It's been four years since the The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project (known then as the '$100 laptop) was announced. According to recent unconfirmed news reports from India, one quarter million of the little green and white OLPC XO laptops are now on order for use in 1500 hundred schools on the subcontinent. Four years on, what have we learned about the impact of various OLPC pilots that might be of relevance to a deployment in India? Thankfully, preliminary results are starting to circulate among researchers. While nothing yet has approached what many consider to be the gold standard of evaluation work in this area, some of this research is beginning to see the light of day (or at least the Internet) -- and more is planned.
The global financial crisis hit South Asia at a time when it was barely recovering from a severe terms of trade shock resulting from the global food and fuel price crisis.The food and fuel price shocks had badly affected South Asia, with cumulative income loss ranging from 34 percent of 2002 GDP for Maldives to 8 percent for Bangladesh. Current account and fiscal balances worsened sharply and inflation surged to unprecedented levels.
When the South Asia Development Marketplace for innovative ideas to tackle stigma and discrimination relating to HIV/AIDS was launched in November 2007 by the HIV/AIDS Group in the South Asia Region of the World Bank and its partners, civil society groups across South Asia sent in almost a thousand proposals.
People fear HIV/AIDS because of the association with sex, drugs, illness, and death. In South Asia, the epidemic is driven largely by high risk practices – buying and selling sex, injecting drugs, and unprotected sex among men having sex with men. This compounds the fear and stigma around HIV/AIDS, as sex workers, injecting drug users, and men having sex with men are already stigmatized.
Four hundred million people--if it were a country, it would be the third largest in the world--rely on the Ganges River and its tributaries for their livelihood. Six thousand rivers provide a perennial source of irrigation and power to one of the world’s most densely populated and poorest areas. The Himalayas, “the water tower of the Ganges,” provide 45 percent of the annual flow. These facts represent the potential payoffs to the populations of Bangladesh, India and Nepal as well as the threat that climate change poses to poor and already <
Political transformations are challenging processes; they can be messy; the signing of a peace accord is often only the first step in a long process. Opening up the political space, particularly in places that experienced years of domination, will increase the number of voices that call for more participation and a say in the process. These calls can feel threatening to an elite still used to the principle of exclusion and patronage; they require a change of political mind-set and acceptance of a fundamentally changed political framework.