Syndicate content

August 2012

Weekly Wire: the Global Forum

Kalliope Kokolis's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

The Guardian
70 journalists killed in six months

“At least 70 journalists and support staff were killed while on assignment in the first half of this year, making it one of the bloodiest periods of recent times.

Fifteen were confirmed dead in Syria alone between January and June, according to the biannual Killing The Messenger survey of news media casualties produced for the International News Safety Institute (INSI) by the Cardiff school of journalism.

The next worst countries were Nigeria, where seven unidentified newspaper staff were killed by a bomb, Brazil, Somalia, Indonesia, where five journalists died in a plane crash, and Mexico.”  READ MORE

A Renewed Commitment to Buildings and their Social Benefits

Maggie Comstock's picture

Rio+20 LogoAs the dust settles from Rio+20, I finally have a moment to reflect upon the outcomes of the historic Earth Summit Conference. The non-committal nature of the Rio text was a surprise to no one, yet the identification of buildings as an important strategy for the development of sustainable cities and urban infrastructure was still a “win” for the green building movement. Energy efficiency was also recognized as a strategy for combating climate change within both the developed and developing world. Our leaders’ acknowledgement of the role of the buildings sector in sustainable development is a testament to the benefits of green building that go beyond protecting the environment, as outlined in the United Nations Environment Programme Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative’s new report, "Building Design and Construction: Forging Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Development."

Political Intervention in Financial System Development: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences

Fenghua Song's picture

Political intervention in credit markets, often with telling consequences, seems to be ubiquitous, regardless of the stage of development of the financial system. It has been well documented that in emerging markets, cozy ties between banks and politicians, as well as state ownership of banks, give rise to a great deal of political influence in credit extension and capital allocation. The recent financial crises in U.S. and the Eurozone have demonstrated that even advanced financial systems are not immune to political intervention.

Creating 'Shared Value': Delivering On Social Values

Christopher Colford's picture

Today’s sharpest business executives “don’t want to spend their life creating ‘shareholder value.’ That’s not their purpose in life. . . . They want to have a purpose. They want their company to stand for something that matters – to be ‘moving the needle’ on something important.” Just a few years ago, the idea of a business professor suggesting that shareholder value is not the be-all and end-all of corporate life might have seemed unthinkable. Yet a renowned Harvard strategist, visiting the World Bank Group last week, analyzed the private sector’s current woes and offered a way both to repair public faith in business and to constructively “reinvent capitalism.”

Michael Porter with World Bank Vice President Janamitra Devan. (Credit: Nazanine Atabaki)


Creating enduring value – not just for a company’s stockholders, but for all of society’s stakeholders – requires companies to reconsider the logic of how they do business, said Michael Porter of Harvard Business School, a pioneer in the field of corporate strategy. Business leaders, said Porter, should focus on creating win-win outcomes that strengthen society as well as satisfy the profit motive. They can do so by reaching out to serve broader constituencies and by being attentive to long-term social impact.

More room for social accountability in the justice sector?

Nicholas Menzies's picture

In many areas of contemporary development practice–from the formulation of local budgets to the delivery of education services–social accountability mechanisms are being employed to assist citizens in holding the state accountable and thus, hopefully, to improve development outcomes.

Timing Is Everything: Are We Heading to a New Global Food Price Crisis?

José Cuesta's picture

Read this post in Español, Français

Today the world seems to hold its breath again amidst the sudden hike in food prices caused by a historical drought in the US and lack of rain in Eastern Europe.[1] It is a thorny task to predict whether the very recent increases in food prices will unfold into magnitude of the crises seen in 2007-08 and again in 2010-2011: differences between now and then in the price of energy, a critical driver of food prices, give a reason for optimism; as does the hope that governments now better understand the painful consequences of some panic policies that have been put in place during previous episodes. On the other hand, months of volatility in global food prices, low food stocks and food security crisis alerts in parts of East and West Africa all paint a gloomy picture.

Can industries take flight in conflict situations?

Can industrial interventions in conflict areas, such as the West Bank,  improve prospects for future generations? (Credit: delayedgratification, Flickr Creative Commons)The World Bank is actively expanding its portfolio in the world’s most troubled conflict zones. This invites the question: What can the Bank accomplish in countries riven by conflict? I would flip this question around and ask: What steps are needed by the country to rebuild itself?

Whenever I have asked in-country practitioners (whether Bank staff or local NGOs or journalists) what the country really needs, the answer I have heard most often has been: “Jobs.” Get them good jobs, higher incomes, and break the vicious trap of poverty and violence, is the common refrain.


Pages