International labor markets are perhaps the last bastion of protectionism. We know that easing restrictions on the movement of people, especially the less skilled, can unleash huge welfare gains which by some estimates dwarf the gains from complete trade liberalization. And yet, progress on this front has been too slow.
If a year ago you told me that I would be able to speak authoritatively on the technical aspects of sanitation, I would have thought you were crazy! Kenya is my home; I am 130% Kenyan and have lived here my whole life. In all this time, I never fully realized the sanitation issues in my country. True, I knew the statistics but until recently I didn’t fully realize how the impact was hitting my home.
A: Both of them will be affected by the ongoing effects of climate change.
In less than 40 years from now the cost to the world's biggest coastal cities from flooding is expected to have risen to $1tn – 0.7% of the value of the entire world economy in 2012. Average global flood losses could rise from around $6 billion per year in 2005 to $60 to $63 billion per year by 2050, thanks to population and economic growth along the coasts and the multiplying effect of climate change-driven sea level rise. Coastal communities in the US were firmly reminded of what could happen with rising waters during Superstorm Sandy. The effects of global warming and climate change were no longer academic discussion points, but reality in the form of flooded subways in the heart of Manhattan.
- climage change
It had all the trappings of a major awards ceremony; a “green carpet” (of actual grass), a scrum of paparazzi chasing the celebrities (in this case, the mayors) entering the building, a laser light show, and a striking (and heavy) trophy for the award winners.
The City Climate Leadership Awards held at the Siemens Crystal building in London on Thursday, September 4th, brought together a “who’s who” of urban experts to recognize cities leading the way in urban climate change governance and performance. Sponsored by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and Siemens, the ten award winners were:
- Bogota’s Transmilenio bus rapid transit system
- Copenhagen’s plan to make the entire city carbon neutral by 2025
- Melbourne’s energy efficient buildings finance initiative
- Mexico City’s ProAire program, which has dramatically improved local air quality
- Munich’s 100% Green Power program
- New York City’s Climate Adaptation and Resilience strategy
- Rio de Janeiro’s Morar Carioca Urban Revitalization strategy
- San Francisco’s Zero Waste program
- Singapore’s Intelligent Transport system
- Tokyo’s cap & trade scheme
The decline of risk appetite was evident in the government bond markets as German yields sank 6 basis points to 1.98% while 10-year US Treasuries yields slipped 4bp to 2.88%.
As a newcomer in my new post in Accra, I am starting to learn about Ghana’s achievements and challenges. I have been impressed with some innovative policies and measures adopted to address difficult development challenges in the social sectors.
- On the promise and perils of sharing work in progress – nice discussion on the MonkeyCage blog, including references to Berk’s post on the problems of working papers.
So having berated ODI about opening up access to its recent issue of the Development Policy Review on Transparency and Accountability Initiatives (TAIs), I really ought to review the overview piece by John Gaventa and Rosemary McGee, which they’ve made freely available until December.
The essay is well worth reading. It unpicks the fuzzy concept of TAIs and then looks at the evidence for what works and when. First a useful typology of TAIs:
By the late 1990s, moves to improve public finance management the world over led to the development of budget accountability and transparency as a sector in its own right…. An array of citizen-led budget TAIs has developed, including participatory budgeting; sector-specific budget monitoring (for example, gender budgeting, children’s budgets); public-expenditure monitoring through social audits, participatory audits and tracking surveys; and advocacy for budget transparency (for example, the International Budget Partnership (IBP)’s Open Budget Index). Many of these initiatives focus ‘downstream’ on how public funds are spent; less work focuses on T and A in revenue-generation, although this is growing with recent work on tax justice.
These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Smartphones could provide weather data in poor nations
“Smartphones can now be used to collect weather data such as air temperatures through WeatherSignal, a crowdsourcing app developed by UK start-up OpenSignal.
This helps crowd source real-time weather forecasts and could one day help collect climate data in areas without weather stations, its developers say.
Once installed, the app automatically collects data and periodically uploads them to a server.
The app’s ability to record air temperature is based upon the discovery that the temperature of a smartphone battery correlates closely to the surrounding air temperature, published in Geophysical Research Letters this month (13 August).” READ MORE
Inequality is at historic highs. The richest 10 percent took home half of U.S. income in 2012, according to estimates released this week by economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, a level of inequality not seen since the 1920s. What explains this rise in inequality? A recent IMF working paper suggests that reductions in government budget deficits, commonly known as "austerity," are a factor.