Media has long been a powerful force for empowerment. New media content is constantly being created with the purpose of encouraging citizens to address issues at the local, national and international levels. One such example is India’s Bell Bajao (Ring the Bell) campaign, which has used new media channels to catch the attention of local youth on the important issue of domestic violence and encourage them to become a part of the solution.
Launched today, the 2011 World Development Report is on “Conflict, Security and Development.” In making a presentation on its relevance to Africa to my World Bank colleagues, I counted six messages that are new and different.
1. 21st century violence is different from 20th century violence.
2. Conflict and violence are caused by a combination of weak institutions and external stresses.
3. Build good-enough coalitions to break the cycle of repeated violence.
4. Create jobs, even with second-best approaches that are inefficient and likely not sustainable.
5. Address external stresses alongside institution building.
6. International partners should do more good than harm.
More on each on them:
Today we begin blog coverage of the 2011 World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings, set for April 15-17. Though we’re two weeks out, activities around the meetings’ key themes—food insecurity and food price volatility, conflict, anti-corruption and open development—are already ramping up.
Among the events and announcements we’ll report on here:
This Arab Voices and Views Conference brings together a group of outstanding activists, academics, scholars and experts from around the Middle East & North Africa, is very significant, in that it does not reflect the World Bank or its views, whose role has been to simply offer the opportunity and the space for the discussion to take place.
It is a unique gathering, not meant to lecture or give presentations, but to discuss and share views on what is happening in the region. More specifically and meaningfully, it is not a forum meant to analyze the changing political dimensions of the current events in the Arab World, but to look more deeply into the issues that have triggered some of them, and map a way forward for the future.
I felt truly privileged to participate in a workshop in Juba on “Growth and Sustainable Development in the new Republic of South Sudan,” organized by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.
South Sudan, which becomes independent on July 9, 2011, faces extreme challenges and opportunities. Devastated by civil war, the country has high and deep poverty. The poverty rate is 51 percent. In a recent survey, among the assets of the population is “a pair of shoes”: among the poorest 20 percent, only 37 percent owned one. About 80 percent of the people earn their living from (mostly subsistence) agriculture. Low levels of literacy (27 percent) translate to extremely weak capacity throughout.
Talk of citizen agency and citizen power is all over the place these days - the media, the international community, academia and everybody else who cares about change and how it happens is looking in awe at current events. Civil protests have changed the political face of an important part of this world, and so far they have done so mostly peacefully. The persistence of protesters to not use violence is one of the most outstanding features of what we're seeing unfold in some Northern African countries. The rejection of violence may be one of the most important factors that contribute to the success of these uprisings.
- The World Region
- Middle East and North Africa
- Repressive Regimes
- Public Opinion
- Protest Campaigns
- Peaceful Revolution
- Maria Stephan
- Iron Curtain
- human rights
- Erica Chenoweth
- Civil Uprisings
- Civil Protest
- Authoritarian Regime
- Arab Spring
The United States Institute for Peace has initiated a Communication for Peacebuilding (CfP) priority grant program to support innovative practice and research designed to increase our understanding of how communication flows and technology can best be leveraged to improve the practice of peacebuilding.
The CfP program is based on two premises. First, communication is fundamental to peacebuilding. Second, in conflict-affected areas, communication technologies are restructuring the relationship between international organizations, local peacebuilders, and communities in ways that allow more people to communicate, more rapidly than ever before. This has significant and perhaps transformational implications for how peacebuilding programs are implemented.
The call for proposals can be accessed here. The CfP program does not have a geographic focus, and projects in all countries and regions are eligible.
As I explore innovative approaches in civilian-led movements, I become increasingly knowledgeable about the latest technological gadgets and devices that have become powerful tools in demand for good governance and democratic reform processes. Don’t worry, I won’t go on about the Arab Revolution and the role of social media yet again. Instead, I will talk about a latest invention that does not even require the end users to have a web access, something that can be exploited by just anyone, even the illiterates. FreedomFone is an ICT invention that has been specifically designed to cater to those that are in most need of information, bearing in mind the barriers they face in accessing information and the opportunities it provides to improve their conditions.
- The World Region
- Social Development
- Science and Technology Development
- Public Sector and Governance
- Information and Communication Technologies
- Culture and Development
- Communities and Human Settlements
- Agriculture and Rural Development
- social accountability
- ICT and Demand for Good Governance
- ICT and civil society
- demand for good governance
We’re in the middle of an unusual data collection exercise, which we’ve called the Southern Sudan Experimental Phone Survey (SSEPS). To get a sense of how the survey works, see this photo essay. The work has been conducted in part with funds from the Poverty and Social Impact Analysis Multi-Donor Trust Fund.
In November, in conjunction with the Southern Sudan Centre for Census, Statistics and Evaluation, we delivered mobile phones to 1000 households in the 10 state capitals of Southern Sudan. Each month starting last December, Sudanese interviewers from a call center in Nairobi have phoned respondents on those phones to collect information on their economic situation, security, outlook, and other topics.