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How satellites and social media help us anticipate the needs of conflict-affected countries

Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez's picture
The World Bank Group plays a major role in recovery and reconstruction efforts in conflict-affected countries. Therefore, it is important for us, in collaboration with international partners, to engage in assessing the needs and planning for recovery and reconstruction as much ahead of time as possible. In recent times, we have been conducting broad-brush damage assessments in active conflict situations using innovative remote-based techniques like satellite imagery or social media analytics to provide not only damage numbers and trends but also qualitative information on the status of various services. These new approaches have helped us maintain situational awareness of and be ready for recovery when the situation allows.

During the initial stages of recovery efforts, supporting local-level recovery initiatives can serve as a springboard for large-scale reconstruction programs, which remains our biggest comparative advantage. Therefore, there is a need to expand these assessments to include other elements of recovery, which would inform preparation of multi-sectoral local level recovery interventions in the short-term, and major reconstruction programs in the medium- to long-term.

Social media: Using our voice to end adversity

Bassam Sebti's picture
Also available in: Español | Français | العربية
When was the last time you used your mobile phone camera? Yesterday, this morning, or a few minutes ago? How did you use it? To snap a photo of your child or pet, or maybe to identify a problem in your community to bring it to public attention?
 
Have you ever thought that your camera phone can actually capture more than the ordinary? Did you know that with just one snap you might be able to save lives and lift people out of hardship and poverty?
 
Yes, you can! At least one stranger in downtown Beirut believed so.

 

Social Media at the World Bank: What Can You Get for #1dollar?

Liana Pistell's picture

Imagine you only had $1 in your pocket. What would you spend it on? Food? Electricity? Fuel? Shelter? More than 1 billion people live in extreme poverty —  less than $1.25 a day. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has called this a “moral stain on our collective conscience” and has challenged world leaders to commit to ending extreme poverty by 2030. 

If you agree that we can end poverty by 2030, add your voice by telling world leaders that ending extreme poverty is a goal shared by everyone, everywhere. 

How can you join the fight to end poverty:

Does Social Media Create (or Destroy) Social Capital?

José Cuesta's picture

Like cholesterol, “social capital” comes in bad and good types.

Elusive to define, social capital consists of those bonds created by belonging to a group that instills trust, solidarity, and cooperation among members. We know that good social capital has an enormous development potential, positively influencing economic growth, democracy, cognitive development, and adoption of farming practices, among others.

In a recent study on crime in Colombia1, a colleague from American University, Erik Alda, and I show that high rates of crime help destroy social capital (victims trust less). But social capital can also reduce crime when it effectively increases the involvement of all of us in the prevention and management of crime and violent behavior and when it reduces the temptation of each individual to let others solve the problem of crime.

Stronger interpersonal trust, however, also allows an easier exchange of information and know-how among criminals, reducing their costs of committing a crime. Because bonding and trust within these groups demands the exclusion of others, a perverse social capital may lead to the kind of extreme violence and hatred seen in the Mafia, the Ku Klux Klan, maras, or genocides.

5 Tips on Starting a Social Movement

Jim Yong Kim's picture
Also available in: العربية

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At the World Bank Group, we want to help create a social movement to end poverty and to enhance shared prosperity. But how do you do that? More broadly, how do you start any social movement?

It's not easy. The world is littered with failed attempts. The roadblocks are numerous - including skeptics casting doubt, saying the task is impossible and that others have tried and failed. Why spend time on a futile endeavor? Even if Albert Camus thought he was happy, Sisyphus never did get the boulder to the top of the mountain.

But in nearly three decades of working to fight poverty, I have come to conclude that optimism in the face of seemingly intractable problems is a choice. If your cause is just and you are working in an institution with the means to truly make a difference in the lives of the poor, optimism of the spirit is a moral responsibility.

What Sparks Change? How Can We End Poverty?

Jim Yong Kim's picture
Also available in: العربية

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What will it take to end poverty?What inspires change? What has impact on policy? What really motivates us to do social good?

Here’s one story from my past that I’ll never forget.

In 1987, Dr. Paul Farmer and I and a few others helped start a group called Partners in Health to provide access to quality health care to the poor. In the beginning, the majority of our work was centered in Haiti. Seven years later, in 1994, we set up a program in Carabayllo, a settlement on the outskirts of Lima, Peru.

We began our program in Peru because a good friend of ours -- Father Jack Roussin – said we must. He said the area needed a much stronger primary health system, and so we helped build a cadre of community health workers. Our organization there, Socios en Salud, worked to improve the health care of people in the community, employed 20 local young people, built a pharmacy, and then conducted a health assessment for the town.

Then Father Jack became ill. He started losing weight. I urged him to return to his home in Boston. When he finally did, tests revealed that his lungs were full of tuberculosis (TB). And it wasn’t any TB. It was multi drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). His disease was resistant to the four major drugs used to treat TB. Soon after, Father Jack died.

We went back to Carabayllo and investigated. Why did he have drug-resistant TB? We found an alarming number of cases of MDR-TB. We did two things: First, we immediately started looking for supplies of the drugs that could treat TB cases we discovered. We gave those to patients, and to our great relief we were able to cure most of them. Second, we started to push for a global program to treat poor people everywhere suffering from drug-resistant TB.

Views From Brazil, Ecuador and India: What Will It Take to End Poverty?

Mehreen Arshad Sheikh's picture

Our World Bank community has been out in the field with video cameras asking families, farmers, workers and parents from all corners of the globe: What will it take… to improve your life?.. to get a better job? … to end poverty?

As part of our global conversation on social media and multimedia, we have received video from countries like Brazil, Ecuador, Tanzania, Laos and India. People are sharing their ideas, their hopes and their solutions for creating a better life for all.

Here are three views on #whatwillittake:

In Brazil, Maria José dos Santos tells us that providing more schools and childcare would allow mothers to get fulltime jobs. “It would be great if everybody had more access to child care and all day schools. That would enable mothers to work in peace.”

A Question Going Global: What Will It Take to End Poverty?

Jim Yong Kim's picture

Read this post in Español, Français, عربي, 中文, Tiẽng Việt, Bahasa Indonesia, ไทย


It’s not every day that you see a video in the back of a New York City taxicab asking people to tweet about ending global poverty. Though the most recent data tell us that global poverty has been declining, it’s shocking that some 1.3 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day.

That's half the amount of the base fare of a taxicab ride in Manhattan. It's not right.

The taxicab video, which is airing this week during the UN General Assembly, is part of a new conversation we’ve launched at the World Bank. We’re asking a simple question: What will it take to end poverty?

คำถามสำหรับคนทั้งโลก: จะทำอย่างไรเพื่อจะกำจัดความยากจนให้หมดไป

Jim Yong Kim's picture

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คงไม่ใช่ทุกวันที่คุณจะได้เห็นวีดีโอที่หลังรถแท็กซี่ในนครนิวยอร์กขอให้พวกเราทวีตเกี่ยวกับการกำจัดความยากจนทั่วโลก แม้ว่าข้อมูลล่าสุดจะระบุว่าความยากจนทั่วโลกกำลังลดลง  แต่ก็ยังเป็นที่น่าตกใจที่คนประมาณ 1,300 ล้านคนทั่วโลกยังชีพด้วยเงินน้อยกว่า 1.25 เหรียญสหรัฐต่อวัน

เงินจำนวนเท่านี้เป็นเพียงแค่ครึ่งหนึ่งของค่าโดยสารแท็กซี่ขั้นต่ำในเมืองแมนฮัตตัน ในนครนิวยอร์ค นั่นไม่ถูกต้องแล้ว

วีดีโอได้เผยแพร่บนรถแท็กซี่ระหว่างที่มีการประชุมสมัชชาสหประชาชาติในสัปดาห์นี้ และเป็นส่วนหนึ่งของบทสนทนาใหม่ที่เราได้เริ่มขึ้นที่ธนาคารโลก เรากำลังถามคำถามง่าย ๆ ว่า จะทำอย่างไรเพื่อกำจัดความยากจนให้หมดไป

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