The idea of starting a grassroots women-to-women communication campaign dawned on me when I realized the power of aesthetic expressions in capturing the intangible impact of development interventions. The beneficiaries of the Women’s Empowerment Project in rural Nepal used oral lore to articulate their impressions and experiences of their participation in the program through songs, dance and poetry. And because the program interventions were rooted in basic literacy training, I helped translate the oral lore into written documents through the medium of a newsletter, where the program beneficiaries themselves became the suppliers and readers of the contents. The newsletter proceeded to serve as a powerful grassroots network that brought together two- hundred and forty local organizations partners of the program and their hundred and twenty thousand clients across the country for horizontal learning. The newsletter also proved to be an effective vertical medium for the program management to assess the impact of the program interventions beyond its set targets and indicators.
All eyes are focused on South Africa this year: it both hosts the World Cup and celebrates its 20th anniversary since the end of apartheid when Nelson Mandela walked those historic steps to freedom. In post-aparteid South Africa, education promised to hold part of the answer towards creating a fairer society. Development through education – would lead to freedom. The burning question remains - has this been achieved?
In a 2007 World Bank publication, Shafika Isaacs summarized the desired changes South Africa hoped to undertake:
No, I don't mean investing in health systems, education, sanitation, etc. I'm talking about taking an equity stake in the future earnings of poor people.
The program was massive. It catered to a hundred and twenty thousand clients, scattered across the mountain and plain terrains of the country, along 21 districts, from the east-end to the west-end borders. It required working with two hundred and forty local organizations and four thousand community groups. And it entailed a multi-sectoral approach, combining basic literacy with business training and legal rights and advocacy campaigns. And the client themselves took charge in running these programs. The USAID-funded Women Empowerment Program in Nepal was the largest social development program during 1997-2001.
|East Asia and Pacific countries have more university graduates than ever, yet employers say they don't find the skills to match their needs.|
By Dr. Jayanta Roy
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) presented their Final Report on The Bangladesh Household Remittance Survey 2009 in a workshop held in Dhaka on May 12, 2010. This survey collected data from a nationally representative sample of 10,926 migrant households. The findings of the survey confirm most of what we know about migration and remittance based on smaller surveys and anecdotal evidence. In particular, the findings are in line with the ones from the World Bank Survey (2007), which was smaller in scope.
I summarize below what appears to me as some emerging stylized facts about the profile of Bangladeshi migrants and their remittance behavior.
Migrants tend to be young (32 years old on average) married males who have at least completed primary education (over 75 percent). They go to the Middle-East (nearly 73 percent) and Asia (22) with the help of relatives (55 percent) and intermediaries (45 percent) after obtaining a low skilled or semi skilled job contract (79 percent) for which they had to wait for about 6 months.
Development Marketplace 2009 winner Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu of Nigeria is the recipient of a $50,000 Rolex "Young Laureate Award" newly given to five pioneering social entrepreneurs under the age of 30 from around the world. Besides the cash that will be earmarked to advance their innovation-focused projects over two years, Ikegwuonu, 27, and the other Laureates will have access to mentoring from groundbreaking experts who are past winners of the watch company's long-established Awards for Enterprise.
Ikegwuonu and the other awardees were selected from almost 200 nominees for launching "innovative projects [that] have begun to have a profound effect on their communities and potentially could improve the lives of millions of people," the citation said.
The young Nigerian was recognized at the Development Marketplace 2009 competition for his plan to produce an interactive 20-episode radio drama designed to help small farmers in the southeastern region of his country figure out how to better manage the risk of growing crops in extreme weather that swings from storms to droughts. The adverse weather has been intensified by climate change that has hurt farming across Sub-Saharan Africa and clouded the hopes of many developing countries to reach their 2015 Millennium Development Goals.
What is the relationship between education and geological processes? At first glance, some might think: Not much. One concerns the opening and enlightenment of the mind; the other is as old, rock-solid and unpredictable as the Earth itself.
But the collapse of so many buildings and homes that killed more than 200,000 people in the Haiti earthquake was in large part due to an utter "lack of qualified architects, urban planners, builders and zoning experts," points out a recent article in the New York Times.
In the tragedy of these moments it becomes painfully clear what a lack of adequate education and training has meant. Even worse, such revelation shines a light on very hard questions for posterity. What will the future of a country look like that has lost so many of its doctors, teachers and future leaders?
What happens when *all* children and teachers have their own laptops -- this is usually phrased as a question, but a few places are allowing us to begin to reformulate this into a declarative sentence. One such place is the state of Maine in the northeastern United States; another is the South American country of Uruguay, where under Plan Ceibal all primary school teachers and students in government schools now have their own free laptops (previous blog posts about the Uruguayan experience can be found here and here).
Alicia Casas de Barrán, the director of the National Archives of Uruguay, spoke yesterday at the World Bank about what is actually happening under Plan Ceibal. Through various examples, she highlighted the fact that many of the 'externalities' resulting from this ambitious initiative may in fact be central to its eventual value to Uruguayan society.