smhwpf: (Sandman)
A post about work

Today World Peace Foundation is making public the first major output from my work here, a Compendium of Arms Trade Corruption (also known as the Dossier of Dodgy Defense Deals), a collection of 18 cases of arms deals with which serious corruption allegations have been associated, and other examples of military corruption not directly related to major arms deals.

It is not new information, but it is collating together the latest available information on each of the cases in one place, and mostly in a standardized form. It is intended as the first installment of a larger project, whereby we hope to make a comprehensive survey of such arms deals, for which we are seeking further funding.

Some of the cases are quite eyeball-popping. Well worth a read, though I do say so myself.

smhwpf: (Misbehave)
I was in New York last weekend, for the New York launch of the movie Shadow World, by Johann Grimonperez, based on the book, The Shadow World: inside the global arms trade, by Andrew Feinstein, who also worked extensively on the film. Andrew, as I've mentioned, is one of the people in the group I've been in, working with World Peace Foundation on their global arms project that I'm now running.

It was a very powerful film, extremely well put together. (It won Best Documentary at the Edinburgh Film Festival earlier this year). It is partly on the international arms trade, with some entertaining/revealing/horrifying interviews with a very candid arms broker (who apparently is now in prison in Portugal), but also, moreso than the book, on US wars and militarism more generally; but it manages to fuse these two elements together pretty well, with some apparopriate readings of his work by Eduardo Galeano interspersed. Not a whole lot that I wasn't aware of, though some things, but as I say well put together and effective in its impact.

Full disclosure: I am actually in it for about 15 seconds as a talking head. So now I am wondering if I have a Bacon Number. (I might already as I was in an episode of Mark Thomas Comedy Product). And if so if I have a Bacon-Erdos number, as I have co-authored one maths paper.

It is also a salient reminder that, for all that Obama has done that is praiseworthy, there is plenty on the foreign policy front that is pretty dismal, perhaps the drone wars in particular, and that he really only looks at all good when grading on a curve. And that Hillary promises to be worse. (Yes, still unimaginably better than the alternative).

There was a Q&A afterwards with Andrew and with Anna Macdonald of Control Arms, which went on way longer than scheduled, a lot of people with questions. And I was invited to give a brief spiel about the work we're doing at WPF and hand out fliers, to justify my train fare.

Anyway, the film is definitely recommended. It has apparently already had a 3-week run in London, don't know if it will be on anywhere else in the UK. We are still trying to organize a showing in Boston.
smhwpf: (Dr Who Tardis)
Well, it's sufficiently official and generally known by all concerned that I can make it public.

I will be moving to Boston, Massachusetts in the autumn (or fall as I should get used to calling it), to work at the World Peace Foundation, based at Tufts University, as Project Manager for their programme on corruption in the global arms industry and trade. I start there at the beginning of October. I was in Boston earlier this week to meet with them and discuss details and ideas.

I have in fact been involved in this project for the past few years, as part of an international group of academics and civil society people convened by WPF to discuss these issues and produce various materials on the subject (there's a book coming out fairly soon, plus various internet tools). The group includes South African anti-corruption campaigner Andrew Feinstein, whose book on the arms trade, The Shadow World, has recently been made into a movie, which everyone should totally see when it hits the cinemas.

The idea of the programme has been to take a rather broad perspective on the issue of corruption, looking not only at financial corruption, but at how the global arms industry and trade, and the militarist ideologies behind it, can undermine democracy and the rule of law.

Anyway, so this project by WPF has been edging forward for the past few years, but now they are able to hire someone full time, that someone being me.

The position is for 2 years initially, potentially longer if more funds are raised; however, I am taking a 2-year leave of absence from SIPRI, so I will have the option of returning at the end of this 2-year period. I am therefore not technically leaving SIPRI at the present time, but will at any rate be gone for at least 2 years. If anyone wants to apply for my position at SIPRI working on military expenditure (again, 2 years initially), or knows someone who might be interested, the ad is here.

As to whether or not I will return in 2 years, well, a lot can happen in two years, so who knows? But it is good to have the option.

I am very excited by this. It is a really interesting project, and a really good bunch of people I'll be working with, and from all I hear (and the little I've seen so far from the meetings there of our group), Boston is a fantastic city.

I am already a US (as well as UK) citizen, but this will be the first time I have lived in the US, or indeed been there for more than a week at a time. So that too will be an interesting new experience.

I will also be sad to leave SIPRI, and will miss a lot of people there, not least my team, who are also a great bunch to work with. After the storms of 2 years ago, SIPRI is now on what seems to be moving in a very positive direction, so in some ways a strange time to be leaving; but I have been crunching the military expenditure numbers for long enough, and feeling it's been time for a change for quite a while; and this definitely feels like the right move at the right time.

(Well, except that we might have President Trump a few months after I move. But since there are no shuttles to Mars Colony any time soon, there's nowhere to escape the consequences that may bring.)
smhwpf: (Homework)
Quick post, as I'm exhausted. Today was the big day of the year for my secret identity as Doctor Milex, when SIPRI released our new data on world military expenditure for 2015. Link is to the press release, which also has links to the fact sheet and the full database.

I also have an entry in the SIPRI blog discussing trends in military and health expenditure, and the costs of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in comparison to world military spending. Graphics, in particular the cool interactive line graph, courtesy of our new web editor.
smhwpf: (Buffyanne)
Further to my previous post. The Chair of my union, ST, has actually made a statement about the situation at SIPRI, posted to their website. It says pretty much similar things to the previous press report, but it also attaches a letter sent by the two trade unions to the Cabinet Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that is responsible for SIPRI. The text of the letter is here. My translation is below. I have capitalized some specific Swedish legal terms that translate rather oddly.

I will not add anything save to say that I fully support my Union's actions in this matter.

letter from ST and SACO to the Foreign Ministry )

Stuff

Apr. 8th, 2014 11:56 pm
smhwpf: (Treebeard)
It seems that the situation at my workplace, SIPRI, has become the subject of media attention. I repost the linked article with my own rough translation, and without further comment.

Union: SIPRI could be closed.

Many employees at peace research institute SIPRI are suffering from stress, sleeping problems, anxiety, high blood pressure and suicidal thoughts, according to [trade unions] ST and SACO-S. The trade unions have therefore put the foundation under so called special protection measures.

"If the demands are not met, the workplace could be closed," said ST Press Secretary Sofia Johansson.

She states that the special protection measures involve demands for systematic efforts to improve the work environment, and to deal with specific identified problems.

According to the union, employees at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI, which employs about 50 people at its Solna office, have experienced degrading and discriminatory treatment, and there have been no improvements since the previous work environment survey.

ST and SACO are pursuing eleven grievance processes against SIPRI, and more are to be filed. The local cooperation agreement and collective employment agreement have been cancelled.

There has been no comment from SIPRI's side.
smhwpf: (Going places)
Kate B. asks "If the world-wide web/similar hadn't been invented, and technology had stayed the same as when we were kids, how different would your life be now?"

Wow. Gosh. That's a tough one.

It wouldn't have been that different up to my 1st PhD, the Maths one, in 1996. I'd only recently discovered the web. I mean, I'd used email a bit, but it wasn't my principle means of communication.

Wouldn't have necessarily affected the first job I did so much, the one commercial job I had - I mean, not having the web as a research tool would have been different, but it wasn't yet so central. Or what I was doing as a volunteer with Campaign Against Arms Trade. I mean, it would have affected how I did these things somewhat, but wouldn't have fundamentally affected life path, I think.

The work I do now though... it is very hard to imagine doing it without the internet. The vast majority of the research we do is web-based. But SIPRI did collect military expenditure data before the web, so I guess it's like a lot of things where you can't imagine how people did them before, but of course they did.

I certainly wouldn't have a lot of the communities I have. I think. Certainly, there are some people I only know because I know them online. Others... I knew offline originally, but online became a principle mode of interaction. But maybe wouldn't have been so different.

Certainly fandom would never have been a thing. I might have been a Buffy fan, but it wouldn't have been a thing I'd have shared.

Apart from that, I'm trying to think where life-path would really have branched... maybe I wouldn't have been willing to make my first (temporary) move to Sweden back in 2002 had I not had internet community to fall back on. Or maybe I would not have been able to cope with the loneliness. No internet, so how would I have job-hunted back in Britain? THES delivered to my door in Sweden? Mebbe. I think here we've got to factor in the way the internet and other technological developments have made the world smaller. Made regular travel back and forth between countries feasible for people a lot further down the ladder.

So this is a big thing - I don't know whether I would have still gone to work for SIPRI, but it made moving country seem like much less of a huge thing.

So, 2001-2 is a real branch point for me. 2001 is when, after the end of Buffy Season 5, with Buffy's death and wondering whether there was going to be any more Buffy and what was going to happen, that's when I first typed "Buffy" into a search engine and encountered online fandom, and the first online community I was really significantly part of (save a political listserve or two at Warwick I wasn't that deeply into), the BBC Buffy forum, where I first met [livejournal.com profile] whiskyinmind. Then 2002 when I first went to work at SIPRI.

On the flip side, I wonder if I would have been more productive without the distractions of the internet, but then I found all manner of ways to be unproductive before that, so probably not.

Any one else who wants to request a topic, you are most welcome! You may do so here. I am not out of topics by any means, but Easter is still four weeks away!
smhwpf: (Giles party weasel)
We have a new Director for SIPRI! Prof. Dr. Tilman Brück, currently head of the Security & Development department at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin). (In fact, the choice was made by the SIPRI staff and governing board some while back, but has now been confirmed by the Swedish government, who have the final decision in the matter. Technically we had made a recommendation and they could have chosen someone else, but it was not very likely).

I am personally very pleased with the outcome.
smhwpf: (Giles party weasel)
Got back today from my trip to the US for the launch of SIPRI's military expenditure data for 2011.

A good trip, though pretty exhausting. I presented the data in six subtly different ways to six separate audiences in Washington, DC and New York - all went well; our own launch event had about 60-70 people at it, while the side event at the UN we did with UNODA and the Japanese Permanent Mission had about 80. Meanwhile the media launch got covered in over 2000 separate outlets, so I think we can call this a success.

For those who have not already clicked on the link, the estimated world total for 2011 was $1738 billion; it was the first time since 1998 that the total hasn't increased noticeably in real terms (i.e. after inflation). The observant amongst you might notice that the press release talks about 13 continuous years of increase, although it is only 12 years from 1998 to 2010. Yes, it is indeed so - I officially can't count. ;-)

Anyway, 'twas a busy schedule, but it was not all work - visited the relatives briefly, spent the afternoon following our launch on Tuesday drinking beer with a colleague who happened to be over and came along, and spent much of Saturday mooching around Manhattan.

Now very tired and jet-lagged.
smhwpf: (Going places)
Ah well, the posting every day thing fell off rather towards the end. Still, posted way more than had been my habit.

Easter was good - didn't do a great deal. Went to the English Church in Stockholm, part of the C of E Diocese of Europe, for Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Kind of wanted something reasonably familiar for Easter. Seems a good place, and very good music in particular. Don't know if it's where I'll end up yet.

Anyway, tomorrow I am off to the US, Washington DC and New York, for the launch of SIPRI's military expenditure data for 2011. Very exciting. SIPRI has just launched our new SIPRI North America branch, so we're doing a series of events in conjunction with them - the data launches in particular - to make a bit of a splash Stateside.

Apart from our own launch event, I will be doing presentations at the World Bank, a UN side-event, the US State Department, and a group of peacenik academics at a New York uni. (Somehow I think I'll enjoy the last one most).

Plus I will, albeit briefly, get to visit the family in Croton-on-Hudson and New Haven.

What with the likely substantial number of info requests from journalists, promises to be a busy week, but hopefully stuff should calm down after that.
smhwpf: (Staying calm)
Today I will give myself an easy time, by pimping myself, specifically my comment on the SIPRI website on China's announcement yesterday of an 11.2% increase in their defence budget for 2012.
smhwpf: (Buffyanne)
Got back yesterday morning from a trip to the US. Still jet-lagged, but not too bad.

The primary purpose of the trip was to speak at a side-event organized by Oxfam and Transparency International at the UN in New York (during the fabulously exciting 4th Preparatory Committee (or PrepComm) for the Arms Trade Treaty) to present some research. Event went well, but probably of limited interest to most.

Didn't see enough of New York as usual. Want to go there more.

Stayed on a few extra days to visit the Perlos. Grandma Ellen and uncle Stan in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, and uncle Art and his wife Joelle in New Haven, CT. Mostly the latter this time. Ellen is 95 and generally hale, but, well, 95, and had problems with her hands (due to be operated on yesterday), and Stan is recovering from cancer. Currently, insh'allah, he is completely clear, and regaining strength, but still some way from full strength.

As has been well documented in this journal, the Perlo family are notorious Communists. Art and Joelle are the active ones these days, and indeed Joelle volunteers for them full time as the co-ordinator for Connecticut and on the National Committee.

While I was over, they had me give a talk about SIPRI to some folks from the New Haven Peace Council - good meeting, a very informed and engaged bunch as one might expect. Did some non-political stuff too though, including a walk up a local hill.

The most noteworthy thing though was on Sunday, when Art and Joelle took me down with a coach from the Connecticut branch of the Communist Party of the USA to New York, for a celebration of the centenary of the life of Henry Winston, an African American civil rights activist, and Chairman of the CPUSA. Also a good friend of my grandparents.

Henry Winston was involved in the civil rights movement from way before it took off, as well as anti-war and labour struggles. Also an 'early adopter' of boycotting South Africa and the campaign to free Nelson Mandela. He was, along with a number of other Communist Party leaders, imprisoned in the 1950s under the McCarthy era laws. While in prison he went blind as a result of a benign brain tumour that was ignored by the prison authorities for too long. Pardoned by Kennedy in 1961, he came out to his signature quote, "They have robbed me of my sight, but not my vision".

The afternoon consisted of various speakers giving their rememberances and appreciations of him, as well as a very powerful poem reading and some acapella singing. Very strong impression of Winston as someone who was a very compassionate and engaging person at an individual level, with a genuine in interest in people.

The most famous speaker was Angela Davis, a former CP member and Black Panther, who was framed in the early 70s in connection with a court-house shoot-out, where she was charged on the basis of the perps having stayed at her house. At one point California, under Gov. Ronald Reagan, was seeking the death penalty. Winston organized an international campaign on her behalf, and she was eventually acquitted. She is now a Professor Emeritus at UC Santa Cruz, and apparently a moderately well-known radical philosopher.

All in all a very interesting occasion. One thing that struck me was how racially mixed the audience (mostly, though not entirely, CP) was. Probably about 50% African American. In the UK, the far Left is almost entirely white.

Also, just how American everything was. All enthusiastic, cheerleadery, revival-meeting. So I was thinking "How can this be so American, when the subject is COMMUNISM, which is surely the quintessence of Unamerican?"

There was a call-out on the coach back, with people giving their thoughts on the day. One guy surprised me by starting his list of thank yous with one to the Creator. But I had read in some of the CP literature at Art and Joelle's that they have a significant number of people of various faiths in the party. Evidently softened on the 'opiate of the people' line.

Finding myself liking these folks and what they're doing. Still can't cope with the notion of the Soviet Union having been remotely a Good Thing, and the accompanying busts of Lenin. But that's becoming something of a historical matter, and replicating the USSR in the USA is not part of the contemporary Communist agenda, it seems.

Though I'm not sure about their current immediate political focus, which is strongly into re-electing Obama. I am so mightily pissed off with the guy. Certainly, any of the Republican possibilities would be far, far worse, but I think I would be inclined to go for a 'safe states' strategy - vote for good third party candidates where available in states that are safe Republican or Democrat, but for Obama in swing states.

Anyway, that was my past week, and thus concludes the first of my hopefully daily Lenten posts.
smhwpf: (Homework)
In sequel to my previous post on my unfortunate effing stupid computer mishap the other day (when I inadvertently deleted all my documents):

Thankfully, Micke from IT, bless him, was able to recover pretty much everything at the weekend, so it was sitting waiting for me when I got in on Monday.

Slight downside number 1: the one thing that doesn't get recovered is the filenames. So you have to look through all the files to find what you need.

Slight downside number 2: it turns out (as no doubt the IT savvy amongst you knew already) that, when you do this sort of recovery operation on deleted files, you get back not just the latest saved versions of the files, but every old version of every file that you've ever saved, as these too lie somewhere deep within the bowels of the hard drive's memory, unless they've been overwritten (not so likely, given that I have a lot of hard drive).

So, I had about 6,000 word docs and a similar number of excel files to go through to find the files I actually needed. Of the documents I'd worked on most recently, there must have been a hundred or so copies, all at different stages. Fortunately, the most recent one was usually last in the list.

It took me about 12 hours on Monday to go through that lot.

Then I turned to the folder with the pdf's in it: there were nearly 22,000 of those. Those I am not going through, at least not till I am much less busy. Most of them are irrelevant (though of course I don't know which). Like, there'll be every document I've ever turned into a pdf and sent to our electronic document archive and subsequently deleted. Must be about 4,000 of those since I started. And a whole lot of other irrelevant rubbish. But most of the stuff I might actually need is something I've at one time or another downloaded from the web, so if I really need it I can probably download it from the web again.

So, all in all, could have been a lot, lot worse.

I have now been given an external hard drive with Time Machine. So, now the horse has been (mostly) recaptured, the stable door is shut.

Ah well, back to work.
smhwpf: (Homework)
The mainstream media is well known to be rubbish when reporting science. (Ben Goldacre provides a running commentary on that). They are equally rubbish when it comes to financial matters. OK, you can get some pretty clued up commentators. But I'm thinking in particular at the moment about reporting of budget cuts. (A topical matter what with all these austerity packages and all).

An article might say, for example, "The government will cut the budget by €10 billion by 2015" or "make savings of €10 billion by 2015" or something.

Sounds clear enough. The problem is, this can mean one of eight different things. And they never, ever say which.

The first confusion is whether the figure refers to the cut in the annual budget, or cumulative cuts. The first is the simplest case: say the article is in 2011 and the budget is €100 billion, this would mean that in 2015 the budget will be €90 billion. But if the figure is cumulative, it means that €10 billion less will be spent over the whole period 2012-15. So, for example, the budget could go down by €1 billion a year, saving €1 billion in 2012, 2 in 2013, etc. for a total of €10 billion.

Then, they never say whether the cuts are relative to current spending levels, or future plans. So, in fact the big cuts talked about in the US budget are relative to previous planned spending, which in some areas (notably Defense) had been planned to increase. So, if they say there will be "€10 billion cuts by 2015", but it means cumulative and the previous plan was for spending to go up by €1 billion every year, then what that actually means is that the budget will stay constant. Thus, €10 billion less in total is spent over the four years than had the original plan been stuck to. They keep saying "$450 billion cuts to US defense spending over 10 years", but it's cumulative and relative to plans, so in fact the budget is not going to be cut at all. (Though the extra budget for war spending will be as Iraq has ended and Afghanistan is winding down).

The third point is whether the cuts are in nominal or real terms. That is, whether they refer to the actual raw numbers, or whether they are accounting for inflation. As inflation is generally positive, a €10 billion cut in real terms is less than a €10 billion cut in nominal terms. For example, the planned cuts in departmental budgets under the UK's plans are expressed in real terms. But again, this is very rarely specified in media reports.

So with these three variables, that is potentially eight different things that could be meant by the same statement, all with very different implications for what is actually happening. (Perhaps less in practice, as some combinations would be a rather unlikely way for figures to be expressed). So if you want to know which, you generally can't rely on the media reports to tell you, but must go to the budget documents. The problem is, those tend to be LONG. (And for my purposes, of trying to find out about military spending plans around the world, very often in a different language).

Media inaccurate in reporting technical matters shocker.

Epic fail

Jan. 28th, 2012 05:11 pm
smhwpf: (Head Desk)
I have performed a truly classic computer fail.

I appear to have deleted (virtually) all my documents on my work computer.

I think what happened was, last night when I was shutting down, as I often do, I moved various temporarily-downloaded files from my desktop to trash, and emptied trash. Unfortunately, nestling in amongst those files was the Documents icon. And I didn't twig when it seemed to be deleting an inordinately large number of files. Oops.

It's not as bad as it might be. I had a (rather old) back-up on the work server; for more recent files, an awful lot of key files have at one time or another been emailed to or from me, so I have been able to retrieve those. There are also a lot of files on my computer at home.

But, there are several important recent files that are not backed up anywhere, including my work on the Yearbook chapter. Ay, well, I will probably be able to recreate most of it without too much trouble, but it will mean a significant delay.

In other news, was at [livejournal.com profile] bardcamp last week - the annual Shakespeare readthrough long weekend organized by [livejournal.com profile] the_alchemist. We were back to the Histories this year, the subject of the very first Bardcamp back in 2005, before it was even called Bardcamp. Anyway, it was awesome, and I got to be Falstaff, who I've always wanted to play.

But I have been advised by IT to step slowly away from the computer, as the less I do, the more chance they will have of recovering my files. So this I will do.

Truly epic fail. Rarely have I committed such an epic fail.
smhwpf: (Default)
I am currently in Beijing, third year in a row I've had a trip to China in autumn. Just five days, six including travel.

There was a dual purpose to my visit this time; one was a meeting here in Beijing along with some other SIPRI people at the China Academy of Military Sciences. (very cordial and reasonably useful, but fairly short, and certainly wouldn't have been worth crossing Europe and Asia for on its own). That was today; got to Beijing yesterday, had what has become my annual data hunt at the National Library with our Chinese Research Assistant (so, actually make that a triple purpose), and off home tomorrow.

The other main purpose was a conference on Defence Economics (my field - though we like to call it Defence and Peace Economics) in Wuhan, at which I was an invited international speaker.

In the army now )
smhwpf: (Sandman)
High time I blogged on what I've been up to, as it has been a moderately interesting time of it. Hmm, mentioned Ghana, and then there was the big launch of our military spending data.

It has remained a generally busy work period all the way through (though took most of the Easter long weekend off at least). Mostly just in Stockholm, and little of great moment to report from this end of things. Oh except for my birthday, where for a change I actually organized something here, having attained the age of the Answer to Life the Universe and Everything, specifically a Hummous Party. )

But the main thing of note was my trip to California, a week and a half all told, flying out the Wednesday after Easter and returning to Stockholm two Sundays after. A mixture of business and pleasure, a conference in San Diego followed by visiting family in northern California. First trip to the West Coast.

the work bit )

San Francisco )

Hum, it is now late, post was interuppted by a phone chat with brother, so will cover the rest in a separate post.
smhwpf: (Giles party weasel)
As those who follow me on FB or Twitter may have seen, we at SIPRI just released our military spending data for 2010.

The world total for 2010, according to our estimates, was $1,630 billion. This is certainly a conservative estimate. The figure is an increase of 1.3% in real terms over 2009, and 50% higher than in 2001, just before the surge in world - and especially US - military spending started following 9/11.

I could say a lot more but I need to go home and sleep following website updatyness and suchlike.

For now I will content myself with saying that it is A Lot. I will even go out on a limb and say that it is Too Much.
smhwpf: (Coffee)
So, I only Tweet on special occasions. One such will be Monday week, the 11th. On this day, we at SIPRI will be launching our annual military expenditure data (which I am responsible for). So I will be tweeting this. I am @smhwpf.

Also, SIPRI in general is getting into this social media lark, and will be tweeting stuff on the 11th too. They are @SIPRIorg on Twitter, and SIPRI on FB.

So, I would be very pleased if any of you who are so minded would like to retweet mine and/or SIPRI's messages. I am guessing that if there's a reasonable amount of seeding of this then it will spread around quite quickly, as it should be a fairly attention-grabbing headline. (Though will definitely not be giving away any spoilers!)

I shall probably make an initial tweet at midnight, then follow it up later.

Cheers.
smhwpf: (Going places)
Well, one thing I can't complain about at work is that it doesn't take me interesting places. Setting off for Accra, Ghana, in a few hours time, to take part in a pair of events related to SIPRI's Africa Security and Governance project. It's not my normal area of work, but the project is a huge, multi-programme, cross-cutting thing, managed by my boss Elisabeth, so I was also roped in. I wrote the mapping study on recent UK policy and security-related activities in Africa, which will hopefully eventually see the light of day as part of an edited book.

Anyhow, this particular event is co-organized with one of our African civil society partners, WACSI, the West Africa Civil Society Institute. First of all there's a seminar launching a WACSI/SIPRI report on the Dagbon Chieftancy Crisis, which I was marginally involved in as the SIPRI 'research contact' for the study, although as it turned out this did not require anything beyond commenting on various drafts on my part. It is a fascinating paper, an almost Shakespearian tragedy of power politics and family rivalry. (Ghana is generally one of the most peaceful and stable countries in Africa, the intermittent Dagbon conflict being a rare blot.)

Then there is a three-day capacity-building workshop for African CSOs, where a few SIPRI people, myself included, will be running sessions. Mine, no surprise, will be on quantitative methods.

I have never been to Ghana before, and indeed have never been to West Africa. Won't have a lot of time free to see stuff, but hopefully some. There for six days in total.

Little bit warmer than Stockholm, round about the high-twenties/low-thirties Centigrade (80s F), albeit with periodic thunderstorms. Whereas over here we still get excited if the sun comes out and it gets up to 4 or 5 C (around 40). Which it did today, which was nice. Might even be able to get the bike out when I get back.

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smhwpf: (Default)
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