These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
"To all of you digital divide warriors out there – nice work. With over 483 million mobile phone subscriptions in low-income countries - an estimated 44.9% penetration rate, few will deny the success of your efforts to expand mobile technology in the developing world.
Rapid mobile growth rates further exhibit success in dissemination, and stats such as, “There are more mobile phones than toilets in India,“ and “There are more mobile phones than light bulbs in Uganda,” make us smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside." READ MORE
Development and Transition
The political economy of sustainable development
"Many countries’—and the world’s—development path is not at present consistent with long-term sustainability. Failures of governments and markets, and weaknesses in civil society contribute to this outcome. A critical mass of consistent changes in policies, institutions, regulation, and incentives is needed to address these failures. While we may not yet be at a stage where all the elements can come together, experience from past crises suggests that a steadily eroding situation can create a tipping point, followed by a dominant coalition for change. This article seeks to lay out the main elements of a policy package that can be of use at that stage." READ MORE
"A year ago, Tunisians were in the process of bringing down a corrupt leader. It all started on 17 December 2010 when Tunisian fruit-seller Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire outside the building of the local officials who had abused him. With that extraordinary act of protest, the Arab Spring began.
Driven to despair after his unlicensed fruit and vegetable cart -- bought on credit -- was confiscated by the police, Bouazizi expressed his refusal to submit to those who abuse their power the only way he could, by paying the supreme price. If only there had been another way for him to make the powerful aware of his plight." READ MORE
Space for Transparency
What Happened at CoSP4?
"The UN anti-corruption conference CoSP4 was the largest of its kind to date. The results were disappointing, writesGillian Dell, Global Programmes Manager at Transparency International.
The fourth session of the UNCAC Conference of States Parties that met in Marrakech in October 2011 (CoSP4) was the biggest ever – with over 1500 delegates from 125 countries, including over 200 representatives from civil society organisations, most of them part of the UNCAC Coalition. Unfortunately, it was a missed opportunity." READ MORE
"On November 8, 2011, the Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won her re-election campaign following a contentious runoff vote. In the October 11 general election, neither of the top two presidential candidates secured a majority vote –Johnson Sirleaf received 43.9% of votes and opposition candidate Winston Tubman received 32.7% of the nation’s votes. Johnson Sirleaf and Tubman were scheduled to participate in a November 8 runoff election; however, Tubman boycotted it saying that the first elections had been unfair; a claim international election observers dispute. As the only candidate, Sirleaf won the runoff despite a low 37.4% of eligible voters coming out for the second round (compared to more than 70% for the first round).
In light of the election’s tumult, MobileActive.org spoke to the National Democratic Institute and Ushahidi Liberia to learn more about their respective work in the country encouraging transparency and fairness through election monitoring and citizen reporting." READ MORE