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March 2012

From the World Water Forum: Idea for a New Water Prize?

Michael Peter Steen Jacobsen's picture

At the World Water Forum in Marseille, I participated in a session on innovative ways to finance water for the poor. Most of the ideas proposed were good, including testing Output-Based Aid, improvements to the water tariff structure, and a sanitation fee on the water bill.Then the organizers asked for ideas and the discussion was opened for plenary...

ICTs: Keeping the Tunisian Spring Evergreen

Tim Kelly's picture

 

The historic changes in Tunisia since the Arab Spring revolution of last year have opened many new opportunities – notably the potential to revitalise a dynamic and entrepreneurial private sector. TechnoCan ICTs keep the revolution in Tunisia going? (Credit: Amine Ghrabi, Flickr Creative Commons)logy and social media played an important role in bringing about the revolution. So it is logical to expect that information and communication technologies (ICTs) will continue to be important in the post-revolutionary phase of Tunisia’s development. But to find out quite what the role of ICTs is likely to be, infoDev – a global partnership program within the World Bank – recently commissioned the wide-ranging study ‘Tunisia: from revolutions to institutions’, describing how Tunisians are using ICTs to build a new future.
 
Imagine you are a young, technologically-savvy college graduate in Tunis with a start-up idea. Although your domestic market is small, your French and Arabic language skills and diaspora ties give you a foothold in both Europe and the Arab States. Furthermore, the historic changes across North Africa present new opportunities in an increasingly networked region. So, what’s stopping you from building the next killer app?

Using CCTs to Reduce Child Labor and Improve the Quality of Work that Children Perform

Ximena Del Carpio's picture

Does an increase in household wealth decrease child labor in poorer households? Available literature in economics suggests that when poorer households need to make their ends meet, they tend not to dispense on child labor. And as households’ income increases, child labor declines in favor of schooling. However, if schools are few and far, and their infrastructure and teachers’ performance are deficient, there is less incentives for parents to send their children to school. Child labor would then appear as a sensible option, not only for increasing family’s current income but also for training children in skilled work. Thus, an appropriate question is: To what extent and under what conditions an increase in household wealth can either decrease or increase child labor in poor households?

KONY 2012 and Lessons for Development (KONY 2012, Part 1)

Tanya Gupta's picture

Zero to 66 million views on YouTube in just five days (March 5-March 10).  Mostly teenagers and young people. Celebrity tweets from Oprah and others. 

The essence of the campaign: A simple video message about a warlord who lives thousands of miles away from most of the video’s viewers, created by Jason Russell, inspired millions to “make Kony famous”, and end the atrocities of Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Kony and the LRA are allegedly responsible for large scale killings, and rapes of women and children in Uganda, Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. 

There has been some criticism of their efforts: Some victims say it has come too late (Telegraph).  Others ask how are we ever going to awaken to our civil responsibility to demand more from our sitting governments if we are lulled into a dependency state for every civil service we should rightly expect from our governments? (CNN). Some African critics of the Kony campaign see a ‘white man’s burden’ for the Facebook Generation  (New York Times).  

How to survive the revolution and thrive … in the long run

Mariana Felicio's picture
World Bank | Arne Hoel | 2012For citizens of the Arab world – and probably most especially young citizens – the post-revolution era has seemed a bit of a cold shower; the obstacles daunting; the heady moments of people power faded; and the question for some perhaps whether there even was a revolution. In this context it’s empowering to hear the voices of recent history from elsewhere in the world and fascinating among them is Dewi Fortuna Anwar from the Vice President’s Office in Indonesia. She is steeped in her country’s history of independence, democracy, and dictatorship.

Psychological recovery after disaster – resilience is the norm

Jed Friedman's picture

I’ve been reading a good bit on psychological responses to conflict and disaster for on-going work and am struck by the tone of discussion in the popular press soon after a potentially traumatic event. In these reports, trauma among the survivors is often presumed widespread and the focus is on its expected costs and consequences. However more recent academic work on this topic argues that an exclusive focus on the traumatized misses most of the story.

Management and Productivy Across the Globe

Nicholas Bloom's picture

The ability of businesses to thrive and to hire workers is tightly linked to their management practices. Nicholas Bloom, Associate Professor in Stanford University’s Department of Economics, has examined management and productivity in settings across the globe, including developing countries. We asked for his views on the variation of management practices, advice for policymakers, and more.

From the World Water Forum: Twenty Years After Dublin, Paying for Water is Still Controversial

Michael Peter Steen Jacobsen's picture

In a session on Financing Water for All, Ian Banda, CEO of the Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company, said that poor people who are not connected to the network in the Copperbelt towns in Zambia pay their local vendor 10 to 12 times more for water than poor and rich people pay to the utility. Juergen, from the International Secretariat for Water, a Canadian NGO, found that charging for water is immoral.


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