Juga tersedia di Bahasa
My first trip to Aceh was in August 1998, four months after the resignation of former President Soeharto. It was the height of Indonesia's pro-democracy Reformasi movement, and many journalists thought that travel permits were still required, as it had been for decades. My friend and I were venturing as 'tourists'. In many villages, the legacy of repression remained: razed houses, shuttered schools, and households run by widows. Poverty was unavoidable; violence and economic growth are often incompatible.
In 2009, an EU-based chemical manufacturer opened a plant inside one of FYR Macedonia’s recently-established special economic zones. The plant began production of catalysts, a type of emissions-control component used in automobiles. Two years later, this investment drove chemical products to the third-highest spot on Macedonia’s export list, lessening the country’s reliance on metals and textiles.
In Nicaragua, low labor costs and high security compared to its neighbors have led zonas francas to expand dramatically, attracting producers of electronic wires and medical devices and expanding the country’s exports beyond an already-strong apparel sector. Between 2006 and 2008, for example, ignition wiring sets for vehicles were the country’s fourth biggest export.
In the Philippines and Guatemala, local groups have taken the mantra “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle” to a whole new level. MyShelter Foundation and Hug It Forward use discarded plastic bottles as ‘eco-bricks’ to work with local communities to build “Bottle Schools” – providing an innovative response to the problems of plastic waste and the chronic lack of educational infrastructure.
It’s fuzzy, it’s trendy, and it’s not even clear how new the whole concept really is. The passions triggered by the new breed of enterprises we now call social may even appear to some almost cultish.
They operate as private enterprises, often with a strong entrepreneurial and innovation culture, but claim to have a broader purpose than just maximizing financial returns for shareholders. They aim to be sustainable (i.e. commercially viable) though they don’t shun grant money from foundations and aid programs to get them started.
Interest in the social enterprise sector will continue to grow because it lies at the confluence of several powerful trends. There are three inter-linked themes: the search for new approaches to the challenges of development, the spirit of technological innovation, and growing global prosperity and integration.
Donors and multilateral development organizations are increasingly emphasizing private sector development as the preferred path to growth. They have seen that promotion of a stable macroeconomic environment and trade liberalization by themselves may not trigger supply-side responses, and that heavy-handed government action through public enterprises and industrial policies are prone to political capture and often result in a checkerboard of local monopolies. There is therefore much interest in policies that make it easier to do business, remove obstacles to external enterprise financing, and develop a pool of skills that can be readily harnessed by a growing entrepreneurial class.
One of the best things about living in Washington DC is riding your bike to work, early in the morning, past the blossoming cherry trees along the tidal basin. Sometimes you have to actually stop for a moment, the trees are so beautiful. Thank you, Governor (Mayor) Ozaki Yukio: He gave the trees to the up and coming Washington DC in 1912.
This year is the 100th anniversary of the City of Tokyo’s original gift of 3020 cherry trees. You would be hard pressed to find a more perfect gift, or a more perfect example of how the cities we live in, and the globally-minded ones overseas, improve our day-to-day quality of life.
Las Vegas is extreme in many ways, perhaps in no way more than in its water management. We were delighted to host 'Water Czar' Patricia Mulroy, general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority and the Las Vegas Valley Water District, to hear how Las Vegas has completely transformed the way it manages water services.
- The World Region
Like all fields of socio-economic measurement, there is scope for debate on how best to assess development progress. There is often much to be learnt from such debate.
But the debates are not always politically neutral. Some observers chose only to look critically at data and methods when the results diverge from their political priors. And some try to undermine evidence that does not fit their priors by questioning the motives of those producing that evidence. A generous interpretation might construe this as some “postmodern” approach to data, but on closer inspection it often looks more like a debating ploy to make up for weak substantive arguments.
A challenge for developing countries considering issuance of bonds (including diaspora bonds) is costly and onerous SEC registration requirements in the U.S. and Europe. The Capital Raising Online While Deterring Fraud and Unethical Non-Disclosure Act (CROWDFUND Act) passed by the U.S. Senate on March 22 could potentially make the regulatory process simpler for some small-scale financing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in developing country.