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weekly roundup

Friday Roundup: Development Impact Bonds, Good Governance, and Doing Business

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Matthew Bishop of The Economist, describes the concept of Development Impact Bonds (DIBs).  The idea is that a delivery agent (an NGO, for example) figures out how to make a measureable improvement in some social problem, someone (usually government, perhaps philanthropy) agrees to pay for that outcome if it is achieved, and investors provide financing that pays for the intervention. Learn more on the Philanthrocapitalism Blog.

Friday roundup: US jobs, Arctic methane, Stiglitz on free trade, Summers-Yellen contest, politics in Zimbabwe and Telangana

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The US administration hails a new jobs report, saying it provides further confirmation that economic recovery continues.

An alarming new report in Nature magazine on the costs of Arctic methane warns that the price tag for such emissions could approach the value of the global economy.

Friday Roundup: New Working Papers on food prices, India rainfall insurance, mega farms and Brazil ethanol

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Food price spikes, price insulation, and poverty
This paper looks into the impact of changes in restrictions on staple foods trade during the 2008 food price crisis on global food prices and also analyzes the impact of such insulating behavior on poverty in various developing countries and globally.

Friday Roundup: Aamir Khan, Bill Gates, Lotteries in Lesotho, income classifications, Ravallion on aid after coups & Rodrik on growth

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A short video shared via Twitter highlights Bill Gates' recent India trip. He covers the rotavirus, agricultural innovation, and a joint TV appearance with Bollywood star and development activist Aamir Khan.

World Bank researcher Damien de Walque's recent results from a Randomized Control Trial in Lesotho of a lottery scheme to reduce risky sexual behavior was presented at an AIDS conference in Malaysia and covered in Bloomberg.

The World Bank updated its classification of the world's economies based on estimates of gross national income (GNI). Among other things, Russia moves to high income status; also, Chile, Lithuania, and Uruguay become high-income for the first time. 

"Japan ahead of China in forging Africa Partnerships" is the title of a piece in The Global Times.

Friday Roundup: Extreme Poverty, Malnutrition, Turkish Unrest, Youth in Africa, IMF Humility & GEP

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The much awaited UN report proposing new post-2015 development goals was released last Thursday. Goal one is to end poverty by 2030. While the development community is receptive to the report’s focus on sustainably ending poverty, some are asking why inequality isn’t included. To know more on what’s in and what’s out, read the post by Claire Melamed here

Related to development goals, Lucy Martinez Sullivan, Executive Director of 1,000 Days, has a post titled 'Leaning in on Ending Malnutrition' on Huffington Post, citing the stark reality that 3 million young lives are lost each year to a condition that is completely preventable.

Friday Roundup: International Women’s Day, Water ATMs and Crop Research

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As we celebrate the 102nd International Women’s Day today, what do women of the world hope to achieve this year? An end to gender-based violence. The Guardian has put together a page to highlight the voices from all over the globe on tackling violence and discrimination against women. Read them all here on this interactive page.

While on the subject of Women’s Day, where is best place to be a working woman in the rich world? Apparently, the answer is New Zealand. The Economist has compiled a “glass-ceiling index” to show where women have the best chance of equal treatment at work. See the index here, which compares data from 26 countries.

Friday Roundup: Rural Programmes, Middle-Income Trap, Slums in Africa, Currency Wars, and Open States

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By encompassing social, political, and feudal factors in development, Rural Support Programmes have enjoyed success in India and Pakistan for the past 30 years. Why did they work? For one, the approach acknowledges that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ and second, it looks for a holistic growth. Read the article on the Guardian to find out how communities can unlock their own potential.

What is a middle-income trap? The concept has been quite popular for some time, but only recently has been tested and defined. The concept broadly defines the fast-growing economies that suffered steep slowdown, and hence their dilemma of being caught between poverty and prosperity. There has been a lot of debate on poverty or prosperity, but it has substantially benefitted from work done by Barry Eichengreen, Donghyun Park, and Kwanho Shin. Read the post on Free Excgange to get an insight on their work.

Friday Roundup: Currency wars, Microfinance, Future Orientation Index, Remittances

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Currency wars actually have some redeeming impact, argues Matthew O’Brien in The Atlantic. Read it here.

A lively debate is under way on David Roodman’s Microfinance Open Book Blog.


According to the “Future Orientation Index” created by academics from University College London (UCL) and Warwick University, the number of searches on Google for ‘future’ are an indication of a nation’s -- or its citizen’s -- forward thinking. By analyzing more than 45 billion Google queries, the index ranks Germany as the most forward thinking nation in 2012. If you are curious about others, take a look here

Friday Roundup: Climate Change, China, Cash Transfers & Bill's Letter

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With warnings on the effects of climate change becoming starker with every passing day, good news came in the form of a story that the world's biggest seed banks are getting funding to help protect and develop new varieties of seeds resistant to climate change and other threats.

More sobering was a post by the World Bank's Phil Hay about Mozambique's recent devastating floods and public sector measures to help the country recover.

Friday Roundup: Migration and Development, Global Economy and Innovation, and WDR App

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About 3% of the world's people live outside the country of their birth. What does this mean for the migrants, and their countries – most of which are developing? The Guardian is inviting comments and questions on the topic of migration and its impact on development for its monthly podcast. To learn more, read “Talk point: what is the impact of migration on development?,” which also quotes the latest remittances figures from the World Bank.

According to the latest edition of Global Economic Prospects, (GEP), the global GDP  is estimated to grow by  2.4 percent in 2013, marked by weaker growth in  developed countries. With the global economy remaining fragile, a return to the “good times” seems farther now. The Economist argues that the economic stagnation of the rich countries is also hurting innovation, which has direct links to economic growth. Read the post from to know more. While on this topic, according to figures from the GEP, the value of exports from developing countries to other developing countries (“South-South” trade) now exceeds exports from poor countries to rich ones (“South-North” trade). Read the full article on The Economist here.

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