The aptly-named LifeStraw... is a personal, low-cost water purification tool with a life time of 700 litres - approximately one year of water consumption for one person... that could become one of the greatest life-savers in history. It is a 25 cm long, 29 mm diameter, plastic pipe filter and purchased singly, costs around US2.00. (source)
For the first time the World Bank is sponsoring a special category at the annual Commonwealth Broadcasting Association Awards which will promote excellence in the radio and TV coverage of development. If you know of a filmmaker or someone in radio who has produced a program this year highlighting development send them the application form.
In the Financial Times Alain Beattie describes how companies use a variety of strategies to offset supply-chain risks, especially when sourcing from less-developed countries. He mentions the World Bank Group:
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...
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.
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:
...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.