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The “entrepreneurs” behind those email scams

The Christian Science Monitor profiles the ‘yahoo-yahoo boys’:

In the heart of sub-Saharan Africa's most-crowded metropolis, in a dimly lit Internet café thumping with Nigerian music, clusters of two and three teenage boys hover around aging computer screens. They use their Nike T-shirts and baggy jeans to wipe sweat off their brows and palms as they intently craft deceptive e-mails and scour the Web for foreign e-mail addresses.

Measuring donor performance

Nancy Birdsall posts at Views from the Center. She is thinking about constructing:

...a measure of the quality (beyond the quantity) of the aid programs of the major donors. We have some initial ideas, building on the measure already used in our Commitment to Development Index: extent to which aid is tied, extent to which it goes to countries with honest, accountable governments, and more...

‘Africa needs freer markets’

The only way to give food security to 200 million sub-Saharan Africans is to give them the tools, not to rely on yet more aid and government mismanagement. World food production has increased with population by 90% in the last 50 years; the real price of food has declined by 75%. Yet Africa has none of the factors that made this possible: greater agricultural productivity, internal economic freedom and international trade.

Good intentions are not good enough

The World Bank has recently released ‘Reaching The Poor: What Works, What Doesn't, and Why.’ The disturbing finding is that most health programs designed to reach the poorest instead help the better-off. Neither public nor private pro-poor initiatives shine. But should policies target certain groups? And if so, what is the best way to do this?

Improving board performance in emerging markets

A recent McKinsey Quarterly article has picked up on what the IFC has known for years: boards of directors in emerging markets face far different challenges than their Western counterparts.

The piece points to several issues that make it difficult to maintain an effective Board in developing countries.

New blogger: Teresa Barger

We are thrilled to announce that Teresa Barger is joining PSD Blog. Teresa is Director of Corporate Governance for the World Bank and IFC and has been involved in the launch of some of the IFC’s most innovative departments and projects. She will be sounding in several times a month on the hot topics in corporate governance and international private equity.