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Landmark finance deal for Bangladesh’s poor

Michael Jarvis's picture

BRAC, the renowned NGO based in Bangladesh, has helped create another groundbreaking financial product with the world’s first micro-credit securitisation programme. While microlending operations have proliferated in recent years, securitization had been difficult to arrange as most microcredit loans are typically so short term.

Peter Eigen will be blogging

Peter Eigen, the founder of Transparency International and now a member of Tony Blair's Africa Progress Panel, will be guest blogging next week on the Herald Tribune's blog: Managing Globalization. This week you can ask him your questions about corruption, development and the future of Africa.

Update: Here is the first round of Q&A.

Can competition cure healthcare?

On this blog we often trump the possible role of the private sector in improving healthcare service delivery in developing countries. However, many are quick to point out that a private and competitive approach to healthcare in the US has actually faired quite poorly in the eyes of many. This issue of private healthcare performance is the new focus of strategy-guru Michael Porter. For example, see a recent Q&A with him where he discusses whether competition might be the cure for healthcare.

Failures of electricity reform

In their paper Electricity reform in developing and transition countries: A reappraisal, J.H. Williams and R. Ghanadan find that the standard menu for reform of electricity markets in developing countries has been ill-suited to local conditions.

Despite fundamental differences in motivations and conditions, non-OECD reform policies were largely based on the theoretical analysis and policy recommendations of economists concerned principally with deregulation in the US and Europe.

Technology for development in Africa

Ict_in_africaMany are raving about the impressive upswing in African cell phone usage and the positive effects this might have on the continent's development. But what next? For Africa to fully reap the benefits of information and communication technologies (ICT), investment in broadband Internet and other technology is also necessary.

The economic impact of the Panama Canal

Noel Maurer and Carlos Yu have a new working paper on: What Roosevelt Took: The Economic Impact of the Panama Canal, 1903-29. Unsurprisingly, they argue that the United States, not Panama, benefited the most from the canal’s construction. (Didn’t everyone know this going in?) They then draw a warning for other developing countries:

Drucker on corporate responsibility

The third task of management is managing the social impact and the social responsibilities of enterprise. None of our institutions exists by itself and is an end in itself. Every one is an organ of society and exists for the sake of society. Business is no exception. Free enterprise cannot be justified as being good for business; it can be justified only as being good for society.

A revised Equator

No, not the latest piece of global climate change data (although the recent pieces on acidified oceans and icequakes ring the warning bell even louder). This time it's good news. A few years ago, civil society called upon bankers to take greater responsibility for the projects in which they invest. And something remarkable happened.