Development Marketplace couldn't happen without its sponsors, who donated nearly $5 million for this year's event. Here they are, from left, at the Friday morning awards ceremony -- William Ehlers, team leader of the Global Environment Facility; Elwyn Grainer-Jones of the International Fund for Agricultural Development; Danish Ambassador to the U.S. Friss Arne Petersen; Warren Evans, World Bank Environment Director; and Sanjay Pradhan, Vice President of the World Bank Institute.
(Thanks and credits for sharing this information go to the Brazilian Secretariat of Social Communication - SECOM)
Social development and progress continue to stay strong in Brazil:
- Brazil tops global ranking in fight against hunger: In a recent report published by anti-poverty NGO ActionAid, Brazil ranks first among developing countries for its progress in the fight against hunger.
- Brazil’s “Bolsa Familia” income transfer program raises literacy rates: Newly released data reveals that half a million beneficiaries of Brazil’s cash transfer program became literate in 2006 and 2007, and the number of people registered for public literacy programs increased by 12 percent.
With one of the world’s largest populations, Brazil’s government has invested heavily in programs to eliminate poverty and hunger and improve access to services and opportunities in low-income communities. These efforts and their success to date earned Brazil’s President Lula UNESCO’s prestigious Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize in July, and Brazil’s Minister of Social Development the World Future Council’s Future Policy Award just a few weeks ago.
Detailed information can be found below.
“Did you kill somebody tonight?” Durga Pokkherel asks the police officer while in police custody in Nepal, after hearing terrified screams. As told in her memoir, Shadow over Shangri-la, the police officer replies: “You always imagine something big. He is not killed. As a routine treatment he was enclosed in a sack and beaten. But he would not speak a word, so some other police friends put a couple pins in his fingers. That is all.”
The dialogue took place in late 1990s, when both Maoists and the state committed human rights abuses in Nepal, a country on the top of the world, where caste, ethnicity, gender status and regional disparities have largely determined inequality. Social exclusion fostered state fragility, a Maoist rebellion, and a civil war that lasted for ten years (1996-2006).
After an unpopular royal coup in February 2005, the international community put pressure on the government to accept international monitoring under the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The monitoring created the space for peaceful political protest and, in April 2006, the King restored Parliament. Civil war came to an end with elections and the declaration of the Federal Republic of Nepal in May 2008.
From mangrove forests to the Amazon Basin to the High Andes, Latin America and the Caribbean are threatened by climate change. And so are Indigenous Peoples who live in these sensitive environments.
So it's not that surprising, perhaps, that of the 100 finalists in DM2009, 39 come from Latin American and Caribbean countries -- 12 from Peru alone.
One of the Peru projects seeks to "blend Western science and indigenous knowledge systems [and] know-how" to help bring buen vivir (good living) to the indigenous community of Potato Park in the High Andes through the development of new tuber varieties resistant to extreme climate conditions.
"Extreme conditions are showing up more often with more force throughout the region," said Alejandro Argumedo, director of the Association ANDES project (in photo at left with researcher Katrina Quisumbing King). "With global warming we are seeing the emergence of a new climate, and it's coming very fast."
In Belize, "the impact of climate change is exacerbated by a combination of deforestation and tourism that is shrinking the mangrove forests that act as a sponge against storm-caused flooding," said Gregory Ch'oc, executive director of Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (in photo at right with technical coordinator Lynette Gomez). The indigenous communities of this ecoystem are heavily impacted by the natural and manmade forces of destruction. Ch'oc's group seeks to help one hard hit indigenous district with community-based solutions for forest management that would begin with an inventory of the flora at risk.
Looking at the 11 finalist projects he was assisgned to evaluate, juror Fred Onduri says: "I am so impressed. I would give them all a thumbs up. I wish they could all be winners."
Onduri, who is chair of the Least Developed Countries Expert Group with the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change as well as head of the Policy and Planning Department of the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is one of the 40 jurors who took a searching look at the 100 projects that were winnowed from the 1,750 applications proposing early-stage adaptation to climate change. Their goal was to choose up to 25 winners.
Onduri said the winners would have a better chance of long-term success if they were incorporated in the national priorities of the governments of the countries where the projects would be undertaken. "Their funding will carry them for about two years," Onduri said. "That's not enough. Sustainability is very critical."
He also said that the winning projects' chance of ultimate success would be improved if jurors could offers ways to improve the proposals, especially in closing what he called "the sustainability gap."
Onduri and his colleagues used five criteria in their evaluations:
If it were possible to separate public services into a public good aspect and a private good aspect, then government could probably ensure better outcomes for the poor by focusing primarily on the public good aspect.
A public good is both non-rival (the consumption of a unit does not reduce the units available for others) and non-excludable (it is not possible to include some while excluding others from this good). For example an illiteracy free community is a pure public good that demonstrates both non excludable and non rival qualities. It is non-excludable as it is not possible to exclude someone from the benefits of an illiteracy free jurisdiction while including others; and non-rival as one person consuming an illiteracy free jurisdiction does not reduce the stores for others. The private good have both rival and excludable characteristics (the consumption of a unit reduces the availability for others and it is possible to include some while excluding others during consumption). Alternatively a school is a private good - it is rival (there are only a certain number of children you can fit in a classroom) and excludable (you can be excluded if you do not meet certain socio-economic standards).
Assuming that all public services have rival and non-rival, excludable and non-excludable characteristics, it should be conceptually possible to separate the public good aspect and the private good aspect.
DM2009 team member Alexandra Humme shares this story:
During our live webcast on Wednesday (Nov. 11) I interviewed Dr. Tran Triet from Vietnam. He is a juror at this year's Development Marketplace. But six years ago, he was one of the finalists and eventually a winner of the 2003 Development Marketplace on Biodiversity. Dr. Tran comes from Phu My Village in Kien Giang Province, a small place located in the southwest corner of Vietnam, close to Cambodia.
Phu My Village is home to 5,000-acre wetland which supports a vast grassland ecosystem of the Mekong River Delta. The Phu My wetland is not only important for bioddiversity
conservation but also provides an economic base to the Khmer ethnic minority who harvest Lepironia (photo at right) for production of woven goods.
In 2003, Dr. Tran, who is working for the Crane Foundation in Vietnam and also is with Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City, presented the "Ha Tien - Habitats - Handbags" project which protects this important wetland by implementing an innovative model that combines nature conservation with improving daily income of local people whose livelihood depends on harvesting natural resources from the wetland.
The project provided skill training to enable local people to make fine handicraft products like hats and handbags from the Lepironia sedge they harvested. The project also assists local community in marketing and selling their products to higher-value tourist and export markets.
With the Development Marketplace award of about US$ 200,000, the project was able to expand its work and eventually
As the newly appointed (and first) World Bank Representative to Bhutan, my first month on the job has been challenging. A magnitude 6.3 earthquake with an epicenter in eastern Bhutan struck on September 21. There were 12 fatalities, including a mother breast-feeding her infant daughter by the hearth in their stone-walled kitchen. While there was fortunately relatively little loss of life, there was considerable damage to houses, schools, health clinics, temples, religious monuments and roads. In Bhutan's mountainous terrain, many affected villages are several hours walk away, so the provision of relief supplies and carrying out reconstruction is difficult.
In collaboration with the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Bhutan, Claire Van der Vaeren, who took up her assignment in Bhutan in June, the World Bank fielded a team of disaster experts. Claire and I accompanied the team of six (four from the UN, two from the Bank) to the eastern districts ("dzongkhags") of Mongar and Tashigang. The drive from Thimphu -- Bhutan's capital city of 100,000 people -- to the affected villages in Mongar takes two days.
After our rest at the Home Minister, Lyonpo Minjur’s rural ancestral home, the team embarked on the long journey back to Thimphu the next day -- only a couple hundred miles as the crow flies (if even that), yet a two day adventure across high mountain passes and along narrow endlessly winding roads with precipitous drops below. We reached the Swiss Guest House in Bumthang around 7pm, looking forward to hot showers and a meal.
Upon pulling up to the lodge, I received a call on my mobile from my friend Tashi, who was recently appointed by His Majesty to serve on the National Council (senate). Tashi was in eastern Bhutan to support earthquake relief efforts on the part of the National Council. Tashi called to inform me that, Wamrong, the town I lived in 21 years ago when I first came to Bhutan as a volunteer teacher, had mostly burned to the ground that afternoon.
For so long, it's been hard to get conventional media to cover Development Marketplace. Don't get me wrong, there has been some wonderful coverage over the 10 years we have been doing this. But let's face it, these projects from developing countries are small. That's the whole point of DevMarketplace -- we want to find really creative, important ideas when they are small so we can help them grow. So it's been really hard to get the BBC or the New York Times to do big stories.
Flash forward 10 years, and the social media troops are coming to the rescue -- or should I say swarming? Thank you all! The bloggers, tweeters, and social networks are discovering us and lifting us like a wave. Just today, one of the big bloggers on climate change, Bill Hewitt, at the Climate Change blog of the Foreign Policy Association found us and we were so excited to hear what Bill had posted about the competition (reproduced above). He loved it -- because as he points out, living with climate change is going to take lots more solutions from the local level and we need this kind of program to find them. And since you know we love our YouTube channel and our Flips, here's the moment when we found what Bill had posted about us!
Ideas welcome on how we can do more to help all these 100 ideas get the audience they deserve -- and how we get them to the people who need them in China, India, Brazil, and many other countries dealing with the same difficult challenges of a changing climate.