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Environment

LifeStraw: invention of the century?

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)

Call for development focused radio/TV shows

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.

Make aid, or buy it?

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...

Can the private sector get water flowing to the poor?

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.

From the kind folks at McKinsey Quarterly...

Our gracious colleagues at McKinsey Quarterly have found us and have kindly agreed to provide free guest-passes for our previous post on India. Normally, full-text access to these links is restricted to ‘premium members.’

- Unearthing India's Mineral Wealth

Unearthing India’s mineral wealth

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:

Low-cost, high-impact technology: $5 cell phones?

Let's see whether we get beyond the press release from Philips (via NextBillion), who promise a:

...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.


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