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WDR 2011

Bread, freedom and the WDR 2011 on Conflict, Security and Development

Merrell Tuck-Primdahl's picture

Which comes first in the wake of revolution, bread or freedom?

A Reuters reporter asked about this during the embargoed press briefing last Friday to launch the World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security and Development. What she wondered about was the tough choices of what to deal with most urgently in the throes of revolutions like we are seeing in the Middle East and North Africa.

In other words, should policymakers pay urgent attention to, say, food, jobs and the flow of cash or do justice and political change take precedence? 

Innovation Fair: What Happened, What Happens Next...

Here's an update on the new Innovation Fair: The on-line competition which has been running for the last 3 weeks officially closed at midnight on Sunday March 7. The response received, especially given the short time, surpassed our expectations with over 1900 registered users and 223 submitted projects from over 40 countries. Ideas ranged  from innovative uses of crowdsourcing to map peace in Kenya to tools that can improve governance in Haiti in post-earthquake recovery. The participation has been a truly global one with entries from conflict-affected countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Burundi, and those from countries that, per se, are not considered conflict-affected but still experience some of the same issues such as youth violence. What impressed me most was the dialogue that sprang up among many of the users -- exchanging ideas on how to replicate one project in a different context, how to improve an idea based on experience and in same cases, simply words of encouragement.

It was this same crowd of users that through their votes selected the proposals that were passed on to be now reviewed by a panel of experts composed by World Bank and International Finance Corporation staff, academics and practitioners. All proposals that received 8 votes and up made it to the second stage this time and are now being reviewed by the panel of experts that will select the 30 projects that will make it to the Fair in South Africa. The list of 30 selected projects will be posted on the innovation radar platform next Wednesday, March 17. Thanks to everyone who's contributed and for the great ideas you send in -- this is a pilot and we are already learning how to do this even better next time!
 

Why the Innovation Fair on Conflict and Fragility Matters

Egbe Osifo-Dawodu's picture

Egbe OfisoIn case you are wondering why a busy person -- like you -- should take some time off to offer ideas for the Innovation Fair on moving beyond conflict in Cape Town in April -- well, here's a story...

Today, I learnt that a high school classmate was burnt to death by rampaging youths during a violent crisis in an African country. I keep imagining  what she was thinking about the last few minutes of her life. I remember us talking about growing old, having children and grandchildren -- the dreams of youth.  Those dreams will never come through for her, and mine for as long as I have them would always be scarred. Now if this was a rare and unusual incident, we could dismiss it as an unfortunate tragedy and move on. Yet on daily basis, thousands of people in various parts of the world have to face and live with such tragedies -- losing sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, parents, cousins, and friends. 

With  a significant proportion of the world living under conflict conditions or under the fear of a potential conflict, we live in extraordinary times.  The  need for intellectual exchange, thinking outside the box, and cooperation has never been greater.  Armed conflict, crime, and violence spill over borders -- no one is immune.   How we handle these challenges will determine the world's fate for generations to come.  To address these issues can we continue business as usual?  The answer should be clear: We can not.

Do you have a big idea that can help address Conflict and Fragility? Submit your idea now...

Boris Weber's picture

Innovation Fair - Moving Beyond Conflict

Call for Proposals - Feb. 15 – March 2 NOW EXTENDED March 7 - Now Accepting Proposals

Soliciting Innovative Approaches and Research to be presented during the Conflict and Fragility Week in Cape Town, South Africa, April 12-15, 2010

Necessity is the mother of invention. Many times, people living and working under the most difficult and challenging conditions, with minimal tools and capacity, have come up with creative and even innovative solutions to the enormous challenges they face. Organizations and researchers around the world have been equally creative working with communities living in situations of fragility and conflict to find solutions to ensure delivery of basic services, improve governance and create jobs.

Innovation Fair: Moving beyond Conflict

This Innovation Fair, organized by the World Bank Group, is seeking to identify such high-impact approaches to working in fragile and conflict-affected states in order to share and, if possible, scale them up. The Fair will convene international experts on conflict and fragility, development researchers and practitioners, software developers, donors and private sector to exchange experience, establish new collaboration, and forge longer-term partnerships.