The Enterprise Surveys team has introduced a new product called Country Notes. This series of notes provide a customized snapshot of a country’s business environment relative to other economies surveyed in the region. While the survey fieldwork itself is a complex task, the notes themselves provide succinct analyses and policy recommendations based on the collected data.
Yesterday Dave Snowden published on his blog what is currently just an intriguing snippet - the idea of a Grameen group for learning (look forward to him expanding on the concept):
The basic idea is that you get your bursary as a progressive series of payments only if you form a learning group with other people in your community and you all take responsibility for each other group members completion of whatever education programme you take.
Last year Bill Easterly came out with some harsh criticism of the development community after the release of the Growth Commission report. The crux of Easterly's complaint: "this report represents the final collapse of the “development expert” paradigm that has governed the west’s approach to poor countries since the second world war." But the problem of the expert is not one that is limited to development institutions—it is a problem faced by all large organizations.
For the last hundred years the big organizational question has been whether any given task was best taken on by the state, directing the effort in a planned way, or by businesses competing in a market. This debate was based on the universal and unspoken supposition that people couldn’t simply self-assemble; the choice between markets and managed effort assumed that there was no third alternative. Now there is.
I just recently finished reading James Surowiecki's The Wisdom of Crowds, and I've been thinking a lot about how prediction markets could be mainstreamed into the work of development institutions.
The dog days of summer don’t seem to have an impact on the growth of literature on Development 2.0—the intersection of web2.0 and development. Here are some of the latest additions I've come across recently:
In a previous post, I mentioned that inadequate power supply was identified by a majority of retailers in India as the single most important obstacle (from a list of 20 obstacles) to their business. In this post, I report on the extent of power outages faced by Indian retailers and the associated losses to them–these are indeed large by international standards, and especially so in the less developed regions of India.
Does information want to be free? Perhaps, but if you want full access to the World Development Indicators, you'll have to shell out $200/year for an individual subscription. Is this tenable in a world of ever-cheaper information flows (and ever-easier methods of copying and transmitting information, legally or otherwise)? I ran across two recent articles by gurus of the information age on e