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East Asia and Pacific

Young People for Change

Henriette von Kaltenborn-Stachau's picture

The World Bank office in Sydney has established a Facebook group called "Young People for Change" for youth in the Pacific, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea to air their thoughts and ideas on how they could help spur change.

I love this innovative approach that seeks young people where you find them these days: on social network sites. One could argue that the respective cultures of the Pacific, PNG and Timor Leste are rather distinct, and yet, the views and concerns of these young people might prove to be remarkably similar and indeed provide valuable food for thought for politicians and policy-makers. For governments, and development institutions supporting them, integrating youth in their strategic planning and addressing their hopes and grievances has been notoriously difficult and often simply overlooked. This shortcoming has come at a high price at times; high youth unemployment and a sense of social and political alienation have long been recognized as a proximate cause for political instability.

Trading without Doha

Ryan Hahn's picture

Still upset about the failure of the latest round of Doha talks? Don't worry - there are still many ways to improve the outlook for international trade. You can take Simeon Djankov's advice over on the Doing Business blog and reduce the delays related to trade. Or, according to a new World Bank working paper, you could make trade more transparent.

In Praise of Lukewarm Water

David Lawrence's picture

September 2008. Yesterday, suddenly, our apartment got lukewarm water the color of weak tea. I was delighted.

In Ulaanbaatar, as in cities of the former Soviet Union, hot water and heat for buildings is produced in a power plant and piped throughout the city. You can still see thick, insulated pipes running above ground, and arching up and over roads. Very ugly, but cheaper than putting them underground.

Google as development agency

Ryan Hahn's picture

Google just released its own browser, Chrome, to compete with Internet Explorer. Daniel Altman on the International Herald Tribune blog argues that it may just turn out to be the developing world's browser. Now, Google has just announced it is supporting the development of a system of satellites to provide internet access to regions without fast fiber networks.

Supply and demand of property rights

Ryan Hahn's picture

Famed Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto has argued forcefully for the protection of property rights as a key ingredient in economic development. His book The Mystery of Capital became a big hit with its argument that the poor had plenty of capital but that the lack of property rights meant it was unusable.