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May 2016

Quote of the week: Danny Sapani

Sina Odugbemi's picture

“What we want to get to is a place where we look at the human and not the colour, where we are not hampered by what we see. See within. Anyone can tell that story. It may be that there is a sort of access point that makes it easier for us to tell stories either from a western perspective or with a western face, because that is what we’re used to. What we must constantly do is change the access point, in order to create a fairer world.”

- Danny Sapani, a Ghanaian- British actor who has starred in Ultimate Force, Misfits, Hard Boiled Sweets, Singham 2 (a Tamil speaking film), Penny Dreadful, and Danny Boyle’s Trance. 

The global state of smoking in 5 charts

Tariq Khokhar's picture

Tobacco use kills 6 million people a year - that’s one person every six seconds.

If left unchecked, this number could rise to 8 million a year by 2030. It’s why efforts such as plain packaging laws highlighted in my colleague Patricio's blog and this year’s World No Tobacco Day are so important.

I’ve taken a look at tobacco use estimates from the WHO’s Global Health Observatory below to get a better idea of where smokers are, how smoking rates have changed over time, and how they vary between men and women. You can find all the data and calculations behind the charts below here.

There are over a billion smokers worldwide

As you’d expect, there are large numbers of smokers in the world’s most populous countries, but it’s in the smaller and relatively richer countries of Europe where you find some of the highest smoking rates.

Over 20 years after the Paris Protocol, is it time for a new deal for Palestine?

Nur Nasser Eddin's picture
 Ryan Rodrick Beiler l

As we do every weekend, my friends and I headed to the city of Ramallah in the West Bank one recent Sunday to have breakfast and enjoy the warm days of the Palestinian Spring at a local café. As we sat there discussing our lives, we couldn’t help but hear a conversation taking place at the table next to us, where five young Palestinians were complaining about the lack of jobs. The group of friends, it seemed, were all fresh university graduates who had been looking for work for months with no luck. What grabbed my attention most was that they were all blaming the Paris Protocol for their situation—saying “it has put the Palestinian economy back years from where it should be!”

Book Review: Grit – Takeaways for Development Economists and Parents

David McKenzie's picture

Angela Duckworth’s new book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance has been launched with great fanfare, reaching number two on the NY Times Nonfiction bestseller list. She recently gave a very polished and smooth book launch talk to a packed audience at the World Bank, and is working with World Bank colleagues on improving grit in classrooms in Macedonia. Billed as giving “the secret to outstanding achievement” I was interested in reading the book as both a researcher and a parent. I thought I’d continue my book reviews series with some thoughts on the book.

How can we afford not to provide power when countries are fragile?

Charles Feinstein's picture

Earlier this year I was on a panel organized during the Fragility Forum 2016, where the question posed to a panel of five was, “what can we do on energy in fragile states?

But I found myself thinking, "how can we afford to do nothing?"

Modern energy is a cornerstone of sustaining and empowering people, as much as it is for economic growth. When I think about it, the first thought that comes to mind is that children in any country have the right to learn to read and write without being put in danger through kerosene lighting at night. It is precisely this new generation in fragile states that we cannot afford to lose if we do not want countries to become failed states.

Weekly Links, May 27: Conscious insects, good data collection practices, all male panels, and more...

Berk Ozler's picture
  • On selecting what variables to gather data for in your impact evaluation: Carneiro et al. have a new paper out – “Optimal Data Collection for Randomized Control Trials” – which argues that if you have a household survey or census in advance, you can use an algorithm to select the right covariates, potentially reducing data collection costs or improving precision substantially.

Pathways to Prosperity: An e-Symposium

Ambar Narayan's picture
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Blog #4: 1 in 3 has piped water, 2 of 5 kids stunted

India is home to the largest number of poor people in the world, as well as the largest number of people who have recently escaped poverty. Over the next few weeks, this blog series will highlight recent research from the World Bank and its partners on what has driven poverty reduction, what still stands in the way of progress, and the road to a more prosperous India.

We hope this will spark a conversation around #WhatWillItTake to #EndPoverty in India. Read all the blogs in this series, we look forward to your comments.

The rapid decline in consumption poverty over the past two decades was accompanied by improvements in other dimensions of welfare. But progress has been mixed and much still remains to be done. India’s performance on key indicators of well-being lags behind countries at similar stages of development. And country-level estimates mask wide disparities between states.