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January 2010

Don’t Blame Mother Nature

Otaviano Canuto's picture

by Otaviano Canuto

As my World Bank colleague Milan Brahmbhatt and I observed in a recent note, primary commodity exports remain crucial for most developing countries. When one takes a simple average across developing countries (i.e. attributing each country an equal weight) for 2003-07, commodities still show up as accounting for over 60 percent of merchandise exports, with half of the group featuring a commodity export dependence of over 70 percent. Chart 1 shows different degrees of primary commodity dependence across regions.


Source: Brahmbhatt & Canuto (2010)

Non-Winner at DM2009 Scores Big

Christian Steiner's picture

 

The "zero-emission fridge" seed storage silo to help subsistence farmers in northern Mozambique get through the "hunger period" was a non-winning finalist at DM2009.  But I have good news since the competition.  Our project, sponsored by Helvetas (Swiss Association for International Cooperation), will receive approximately US$2 million from the European Commission Food Facility to establish 90 seed banks benefitting 38,000 families in 300 communities.

The success of the clay silo is a story of adaptation on two levels.  First, the silo can help subsistence farmers and their families adapt to climate change that is extending the drought-caused October-to-January "hunger period."  Second, the ingenious design -- woven bamboo covered by clay -- produced a silo that had all the features of the original (and more expensive) metal storage facility, but was affordable to poor farmers.  A native farmer, Gilberto Tethere in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado Province, produced the "Zero Emission Fridge for Rural Africa" (ZEFRA) by developing a low-cost silo using only locally available low-cost materials and applying traditional construction techniques.

The Technical Secretariat for Food Security of the Mozambican Ministry of Agriculture has promised that this innovative silo will be built across all Mozambique.

World Bank Showcases DM2009

Tom Grubisich's picture

Development Marketplace got marquee treatment from the World Bank website this week.  It was featured in the top spot on the Bank's homepage, with a photo of Alejandro Agumedo, director of the Association ANDES project, and researcher Katrina Quisumbing King of the winning Peru finalist project Adapting Native Andean Crops for Food Security to Indigenous Peoples.  The World Bank package included, besides the main story, profiles of three past finalist winners and their subsequent successes.

 

A new education sector strategy -- what role for ICT?

Michael Trucano's picture

 a fresh look at things in the new year | photo credit at bottomThe World Bank is developing a new ten-year strategy to guide its work in the education sector.  This new strategy will replace the World Bank Education Strategy paper of 1999 , which was updated in 2006 [note: link is to a pdf].

Fair enough, you are probably saying, but why should we care?  (If you haven't already registered your disinterest by clicking over to another web page, that is!) 

I am anticipating that this post will not attract the large readership of recent posts about e-books in Africa, the OLPC project in Uruguay, or come anywhere near generating the types of traffic we see for posts about the use of mobile phones in education(Note: Newcomers to this blog as a result of the Learning and Technology World Forum are directed to our list of top EduTech posts from 2009, which might be of greater interest.)

That said, I hope that this blog posting is more than just institutional navel gazing:

Friday Musings: Chinese growth edition

This week, PSD blog has been all things China and Africa, why stop now?

The New York Times is reporting that America's top short-seller thinks there is a China bubble:

James S. Chanos built one of the largest fortunes on Wall Street by foreseeing the collapse of Enron and other highflying companies whose stories were too good to be true.

Introducing our Technical Briefs

Sina Odugbemi's picture

As many readers will know, CommGAP has developed a couple of training courses. We now run these courses in partnership with the World Bank Institute. A few years ago, we began to commission technical briefs on various aspects of communication and governance for use in the training courses. They are quick, hopefully accessible introductions to various key topics in communication, especially political communication. Each brief was written by an expert in the field although we have not attached the names of the writers, these being our corporate products. We have decided to share these briefs more broadly. Please feel free use them as appropriate. We would appreciate comments on them as well.


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