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June 2012

Getting good civil servants for tough jobs

Markus Goldstein's picture

Past PPP Blogs introduced readers to the Caribbean Regional Support Facility, which ran a series of boot camp-style workshops to increase technical capacity among Caribbean government officials and achieve long-sought results. In our newest video blog from the field, Brian Samuel, a PPP Coordinator with the Caribbean Development Bank (and a former IFC staffer), explains how these PPP boot camps transformed talk into action. Brian's first installment of this series can be found here.

China's Labor Challenges

Cai Fang's picture

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The 8th World Water Forum was held in Brazil a few days ago. What's ironic is that the more than nine thousand of us attending this Forum were discussing water-related issues in a city of three million grappling with a severe water shortage. After checking in at my hotel, the first thing I found in my room was a notice from the Government informing guests of this crisis and recommending ways to reduce water use. We recently learned of the predicament in Cape Town, South Africa, which was on the verge of running out of this essential liquid—a plight facing many cities around the world.

Your questions answered: living in rapidly growing cities

Huong Lan Vu's picture

 Last week I asked you to send us your questions about the challenges faced by rapidly urbanizing countries. Please see below my video with urban specialist Dean Cira, where he addresses 5 of the many questions received. Dean will follow up soon with a blog post tackling some of your other questions and comments. Thanks!

South Asia's nutrition marketplace

Julie McLaughlin's picture

It is difficult for many of us to focus on more than one thing at a time. Maybe we are hard-wired that way. But if ever our species needed to evolve such an ability, now is the time. At the same time that we urgently need to decarbonize the global economy, we also need to plan for a very different and much more unstable climate. It’s adaptation time too.

The World Development Report 2010 brings home the urgent need for both decarbonization and adaptation planning. There is a new realism afoot in both the climate change science community and in the development community, brought about by mounting scientific observations of change but also some sobering numbers and projections.

There is, I would say, very little realistic probability of avoiding cumulative emissions that will force the climate system beyond 2°C—unless, of course, there is a significant breakthrough in Copenhagen on mitigation targets, beyond what is presently on the table, and immediate implementation of those targets.

Rio+20 and Its Shades of Grey

Dan Hoornweg's picture
How close to the edge?
   Photo ©

In September, a diverse group of scientists—among them the Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen—presented in the journal Nature a new framework to analyze sustainable development at a global scale. This framework recognizes that humans have now become the main driver of global environmental change, and that our impact on the planet is growing stronger.

We are affecting every one of the major natural processes which are important for our own welfare, wrecking the ability of earth systems to regulate themselves, and buffer disturbances. In fact, our actions may be shifting earth processes to a completely new state that is a far cry from the extraordinarily stable conditions (in the entire history of planet earth) that allowed the development of human civilization since 10,000 BC. In the words of Paul Crutzen and colleagues, we have entered a new geologic era, the “Anthropocene”.

Our pressure on the planet appears more and more troubling as our understanding of earth processes improves. There is increasing evidence that many earth systems and biophysical phenomena do not change in a linear fashion, but rather experience abrupt changes when thresholds are crossed.

Improving Funding of Impact Evaluations – end the fiscal year and other rules that have outlived their usefulness

David McKenzie's picture

Las tasas de mortalidad de menores de 5 años han descendido en un 49 % desde 1990, según nuevas estimaciones de la mortalidad infantil (i) y un comunicado dado a conocer hoy. Esta información también se encuentra en el informe Niveles y tendencias en la mortalidad infantil 2014 (i) del Grupo Interinstitucional de las Naciones Unidas sobre Estimaciones de la Mortalidad Infantil (IGME, por sus siglas en inglés). (i) En otras palabras, unos 17 000 niños menores de 5 años menos murieron cada día en 2013 que en 1990.
Estas tasas han disminuido a un ritmo más rápido que en cualquier otro momento de la historia durante las últimas dos décadas. En el periodo 1990-95, se registró una reducción de 1,2 % anual en tanto que en el lapso 2005-2013, este porcentaje llegó a 4 %.

Más niños llegan a su quinto cumpleaños
Las  mejoras más notables en la supervivencia infantil desde 1990 se deben a una mejor calidad de la atención de salud y servicios más asequibles, así como también a la expansión de los programas sanitarios dirigidos a los recién nacidos y a los niños más vulnerables.
La disminución de un 49 % —de 90 muertes por cada 1000 nacidos vivos en 1990 a 46 muertes en 2013— significa que un bebé nacido hoy en día tiene muchísimas más posibilidades de cumplir 5 años de edad en comparación con uno nacido en 1990.

Se necesitan más avances para conseguir el objetivo de desarrollo del milenio 4
Cuatro de las seis regiones del Grupo del Banco Mundial están en vías de lograr el objetivo de desarrollo del milenio 4 (ODM 4), que consiste en reducir en dos tercios la mortalidad de los niños menores de 5 años a más tardar en 2015. África al sur del Sahara y Asia meridional son dos regiones donde las tasas de disminución siguen siendo insuficientes para alcanzar esta meta a nivel mundial. En 2013, el índice más elevado se registraba en África al sur del Sahara, donde se produjeron 92 muertes por cada 1000 nacidos vivos o 1 de cada 11 niños murió antes de cumplir 5 años.

How a Week in Rio Leads to an Active Monday Morning

Rachel Kyte's picture
Bhutan Food Security
The Food Security and Agricultural Productivity Project (FSAPP) will directly benefit approximately 10,400 households (52,000 people). Photo Credit: Abimbola Adubi

While Bhutan has seen immense growth along with impressive reductions in poverty, it remains a predominantly agriculture-based society, with the majority of the population relying on agriculture for their livelihoods. Most of the country’s arable land is cultivated by small farm holdings – an average size of 1.2 hectares – which produce most of the crop and livestock. However, despite importing 34% of its cereal needs, nearly one out of three Bhutanese suffer from food insecurity. Additionally, nearly 27 percent of Bhutanese households consume less than the daily minimum calorific requirement of 2,124 kcal, resulting in nearly 30 percent of the population facing malnourishment and related health issues such as stunting, or children that are too short for their age.  

To help improve the county’s agricultural productivity and better meet the nutrition needs of its people, we recently launched of the Food Security and Agricultural Productivity Project (FSAPP) with the government of Bhutan.  The project is designed to reduce the country’s reliance on food imports, help combat malnutrition in children, while improving agricultural productivity. It will assist farmers in five selected dzonkhags (districts) to diversify and enhance agriculture through better cultivation and sales and marketing of their products.

How could the project really be transformational for farmers in Bhutan?  The project builds on past efforts where the farmers were assisted with production inputs and equipment. It seeks to transform subsistence farming toward commercialization by boosting production and forging direct links to the market. The new project will also provide opportunities for the farmers to work together, form farming collectives, and create a unified voice to negotiate with agro-entrepreneurs for better terms for their goods.