Transparency International’s 2009 Global Corruption Barometer, published last month, details the results of an opinion survey on the public’s perceptions and experiences of corruption and bribery around the world. The report contains many interesting findings, but the ones I found particularly notable were the following:
"... we must first recognize a fundamental truth that you have given life to in Ghana: development depends upon good governance. That is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long. That is the change that can unlock Africa's potential. And that is a responsibility that can only be met by Africans. ... In the 21st century, capable, reliable and transparent institutions are the key to success — strong parliaments and honest police forces; independent judges and journalists; a vibrant private sector and civil society. Those are the things that give life to democracy, because that is what matters in peoples' lives. ... Africa doesn't need strongmen, it needs strong institutions."
President of the United States
in a speech to the Ghanaian Parliament in Accra, Ghana, on July 11, 2009
We have just released Migration and Development Brief 10 reporting latest data on remittance flows. In line with a recent downward revision in the World Bank’s forecast of global economic growth, we have lowered our forecasts for remittance flows to developing countries to -7.3 percent in 2009 from the earlier forecast of -5 percent.
India is known for its stringent labor laws—so stringent, in fact, that studies have shown they stifle employment creation. The current global financial crisis seems to have forced policy makers to take another look at these laws and their impact on employment. Last week, India’s Ministry of Finance presented the Economic Survey (2008-09) for the year to the Parliament. The Survey is an annual exercise taking stock of the economy and suggesting the way forward.
A reader's comment to the blog post A Riot of Global Norms:
You raise an extremely relevant question. An interesting example is the European Union, where the consensus-building process may appear painstakingly slow, but once a norm has been adopted by all countries, it applies to 450 Million citizens across the 27 EU countries. In fact, more often than not, EU norms even serve as a reference for other geographical zones. Could this apply to norms in the area of governance? I do not know, but what is clear is that over the years this process has created a specific culture. As much as everyone may grumble against the "Eurocracy", we all follow the rules because we know participating is the best chance we have to get our voice heard.
Robert de Quelen
A reader's comment to the blog post The Culture of Media Development on Both Sides of the Atlantic:
It has been very interesting to read the various Blogs regarding the development of media in conflict and post-conflict situations. Here at the Centre for Communication and Social Change at The University of Queensland, Australia we have been actively involved in a range of initiatives which seek to support the use of media and communication processes in development.
It was a funny experience, really, but a point worth pondering. When we asked a group of children to describe a farmer, all of them immediately said that a farmer was a man who planted and harvested crops in a field or a farm. Naturally, the definition, although simplistic, did make sense. But the point of the matter is that none of the children ever pictured the farmer as a woman.
This is the latest installment of the regional round-up and it has been a while. However, there has not been much groundbreaking news related to the financial crisis to report, with a few exceptions (more to come later).
Carbon finance, and recently reported growth in the carbon market, is seen by many as having the potential to lower global emissions and combat climate change.
- News Update