Earlier this year, I attended a first-rate workshop on the Post-2015 Development Goals, hosted by Barry Carin (Centre for International Governance Innovation) and Wonhyuk Lim (Korean Development Institute). The event took place in the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center on the shores of Lake Como in Italy, a truly idyllic place for productive brainstorms. The groundwork for the workshop was flawless. CIGI and KDI had prepared an excellent report that outlined 11 goals, ranging from inclusive growth and environmental sustainability to security and political rights. The report put flesh on the bones of that skeleton by specifying multiple targets per goal and numerous indicators per target. It is difficult to find something on the post-2015 development agenda that is more comprehensive, more convincing, or more operational.
There’s a fascinating, brilliant and I think, very significant, piece on the role of feminism in driving action on violence against women in the latest issue of Gender and Development (ungated versions on Oxfam policy and practice website, please note).
Authors Laurel Weldon and Mala Htun have painstakingly constructed the mother of all databases, covering 70 countries over four decades (1975 to 2005). It includes various kinds of state action (legal and administrative reforms, protection and prevention, training for officials), and a number of other relevant factors, such as the presence of women legislators, GDP per capita, the nature of the political regime etc.
This allows them both to chart steady improvements in VaW policy (see maps at bottom of this piece) and to use stats techniques to try and identify those factors most closely correlated with state action. Here’s what they find:
“Countries with the strongest feminist movements tend, other things being equal, to have more comprehensive policies on violence against women than those with weaker or non-existent movements. This plays a more important role than left-wing parties, numbers of women legislators, or even national wealth.
"It's a terrible thing to look over your shoulder when you are trying to lead - and find no one there."
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, The 32nd President of the United States (1933 - 1945)
(Credit: WSDOT, Flickr Creative Commons)
Creating 100 million jobs in developing countries will require outrageous ambition, as I discussed in my blog post in April about the Competitive Industries Practice’s work with our clients. Since then, the world’s jobs challenge has become no less severe. If anything, the outlook has worsened.
In India, where I’m based, the economic outlook has continued to deteriorate. Industrial output did not just stop growing in the last quarter: It shrank by about 1 percent. In the country with, by far, the largest number of new workers entering the global labor pool, the engine of job creation is not just stalled: It may be going in reverse. Across the developing world, including in East Asia, the last six months have seen growth slowdowns and setbacks in job creation. The slow recovery in the developed world is not reducing unemployment quickly enough, if at all.
So as we prepare to return from our summer vacations, this is a good time for World Bank staff to think about how to do things differently and how to take the lead in tackling the jobs crisis. What will it take for Competitive Industries to help our clients and counterparts deliver under these difficult circumstances?
It clearly can’t be done by the CI practice alone. Implementing solutions – fast – requires working across traditional sectors, at full speed.
Brazil has the fourth largest population of inmates worldwide, a recipe for overcrowded, violent, inhumane prisons, and significant HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis infection rates. In the hopes of reducing recidivism and crime and improving human dignity, Brazil has adopted the APAC (Association of Protection and Assistance for Convicts) Professional Qualification Project, We recently spoke with Gianfranco Commodaro, the Minas Gerais Director for the AVSI Foundation, who said the APAC project has helped dramatically reduce recidivism in Brazil, from 80-85 percent in the public penitentiary system to about 10 percent in APACs.
In January, we launched a campaign to find social media interns who could boost social media engagement and connect with young audiences in Africa. More than 30,000 Twitter users across Africa and in the Diaspora participated in the campaign – whether through original tweets or retweets. The 20 or so who ended up on the shortlist all took an online test, and we selected the two who went above and beyond: Sarah Clavel and Maleele Choongo.
An Egypt blog in The Economist on 'the battle of fictitious facts' talks about the wildly disparate narratives coming out of Cairo as the streets seeth and the death toll mounts.
Natsuko Waki writes in Reuters about a recovery in developed markets, the 'Great Rotation' out of bonds and flight from emerging markets.
Is China fudging vital macreconomic data? Business Insider Australia covers new research by Christopher Balding of HSBC School of Business at Peking University about how China added $1 trillion to its economy by fudging data.
These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
We are watching you! Tech helps Africans hold governments to account
“With hundreds of millions of Africans owning mobile phones, citizens are becoming increasingly well connected. This is providing a powerful opportunity for citizens to access critical information about their parliaments and to report on human rights violations, corruption and poor service delivery.
These interventions are amplifying the voices of marginalized communities and helping citizens to hold governments to account.” READ MORE
Incomes in the poorest two quintiles on average increase at the same rate as overall average incomes, according to a new working paper by David Dollar (Brookings Institution), Tatjana Kleineberg and Aart Kraay. In a global dataset spanning 118 countries over the past four decades, changes in the share of income of the poorest quintiles are generally small and uncorrelated with changes in average income. The variation in changes in quintile shares is also small relative to the variation in growth in average incomes, implying that the latter accounts for most of the variation in income growth in the poorest quintiles. These findings hold across most regions and time periods, as well as conditional on a variety of country-level factors that may matter for growth and inequality changes. This evidence confirms the central importance of economic growth for poverty reduction and illustrates the difficulty of identifying specific macroeconomic policies that are significantly associated with the relative growth rates of those in the poorest quintiles. This reprise of Dollar and Kraay's earlier work also looks at the World Bank's new "shared prosperity" goal by considering the income growth rates of the poorest 40% of the population in each country in addition to looking at the poorest 20%.
In rural Kenya, a small civil society group founded in 2009 by a few University of Nairobi recent graduates, Innovation Empowerment Programme (IEP), has been trying to economically empower low income women and youth with the One Hen Campaign Project. This project was the winner for the Most Promising Approach in the JKP’s spring Experiences from the World contest. We spoke with Moseri Mac Samuel, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the IEP, about how the program is doing.