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Formalization, growth and poverty

The informal sector plays a significant role in developing countries viz. the provision of employment, income and supplying ignored markets. However, working and employment conditions within the sector are still poor. Its expansion and changing structures have thus drawn the attention of scholars and international policy makers to the factors hindering its formalisation. Among the factors addressed are the high costs of formalisation and the lack of incentives for operating in the formal sector.

Does foreign aid help?

ABC News argues that food and financial aid often only enrich the corrupt, not reaching the poor they are meant to help. See this great six minute video with John Stossel on the story, where he sees for himself how hard it is to register a business in some countries and has some tough questions for Sachs and Bono on the benefit of giving more aid.

The Independent goes RED

Independentcover The UK’s Independent newspaper has gone RED today. All of the development/Africa-related articles in the special edition are hyperlinked in red, and half of sale proceeds will go to the Global Fund.

Open-source, collaborative avian flu fighting

Christine Gorman points us to the recently announced Global Pandemic Initiative:

IBM and 20 academic and public health organizations today announced a computer-based, collaborative effort to fight bird flu and other potential emerging disease threats. As part of the effort, IBM will contribute some software elements to the open-source community to help share information and make predictions about how a pandemic will develop and how best to respond to one.


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