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Friday round up: The shifting trade landscape, world water report, states of fragility, new PPP database, and heads up on Global Findex

LTD Editors's picture

New book entitled Power Shifts and New Blocs in the Global Trading System examines the possible consequences of the shifting trade landscape.

2015 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR), came out March 20. Entitled Water for a Sustainable World, the report demonstrates how water resources and services are essential to achieving global sustainability.

​What is a fragile state?

Anne-Lise Klausen's picture
Much like Tolstoy’s quip that each 'unhappy family is unhappy in its own way', a fragile state is fragile in its own way (see this paper, by the World Bank’s Michael Woolcock for more). Therefore, it is all too often unhelpful to reduce the definition of fragility to standardized, static lists or indicators – in so doing, we miss the complexities and nuances of fragility in some situations, and miss other fragile situations all together.

Uncovering implicit biases: What we learn from behavioral sciences about survey methods

Sana Rafiq's picture
Last year, I was in Nairobi, Kenya, along with some of my colleagues from the World Development Report (WDR) 2015, Mind, Society, and Behavior. We were there to set up the data collection efforts for a four-country study. One of the goals of this study was to replicate results from lab experiments that suggested poverty is a context that shapes economic decision-making amongst households.

Addressing inequality through shared prosperity: Guest video blog

Manny Fassihi's picture
One of the great opportunities of the Global Futures initiative is to help spread some of the big ideas about development and to make them more accessible to a global audience. Given our privileged access to some of the world's biggest thinkers on these issues - namely, World Bank President Jim Kim and Vice-President and Chief Economist Kaushik Basu - I saw an opportunity to translate key points from their lectures into animated visuals.

​Good food and good economics both start with quality ingredients

Alberto Zezza's picture
Do economists and policy analysts pay enough attention to the quality of the data they work with? The focus in these professions seems to be much more on using and developing sophisticated econometric and statistical models, or pretty data visualization software, than on assessing the quality of the data that are fed into those models and tools (let alone working to improve the quality of the data).

What can history tell us about cartels in commodity markets?

John Baffes's picture
Recent developments in oil markets have led to intensive debates about OPEC’s viability and its role in the global crude oil market. OPEC, which was founded in 1960 to “coordinate and unify petroleum policies among member states”, currently accounts for about 40 percent of global crude oil production. At present, the organization has 12 active member countries: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Qatar, Libya, United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Nigeria, Ecuador, and Angola.

#MyDressMyChoice: Tackling gender discrimination and violence in Kenya one tweet at a time

Indhira Santos's picture

On September 19, 2014, a Kenyan middle-aged woman was waiting for a bus at a stop in Nairobi.  When the bus stopped, a group of men surrounded her, and started to strip and assault her for wearing a miniskirt in public. She screamed and cried out for help, but only a couple of brave people reached out and gave her clothes to cover herself. 
This kind of sexual violence against women is not unprecedented in Kenya, but this time was different. The brutality of the violence was caught on camera and went viral online.  On November 2014 alone, at least four such attacks were recorded across Kenya. The numbers for violence against women are disturbing: according to the Gallup World Poll conducted in 2010 in Kenya, 48.2 percent of women feared that a household member could be sexually harassed. 

The World Bank, the Catholic Church, and the Global Future of Development

Thomas Banchoff's picture
This blog post originally appeared on the Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace, & World Affairs at Georgetown University.

The World Bank and the Catholic Church are the two most influential anti-poverty institutions in the world. One works primarily with governments and the international community; the other through a global network encompassing more than a billion adherents.