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July 2014

How avocados are changing the way of life of Peruvian farmers

Maria Margarita Nunez's picture
Recently planted avocado trees in the Alto Laran district, in Peru.
Recently planted avocado trees in the Alto Laran district, in Peru.

A five hours’ drive south of Lima lays the coastal provinces of Chincha. If one heads inland into the deserted mountains that are typical of costal Peru, one would be surprised to find agriculture blanketing the valley floor. For centuries local communities in these rugged terrains have been using water from small meandering streams to grow maize, and eke out a living by selling surpluses at nearby markets. However, in recent years the growth of industrial agriculture has squeezed these communities, making it hard for them to survive in these ancestral lands, forcing many of them to move to nearby cities such as Chincha Alta.

Prospects Daily: Argentine bonds surge to 3-year high on prospect of a deal to avoid the country’s second default, U.S. GDP rebounds more strongly-than-expected in Q2, China’s consumer sentiment rises in July

Global Macroeconomics Team's picture

Financial Markets

Argentine bonds surged to a three-year high Wednesday on speculation that government officials and holdout creditors are nearing a deal to avert the country’s second default in 13 years. Argentine dollar bonds maturing in 2033 rose 10 cents on the dollar to 95.5 Wednesday morning in New York, the highest since November 2010. The yield fell to 8.8% from 10.1%. Argentine stocks traded in the U.S. also rose, gaining as much as 31%, while the country’s benchmark Merval stock index advanced 4.8% in Buenos Aires.

Were the poor left behind by the health MDGs?

Adam Wagstaff's picture

Thanks to Thomas Piketty, we’ve heard a lot this year about rising inequality. And with just over a year to go before the MDG ‘window’ closes, we’ve also heard a lot about the ‘post-2015 agenda’. In a paper with Leander Buisman that just came out in the World Bank Research Observer, we bring these two themes together and ask: “Were the poor left behind by the health MDGs?” Influenced perhaps by all the talk of rising income inequality, there are certainly plenty of pessimistic folks out there who think that health inequalities, too, are on the rise; that the better off are likely to have seen much faster improvements in MDG indicators than the poor.

Media (R)evolutions: Global Mobile Data 2014 - Traffic Growth and Forecast

Roxanne Bauer's picture

New developments and curiosities from a changing global media landscape: People, Spaces, Deliberation brings trends and events to your attention that illustrate that tomorrow's media environment will look very different from today's, and will have little resemblance to yesterday's.

Every day, people create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data- this astonishing rate means that 90% of the data in the world today was created in just the last two years! 

Sources of data include mobile phones, tablets, the Internet of Things, and social media. Mobile technologies, in particular, have contributed to the growth of mobile data as new apps are created and used every day to to send text, make mobile payments, watch multimedia, or shop to name a few.  These activities all leave a digital footprint-- big data that can be analyzed. 

The graphic below illustrates recent global mobile data traffic growth by region and provides a forecast for the coming years:

PISA data on financial literacy: Unanswered questions on developing financial skills for the broad student population

Margaret Miller's picture

A few weeks ago, the results of the OECD’s PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) module on financial literacy were revealed, with Shanghai taking top honors in this category – just as it has in the last two rounds (in 2009 and 2012) on the traditional academic curriculum (reading, math and science).
 
This is no coincidence, as the OECD results and many other studies suggest a close relationship between education levels and academic performance in math and reading comprehension and scores on financial literacy tests.
 
In the PISA report, the correlation coefficients between financial literacy scores and performance in mathematics and reading were 0.83 and 0.79 respectively across 13 OECD countries in the survey sample. For high performers like Shanghai and New Zealand, these correlations were even stronger: 0.88 for mathematics, 0.86 for reading.

While waiting for general improvement in academic performance is one path to improved financial literacy, the urgency of addressing financial skills for today’s youth has led many educators and policymakers to look for more immediate steps that can be taken, including financial education interventions at school. The PISA results, however, don’t include an assessment of the value of possible financial literacy curricula, due to the “limited and uneven provision of financial education in schools.” That factor makes comparisons across countries difficult, as described in the report.

World Bank hosts first annual African Youth Forum

Maleele Choongo's picture
Africa’s economic growth is climbing at a much quicker pace than many other regions in the world, averaging 4.5 percent annually since 1995. Endowed with rich natural resources and even more human capital, Africa is one of the most economically promising continents globally.
 
Another measure of growth is reflected in the continent’s demographic dividend, which accounts for 200 million people aged between 15 and 24. Africa has the youngest population in the world, with about 2 to 3 million of these young people entering the labor force every year. 
 

Advancing Open Financial Data in online and offline communities across Kenya and Indonesia

Samuel Lee's picture

62.3% of people in Indonesia and 63.9% in Kenya who want public financial information do not know how to access it.

Understanding the demand for open data seems like more of an art than a science. In many cases, given the "free" nature of open data, we are often limited to analyzing unique visitors, downloads, and consumption patterns at data engagement events. To publishers of open data seeking to respond to stakeholder demand, this incomplete measurement of data use and consumption can feel limiting and frustrating.

Open data in large part is possible due to the dramatic power and potential that the Internet and other technologies continue to bring us. As the latest information revolution continues to unfold, estimates suggest that about three-fifths of the world is offline in 2014. Given current access to connectivity, is the Internet reinforcing inequality in the real world? From an international development perspective, this is troubling. As initiatives and projects like Facebook's Internet.org, Google Loon, and Oluvus seek to extend affordable Internet access, it is still critical to understand what the potential impact of open data efforts may be on the path to a more open and connected world.

The Things We Do: How (not What) Movies Inspire Us

Roxanne Bauer's picture

At the basis of communication and public policy are assumptions about human beings- their rationality or irrationality, their foibles, wants and preferences. A lot depends on whether these assumptions are correct. In this feature, we bring you fascinating examples of human behavior from across the globe.

A recent article in The New York Times, “Divining Why One Film Spurs Activism, While Others Falter” highlights the work of Participant Media, an entertainment company that produces film, television, publishing and digital content that inspires social change. According to Participant Media’s website, the company “launches campaigns that bring together government entities, foundations, schools, and others to raise awareness and drive people to take action on issues from each film or television show.” 

But all of this begs the question: are these films successful in doing what they set out to do? Do people learn from the films and change their ways?  What pushes us beyond social media activism to stand up and do something about our outrage?

Prospects Daily: Dollar rises to highest level in seven weeks on optimism about the U.S. recovery…OECD area consumer price inflation steady at 2.1% in June…South Africa’s jobless rate rises further to 25.5% in Q2

Global Macroeconomics Team's picture

Financial Markets

Emerging-market stocks advanced to an 18-month high as investors waited for the start of a meeting of the Federal Reserve today. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index gained 0.2% to reach 1,081.64 in mid-afternoon trading in London, heading for its highest close since January 2013. The gauge has gained 7.9% this year; in comparison, the MSCI World Index has risen 5.4% in 2014.


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