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Friday Roundup: Rural Programmes, Middle-Income Trap, Slums in Africa, Currency Wars, and Open States

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By encompassing social, political, and feudal factors in development, Rural Support Programmes have enjoyed success in India and Pakistan for the past 30 years. Why did they work? For one, the approach acknowledges that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ and second, it looks for a holistic growth. Read the article on the Guardian to find out how communities can unlock their own potential.

What is a middle-income trap? The concept has been quite popular for some time, but only recently has been tested and defined. The concept broadly defines the fast-growing economies that suffered steep slowdown, and hence their dilemma of being caught between poverty and prosperity. There has been a lot of debate on poverty or prosperity, but it has substantially benefitted from work done by Barry Eichengreen, Donghyun Park, and Kwanho Shin. Read the post on Free Excgange to get an insight on their work.

Sean Fox has a guest post on Roving Bandit on 'The political economy of slums in Africa' where he posits that growth in cities on the continent has outpaced the modernization of economies and institutions. The post is available here.

In a letter to the editor in this week's Economist, Kaushik Basu shares his thoughts on the currency wars. Read his letter here.

And finally, check out the website http://openstates.org. This US centric website helps citizen discover politics in their state. This is a useful tool that keeps citizens abreast with their legislators, tracking bill progress and so on. The site, still in its infancy, can potentially be adapted by other countries as it encourages transparency and openness.

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