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March 2013

One billion people banked through the post

Image courtesy of UPU

In October 2012, when the first version of the Global Panorama was published, several news agencies and papers wrote: “UN urges increase in role of financial services across global postal sector” or “Posts must exploit untapped potential for financial inclusion”. The surprise was not in the titles but in the interest generated by reports on the postal sector. The intersection between two things which the general public does not automatically associate: the Post and financial services, especially for the poor, seemed to spark interest.

Scenes from a Dive - what’s big data got to do with fighting poverty and fraud?

Prasanna Lal Das's picture

World Bank Data Dive 2013

Photo Credit: Neil Fantom

A more detailed recap will follow soon but here’s a very quick hats off to the about 150 data scientists, civic hackers, visual analytics savants, poverty specialists, and fraud/anti-corruption experts that made the Big Data Exploration at Washington DC over the weekend such an eye-opener.

Can Carbon Taxes Be Effective?

Muthukumara Mani's picture

Arne Hoel/World BankIt was heartening to attend the recent Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) forum at the World Bank, where countries renewed their commitments to testing and piloting market-based instruments for greenhouse gas emission reduction. The PMR is country-led and builds on countries’ own mitigation priorities. Focus is placed on improving a country's technical and institutional capacity for using market instruments to scale up climate change mitigation efforts.

Time for an Economic Spring in the Arab world

Jean-Pierre Chauffour's picture
       

For some, the Arab spring, so-called, has already turned into winter. History does not necessarily repeat itself though, but for what happens next in the Arab world to have any chance at being good, there is an urgent need for an Arab economic awakening. For without strong economic underpinnings, and without growth and quality employment for the millions of young Arab men and women who seek jobs and a decent life, the Arab democratic transition indeed faces a grim future.

South Asia and the Geography of Poverty

Otaviano Canuto's picture

The world has become relatively less poor in the last few decades. People under conditions of extreme poverty -- that is, living on less than $1.25 per day -- have declined as a proportion of the world population, from 52 percent in 1981 to 22 percent in 2008.

How Can South Africa Promote Citizenship and Accountability? A Conversation with Some State Planners

Duncan Green's picture

How can states best promote active citizenship, in particular to improve the quality and accountability of state services such as education? This was the topic of a great two hour brainstorm with half a dozen very bright sparks from the secretariat of South Africa’s National Planning Commission yesterday. The NPC, chaired by Trevor Manuel (who gave us a great plug for the South African edition of From Poverty to Power) recently brought out the National Development Plan 2030 (right), and the secretariat is involved with trying to turn it into reality.

I kicked off with some thoughts which should be familiar to regular readers of this blog: the importance of implementation gaps, the shift in working on accountability from supply side (seminars for state officials) to demand side (promote citizen watchdogs to hold the state to account) and the challenge from the ODI-led Africa Power and Politics Programme that accountability work needs to break free of such supply/demand thinking and pursue ‘collective problem-solving in fragmented societies hampered by low levels of trust’, which seems a pretty good description of South Africa, according to the NPC. I gave the example of the Tajikistan Water Supply and Sanitation Network as an example of how this can be done through ‘convening and brokering’.

Once I shut up, it got more interesting (funny how often that happens). Some of the most interesting questions (and responses from me and others).

The view from inside Voices & Views

Esther Lee Rosen's picture
        Kim Eun Yeul

Since its big-bang beginning with the “Arab Spring”, the MENA Blog has evolved and grown, featuring various perspectives from economists, young people, political commentators, and leaders in their respective fields. Each has contributed in their own way, inviting readers into their world discussing a diverse range of important issues.

REMINDER! Call for entries open for 2014 Nestlé Prize in Creating Shared Value!

Dougg Jimenez's picture

Nominate innovative initiatives in nutrition, water or rural development!

CSV Prize 2012 Winner - Photo Credit: Nestle via Flickr PhotostreamNestlé has recently launched the call for entries for the 2014 Prize in Creating Shared Value. The deadline to apply is 31st March 2013.

Do you know an innovative scheme related to water, nutrition or rural development? You can help it scale up by nominating it for the Prize. They are looking for innovative, commercially viable and high-impact initiatives with the objective of helping them achieve scale and financial sustainability.

The winner is selected by the Nestlé CSV Advisory Board and benefits from an investment of up to CHF 500,000 (approx. USD 530,000) to scale up or replicate its project. The goal is also to learn from each other and to identify possible areas of collaboration. They value the experience and insight that their prize winners share with them and those winners value the technical expertise Nestlé may bring.

The Prize is open to individuals, not-for-profit organizations, governmental and inter-governmental organizations, private and social enterprises, and academic institutions.


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