This is a panacea

by | Jul 25, 2013

A powerful new paper, “This is a panacea” by Swift, J.,  has broken new ground in the field of development and social science research. A paper like no other.  I’ve obtained an advance copy of the Abstract, below…


This is a panacea. Whilst recent discussion has described a complex series of inter-relationships, our research concludes that it is much simpler and more linear, with only one cause and very easy attribution.

We found no shortage of data, and no need for further disaggregation. There is no need for further research. The time we spent investigating it was excessive.

This is the magic bullet. Interestingly, it works it every context and one size fits all, with no nuance.

We encountered only identical perspectives. Debate, up to now quite fierce, will cease raging.

Readers interested in further reading on this topic would be wasting their time on the bibliography which is necessarily much too long for reasons of space.


  • Ben Phillips is Campaigns and Policy Director of ActionAid. Previously, he worked for Oxfam in the UK. He has lived and worked in four continents and 10 cities including New Delhi and Washington DC, as well as with children in poverty in East London. He began his development work at the grassroots, as a teacher and ANC activist living in Mamelodi township, South Africa, in 1994, just after the end of apartheid.

More from Global Dashboard

Justice for All and the Economic Crisis

Justice for All and the Economic Crisis

As COVID-19 plunges the world into its most serious economic crisis for a century, a surge in demand for justice is inevitable. Businesses face bankruptcy – and whole industries may be insolvent. Similar pain is being felt in the public and non-profit sectors....

Who Speaks for the Global South Recipients of Aid?

Who Speaks for the Global South Recipients of Aid?

The murder of George Floyd and the resurfacing of the Black Lives Matter movement has led to heightened discussions on race in the international development sector. Aid practitioners in the North have not only condemned the systemic racism that they (suddenly) now see...