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December 2013

Year end round up: Possible development breakthroughs in 2014

LTD Editors's picture

Felix von Geyer writes in The Guardian about how Haiti hopes miracle moringa tree can help to combat malnutrition. The government is promoting the cultivation of a tree rich in vitamins, minerals and calcium to tackle food insecurity.

Small iron fish in soup to solve anemia in Cambodia.

Portable medical devices, including x rays, could revolutionize barefoot medicine in remote parts of the developing world.

GravityLight is an innovative device that generates light from gravity. It takes 3 seconds to lift the weight that powers GravityLight creating 25 minutes of light on its descent. It can be used over and over again with no running costs.

Walking on the Wild Side – Monetary Policy and Prudential Regulation

Otaviano Canuto's picture

Global financial integration and the linkages between the financial and the real sides of economies are sources of huge policy challenges. This is now beyond doubt, after what we saw in the run-up to and the unfolding of the 2008 global financial crisis. As a consequence, the established wisdom regarding monetary policies and prudential regulation has been subject to a deep critical review, including a demise of the belief that they should be maintained as fully independent functions.

#7 from 2013: A New Kind of Female Superhero: Burka Avenger

Shamiela Mir's picture

Our Top Ten Blog Posts by readership in 2013
This post was originally published on August 29, 2013

Have you heard of a new superheroine called “Burka Avenger”?  Burka Avenger is a new animated series for kids in Pakistan. Burka Avenger fights corrupt politicians and Taliban-look-a-like thugs who try to shut down a girl’s school in a village. She is fully trained in martial arts and uses pens and books to fight the bad guys. During the day, her alter-ego Jiya is a teacher at an all-girls school. All in all, she represents a female vanguard of girl’s education. So why would there be any criticisms coming from certain feminists circles in Pakistan?  Her burka.
To hide her identity, she wears a flowing black burka to fight the bad guys. Those who have issues with it say Burka is a sign of oppression and cannot be used to empower women. Some also say that it sends a wrong message by implying a woman can only be successful if she is invisible.

#8 from 2013: Today’s Grimfographic: How Many People Die a Violent Death, Where and How?

Duncan Green's picture

Our Top Ten Blog Posts from 2013
This post was originally published on July 31, 2013

From Action on Armed Violence using data from the Geneva Declaration’s Global Burden of Armed Violence report (whose link seems to be down at the moment). Key points to note:

Only one in 8 violent deaths occur in the ‘conflict settings’ so beloved of news coverage. Most of the rest are ‘intentional homicides’ committed in gun and drug-plagued (but supposedly non-conflict) countries like El Salvador (at 62 deaths per 100,000 people, the world’s most violent ‘peaceful’ country). People often claim the death toll in El Salvador is now worse than during its 1980s civil war, but the numbers don’t seem to add up – 70,000 died over about 12 years in that war, whereas the current carnage kills ‘only’ about 3,600 a year. Latin America remains the world’s homicide hotspot.

Total global death toll is 526,000. That’s a shocking one a minute, but less than half the deaths from road accidents (which I imagine have a similar victim demographic).

But things can improve.  The murder rate in El Salvador has halved since the data for this report was gathered, thanks to a truce struck between the country’s two main street gangs.

#9 from 2013: Using Social Media for Good Governance

Jude Hanan's picture

Our Top Ten Blog Posts by readership in 2013
This post was originally published on Jaunary 14, 2013

2011 was a year of turmoil. Internationally, economic meltdown deepened and continued, massive earthquakes struck New Zealand and a tsunami hit Japan. But 2011 will be also remembered for a different type of earthquake – the Arab Spring – an event that shook the Middle East, causing regimes across the region to totter and fall. Unlike other revolutions, this one used relatively new tools and technologies – networked or social media.

Much has already been written about the Arab Spring but what is already clear from the current body of work being produced is that it was the use of social media that acted as the catalyst for change in an already unpredictable environment. The use and availability of social media easily created connections between prominent thought leaders and activists to ordinary citizens, rapidly expanding the network of people willing to take action.

Doing Business 2014: Russia's Progress

Sylvie K. Bossoutrot's picture

أطلق البنك الدولي أطلس 2017 لأهداف التنمية المستدامة. ومن خلال أكثر من 150 خريطة وعرض مرئي للبيانات، يستعرض الإصدار الجديد ما تحققه المجتمعات من تقدم نحو تحقيق الأهداف السبعة عشر للتنمية المستدامة.

الأطلس هو جزء من سلسلة منتجات مؤشرات التنمية العالمية التي تقدم إحصائيات عالية الجودة عن التنمية وحياة البشر في جميع أنحاء العالم ويمكن مقارنتها بين مختلف البلدان. تستطيع أن تقوم بما يلي:

- الاطلاع على أطلس أهداف التنمية المستدامة على الإنترنت أو تنزيل الإصدار بنسق (PDF PDFXMB)
- تنزيل و الاستفسار في قاعدة بيانات مؤشرات التنمية العالمية والإصدار بنسق PDF
- الحصول على الجداول الإحصائية لمؤشرات التنمية العالمية و اللوحة التفاعلية لأهداف التنمية المستدامة

الاتجاهات والمقارنات والتحليل على مستوى كل بلد لأهداف التنمية المستدامة السبعة عشر 

تتسم أهداف التنمية المستدامة السبعة عشر وما يقترن بها من 169 مقصدا آخر بالطموح. سينطوي تنفيذها وقياس درجة الوفاء بها على الكثير من التحدي. الأطلس يعرض آراء خبراء البنك الدولي في كلٍ من أهداف التنمية المستدامة.

على سبيل المثال، تصور الخريطة التفاعلية المرسومة على شكل شجرة لاحقا كيف تغير عدد وتوزيع من يعيشون في فقر مدقع بين عامي 1990 و 2013. تقلص عدد الفقراء في منطقة شرق آسيا والمحيط الهادئ كثيرا، ورغم انخفاض معدلات الفقر المدقع في أفريقيا جنوب الصحراء إلى 41% عام 2013، فإن النمو السكاني يعني أن هناك 389 مليون شخص كانوا يعيشون على أقل من 1.9 دولار في اليوم عام 2013- أي بزيادة 113 مليونا عن عددهم عام 1990.

Kaushik Basu on odds of ‘L-shaped’ recovery

Merrell Tuck-Primdahl's picture

Kaushik Basu has a new piece being carried by Project Syndicate that appeared in The Global Times, one of China's leading English language news sites. Titled 'Policy stasis raises odds of 'L-shaped' recovery', it cautions that the tenuous recovery in advanced countries, while buoyed by the latest US indicators, will only hold if economists and policymakers move away from ‘stasis’ positions that fail to promote entrepreneurship and innovation.

He warns that avoiding analytical creativity is dangerous and stresses that, at times, intuition and theory are needed to get out of economic ruts and to keep up with the pace of technological change in our globally integrated world.

The King Baudouin African Development Prize

Kristina Nwazota's picture

L’année 2016 a battu tous les records de chaleur, sachant que, depuis 2001, la planète a connu 16 des 17 années les plus chaudes jamais enregistrées depuis la fin du XIXe siècle. Alors que le changement climatique risque de faire plonger plus de 100 millions de personnes dans la pauvreté d’ici 2030, il est possible de contrer cette menace en promouvant un processus de développement rapide, inclusif et soucieux du climat. En savoir plus  

#10 from 2013: Citizens Against Corruption: What Works? Findings from 200 Projects in 53 Countries

Duncan Green's picture

In the next few weeks, we will be running our Top Ten Blog Posts by readership in 2013

Originally published on May 22, 2013

I attended a panel + booklaunch on the theme of ‘Citizens Against Corruption’ at the ODI last week. After all the recent agonizing and self-doubt of the results debate (‘really, do we know anything about the impact of our work? How can we be sure?’), it was refreshing to be carried away on a wave of conviction and passion. The author of the book, Pierre Landell-Mills is in no doubt – citizen action can have a massive impact in countering corruption and improving the lives of poor people, almost irrespective of the political context.

The book captures the experience of the Partnership for Transparency Fund, set up by Pierre in 2000. It summarizes experiences from 200 case studies in 53 countries. This has included everything from using boy scouts to stop the ‘disappearance’ of textbooks in the Philippines to introducing a new code of ethics for Mongolia’s judiciary. The PTF’s model of change is really interesting. In terms of the project itself:

  • Entirely demand led: it waits for civil society organizations (CSOs) to come up with proposals, and funds about one in five
  • $25k + an expert: the typical project consists of a small grant, and a volunteer expert, usually a retiree from aid agencies or governments, North and South. According to Pierre ‘the clue to PTF’s success has been marrying high quality expertise with the energy and guts of young activists’. (I’ve now added ‘Grey Wonks’ to my ‘Grey Panthers’ rant on why the aid world is so bad at making the most of older people).
  • The PTF is tapping into a zeitgeist of shifting global norms on corruption, epitomised by the UN Convention Against Corruption (2003). The idea that ‘they work for us’ seems to be gaining ground.
  • The PTF prefers cooperation to conflict – better to work with champions within the state (and there nearly always are some, if you can find them), than just to lob rocks from the sidelines (although some rock-lobbing may also be required).
  • It also prefers action and avoids funding ‘awareness-raising’, ‘capacity building’ and other ‘conference-building measures.’

So what works? On the basis of the case studies (chapters on India, Mongolia, Uganda and the Philippines), and his vast experience of governance and corruption work, Pierre sets out a ‘stylized programme’ for the kinds of CSO-led initiatives that deliver the goods: