East Asia and Pacific
Does having a good business environment help reduce poverty? The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development - a group of aid agencies which support private sector development - recently hosted a debate in Bangkok on the motion: "Business Environment Reform is the Key Element in the Reduction of Poverty". There were around 200 participants from donor agencies, Asian governments, the private sector, and civil society.
The McKinsey Quarterly's recent article, A Grassroots Approach to Emerging-Market Customers, introduced me to the Manila Water story. This public-private partnership has taken the brave, and often necessary, step in serving low-income consumers: changing their existing business model.
It's time again to update our list of development blogs. I'm happy to report that it's getting hard to keep up with all of the activity out there. Heavy on the acronyms, we have:
Are women as globalized as men? Daniel Altman provoked some gender-balanced debate by noting that 95% of the comments on his Managing Globalization blog are from men. The same is true on the PSD blog. Commenters write that women sometimes post as men in hopes of being taken more seriously. They also quibble about his implied definition of globalization. Those points aside, Dan raises an interesting question. A few of my unscientific reflections on "women's globalization" after the jump...
According to travel guides, Chindia is a place in Romania where Vlad the Impaler, a bloodthirsty 15th-century monarch who inspired the fictional Count Dracula, watched his victims put to death.
While we frequently make mostly invisible tweaks to the blog, here are two new changes I'd like to share:
Casting a wide net, McKinsey estimates that the economic impact of wireless is up to 8% of a country's GDP. To unlock this value, they encourage wireless providers and/or regulators to lower the minimum (but not average) cost of owning a cell phone and push coverage into rural areas. This is from a recent whitepaper, Wireless Unbound, which they were kind enough to send me. Check here to find your way behind the firewall and read the whole thing.