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January 2011

Tuning in to Facebook’s global frequency

Jim Rosenberg's picture

Though I work full-time on social media for the World Bank, my career started in public broadcasting. “Radio is the modern version of oral tradition,” a former journalism professor of mine would say, likening radio to the way in which people have communicated for years: using stories, narratives, to connect, to break down complex ideas into concrete pieces. That line resonated with me, summing up the power of radio to connect people using the shared experience of a broadcast.

Radio was – and still is - one of the most intimate forms of media ever created. It comes right into our homes, our cars, our showers (if you are lucky enough to have a shower). I’d wager that in any city in the world, people spend more time with the radio than they do any other form of media.


Unless they’re on Facebook. That’s different. I can’t recall when Facebook started getting more of my time than did the radio. Probably not long after I joined Facebook, in 2007. Four years ago, Facebook had 30 million users.

The Day After Tomorrow: Macro-Financial Policy Catches Up With Reality

Otaviano Canuto's picture

The 2008–09 crisis opened the door to a different kind of thinking in international macroeconomics—and closed it on some of the previous orthodoxy. Let’s take a look at some of the most obvious cases.

First, some now see a bit of inflation (perhaps as high as 5 percent per year) as desirable for countries that pursue inflation targets, because it would allow more space to reduce nominal interest rates when an economy falls in recession. In fact, what to target (e.g., consumer, producer, asset, housing, or other prices) is the question.

Second, regulatory parameters and practices in the financial sector have proved to be

Migration and Remittances News Roundup (Jan. 21, 2011)

Ani Silwal's picture

Legal migration…

Building on legislation passed in 2000, the US eased restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba that have been in place since 1960. It announced an expanded list of countries (53 in total) that can apply for the temporary guest worker program. It has also granted Temporary Protection Status to 46,000 Haitians after the earthquake in January 2010.

and illegal migration…

Slowdown in construction activity in Spain has resulted in a steep drop in illegal migration to Spain. And Italy is collaborating with Gambia to curb illegal migrant flows from Gambia.

“I am going to be the leader of my country.”

Anita Ayers Henderlight's picture

A U.S. congresswoman from Arizona was shot. The Hollywood Foreign Press was handing out Golden Globes to the entertainment industry. The White House was preparing for a visit from China’s president. The people of Southern Sudan were announcing preliminary results of a vote for independence from their Northern counterpart.

 All of these headline events are worthy of attention. One event that did not make a headline is the one that will forever be embedded in my memory. It’s a development worker’s dream come true. After years of advocating for the rights of young women and girls, of fundraising to make education accessible to females in a traditionally patriarchal society, and of dreaming about a world where girls feel free from oppression to express their opinions and beliefs with confidence, I received an important phone call.

The Changing Wealth of Nations: Measuring Sustainable Development for the New Millennium released

World Bank Data Team's picture

Close to one third of the wealth of low-income countries comes from their “natural capital” which includes forests, protected areas, agricultural lands, energy and minerals, according to a new World Bank book launched on January 20, 2011. Countries that manage these natural assets carefully are able to move up the development ladder – investing more and more in manufactured capital, infrastructure and “intangible capital” like human skills and education, strong institutions, innovation and new technologies.

Can Teachers Unions Change? Can The World Bank Change?

Emiliana Vegas's picture

In December 2006, I travelled to Santiago, Chile, with a small team to conduct consultations with education stakeholders on a study we were carrying out at the request of the Chilean Government to help them identify lessons from high-performing countries on how to strengthen the institutional arrangements for education quality assurance. I was the Task Team Leader (at the Bank this is the title of the Project Manager) and also heading the trip. I was joined by an external expert consultant, Joseph Olchefske who is a former Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools and was during this period at the American Institutes for Research, and a Junior Professional Associate, Erika Molina. Among the round of meetings we held with all stakeholders ranging from government officials (legislative and executive), business sector leaders, think- tanks (both from the right and left of the political and economic spectrum), student organizations, academic leaders, and opinion leaders, we met with the leaders of the national Teachers Union, the Colegio de Profesores.