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November 2012

Where is my cow? Theft and disease of livestock increase poverty in rural Tanzania

Jacques Morisset's picture

Let's think together: Every week the World Bank team in Tanzania wants to stimulate your thinking by sharing data from recent official surveys in Tanzania and ask you a couple of questions. This post is also published in theTanzanian Newspaper The Citizen every Sunday.

About 70 per cent of the world’s 1.4 billion extreme poor rely on livestock to sustain their livelihood, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO, 2009). Not only does livestock provide meat and milk for consumption, it also helps increase agricultural productivity through manure which is an organic fertilizer and draft power.

Because it can be readily marketed to generate income, livestock also reduces the vulnerability of poor households to external shocks. But this crucial resource is also susceptible to many risks including drought, disease, and theft.
 
In Tanzania, as of October 2010, there were more than 17 million heads of large livestock

Lant Pritchett v the Randomistas on the Nature of Evidence - Is a Wonkwar Brewing?

Duncan Green's picture

Recently I had a lot of conversations about evidence. First, one of the periodic retreats of Oxfam senior managers reviewed our work on livelihoods, humanitarian partnership and gender rights. The talk combined some quantitative work (for example the findings of our new ‘effectiveness reviews’), case studies, and the accumulated wisdom of our big cheeses. But the tacit hierarchy of these different kinds of knowledge worried me – anything with a number attached had a privileged position, however partial the number or questionable the process for arriving at it. In contrast, decades of experience were not even credited as ‘evidence’, but often written off as ‘opinion’. It felt like we were in danger of discounting our richest source of insight – gut feeling.

In this state of discomfort, I went off for lunch with Lant Pritchett (right – he seems to have forgiven me for my screw-up of a couple of years ago). He’s a brilliant and original thinker and speaker on any number of development issues, but I was most struck by the vehemence of his critique of the RCT randomistas and the quest for experimental certainty. Don’t get me (or him) wrong, he thinks the results agenda is crucial in ‘moving from an input orientation to a performance orientation’ and set out his views as long ago as 2002 in a paper called ‘It pays to be ignorant’, but he sees the current emphasis on RCTs as an example of the failings of ‘thin accountability’ compared to the thick version.

Global Flow of Students for Higher Education

Ravi Kumar's picture


 

Did you know the United Kingdom is one of the top destinations in the world for students to pursue higher education? Check out this interactive map by UNESCO Institute for Statistics to find out about student mobility on a global level.

Are you surprised by the findings? Tell us in the comments.

“Women in Water” in Pakistan Shows the Way

Masroor Ahmad's picture

Pakistan’s population of nearly 181 million is growing at 2% per year; this population explosion has resulted in the country meeting the international definition of water stress—water availability in Pakistan has plummeted from about 5,000 cubic meters per capita in the early 1950s to less than 1,100 m3 per capita in 2011.

This ominous, mounting water paucity impairs the lives of Pakistan’s rural women, who bear the arduous responsibility of collecting and providing water for their households. The absence of a safe water supply at or near their homes—and the resulting need to walk up to 4 km or more to get water each day—has aggravated the burden of women’s duties in many ways, making them vulnerable in terms of both their health and personal safety.

Rural women are the worst victims of water scarcity; however, in some communities, evidence indicates that women are emerging as a “herald of change.”

Global youth assert their visions for the city of 2025

Sintana Vergara's picture

“What attributes do you want your city to possess in 2025?”

As the share of the global population living in cities soars beyond 50%, answering this question is central for sustainable development. It is also central to Warren Evans, Senior Advisor at the World Bank, who is leading a study on what role the World Bank should play in sustainable development in 2025. But he agreed with us that it’s a question too often posed to senior decision makers. To instead find out what youth want their cities to look like – after all, they will be the ones in charge by then – Julianne and I ran a series of participatory workshops with professional and low-income youth, aged 15 to 30, to solicit their responses. We held at least three workshops in each of the four cities we visited – Tokyo, Manila, Bangkok, and Washington DC – with 10-20 participants per session. The workshops were comprised of three activities:

  1. Describe your city: in a word. Participants shared a word or a phrase defining where they were from.

NOW is the time to bring MENA's poor Into the net

Joana Silva's picture
        Jenny Matthews | Panos Pictures

Across MENA countries people are striving to improve their livelihoods in the face of multiple risks, ranging from economic crises, conflict or natural disasters, to unemployment, disability, and illness. For them, institutions that offer a chance to escape poverty and help build their resilience to crisis are essential. Key among these institutions are safety nets. This historic moment inspired our team to prepare the forthcoming report Inclusion and Resilience: The Way Forward for Social Safety Nets in the Middle East and North Africa.

Is Concentrated Solar Thermal Making Progress in Developing Countries?

John Probyn's picture

Concentrated Solar ThermalIt’s no secret that renewable energy development in developing countries is on the rise.  In its most recent report on renewable energy investment, the UN states that investment in renewables in developing countries  has grown over ten-fold – from USD 8 billion to USD 89 billion in the past eight years.  When taking advantage of solar resources, the clear choice – assisted by large recent reductions in capital cost - has been for solar photovoltaic technologies (Solar PV). 

The East Asian Miracle 2.0

Otaviano Canuto's picture

imageAlmost 20 years ago, the World Bank released a groundbreaking report – The East Asian Miracle – that called worldwide attention to the economic success of eight economies in the region, leading to a discussion on the extent to which policies followed by them could be replicated.

Quote of the Week: Zainab Salbi

Sina Odugbemi's picture

“Where has change ever been clean and nice? It has always been messy and painful.”

-- Zainab Salbi, Humanitarian, Activist, Writer, Media Voice, and Founder of Women for Women International. Ms. Salbi received the 2012 Barclays’ Women of the Year Award.

As quoted in the Financial Times on November 16, 2012, At home : Zainab Salbi, by Shannon Bond.


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