One signature feature of many academic presentations by development economists is the use of photos. Go to a labor or health economics seminar and you will almost never see a photo of a U.S. worker or U.S. family participating in some early childhood program, but go to a development seminar and odds are incredibly high that you will see shiny happy people holding hands. This is often the source of much eye-rolling among non-development economists (and even among ourselves), so I thought I’d speak up a little in defense of the use of photos, as well as share some recent experiences with trying to use them better.
The #EachDayISee photo contest wrapped up on February 13, having received more than 1,400 submissions. To say that the number and quality of the entries exceeded all our expectations would be an understatement. We asked you to share your view of the world, and the visual stories we received from every region were breathtaking. Beyond the photos themselves, most submissions included detailed captions that set the context and helped viewers understand the stories behind the photos.
Congratulations to every #EachDayISeeFinalist! Please check out the finalists using #EachDayISeeFinalist and vote for your favorites. Voting ends on March 9 at 9 am ET. @interior_girl0 @ginamardones @aliveinnyc @javierimedinac @dereknazley @ahmadmousa @roman_social @emfeltson @dickarruda @arlethzarate @suzannemariew @helpintl @nineteenfiftyone @sarafarid #EachDayISee #finalists #endpoverty #takeon
The availability of disaster risk information is particularly important for a fragile state like Afghanistan where 4 out of 5 people rely on natural resources for their livelihoods. To strengthen resilience, investments in Afghanistan need to incorporate information on natural hazards in their planning, design and implementation. To help support government efforts, the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), in close cooperation with the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), recently produced a comprehensive multi-hazard assessment level and risk profile, documenting information on current and future risk from fluvial and flash floods, droughts, landslides, snow avalanches and seismic hazards. The main findings, methodology and expected outcomes were recently discussed and presented to the Disaster Risk Management community of practice within the World Bank Group. A number of takeaways from the discussion are presented below:
What is Afghanistan’s risk profile and vulnerability?
- Flooding is the most frequent natural hazard historically, causing average annual damage estimated at $54 million; large flood episodes can cause over $500 million in damage
- Historically, earthquakes have caused the most fatalities, killing more than 10,000 people since 1980
- 3 million people are at risk from very high or high landslide hazard
- Droughts have affected 6.5 million people since 2000; an extreme drought could cause an estimated $3 billion in agricultural losses, and lead to severe food shortages across the country;
- An estimated 10,000 km of roads (15 percent of all roads) are exposed to avalanches, including key transport routes like the Salang Pass
The human toll of natural disasters in Vietnam… entrepreneurs in Rwanda… wind power in Egypt… an infant with jaundice in Nepal… World Bank slideshows connect users with diverse people and places through the open window of a computer screen.
Yesterday, the IMF and the World Bank released the 2009 Global Monitoring Report, saying that the global financial crisis is imperiling attainment of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and creating an emergency for development.
Justin Lin, World Bank Chief Economist, spoke about the crisis at the launch of the report:
"Worldwide, we have an enormous loss of wealth and financial stability. Millions more people will lose their jobs in 2009, and urgent funding must be provided for social safety nets, infrastructure, and small businesses in poor countries, for a sustainable recovery."
For more information:
The 2009 World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings are about to get under way in a few days. Before they do, here's a quick look at some of the big stories from last year's Meetings.
Global Economy, Human Development Goals Top the Agenda
The 2008 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank opened amid rising concerns about the impact of the credit crunch on the global economy and uneven progress towards such human development goals as wiping out hunger and malnutrition.
Global Monitoring Report 2008
At the halfway mark to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) deadline of 2015, World Bank economist Zia Qureshi said the world had not made the necessary progress, but success is still possible given certain conditions.
Ministers, Bank President, Tout Women’s Empowerment as Key Development Goal
World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick announced several measures the World Bank Group plans to take to boost women’s empowerment at a seminar on ways to bridge gender gaps.
Food Price Crisis Imperils 100 Million in Poor Countries
The surge in food prices could push 100 million people into deeper poverty, World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick said at the International Monetary Fund-World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington.
Those are some of the stories from the 2008 Spring Meetings. Keep posted here for more information and stories from the 2009 Meetings
Above photo: World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick and the founding President of the Center for Global Development Nancy Birdsall at the 2008 Spring Meetings — © Simone D. McCourtie/World Bank.