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November 2012

With Sandy, Comes a Reminder

Maryanne Leblanc's picture

“Superstorm” Sandy passed through the northeast United States earlier this week. High winds and heavy rains caused considerable damage, particularly in New Jersey and New York. High winds damaged buildings and knocked down trees and branches. Falling trees and branches caused more damage, including falling on electrical and telephone wires, breaking them and causing widespread power outages. Further, the winds north of the storm’s center pushed already high tides into repeated surges, some as much as 4.5 m (over 13 feet) above normal high tide. Coastal areas, including parts of Manhattan, were submerged; road and subway tunnels filled with water. Heavy rains caused additional flooding along rivers and coastlines.

Friday Roundup: Unemployment, Jobs, Sectors, and Rethinking Development

LTD Editors's picture

How do you measure unemployment? By counting the number of people looking for work but unable to find it. However, this measure overlooks people willing to work and not necessarily looking for jobs. In an interesting chart, The Economist illustrates how a broader measure makes unemployment in Europe look even worse

A Global Wave of Financial Inclusion Targets?

Douglas Pearce's picture

Credit: IITA

On October 23, Nigeria joined a fast-growing list of countries making headline commitments to financial inclusion targets and actions,by launching a new Financial Inclusion Strategy. 

A total of 35 countries have now made commitments through the ‘Maya Declaration’ of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (a global network of financial regulators), including 19 as recently as September 2012. 17 countries committed in June 2012 to targets, actions, and coordination platforms through the new G20 Financial Inclusion Peer Learning Program.  These new commitments and targets could have a significant impact in advancing financial inclusion, if the challenges in meeting them can be overcome.

India's Slums: How Change Happens and the Challenge of Urban Programming

Duncan Green's picture

Got back from a fascinating week visiting Oxfam India last week, so the next few days’ post will be on India, sadly the world leader in poverty (by a long way). One of the areas that Oxfam is keen to develop there is its work on urban poverty, where it already works with migrant labourers, waste pickers, domestic workers, and on issues such as housing and access to identity papers. So I spent a couple of days visiting programmes and talking to partners in the slums of Delhi and Lucknow. (I prepped by reading Behind the Beautiful Forevers – wonderful book)

I know they’re grim to live in, but I have to confess to really enjoying visits to urban ‘informal settlements’, especially at dusk, with that particular sense of intimacy as cooking smells and firesmoke drift through the air and domestic workers, rickshaw pullers and street vendors return at the end of another hardscrabble day to grab an hour or two to socialize and relax.

But today, we’re encroaching on that precious leisure time, chatting to an animated group of slum leaders, mainly women, on the edge of Lucknow (see pic). Here, an Oxfam partner, the Vigyan Foundation, is promoting community organization to demand identity papers, water and sanitation, and access to health and education.

Jobs, plateaus, dividends, skills and data (cross-posted)

Kaushik Basu's picture

Using a silkscreen to dye Fabric _8825, hkoons, 2011

Jobs have been at the center of my life since I took up my own new job as World Bank Chief Economist on October 1. This began within hours of my joining the Bank, when I participated in the press launch of the World Development Report 2013 on Jobs. I have a longstanding interest in labor-related issues, the role of labor laws, and on the impact of privatization on jobs. So I was pleased by the clairvoyance of the World Bank in choosing jobs as the topic for the 2013 World Development Report, much before the Bank knew that it would choose me to be the Chief Economist.

Building Consensus for a Green Growth Pathway in Vietnam

Pedzi Makumbe's picture

Ho Chi Minh city at night, Vietnam

Vietnam has been one of the world’s fastest-growing economies over the past three decades.  Along with that growth has come the expansion of energy-intensive sectors such as manufacturing, transport and power generation.  Given the country’s dependence on fossil fuels, Vietnam’s total greenhouse gas emissions have more than doubled over the past decade, and are expected to triple by 2030.  Although per capita CO2 emissions are still low, Vietnam has the 20th highest carbon intensity in the world.

Investing in Infrastructure in Africa: Conundrum and Opportunity

Esohe Denise Odaro's picture

Last week, the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released its semi-annual report on FDI flows, which reflected generally dismal results: global FDI declined by 8 percent, with a 5 percent decrease for the developing world in particular. Investing in Infrastructure in AfricaI found it interesting that South Africa’s significant decline in FDI seemed to catch a good deal of media interest. Yes, the continent’s darling and the usually one of the highest recipients of FDI saw a drastic drop (by 43%); admittedly this deserves more than a glance. But I wonder why Finland and Ireland’s numbers, at 96.2 and 42.8 percent respectively, didn’t make much news. South Asia’s inflows also fell by 40 percent as a result of declines across nearly all countries in the subcontinent. In India, inward FDI fell from US$18 billion to US$10 billion. Why South Africa? In my opinion, the flow of investment to sub-Saharan Africa is often reported as a sign that the doors of the last frontiers are being approached.

What's the Most Popular World Bank Open Data?

Tariq Khokhar's picture

Many of you ask what the most popular resources on the open data sites are. I can usually offer a rough answer, but I thought I'd take a moment to respond to the question properly. There's more analysis below, but here's the summary of most popular pages and downloads from the data site:


  Most Popular Pages
1 The Indicator, Country and Topic pages
2 GDP, GNI and GINI (Inequality) related pages
3 The Data Catalog & World Development Indicators page
4 Individual country pages: China, USA, India, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia
5 Topic pages: including education, health and poverty
6 Economic statistics: goods exports, foreign investment and inflation
7 Country income classifications and methodology
8 Population, population growth and life expectancy


  Most Popular Data Downloads
1 GDP and GNI Related Data
2 World Development Indicators XLS/CSV/PDF
3 Country Data: China, USA, India, Brazil, Indonesia
4 Foreign Direct Investment & Exports Data
5 Population Data
6 Inflation Data
7 African Development Indicators
8 Country Income Classifications Data


Is this what you were expecting? Does it correspond with how you use the site?