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Weekly wire: The global forum

Roxanne Bauer's picture
World of NewsThese are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

A simple solution for better economic performance - empower women
The Nation
Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund and one of the world's most influential women, made an interesting remark last weekend.  "We have estimates that, if the number of female workers were to increase to the same level as the number of men, GDP in the United States would expand by 5 per cent, by 9 per cent in Japan, and by 27 per cent in India," she told the inaugural summit of the Women's 20 (W-20), a new grouping launched by the G20, in Turkey.  She said that aside from boosting gross domestic product, getting more women into secure and well-paid jobs raises overall per-capita income.

Dealing with digital in media development —7 things to consider
Deutsche Welle Akademie
When colleagues from DW Akademie asked me to contribute some reflections on media development, I found myself in the difficult position of having to find a common ground for the term. Between regular Facebook updates sent by a friend working with a local radio station in Southern Sudan, a conversation I had here in Malmö/Sweden with a recently arrived Syrian refugee who used to work for state television, or the daily discussions about media, globalization and development that we have in our academic environment, it is difficult to find common ground.   But then again, when all these impressions and reflections sink in, some broader issues emerge. I have summarized them under the following seven points:

The World’s Short Attention Span, Quantified
The Atlantic
Each day around the world, far more events take place than the international media can possibly report on. It’s largely up to news organizations to decide what is “newsworthy,” and thus what they will—and won’t—tell the public. As a result, even the most devastating international crises receive only a short burst of attention before they are replaced in the headlines by the next breaking story. This phenomenon is known in communication studies as “compassion fatigue” or “media fatigue.” From the standpoint of disaster response and international aid, this is an especially acute problem for crises that result in large populations being displaced or needing assistance, since media attention quickly fades away even if the needs of the affected population persist for years.

International aid budgets could go twice as far – here’s how
The Conversation
The clock has struck 12 on the goals that the United Nations agreed in 2000 to further international development. From the time of the UN summit of that year, which took place between September 6 and 8, the world was given 15 years to meet the eight Millennium Development Goals. These included eradicating extreme poverty, combating HIV/AIDS and reducing child mortality. In his report on progress Ban Ki-Moon, the UN secretary-general, said that the goals had helped over one billion people out of extreme poverty but great challenges remained.

Cash aid more effective and transparent, experts claim
Public Finance International
Giving direct cash aid to those caught up in humanitarian crises would be the most effective and transparent form of assistance, a report from a high-level panel of experts has suggested. The Overseas Development Institute and the Centre for Global Development argue that cash-based programmes could improve the accountability and transparency of humanitarian aid, while also helping to support local markets and industries. The report, Doing cash differently: how cash transfers can transform humanitarian aid was commissioned by the UK Department for International Development. It claims that cash transfers are cheaper to deliver and also more flexible because those receiving them can decide for themselves exactly what they need.  The report estimates that in 2014 there were nearly 60 million people around the world who had been displaced by conflict. It found that the gap between needs and funding was widening, and believes that cash transfers can help close this gap and provide opportunities to improve the way humanitarian assistance is provided.

Investors In Emerging Markets 'More Engaged' On ESG Concerns
London is currently hosting an important conference for the entire corporate and investor world that includes “re-defining fiduciary duty for the 21st century” via the Principles For Responsible Investment (PRI). On its last day today, it reveals that retail investors in some emerging markets appear to be more engaged on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues than their counterparts in the developed world. For all those who believe the West generally leads on best corporate governance practices, this may come as something of a surprise.

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