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WDR 2011

Transparency trickles down...Berlin

James Martone's picture
   

The Democratic Republic of the Congo was accepted as an EITI Candidate Country in 2008.

In April, I was sent to an EITI conference in Germany to question participants for an upcoming World Bank video.  I didn’t know much about EITI and its multi-donor trust fund which the World Bank manages, so I did a lot of reading on the plane from Washington, and was in place and ready the next day with cameraman Axel Goppelt outside the main doors of the conference hall in Berlin.

We interviewed EITI country members and representatives of countries supporting EITI, as well as NGO’s intent on securing social and environmental rights of people living in nations dependant on natural resources like minerals, gas, oil and timber.  We also interviewed private companies involved in extracting these resources.

The views were many, some conflicting, others not.  You will find those details in the upcoming video, so stay tuned to the EITI-MDTF website!!

Day trip to Dachau

Nicholas van Praag's picture

I was in Mozambique last week trying to work out how to dodge the volcanic ash and get back to Washington DC. Checking my itinerary on-line, the system advised me that I could use my stopover in Munich to visit Dachau concentration camp.

Was this for real? A day trip to one of the most horrendous killing grounds of the twentieth century (alternative suggestions were a boat ride on the Danube and a tour of Munich’s beer gardens).

Screenshot of the website showing a menu of activities available in Munich.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at UN Security Council Debate on Peacebuilding

Natalia Cieslik's picture

 

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director of the World Bank, spoke during a day-long debate on post-conflict peacebuilding at the UN Security Council.  Referring to research for the upcoming World Development Report on ‘Conflict, Security, and Development’ she said that no fragile state had yet achieved a single Millennium Development Goal.  She added while violent conflict was one of the most profound development challenges, focusing on peacebuilding alone was insufficient. True development in conflict-affected countries was only possible through recognizing the importance of country context, working in true partnership, and be fully accountable.

To read her full speech click here.

Addressing violent conflict, one innovation at a time

Nicholas van Praag's picture

The best thing about my job is the amazing people I meetand last week was better than most.  I was in Cape Town for a meeting of social entrepreneurs and peace-builders.  They were gathered under the banner of the World Bank Institute’s Innovation Fair to surface new ways of addressing conflict and delivering services to poor people in fragile states.

Cell phones are ubiquitous in many developing countries (with 70% penetration in Africa) and the internet offers those with access the chance to turbo-charge the change process.  So it was no surprise that new communications technologies were a leitmotiv that ran through many of the projects showcased in Cape Town.

But I guess my key take-away from the meeting is that innovation is not about technology.  Rather, it is the way the revolution in communications is bringing people together into new kinds of communities.  As one participant said, "innovation is most likely when kindred spirits unite." 

Here’s my pick of innovative projects that struck me as relevant to some of the ideas we are exploring in the World Development Report.

Moving beyond conflict

Natalia Cieslik's picture

Right now in Cape Town, the Development Marketplace is holding the first of a new generation of DM activitiesan Innovation Fair on Moving Beyond Conflict tied to the WDR 2011 and drawing on a pool of innovative solutions discovered during an on-line competition last month.  It registered 2,000 users, producing 223 projects from 40 countriesmany of them focusing on the use of new technologies for preventing or overcoming conflict.

You can follow the action and join the event virtually through this website: http://innovationfair.ning.com/

  Moving beyond conflictonline and offline.

Rethinking conflict in cities

Nigel Roberts's picture
     CinC's working assumption is that conflict in cities cannot be completely eradicated.

Recently I visited Cambridge, England, for an Advisory Council Meeting of the Conflict in Cities and the Contested State (CinC) Program.  They are looking at everyday life and possibilities for transformation in cities around the world affected by violence. Working on the WDR 2011, I found their approach very interesting and helpful.

I asked Professor Mick Dumper, one of the program’s Co-Investigators, to write a short note for us on the team’s work:

"Jerusalem, Belfast, Nicosia and Mostarall very different cities with different histories and problems but also all cities that are riven with religious, ethnic and national conflicts.  How does one both recognise their differences but also seek to draw out some underlying common patterns in the urban nature of their conflict?  And what priorities can be identified that will help policy-makers, donors, politicians and community activists formulate pre-emptive or responsive actions to help ameliorate the suffering and distress experienced by their residents?  Attempting to answer these questions is one of the tasks of a five-year British research program entitled ‘Conflict in Cities and the Contested State’.

The rape of Congo

James Martone's picture

War is officially over in eastern Congo, but the violence continues.  23 year old Amani can tell you.  She was raped last year in the forests of North-Kivu by men she refers to as “rebels,” and has since given birth to a baby girl.  Then there’s 15 year old Neema who was held and repeatedly raped for a week last July outside Goma by an “older man” after being lured to his house by a classmate.  She too will give birth soon. “I want him to be imprisoned for life,” said Neema of her rapist.  “He destroyed my life and I don’t study anymore.”

     Cameraman Justin Purefoy filming displaced Congolese in Eastern Congo. Pictures © James Martone.

I met Amani and Neema at the Heal Africa Hospital and other sites in Eastern Congo as part of a WDR 2011 research mission in February.  The team was looking into the causes and consequences of this conflict that has been going on for over 15 years and killed an estimated 3.5 million people.  I was there with cameraman Justin Purefoy to film people affected by the conflict and document their stories.  The effect of massive sexual violence and overall lack of security were two of the issues we were exploring on video. The films and interviews will be published as part of the Bank’s upcoming 2011 World Development Report.

Return to Gaza

Nigel Roberts's picture

In my last few blogs I have been writing about a visit to the West Bank & Gaza in January of this year. The WDR 2011 is looking at how peoples' expectations can affect the course of a conflict, and the extent to which actions by governments and the international community can change those expectations. This new video explores these ideas.

Return to Gaza from WDR Video on Vimeo.

I Can’t See You

Nigel Roberts's picture

Jerusalem, January 15. 2010

“War…yes, everyone knows what war is like. But occupation is more terrible in a way, because people get used to one another. We tell ourselves, ‘They’re just like us, after all’, but they’re not at all the same. We’re two different species, irreconcilable, enemies forever.” Irene Nemirovsky, 1942, on the attitudes of the occupied French.

    The controversial wall separating Israel from Palestinian administered areas, is further limits access and movement. Photos © Natalia Cieslik.

So-called dialogue

In 2005, at the time of Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, I became involved in a series of discussions between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Government of Israel (GOI). This involvement stemmed from World Bank analytical work: we had argued that a healthy Palestinian economy was an essential part of the confidence-building needed if Palestinians were to ‘invest’ in reconciliation, and that Israeli restrictions on movement and access were crippling any such possibility. What’s more, we believed that it was possible to greatly reduce these restrictions without destabilizing Israeli securityor rather, that a pursuit of day-to-day ‘absolute security’ risked the achievement of any longer-term ‘sustainable security’, and that improved methods of managing the flow of goods and people could be used to the benefit of both parties.

This argument had some resonance in Israel, and subsequently with the PLO and Palestinian Authority (PA), and was adopted as a core part of the Wolfensohn Quartet Mission’s terms of reference. A series of negotiations took place and culminated in the Agreement on Movement and Access (AMA) brokered by US Secretary of Sate Condoleezza Rice in November 2005.

Despite its high profile, the AMA was never implemented. That’s a longer story.

Trapped

Nigel Roberts's picture

Gaza City, January 10, 2010

In our WDR Concept Note, we have written about an ‘expectations trap’. We argue that persistent violence and disappointment at efforts to tackle it can fracture peoples’ confidence in their leaders and institutions: a crisis of confidence that can snowball, as when investors lose faith in the stock market. Under this dynamic of despair, people are more prone to embrace violence, out of anger or an effort to preserve dignity and identity.

    Reconstruction Gaza Style.  Photos © Natalia Cieslik.

Gaza is a literal expectations trap, both physical and psychological. It is true that Israeli settlers and soldiers no longer live here, but it must be hard for any but the more avid Hamas supporters to find many positives out of two decades of ‘peacemaking’let alone believe that a just resolution is anywhere near happening. Visiting almost a year after the recent war with Israel, Laurence Wright described the isolation and hopelessness in the The New Yorker: “I began to see Gaza as, I suspect, many Gazans do: a floating island, a dystopian Atlantis, drifting farther away from contact with any other society.”

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