This past October I participated in a 2-day Mobile Money Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Why Papua New Guinea? There is growing interest among telecom companies and banks there in mobile financial services. Although the meeting was attended by more than 50 people from around the Pacific, the majority of the participants were from companies doing business in Papua New Guinea.
East Asia and Pacific
The hall was large and chilly. But it was also full. Nearly 80 people had come to listen to a presentation on Mongolia’s ratings in the 2009 Doing Business survey. I was happy to see a healthy mix of government officials, private firms, developmental organizations, NGOs and journalists there.
The PSD blog will go on a short break for the holidays, but we'll be back next Monday. Expect a report from Mongolia, where our intrepid blogger Dave Lawrence recently survived -37 degree weather, plus more on the transformative possibilities of mobile banking.
Mobile banking – everyone is talking about it, but how can we separate hype from reality? I've invited Janine Firpo, President of Sevak Solutions, to help us make sense of this potentially transformative technology. Janine was recently hired by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to work with IFC’s regional advisory teams to accelerate the development and large-scale roll-out of mobile money solutions in East Asia and the Pacific.
While the financial and economic crisis has prompted much soul searching on the appropriate government and business boundaries and the right balance of regulation, it will be interesting to see how this filters down to emerging markets such as India and China -even at the local level there are now efforts to legislate for corporate responsibility.
There's been quite a lot of attention in the media recently about the role of Web 2.0 in disaster management.
In debates over globalization, much attention is given to so-called 'North-South' relationships. Often, data on 'South-South' exchanges it too limited to say much. A new paper on Global Migration of the Highly Skilled by Theo Dunnewijk of United Nations University helps shed some new light on 'South-South' brain drain/brain strain/brain circulation (Hat tip: Giulio Quaggiotto). Previous datasets had overlooked diasporas of highly skilled workers in these countries: