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Good noses wanted: Dogs and volunteers in Romania unite to save lives today by preparing for tomorrow’s disaster

Alanna Simpson's picture

A year ago, I heard about a Civil Society Organization (CSO) in Bucharest that was training pet and stray dogs to be at the frontline of forest and earthquake search and rescue efforts. This immediately caught my attention.

Breaking down barriers to private sector investment to build resilience for West Africa’s coasts

Elikia Kamga Nankam's picture

The celebration of Earth Day this week should cause us to pause and consider the state of our planet. What weighs heavily on our minds is the degradation of West Africa’s coasts; they are literally being washed away by coastal erosion and flooding—and, with them, crucial infrastructure and livelihoods are lost. The scale of the damage and the financing needs call for contributions from all key actors, including the private sector.

Behavioral science in public policy: Future of government?

Carolina Sánchez-Páramo's picture

It is impressive to see that there are more than 202 public entities applying behavioral insights to their policies today. In 2015, the World Bank became one such entity that began to explore the relevance and potential benefit of behavioral insights to development policy with the publication of our World Development Report on Mind, Society, and Behavior. Since then, we have joined these other countries and development agencies in establishing the Mind, Behavior, and Development Unit (eMBeD), a team to support our projects and guide government entities on how best to integrate behavioral science in their policy work.


Harnessing creativity for change: The art of resilience

Jocelyn West's picture
Call for submissions for upcoming international art exhibition. © GFDRR
Call for submissions for upcoming international art exhibition. © GFDRR

Art is the queen of all sciences, communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world. -Leonardo da Vinci

The Great Wave off Kanagawa, by Hokusai
The Great Wave off Kanagawa, by Hokusai

Scientists are constantly getting better at knowing when the next hurricane, landslide, or flood will happen. However, science communication about these disasters lags behind. As Leonardo da Vinci described, art has a unique power to communicate this type of knowledge to people everywhere.  

Natural events and disasters of the past have influenced some of the most iconic art of our time. From Turner’s sunsets to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – both were composed in the shadow of the greatest volcanic eruption of our age, Mount Tambora in 1815. The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Japanese artist Hokusai (c. 1829–33) has been interpreted as a warning about tsunami risk. In an era of increasing natural hazards and climate change, art can also communicate the future risks we face.

Integrated urban flood risk management: Learning from the Japanese experience

Jolanta Kryspin-Watson's picture
Participants from 9 countries participated at the 2nd Technical Deep Dive (TDD) for Integrated Urban Flood Risk Management in Tokyo, Kobe and Osaka, Japan.

In the summer of 1742, two typhoons swept across Japan in quick succession, bringing torrents of heavy rain and flooding major rivers. Records from a young monk who witnessed the floods describe a muddy wave destroying levees and sweeping through villages. As levees and rivers collapsed, floodwaters rose in Edo, Japan’s largest city and political capital, abating only days later, and resulting in fatalities of a reported 6,000 in the city.
While floods were not an uncommon occurrence in Japan, the Great Kanto Flood of 1742 was the worst flood in the country’s early modern era, and the first flood disaster in its largest urban area. It highlighted the river engineering changes that had facilitated the growth of Edo, but also increased the city’s vulnerability to floods.

Operation certification: Social Inclusion for the most vulnerable in Jamaica

Mona J. Sue-Ho's picture

Esmilda Woolery receiving her first birth certificate - Photo: Jamaica Social Investment Fund

Sixty five years old Esmilda Woolery clutched her birth certificate tightly to her chest and beamed with pride at the camera. The resident of Barrett Town, an inner- city community in St. James, Jamaica was holding for the first time, a birth certificate that formally establishes her identity due to the Operation Certification, a civil registration initiative in Jamaica.

Preventing and controlling corruption: A modern approach to procurement

Enzo de Laurentiis's picture
Photo: Charlotte Kesl/World Bank

Supporting good governance and addressing corruption are integral to the Bank’s development work. Introduced in July 2016, the World Bank’s Procurement Framework plays an important role in this effort by emphasizing value for money (vfm) and fair competition and the highest level of integrity to encourage the participation of the best-performing suppliers. VfM means the optimal combination of quality, whole-life costs and sustainability. This approach also enables selection of innovative technologies to address complex development challenges.

How conflict and economic crises exacerbate poverty in South Sudan

Utz Pape's picture

South Sudan became independent in 2011 after a prolonged conflict. Although the new country was blessed with international good will, considerable foreign aid, and vast oil wealth, it nevertheless faced formidable development challenges, with 51% of the population living poverty. Soon after independence, the country encountered successive crises, which resulted in a large-scale conflict combined with a severe macroeconomic crisis.