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July 2011

Calling it in: using phones for repeat surveys

Markus Goldstein's picture

In a working paper on the new LSMS-ISA (integrated surveys for agriculture) website, Brian Dillon describes the experience using phones in a research project he was working on with Diego Shirima, Geofrey Mwemezi and Msafiri Msedi.   (You can also find a published version of this paper

Quote of the Week: Clay Shirky

Sina Odugbemi's picture

"Indeed, the best practical reason to think that social media can help bring political change is that both dissidents and governments think they can.  All over the world, activists believe in the utility of these tools and take steps to use them accordingly.  And the governments they contend with think social media tools are powerful, too, and are willing to harass, arrest, exile, or kill users in response."

-- Clay Shirky. The Political Power of Social Media: Technology, the Public Sphere, and Political ChangeForeign Affairs, January/February 2011.

The Impact of the 4th of July

David McKenzie's picture

Happy 4th of July. Believe it or not, there is a recent paper which aims to estimate the impact of celebrating this holiday. Here’s the abstract: “Do childhood events shape adult political views and behavior? This paper investigates the impact of Fourth of July celebrations in the US during childhood on partisanship and participation later in life.

Model Disaster Preparedness

News story by Susana Seijas, Mexico City

Recalling its monstrous 1985 earthquake, Mexico City trains 10,000 of its civil servants in disaster recovery techniques.

MEXICO CITY – Japan’s cataclysmic March 11 earthquake and tsunami have evoked painful memories of Mexico City’s 1985 quake and made many here reflect on how well prepared the city is for a similar disaster.

earthquake damage“You can never really be ready for a disaster like the 1985 earthquake, or a catastrophe of that magnitude,” says Carlos Morales Cienfuegos, a search and rescue volunteer who pulled people from Mexico City’s crumbled buildings.

Evolution of a World-Class University: Balancing Local Growth and Global Appeal

Jamil Salmi's picture

How can countries establish world-class universities while avoiding common pitfalls? In my previous posting on how to sustain and grow a top-tier university I focused on the importance of staying true to a core mission, evolving with the times, and selecting visionary leaders.

In today’s blog, I outline a couple more common errors institutions are likely to make as they evolve towards expanding their programs within a local context while also attempting to attract a global student body.

Avoiding these mistakes can help universities successfully evolve in new ways.

Access to Information Marks One-Year Anniversary

Hannah George's picture

July 1, 2011—The World Bank today marks the one-year anniversary of its Access to Information (AI) policy. The landmark policy increases transparency, accessibility and accountability of the Bank’s operations and programs.

Bank management and external stakeholders agree that implementation has gone well.

Is there a Global Policy Network on (Good) Governance?

Sina Odugbemi's picture

I was in Paris in early June to take part in a meeting organized by the OECD Development Affairs Committee (DAC) Governance Network (Govnet). The meeting brought together governance advisers in OECD donor agencies and the media development community to talk about the role of the media in strengthening domestic accountability in developing countries.  Govnet is developing practice guidance on domestic accountability. The meeting was productive but it was quite clear that these were global policy networks that had not previously interacted much, if they had interacted at all. Speaking during the deliberations, I made the point that those of us who had been trying to bring the two communities together for quite some time often felt that our first job was translation: making the discourse of one network intelligible to the other one and vice versa.

Changes in Country Classifications

World Bank Data Team's picture

Each year on July 1 the World Bank revises its classification of the world’s economies based on estimates of gross national income (GNI) per capita for the previous year. Income classifications on the country pages of the Open Data site and regional and income group aggregates in the World Development Indicators, Global Development Finance, and other databases will be revised accordingly at the time of their next scheduled release.


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