Syndicate content

November 2012

How a "Painless" Amount Can Change the World

Johanna Martinsson's picture

Depending on which country you live in, if you bought an airline ticket lately you may have saved a life without even knowing it. A number of countries have implemented a small airfare tax (also referred to as the “solidarity tax”) to raise funds to fight three of the world’s deadliest diseases: HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis. In France, for example, air travelers pay an additional €1 in tax on domestic tickets and if in business class, €10. With aid falling, innovative finance mechanisms, such as microdonations, will be crucial in solving serious global problems. As quoted in a recent article in the Financial Times, Philippe Douste-Blazy, the man behind the airfare tax (also the former French Minister of Foreign Affairs), says that “certain sectors have benefited enormously from globalization: financial transactions, tourism and mobile phones. We need to tax an economic activity that’s only done by the rich, and tax it so lightly that nobody will notice.” He says the additional tax travelers pay is “absolutely painless!”

KNOMAD launches international logo competition

Dilip Ratha's picture

Work on establishing the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) is going on at full speed. A key part of that work is to create a solid and strong identity for KNOMAD. However, instead of going the usual route of getting this done through a graphic design company, we are asking creative people throughout the world to design a logo for an institution whose work will, directly or indirectly, touch the lives of the world’s estimated 1 billion migrants.

So, do join us in this exciting process of creating KNOMAD’s identity. The KNOMAD International Logo Competition is open to people from anywhere in the world. There is no age restriction and participants can be individuals or companies or amateurs working as a team. The only requirement is your creativity. There’s a US$2,500 dollar cash award on offer for the winning design.

The competition closes on December 31 and we are looking forward to a truly global participation.

Related Resources:

Design Brief  | Rules | Competition Website
 

Follow on Twitter: #KNOMAD

Is Tanzania attracting enough tourists?

Waly Wane's picture

Let's think together: Every week the World Bank team in Tanzania wants to stimulate your thinking by sharing data from recent official surveys in Tanzania and ask you a couple of questions. This post is also published in the Tanzanian Newspaper The Citizen every Sunday.

Tourism is among the world’s most lucrative industries. The latest figures from 2009 show that the industry generated US$852 billion in export earnings worldwide, accommodated more than 800 million travelers, and accounted for more than 255 million jobs or nearly 11 per cent of the global workforce in that year. It is no surprise then that this industry is considered a major driver for employment, growth and development.

Growing the middle class

Francisco Ferreira's picture

También disponible en español

Shoppers in Chile

Since the Great Recession of 2008, there has been a widespread sense of malaise among the American middle class. Their incomes are close to stagnant, employment has not recovered, and the gap between them and the famously rich top 1% continues to grow. Look south of the Rio Grande, though, and it is quite a different picture. In the last decade, moderate poverty (under U$ 4 a day) in Latin America and the Caribbean fell from over 40% to 28%.

Virtual diplomacy – a new way of conducting international affairs?

Radu Cucos's picture

The international community has been witnessing a drastic reduction in the diplomatic representation of governments and international organizations around the world. Strong international actors, such as Germany, France or the United Kingdom, as well as countries with less “firepower” on the global stage, have been closing down embassies, consulates and other types of foreign representations for various reasons. In light of this trend, virtual diplomacy has emerged as a possible alternative to the regular way of doing diplomatic business.

Notes from the field: Setting up a firm survey in Malawi

Markus Goldstein's picture

I am currently in Malawi rolling out a firm survey with my colleagues Francisco Campos and Manuela Bucciarelli.    As we’ve gone through the enumerator selection and training this week and a pre-test of the survey, a number of observations have come up – some related to firm surveys in particular, some more general.   In no particular order:

The Utilities of Cities

Dan Hoornweg's picture

Operations Center, Rio de JaneiroThe care and feeding of cities is likely the world’s largest business; it’s certainly one of the fastest growing. With an additional 2.5 billion people headed to cities in the next 30 years, providing these ‘customers’ with energy, water, transportation and waste management is critical for local government, as well as a huge opportunity for the private sector. Utilities are big business.

The next five to ten years will see enormous change in the utility sector. How services are combined – does it make sense to have the same utility supply communications infrastructure along with electricity, gas and lights and water supply? How much of a ‘foreign’ company will be allowed to provide local services? What is the best mix of public private partnerships? How will improved efficiencies be measured and rewarded contractually? How can ICT be used more effectively in improved service delivery in the more basic services like water, waste and district heating? How do utilities facilitate services to the urban poor?

Bill Payment: A Demand-Based Approach to Financial Inclusion

Photo credit: Earl-What I saw 2.0, Flickr Creative CommonsWith over 50% of world’s population lacking proper access to payments and financial services, closing the global gap in the access and the use of payment services remains a challenge. Underdeveloped or missing payment services infrastructure has often resulted in high transaction costs and low penetration of payment services for lower income populations, mainly due to a large number of low value of payment transactions conducted by the underserved segments. This in turn has resulted in the lack of investments in appropriate payments infrastructure to satisfy the payment needs of people at the base of the pyramid. 

The underserved segments have payment needs that are similar to other consumers. Evidence has shown that even very poor people save small amounts, send and receive money from relatives, pay bills and school fees, and borrow from suppliers and others to meet obligations or take advantage of financial opportunities even in the absence of bank access. To satisfy their payment needs, most low income people end up using informal mechanisms that may be convenient but are not safe or efficient. Those who do have marginal access to payment services, usually endure high transaction costs and poor service.

We want jobs, jobs, jobs

Isis Gaddis's picture

Let's think together: Every week the World Bank team in Tanzania wants to stimulate your thinking by sharing data from recent official surveys in Tanzania and ask you a couple of questions. This post is also published in the Tanzanian Newspaper The Citizen every Sunday.

Jobs are at the very heart of living. Families escape poverty when their members secure gainful employment, and societies flourish when labor markets offer a wide range of job opportunities to citizens. And there is more to jobs than just monetary benefits. Not having a job or working under unfavorable conditions is often associated with low individual life satisfaction. Youth unemployment, in particular, can undermine the foundations of social cohesion, especially in fragile countries with a legacy of civil unrest and conflict.


Pages