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September 2012

Putting Nature at the Heart of Economic Decisions

Rachel Kyte's picture

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To put nature at the heart of economic decisions, government, the private sector & the conservation community must reach across the aisle.

Look around the world, and you’ll see abundant reasons to worry about nature and its capacity to sustain us. Over 60 percent of ecosystems are in worse shape now than 50 years ago; 85 percent of ocean fisheries are fully exploited, over-exploited or depleted; half of all wetlands have been destroyed since 1900; and climate change is changing everything.

But at the same time, if you look carefully, there are reasons for cautious optimism.

What banking regulators might be usefully discussing at Capetown

Ignacio Mas's picture

As regulators from across the developing world prepare to gather at the Alliance for Financial Inclusion’s annual Global Policy Forum which will be held in Capetown on 26-28 September, may I offer some thoughts on where we are at in the excellent financial inclusion journey and what is required to take it forward.

Financial inclusion by halves
Half the world is unbanked. In developing countries, half How can we move financial inclusion forward and bring more financial services to the people that need them? (Credit: Austin Yoder, Flickr Creative Commonsof accounts are inactive. And half of the active ones have the equivalent of just a few days of household income. (How do I know this is roughly the picture? I make it a point to throw that into conversations with bankers and mobile money operators, and eyes are cast down. The global Findex survey, though it is silent on account balances, does reveal a large gap between those who say they have an account and those who say they save in it.) Getting banked is hardly a quantum leap for most people in the informal sector.

SAR DM Grantees speak out about their winning projects on Nutrition

Phoebe Folger's picture

Photo credit: DFID - UK Department for International Development's photostream on FlickrIn light of its increasing mandate to address undernutrition in South Asia, the World Bank, with its partners, held a South Asia Regional Development Marketplace (SAR DM) on Nutrition under the theme: “Family and Community Approaches to Improve Infant and Young Child Nutrition.”

The SAR DM on Nutrition supported the testing of innovative ideas across South Asia to deliver improved nutrition services to pregnant and lactating women and children under two.

Robert Chambers - Why Don't All Development Organizations Do Immersions?

Duncan Green's picture

Following on my review of Robert Chambers’ new(ish) book, ‘Provocations for Development’, I’m posting a couple of edited-down excerpts that caught my eye. Today, immersions –  written in 2007 and a nice illustration of how Robert combines both the politics and practicalities of aid work.

Immersions can take many forms, but an almost universal feature is staying in a poor community, as a person, living with a host family, helping with tasks and sharing in their life. The overnight stay is vital for relationships, experience, and relaxed conversations after dark and talking into the night. There may be activities like working with and helping the family, listening and dialogue, learning a life history, keeping a reflective diary or trying to explain your work and its relevance, but the essence is to be open much of the time to the unplanned and unexpected, to live and be and relate as a person. The unplanned incident is so often the most striking, moving and significant. Much is experienced and learnt, but what that will be is hard to predict.

Weekly Wire: the Global Forum

Kalliope Kokolis's picture

These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.

Africa? There's an app for that

“In June this year Apple CEO Tim Cook shared with the waiting crowd at its Worldwide Development Conference that Apple would be giving access to the App Store to 32 new countries, bringing the total to 152. Tim Cook also shared some impressive statistics: the App Store now has 400 million accounts; there are 650,000 apps available for download; there have been 30 billion app downloads and more than $5 billion (£3.2 billion) has been paid to developers.

Of those 32 new countries there are a number in Africa, ranging from countries like Chad with millions of potential app users to remote São Tomé and Príncipe, with just thousands.”  READ MORE

A Post-Labor Day Check on Key Worker Rights

Mary Hallward-Driemeier's picture

Figure 1: Unionization has been trending down over the past 20 years

Countries around the world formally commemorate workers' contributions with a national holiday. But whereas over 80 countries celebrate "International Workers' Day" on May 1st, the United States observes "Labor Day" on the first Monday of September. The United States also marks the day with parades, festivals, and barbeques, events that largely avoid having the same political overtones that "May Day" has in many countries. This is despite the fact that the key events that inspired the holidays actually occurred in the United States.

How Does a Fragile State Lose Its Fragility? Lessons From Cote d’Ivoire

Jim Yong Kim's picture

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ABIDJAN, Cote d’Ivoire – At a jobs training center in this key capital city in West Africa, a young man showed me his newfound skills as an electrician. At a workshop, light bulbs flickered on and off. And then he told me something really important:

“It’s been 10 years since I graduated with my secondary school degree, and because of our conflict, I have never held a job. So this is a blessing to me,” said the young trainee. “But my brothers and sisters and so many people haven’t had this opportunity. I wonder how they can get jobs, too.”