The New Year was not so happy in Queensland, Australia. In December 2010 and January 2011, floods swept across the state and at the beginning of February 2011, cyclone Yasi, a category 5 storm, struck near Cairns. Dozens died, hundreds were evacuated, thousands were affected and an excess of US$15 billion of damages were caused. A state of emergency was declared in all but one of the 75 councils. Seventy percent of the state was impacted; an area five times the size of the United Kingdom.
Global community meet to discuss implementation of SDMX, and showcase tools
The third SDMX Global Conference took place in Washington during May 2-4, 2011. Hosted by the World Bank and IMF, the conference was attended by more than 200 officials from 90 countries, as well as all major international agencies and six vendors including Google.
My thinking has been focused on the developed world, not at all on developing countries. However, when Nick Manning invited us to participate in the World Bank’s consultation exercise it did occur to me that this might nevertheless make useful background. Some of the observations apply even more to many developing countries than to the developed world.
This seems to be a good time to stop blaming transport for all the World’s snags and start looking for simple ways of maximizing the benefits of this tool. Yes, you read it right: transport is a tool, for itself it does not create but adds value to goods and services moved where they are needed.
These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Celebrating World Press Freedom Day
“The timing could not have been more perfect for the World Press Freedom Day events held this week at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., this week. The program focused on both promoting freedom of the press and examining how new and old media are working together. We were there, and thought we would share some important takeaways from todays sessions:
- Sucessful Movements Need: the right timing, the right tools, and the right BIG idea.
- Mobile, Mobile, Mobile: in more countries than every more people than ever are accesing the internet, and getting their information via mobile phone.
- Social media is not killing traditional media- it is reinvigorating it.” READ MORE
Space for Transparency
Why Forests Need Transparency
“The climate change report TI issued this week had a whole section on forest governance. Manoj Nadkarni, manager of TI’s Forest Governance Integrity Programme explains why.
Recently, I’ve been getting a few inquiries about whether we at the Forest Goverance Integrity Programme have an ‘official’ view on the whole concept of the UN’s REDD programme: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation.
Will REDD work?’ ‘Is the money already going towards REDD being spent properly?’” READ MORE
It is still too early to estimate with much precision the quantitative impacts of the devastating events in Japan on the global energy sector, as well as the effects on energy and economic activity in Japan. Nevertheless, some qualitative conclusions can be drawn about the near and medium effects on Japanese and global energy balances. Much more difficult and speculative are judgments about the effect of the nuclear accident that resulted from the natural disaster on the longer-term energy picture.
- Living Standard Measurement Study (LSMS) team plays vital role and travels many back roads
- Eighty-eight surveys of very poor households spanning 26 years, 90% of them open to the public
- Firsthand microdata helps people understand living standards, poverty and inequality
If one wants to grow an oak tree, it helps to have both an acorn and a working knowledge of the conditions under which an acorn is most likely to become an oak tree. One also needs to know how long the germination process is likely to take – in the case of the red oak, upwards of two years from flowering to acorn to sapling. Absent such knowledge, one might reasonably (but incorrectly) infer that, upon seeing no outward signs of life six months after planting the acorn, one’s efforts had been in vain.
Drishtee is a network of over 14,000 rural enterprises that provides villages in India with access to internet connections, consumer products and critical community services.
Brainchild of Indian national Satyan Mishra, the Drishtee model is perfecting a “last mile delivery system” to reach villages that governments are unable to.
Mishra’s success was due in part to the faith that Global Development Marketplace (DM) — a Bank sponsored partnership that provides grant funding to support testing and scaling up of innovative ideas — had in his idea. In 2003 he received a $68,100 from DM allowing him to transform a budding idea into reality and scale up into three states: Assam, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh.
As coverage of the Arab Street’s awakening continues to dominate headlines, I find myself making further connections between the Middle Eastern, East Asian, and South African experiences. One intriguing common thread pertains to the role of the middle classes.