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Dataviz remake: the fall in extreme poverty, the best news in the world

Neil Fantom's picture
Also available in: 中文



The World Bank’s President called it “
best news in the world” when the 2015 forecast of  extreme poverty rates was released in October, showing that less than 10% of the world’s population now live in extreme poverty. It is great news indeed and it was widely reported in the press.

Some colleagues circulated the New Yorker magazine’s “Four Charts That Defined the World in 2015” from last week - their inclusion of the fall in global extreme poverty is very welcome.

However, some of us found the chart they used to be a little tricky to interpret, and because we see the issues below quite regularly, we thought doing a quick remake and explanation would be worthwhile. 

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Via The New Yorker

  What’s wrong with this picture? A few things stand out:

Sub-Saharan Africa’s sovereign bond issuance boom

Rasiel Vellos's picture

The newly released 2016 edition of the International Debt Statistics (IDS) shows a rapid rise in sovereign bond issuance in some Sub-Saharan African countries. This includes those countries that have benefited from Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) debt relief programs.

The chart above shows that sovereign bond issuance in certain Sub-Saharan African countries has risen substantially over the past 4 years. At the end of 2011, bond issuance totaled $1 billion and by the end of 2014, it amounted to $6.2 billion. Steady global market conditions and the potential for higher returns for investors have helped pave the way for more access to international markets, where the average return for these bond issuances is about 6.6%, with an average maturity of 10 years.

For these Sub-Saharan African countries, the proceeds from these sovereign bonds are used to benchmark for future government and corporate bond markets issues, to manage the public debt portfolio, and for infrastructure financing.

A tale of two regions?

Oscar Calvo-González's picture
Also available in: Español | Portuguese

"Did poverty drop in Latin America because of good policies or good luck?" I am often asked this question after I tell people that poverty in the region fell from 40 to 25 percent between 2003 and 2013. The answer is a bit of both.

As the chart below demonstrates, there is no question that the poor living in countries that were favored by high commodity prices benefited more than those in other countries. More to the point, as the chart also highlights, the tremendous rise in revenues coming from the boom in commodity prices led to an increase in labor income that helps explain much of the poverty reduction seen in commodity exporting countries.

Note: We group countries as having experienced a 'commodity boom' if their terms of trade increased by an average of 2 percent or more per year over 2003-2013.

To me, however, an interesting story hides behind the line of the non-commodity exporting countries. Even without the benefit of the commodity boom wave, those countries also managed to reduce poverty by a respectable 7 percentage points.

Why data was crucial to Burkina Faso’s first election since uprising

Liz Carolan's picture

Results of the west African country’s presidential election were openly available in real time, fostering confidence in the fairness of the result

 
 A street vendor sells newspapers in Ouagadougou on 3 December following the election of Roch Marc Kabore to the presidency. Photograph: Issouf Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images 
 

Democratic elections in transitional states are never straightforward. With limited experience to draw on, finite resources and a lack of transparency, it’s not uncommon for rumours, tensions and civil unrest to overshadow the process and undermine faith in the results.

But by midday on Monday 30 November – the day after Burkina Faso’s presidential election – citizens had a reliable early indication of who would be their first elected head of state since the overthrow of strongman Blaise Compaoré last year.

The difference was clear. For the first time, the results of the count were made openly available in real time. The official election website showed live results by district for each presidential candidate, and which candidate was leading in each province.

Trust is vital at all times during an election process. But one of the most sensitive time periods, especially in transition states, is between the time of polls closing and the time the final results are announced. In other recent elections on the continent, there have been delays of up to four days, creating an environment ripe for the spread of rumours and suspicion.

Development community rallies on migration and refugee crisis: Upcoming events from the International Organization for Migration, World Bank

Leila Rafei's picture

Recently, I wrote a blog highlighting the latest data trends in refugees and migration data as the global crisis reached unprecedented levels. It’s now two months later and refugee flows continue to swell. In October alone, reports the UNHCR, the total number of refugees reaching Europe matched the total for the entirety of 2014.
 
This week two pertinent conferences will be held by the World Bank and the International Organization for Migration to address the pressing issues surrounding this crisis. First, on December 9 the World Bank and the EU Presidency of Luxembourg held the “Conference on Migration and the Global Development Agenda” at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC. Speakers discussed maximizing benefits and minimizing risks of migration for migrants and host, transit and origin countries. The event was open to the public and was livestreamed

Chart: companies report 1 in 7 transactions with government involves a bribe

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: 中文 | العربية

In a study of 137 countries, on average, firms reported that 14% of public transactions, such as dealing with utilities, permits, licenses, and taxes, involved the request of a gift or informal payment — a bribe. The Enterprise Surveys program collects data directly from firms to study an economy’s private sector. Read more. 

 

Visualizing the world of business regulations

Jomo Tariku's picture


The Doing Business project produces a rich dataset of objective measures of business regulations for local firms in countries around the world. We’ve written about some of the key findings - how starting a business is easier than ever before and produced a dashboard to explore that topic; but the dataset goes much further.

The 2016 edition of the report covers 11 indicator sets or “themes” and 189 economies. These themes range from enforcing contracts and registering property to getting electricity and credit. We’ve produced the dashboard below to help explore this data and let you filter across various dimensions - in general, a lower rank or smaller bar is better but hover over bars to see the details. You can click through the tips at the top of the visual for a tutorial, or just dive right in! 

 

Three charts that explain AIDS in 2015

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية

Today is World Aids Day - an annual event to raise awareness about the global fight against HIV. Earlier this year, a report from UNAIDS declared that the Millennium Development Goal 6 target of “halting and reversing the spread of HIV” had been met, but that continued effort and financing would be needed to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of Sustainable Development Goal 3.

When it comes to international data about HIV and AIDS, the cross-organisational UNAIDS program publishes age and gender-disaggregated data on indicators such as prevalence, new infections and deaths. In turn, we incorporate some of these data into the World Development Indicators.

Here are some highlights from the most recently available data:

Globally, 37 million adults and children live with HIV


In 2014, there were an estimated 36.9 million adults and children living with HIV in the world. The majority of these people are in Sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. As you can see from the decreasing slope of the “global” line - while people continue to become infected, the rate of new infections is going down.
 

Data Lab Link Roundup: Analysing taxis, Ubers and bikes, the Economist on open data, simple explanations, digital archives, optimistic statisticians, plot.ly, and lying with the y-axis

Tariq Khokhar's picture


Here are some (of the many) things that caught our attention last week:

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