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South Asia

Make aid, or buy it?

Embrace the increasing competitiveness of the aid 'market' and use it to make the market work better. There is no reason that the agencies that set priorities and donate money need to be the agencies that use the money to deliver services. Should aid agencies 'make aid' or simply 'buy aid'? Since competition would probably be much more productive between service delivery organizations than between donor organizations, this split has some attractions. There are several ways in which it might happen...

Can the private sector get water flowing to the poor?

Tomorrow’s Financial Times carries an op-ed by Frederik Segerfeldt, author of ‘Water for Sale: How Businesses and the Market Can Resolve the World’s Water Crisis.’ He optimistically challenges the privatization critics.

From the kind folks at McKinsey Quarterly...

Our gracious colleagues at McKinsey Quarterly have found us and have kindly agreed to provide free guest-passes for our previous post on India. Normally, full-text access to these links is restricted to ‘premium members.’

- Unearthing India's Mineral Wealth

Unearthing India’s mineral wealth

The McKinsey Quarterly reports that burdensome government restrictions are choking the potential of India’s mineral resources:

Regulatory approval for mining projects takes three to seven years in India, compared with about 18 months in Australia. Such delays tie up capital, raise project costs and increase uncertainty among investors…

They also blame poor infrastructure:

Low-cost, high-impact technology: $5 cell phones?

Let's see whether we get beyond the press release from Philips (via NextBillion), who promise a:

...sub-$5 system solution – an integrated hardware and software platform constituting all the electronics needed in a mobile phone – that will drive handset costs below $20... Currently, the lowest cost mobile phones on the market are just below $40.

Announcement: new RSS feed launched

World Bank tech gurus have convinced us to switch to FeedBurner for our RSS feed. The new feed is: The old feed will still work, but we would invite you to please switch over.

This new feed not only gives us better stats, but it also offers SmartFeed. This means that you will see our feed the way you want to whether your reader prefers RSS 0.90, 0.91, 0.92, 0.93, 0.94, 1.0, 2.0, atom or podcasts. This is especially relevant since much of our readership is coming from developing countries.