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November 2012

As HIV/AIDS cases increase in the Philippines, so does activism

Chris Lagman's picture
Photo from Aktionsbündnis gegen Aids through a Creative Commons license

It was Christmas dinner two years ago, in 2010, among my gay friends. I just came back from an expat assignment in the US, and was greatly enjoying the uniquely Filipino way of celebrating the cheery season. Towards the end of that dinner, one of my close friends came up to me saying he wanted to speak with me in private.

The two of us went outside the restaurant, and in a dark corner of the parking lot he told me he wanted me to be among the first to know. Early that month, he had himself tested for HIV, and found out he was positive. I was so shocked that no words came out of my mouth, I remember just giving him the tightest hug I could, my mind blank, my heart racing, not knowing what to say or do next. He was my first close friend who came out to me as HIV-positive.

Food Prices Still Critical Concern: 5 Questions for Economist José Cuesta

Karin Rives's picture

Read this post in Français | Español

High food prices appear to be the new normal, as are wild fluctuations in prices. The world ducked a global food crisis after some key staples such as maize and soybean soared to record levels in July 2012, but food security concerns have not dissipated. The latest issue of the World Bank’s Food Price Watch shows that while the October Food Price Index dropped 5 percent below its July peak, internationally traded foods such as grains and oils are still well above price levels a year ago.

World Bank economist José Cuesta, author of the quarterly Food Price Watch, says this is not the time for the world to become complacent about high and volatile food prices. We need more action to help the 870 million people who are hungry, and the many millions more who live under a constant threat of hunger, he says.

Service with a smile: A new growth engine for poor countries

Ejaz Ghani's picture

This post was originally published in Voxeu.org.

Services have long been the main source of growth in rich countries. We argue that services are now the main source of growth in poor countries as well. We present evidence that services may provide the easiest and fastest route out of poverty for many poor countries.

For more than 200 years, it was argued that economic development and growth was associated with growth of the labour-intensive manufacturing sector (Baumol 1967, Kaldor 1966, UNIDO 2009). Services were considered as menial, low-skilled, and low-innovation (McCredie and Bubner 2010). But today, services can be among the most dynamic sectors in an economy. The policy question is whether this is true even in poor countries.

How to build a sustainable competitiveness platform?

In the wake of the first global recession since World War II, governments around the world are looking for ways to boost growth and competitiveness. Given the fragility of the business and economic climate—and strained public coffers—the responsibility to get policy right is acute. But can public policy makers improve on their hit and miss record of interventioCredit: jon smith, Flickr Creative Commonsn in the past? I would pick out three useful lessons that we have learned, often the hard way:

■    Don’t focus on single industries in the hope of “picking winners.”: Governments need to take a broad-based, inclusive approach to growth, particularly if a key aim is the creation of jobs. Large domestic service sectors that are labor-intensive are creating all net new jobs in high-income economies and 85 percent in middle-income countries. Don’t get me wrong. New technologies can have a transformational impact beyond their particular sectors, enabling future productivity improvements and growth—think IT. But it is the low-tech green jobs in local services, such as improving building insulation and replacing obsolete heating and cooling equipment, that have a greater potential for creating jobs in the near term.

The Palestinian private sector: resilience in the face of harsh conditions

Layali H. Abdeen's picture
        Izumi Kobayashi

I recall the first time I visited Nakheel Palestine for Agricultural Investments Company fields at Jericho two years ago, when MIGA was still at the early stages of underwriting the project constituting planting date trees. The land was empty and, at the first glance, the first thought that came to mind was “how can this be developed into arable land?”

Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI)

Najm-us-Saqib Shabbir's picture

In order to provide an ownership structure in Pakistan for remittance facilitation, State Bank of Pakistan (the central bank), Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Ministry of Finance launched a joint initiative called Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI) in early 2009. This initiative has been taken to achieve the objectives of (a) facilitating and supporting efficient flow of workers’ remittances and (b) catering for other financial services needs of Overseas Pakistanis and their families back home. 

What are the Ingredients of Democratic Breakthroughs?

Duncan Green's picture

The United States Institute of Peace has a very interesting paper out on ‘Democratic Breakthroughs: the Ingredients of Successful Revolts.’ It's a bit reductionist, but identifies some potentially informative patterns. This from the summary:

The cases of successful breakthrough examined in this study are the Soviet Union in 1991 and Russia in 1993, Poland in 1989, Serbia in 2000, Ukraine in 2004, Indonesia by 1999, Chile in 1988, and South Africa by 1996. Cases of failed and then ultimately successful democratic transition are Ghana by 2000, Mexico by 2000, South Korea by 1987, and Turkey by 1983. Finally, the cases of failed transition examined are Algeria in 1991, Iran in 1979, China in 1989, and Azerbaijan in 2005.

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.

ICFJ
African News Innovation Winners Focus on Citizen Engagement, Investigative Tools and Whistleblower Security

“Twenty African media innovators will receive a total of $1 million to develop digital projects that improve the quality of news across the continent, as part of the first African News Innovation Challenge (ANIC).

Many recipients concentrated on enhancing citizen journalism, investigative reporting and source protection.

ANIC is the largest fund for digital journalism experimentation in Africa. It is designed to spur solutions to the business, distribution and workplace challenges facing the African news industry. The contest was organized by the African Media Initiative (AMI), the continent’s largest association of media owners and operators, and managed by Knight International Journalism Fellow Justin Arenstein. The fellowships are administered by the International Center for Journalists.”  READ MORE


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