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October 2010

Migration and Remittances News Roundup: Oct 29, 2010

Ani Silwal's picture

Waiting for School Autonomy

Harry A. Patrinos's picture

Alternatives to the traditional public school system are actively being sought and radical approaches for expanding school accountability are being widely touted.  For example, in the award-winning documentary, Waiting for Superman.

While radical approaches are needed – given the desperate state of most public education systems; just see the poor results of most middle income countries in international assessments such as PISA and TIMSS – there are more mundane approaches, already in practice, that could be made to offer so much more.  Giving public schools adequate resources, the right to make appropriate decisions, and holding them accountable through the publication of school results – in short, school autonomy – has been used in countries around the world since the mid-1960s.  The school autonomy approach – be it known as school-based management, whole school development, comprehensive school reform, or parental and community participation – has been tried, evaluated, and proven successful at achieving a range of education goals in many different contexts.

Will you buy what I’m selling? For how much?

Mamata Pokharel's picture

Coming from a farming community in eastern Nepal, I remember observing that when we had to buy soap, or a packet of noodles from the market, the prices of those goods would be set. If you wanted a bottle of coke, you knew you had better be ready with 12 rupees.

On the lookout for cool educational technology projects

Michael Trucano's picture

wow, a lot is happening, but it's hard to make out the specificsOne question I am regularly asked (by colleagues at funding agencies, in governments, and from private groups looking to network with like-minded groups) is,

Can you point us to some innovative or exemplary ICT & education projects in developing countries?

As follow-up, they often note that "We already know about prominent projects like Microsoft Partners in Learning, Intel Teach and One Laptop Per Child, but what else is out there that we should know about?"

In an attempt to help provide partial answers to such queries, this post is a continuation of sorts of a blog entry we published in 2009 which continues to generate a good amount of regular traffic despite being over a year old, Finding (useful) research on ICT use in education in developing countries.   Those who haven't read that post, but who have made it this far through this one, are encouraged to go back and read it, as the information in it is still quite relevant (and so I won't repeat much of it here), as well as a post from early 2010 on ICT & Education: Eleven Countries to Watch -- and Learn From.

Time to wake up to disaster prevention, Asia

Abhas Jha's picture
A power substation in Yingxhou, Sichuan Province was almost totally destroyed in the magnitude 7.9 Sichuan-Wenchuan earthquake in 2008.

The statistics are startling. 75% of global flood mortality risk is concentrated in only three Asian countries: Bangladesh, China and India. 85 % of deaths from tropical cyclones are in just two Asian countries: Bangladesh and India. Indeed, Bangladesh alone accounts for over three-quarters of people dying from tropical cyclones. 85% of global earthquake risk is concentrated in only 12% of the earth’s surface—a large part of it in Asia. In 2009, six of the ten countries with the highest mortality rates and GDP losses from natural disasters were in Asia.  82% of all lives lost in disasters since 1997, are in Asian countries.

Introducing 'Governance for Development' and The Governance and Anti-Corruption Portal

Sina Odugbemi's picture

Although the World Bank Group adopted the Governance and Anti-corruption (GAC)  Strategy in March 2007, it has not done as much as it could have to let relevant global publics know what it is doing on governance, what it is learning and what it is achieving. Thankfully, all that is now about to change.

First, beginning this week is a new blog: Governance for Development. According to Brian Levy, editor of the new blog, the goal is 'to provide a forum among World Bank Group staff engaged in the GAC-mainstreaming endeavor and the wider development community for sharing, reflection and discussion as to the implications of GAC mainstreaming for development work'. The new blog is a collective effort, and it promises to be a fascinating forum for, hopefully, robust exchanges and sharing in the months and years ahead. I will be contributing to the new blog from time to time. Do check it out.

Measuring Afghan Media

Shanthi Kalathil's picture

A newly released assessment of the Afghan media, conducted by Altai Consulting with funding from USAID, is noteworthy for a couple of reasons. First, its findings shed valuable light on the current state of Afghanistan's media, as well as Afghans' perceptions of the media. One of the more interesting findings is that many Afghans praise state-run network RTA, despite its government bias, partly because the privately run stations are considered too "uncontrolled." The study highlights the importance people accord to respect for local culture, as well as their distaste for divisive politics. Ultimately, though, the roles many Afghans want their media to play - watchdog, agenda-setter, and provider of relevant information (such as on national reconstruction) - coincide with the "ideal" roles of the media enumerated in the recent CommGAP-published edited volume Public Sentinel. An interesting case of academia and the real world meshing, ever so slightly.


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