International Development (Harvard CID); Overseas Development Institute (ODI); Center for Global Development (CGD); Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars; Chatham House; UNU-WIDER; International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); Center for Stategic and International Studies (CSIS); and Council for Foreign Relations. Of course this is very mixed group, often with quite a different focus, both in topic and geographical coverage. And budget-wise, every think tank above and below UNU-WIDER in the first ten, has a budget at least three times greater than ours (and a staffing level to go with it). We achieve a great deal of impact through our network--including you our readers, many of whom have come to conferences and events (across the developing world, in Helsinki, and at the UN in New York), written papers for our projects, and visited the UNU-WIDER premises in Helsinki. So thank you, readers, for your continued support and help.
Our other news includes the presentation in December of Vietnam's Medal of Honour to UNU-WIDER's director, Finn Tarp, by the Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment (MPI) Bui Quang Vinh. This is the highest level of award that can be awarded to a non-Vietnamese citizen.
Meanwhile, former UNU-WIDER director, Giovanni Andrea Cornia recently launched a new book which he edited, Falling Inequality in Latin America: Policy Changes and Lessons, published by Oxford University Press within the UNU-WIDER development studies series, at ECLAC's public finance workshop on fiscal policy, in...