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July 2013

Growth slowdown in five MENA countries extends into 2013

Lili Mottaghi's picture
        World Bank

This week’s mass demonstrations in Egypt and assassination of an opposition leader in Tunisia -- not to mention the continuing conflict in Syria -- highlight the turmoil and uncertainty facing many countries in the Middle East and North Africa.To track the effects of these and other developments on the economy, the MENA Quarterly Economic Brief provides a real-time review, using high-frequency data, of five countries that are at risk of sluggish economic growth in 2013. 

Performance-Based Financing boosts quality of health care in Nigeria

Ayodeji Oluwole Odutolu's picture
Results Based Financing Brings Better Healthcare to African Countries

My experience as a doctor who practiced actively in this country did not prepare me for the shock I had during the preparation of the Nigeria State Health Investment Project. I had worked for three years in the public sector at the beginning of my career but then spent more than a decade in the private sector. I had not imagined the decay in public infrastructure – leaking roofs, heaps of garbage, broken down equipment, and stock-outs of drugs and disposables for months on end in public health centers. The general morale of frontline health workers was low and some ingenious workers were actually buying their stock of drugs to provide services for patients. Not surprisingly, the utilization of health services was low and the quality of service appalling.

Youth Entrepreneurs Transform Transportation in South Africa

Ravi Kumar's picture

Have you missed an appointment to doctor, school or work due to lack of transportation?

It can take up to two hours to find a taxi in some South African cities. A team of young entrepreneurs launched a new mobile app to help commuters locate taxis and improve the average commute.

Watch how Aftarobot, a mobile app is revolutionizing transportation in South Africa:

 

The Monty Python Guide to Aid and Development. Part Two - Economics

Duncan Green's picture
So another Friday comes round, we all need a break, so following the triumph of last week’s Monty Python guide to the politics of development, let’s move on to economics……

Redistribution is trickier than we thought [via Andrea Franco]
 
He steals from the poor and gives to the rich

 

How Fit Are Feed-In Tariff Policies?

Fan Zhang's picture

 Tomislav Georgiev
World Bank study of Eastern Europe and Central Asian experience finds that complementary policies needed to get more renewable bang out of FiT buck.

Given that the effects of energy efficiency measures tend to be offset by a greater energy consumption that comes with economic growth, these measures, while important,  will not by themselves be sufficient to achieve major reductions in emissions – making the move toward cleaner energy a rising priority for climate change mitigation.

Multilingual DataBank

Reza Farivari's picture

A year ago we had a post on launching a new version of the World Bank’s data query system, DataBank, offering over 9,000 indicators with which users can create custom reports with tables, charts, or maps. These live reports can then be saved, shared between users, and embedded as widgets on websites or blogs. A year later, DataBank is multilingual, offering a multilingual interface across the different databases and fully-translated data from the World Development Indicators. We’ve asked one of the founding fathers of DataBank and Open Data’s Lead Information Officer, Reza Farivari, to tell us about the tool and what to expect in the future.

The Reel World: Film & Development Knowledge

Uwimana Basaninyenzi's picture

I’ve never been to Colombia nor do I have the slightest idea of what it’s like to be involved with drug lords smuggling people across borders, but I remember what it was like to watch Maria Full of Grace, a movie about a pregnant Colombian teenager that agrees to become a drug mule in a desperate attempt to support her family.  Following Maria’s journey from the streets of Bogota, where she worked in sweat shop like conditions at a flower plantation, to the illicit world of the drug trade that transports her to the city of New York, was an incredibly intense and emotional experience for me. Yes, I am a crier and this movie was both terrifying and tearful. But outside of the emotional appeal, did it provide me with an education on Colombian society? Was it a true depiction of criminals exploiting the vulnerabilities of the poor? Did it shape my view of international drug enforcement policies in the U.S.? These are the type of questions that authors of a new World Bank study entitled, The Projection of Development, try to answer in their compelling research on the interface between cinema and development.
 
By examining an interesting range of historical and contemporary films that touch on a wide variety of development issues—such as poverty, urban violence, conflict and war, and human rights—this paper explores the power and limitations of cinematograhic representation as an authoritative source of development knowledge. It focuses primarily on dramatic films rather than documentaries. Interestingly, it draws on a selection of popular films that have been successful in the global north, including City of God, The Constant Gardner, Missing, and The Year of Living Dangerously. As noted in the report, the authors are acutely aware of this northern bias, but they hope to encourage further research that will explore films from India, South Africa, Nigeria, and South Korea, among other places.

Friday Roundup: New Working Papers on food prices, India rainfall insurance, mega farms and Brazil ethanol

LTD Editors's picture

Food price spikes, price insulation, and poverty
This paper looks into the impact of changes in restrictions on staple foods trade during the 2008 food price crisis on global food prices and also analyzes the impact of such insulating behavior on poverty in various developing countries and globally.

Prospects Daily: Developing country stocks fall, UK GDP growth increases, China unveils new stimulus

Global Macroeconomics Team's picture
Financial Markets…U.S. Treasuries and German bunds fell as positive news on U.S. durable goods orders in June and German business confidence dampened demand for the safe-haven government debt. Treasury 10-year yields rose for a third day to 2.603%, while comparable German bund yields climbed 4 basis points to 1.68%, after touching nearly 3-week highs of 1.69% earlier. Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury will auction $29 billion of 7-year notes today after selling of 2-and 5-year securities this week.


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