Syndicate content

To subsidize or not to subsidize… that’s the question

Maria Rodriguez's picture

I’m thrilled to know that every day more and more young people are writing about their thoughts on human and social development. I’m even more thrilled to know young people are writing about these subjects as part of their professional work! A friend of mine called Juan writes about politics and development both for fun, and as part of his research in economics.

Facilitate demand, you will

Siddhartha Raja's picture

What Jedi Grand Master Yoda might teach us about broadband*

A friend told me a while ago that a key reason why videocassette players and recorders (VCPs and VCRs) became a household phenomenon in the U.S. was the popularity of the Star Wars movie franchise. The first movie had its theatrical release in 1977. At that time, less than 1 percent of TV owning households in the U.S. had VCRs. By 1985, however, soon after Star Wars was released in VHS format, that number had risen to over 20 percent.

How DM2009 Can Be Better -- From 5 Finalists

Tom Grubisich's picture

From DM2009 finalists, here is a sampling of suggestions for how future Global Development Marketplaces could be improved:

  • Sonia Gabriela Ortiz Maciel, Mexico: "More workshops on funding, reporting, finance, accounting -- and in the morning, when we're not tired."
  • Carlo Vecco Biove, winner, Peru: "DM could fund an additional phase for those projects that demonstrate proven success, or could help organize events (such as business conferences) to support the attainment of financing for longer-term results.  Two years is short."
  • Laurie Navarro, Philippines: "DM should have a network of other sources of funding for those projects that do not qualify for DM support."
  • Benedict Bijoy Baroi, Bangladesh: "DM should provide feedback on the weaknesses of finalist projects or lack in improvement.
  • Tom Okumu, Kenya: "DM should award at least one finalist from each participating country as a way of balancing the competition participation and equal distribution of development in these countries of representation."


What is the best way to fail?

Rachel Kyte's picture

So now the drama really starts ratcheting up inside and out of the

Bella Center in Copenhagen. Outside in the kind of biting cold that

reminds you of standing (before stadium seating) in a fourth division

football match on a Saturday afternoon as a kid, thousands of people

are massing to march on the center - they say 50,000 and on the TV

screen it looks like it could be.

Inside, the entrenched positions see no sign of budging yet and the

negotiations are poised for the second week, normally characterized by

Where does big business fit into Copenhagen 15?

Rachel Kyte's picture

A strange day in Copenhagen today. More and more people arriving and the building and the incredibly generous and helpful Danes straining to cope. The Bella Center beginning to look like a scene from a science fiction movie where the whole of humanity takes off from earth into some kind of space vehicle. The rumor, counter rumor, the side shows, the side events, the spontaneous demonstrations in the corridors, the more planned but no less emotional demonstrations by delegations in the plenary and working groups: is there life outside?

Friday musings: How to Spend It edition

Like many of my World Bank colleagues, I begin each day by quickly flipping through the pages of the Financial Times. Many of the ideas I come up with for the blog can be traced back to events and ideas I come across in the FT. However, there is one section that consistently fails to inspire my work, until now...

How do you evaluate a plan like Ceibal?

Michael Trucano's picture

I'd like to teach the world to code ... (used according to terms of CC license courtesy LIRNET.NET & AK Mahan)If you have had your fill of theories and promises about what the widespread diffusion of information and communication technologies (ICTs) might mean for teaching and learning practices across an entire education system and want to see what actual practice looks like, a trip to Montevideo (or better yet, one of the regions outside the Uruguayan capital) should be high on your list.

Under Plan Ceibal (earlier blog post here), Uruguay is the first country in the world to ensure that all primary school students (or at least those in public schools) have their own personal laptop.  For free.  (The program is being extended to high schools, and, under a different financial scheme, to private schools as well).  Ceibal is about more than just 'free laptops for kids', however.  There is a complementary educational television channel. Schools serve as centers for free community wi-fi, and free connectivity has been introduced in hundreds of municipal centers around the country as well.  There are free local training programs for parents and community members on how to use the equipment.  Visiting Uruguay last week, I was struck by how many references there were to 'one laptop per teacher' (and not just 'one laptop per child', which has been the rallying cry for a larger international initiative and movement). Much digital content has been created, and digital learning content is something that is expected to have a much greater prominence within Ceibal now that the technology infrastructure is largely in place.

After Copenhagen: DM2009 Winner Has a Message for World Leaders

Leonardo Rosario (beneath banner in photo) of the Philippines was a winner at DM2009 with his Trowel Development Foundation's project to protect subsistence fishing communities from climate change, while also improving their production and marketing and restoring mangrove forests.  Here's his message for leaders at the international climate talks in Copenhagen.

How I wish the finalists of DM 2009 could have presented their “100 Ideas to Save the Planet” to international leaders gathered at the U.N. Climate Conference in Copenhagen.

What those leaders would have seen would have been not only passion and commitment but also solutions that were innovative, pragmatic, and cost-efficient.

It’s too late to go to Copenhagen.  But Copenhagen is only the beginning of the search by world leaders for climate adaptation solutions that are worthy of their support. 

The DM2009 finalists’ projects meet all the objectives of that search.  They enhance and strengthen people’s capacity to manage climate risks and adapt to changing climate patterns, and even to build community resiliency among the most vulnerable – Indigenous Peoples, women and children, marginalized farmers, and small-scale fishers.

Building disaster-resilient communities may seem far-fetched to skeptics, but it is do-able.  With innovative, community-based management of natural resources as well as the synergy of ancient and traditional knowledge systems combined with modern technology, a quarter of the DM finalists showed how it can be done.  The main objective of the projects was to show how food, which is most important in times of disaster, can be secured.  The techniques included climate-adapted production systems, participatory plant breeding, introduction of “Family EarthBox,” bioculture systems, cultivation of drought-resistant rainforest tree food, and merging traditional indigenous production practices with environment-friendly modern farming technologies.