South Asia can become a powerful locomotive of global development but it could just as easily regress into becoming the crucible for global instability and insecurity
This blog is part of the series #OneSouthAsia exploring how South Asia can become a more integrated, thus more economically dynamic region. The blog series is a lead up to the South Asia Economic Conclave, an event dedicated to deepening existing economic links through policy and investments in regional businesses.
SAARC countries need to think of pragmatic approaches and reimagine regional cooperation. One can conceive of SAARC as comprising three sub-regions within the larger South Asian landscape namely: the eastern sub-region of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN); the southern sub -region of India, Maldives and Sri Lanka (IMS); and the western sub -region of Afghanistan, India and Pakistan (AIP).
During his visit to Washington last week, China’s President Xi Jinping confirmed that the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, which has pledged to reduce its carbon intensity and reach a peak of overall emissions by 2030, will use a cap-and-trade market approach to help realize this.
China already has 7 pilot markets in cities and provinces in place that cover 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Under the national scheme, now to go live in 2017, this could increase to 4 billion tons according to Chinese researchers - making it the world’s largest national emissions trading system.
It’s an exciting step and demonstration of China’s commitment to achieve its low carbon goals.
Just three months after the deadly Ebola Virus touched down in Nigeria, the country was pronounced “Ebola free” by the World Health Organization. In a country with a mobile population of more than 173 million, mixed progress in public health outcomes and challenges in government coordination and delivery, this is a remarkable case of delivery despite the odds, with international assistance playing an ‘arm’s length’ role and Nigerians taking the lead.
But it doesn’t always take a crisis to align the interests of politicians, institutions and the public like this. We recently attended the Overseas Development Institute’s ‘Driving change in challenging contexts’ event where participants presented several cases of how governments delivered despite the odds.
DataFinder is a free mobile app featuring the World Development Indicators database and other databases
Over the last few years,
- The number of downloads from our Open Data website rose from 180,000 downloads in 2011 (about one year after we "opened" our data) to 2,000,000 downloads in 2014
- The number of calls to our Application Programming Interface (API) has grown from 22,000 calls per month in 2011 to 50,000,000 calls per month in 2014
- DataFinder mobile apps downloads increased from 10,000 downloads in 2011 to over 100,000 downloads in 2014
The civil society members of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) steering committee are proud to announce the inaugural OGP Government Champion Award!
Working in the renewable energy sector for the World Bank since 2010, I have visited more than 50 Micro Hydropower Plants (MHPs) in rural Nepal. From villages high up in the hills inaccessible by even the toughest 4WD jeeps to settlements perched on steep slopes, to one powerhouse that could only be reached by crossing a cold river with shoes in hand.
And with every community I visited, every family that welcomed me, I felt the same happiness to see them celebrate the commissioning of a MHP in their village. They enjoy evenings and nights as they chat, eat and watch TV with their family under the electric lights.
Last week, I attended Borderless Cyber Forum 2015, hosted by the World Bank and organized in collaboration with OASIS, a non-profit, international consortium that creates interoperable industry specifications based on public standards. This week, the UN adopted Goal 16, Target 10, of the Sustainable Development Goals on public access to information. Could these two weeks be more contrasting? Both security and public access to information are integral to promoting peaceful and inclusive societies in support of poverty reduction and economic development.
Very often, public access to information and Cyber Security are portrayed in opposition to one another. Right to Information laws – also called Freedom of Information and Access to Information laws, which are now in place in over 100 countries worldwide – provide legislative guarantees of public access to information. Frequently, they are seen as being only about opening up government information to citizens. In reality the picture is more nuanced, and there are ways in which Right to Information laws can be seen as an effective means of supporting Cyber Security.