These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
The Washington Post
An incredible map of which countries e-mail each other, and why
“The Internet was supposed to let us bridge continents and cultures like never before. But after analyzing more than 10 million e-mails from Yahoo! mail, a team of computer researchers noticed an interesting phenomenon: E-mails tend to flow much more frequently between countries with certain economic and cultural similarities.
Among the factors that matter are GDP, trade, language, non-Commonwealth colonial relations, and a couple of academic-sounding cultural metrics, like power-distance, individualism, masculinity and uncertainty. (More on those later.)” READ MORE
“Feminism' has often been seen as a Western concept, but African women are increasingly redefining it to suit their own purposes. This, in turn, is influencing the rest of the world.
Today, on International Women's Day 2013, one is likely to hear a raft of statistics that both celebrate and lament the status of women. While some indicators of gender equality have improved, others continue to shock and disappoint. And drawing firm conclusions using these different, discrete areas can often prove a troublesome task.” READ MORE
“Billions of dollars are spent each year on institutional reforms in development, aimed ostensibly at improving the functionality of governments in developing countries. However, evaluations by the multilateral and bilateral organisations sponsoring such reforms show that success is often limited. These evaluations reveal that as many as 70% of reforms seem to have muted results. They produce new laws that are not implemented, or new budgets that are not executed, or new units and agencies that go unstaffed and unfunded. In short, new forms may emerge but they frequently lack functionality: what you see is not what you get.” READ MORE
“Only six of the 58 member countries of the Open Government Partnership have contributed financially to the young organization.
Three of the nine government members on the Steering Committee have not provided any funding – Indonesia, Mexico and Tanzania.
The lack of contributions comes despite long-standing expectations of voluntary government support, especially from the founding members who make up the Steering Committee. Suggested contribution levels, graduated by country size, were promulgated in December in an attempt to prompt action in the face of cash-flow concerns.” READ MORE
“Don’t be too confident that you have a grip on the problem of bribery in your company. If you are a senior executive, a compliance professional, a lawyer or an auditor, you need to think like a criminal to stay ahead of the bad guys.
Strong internal controls deter and detect many strategies, but people who are determined to be corrupt can morph their methods to circumvent sophisticated controls.” READ MORE
“New figures released today by ITU confirm strong sustained demand for information and communication technology (ICT) services, with uptake spurred by a steady fall in the price of broadband Internet.
ITU’s The World in 2013: ICT Facts and Figures report predicts that there will soon be as many mobile-cellular subscriptions as people inhabiting the planet, with the figure set to nudge past the seven billion mark early in 2014. More than half of all mobile subscriptions are now in Asia, which remains the powerhouse of market growth, and by the end of 2013 overall mobile penetration rates will have reached 96% globally, 128% in the developed world, and 89% in developing countries.” READ MORE