Each month People, Spaces, Deliberation shares the blog post that generated the most interest and discussion. In July 2015, the featured blog post is "The printed book will never die" by Gonzalo Castro de la Mata, Chairman of the Inspection Panel at the World Bank.
When will the printed book die? Some think that its replacement by electronic media is imminent and promote this view using arguments that are both romantic and utopic: a new society where massive amounts of information can be accessed instantaneously and free, and with reduced environmental damage because of a decrease in the use of paper.
Although neither argument can stand serious analysis, there is no question that the electronic book is rapidly gaining in popularity. Most major “brick and mortar” bookstores have gone out of business, and today Amazon sells more electronic books than printed ones. There is also an explosion of blogs related to every imaginable (and unimaginable) topic, and there is no question that electronic media have some advantages over certain printed media such as newspapers and magazines.
On the other side of the argument are scholars of the stature of Umberto Eco, the famous author of “The Name of the Rose” and Professor of Semiotics at the University of Bologna, who recently published a dialogue with Jean-Claude Carrière, a French dramaturge who worked with Buñuel on several films including the 1977 “that Obscure Object of Desire.” In other words, two of the most important intellectuals of our time.
Youthink! confession: What with launching our new site and all, we kind of forgot to make a note of International Literacy Day, which was on September 8. Well, our philosophy (one of our philosophies, anyway—we have quite a few), is “better late than never.” So, on that note, we’re taking a belated look at this important day.
For the data fans out there, the World Bank's annual Little Data Book on Private Sector Development 2010 is now available for purchase via InfoShop
Editor’s Note: Lars Johannes is an Infrastructure Specialist in the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Network, working for the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA). He is task team leader and advises projects in health, education, and energy.
Back in 2003, the World Bank and DFID launched the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA). Output-based aid ties payment to service providers to the actual delivery of services in water, education, ICT, etc. The appeal is obvious—this is the kind of mechanism that helps "get the incentives right", thereby transferring risk to the service provider, increasing efficiency, and enhancing targeting of the poor.
As we say goodbye to the “Naughties” I thought it may be interesting to step back and reflect on some of the significant books of the last decade that really did change the way we thought about PSD and its contribution to development. Given the “decade” theme, I’ve limited the selection to ten, although the books don’t map to each year of the decade.