Photo Credit: United Nations
Development of infrastructure services is often a central feature for rebuilding fragile and conflict affected states (FCSs). One of the reasons is that infrastructure is often devastated by conflict, making provision of water, power, communications and transportation priorities for recovery efforts. Another reason is that equitable distribution of services may be an important feature of a peace agreement and any appearance of unfairness could spark renewed unrest. Whatever the motivation, without proper planning for governance, the development can falter.
There are two governance challenges with infrastructure in FCSs. One is that the urgency to provide service sometimes overshadows developing systems that can easily transition from something quickly built to infrastructure with sound governance that grows and matures as the country progresses. Another challenge is establishing regulations that encourage investment by protecting property rights. And given the diversity of FCSs situations, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
How can development professionals advance good infrastructure governance amongst the turbulence and urgency of infrastructure recovery in FCSs? PPIAF and the Public Utility Research Center (PURC) at the University of Florida recently launched a web portal to assist in this work.
Togolese families often place talismans, thought to contain magical or spiritual properties, outside their homes facing the Atlantic Ocean in hopes of protecting their dwellings from encroaching tides.
Unfortunately, dozens of villages have been devoured since the mid-1990s, leaving behind shells of houses, livelihoods and memories in the wake of a coast receding as much as 5-10 meters per year. When expatriates return to Togo’s coast to visit their childhood homes, they are astonished to see that communities have literally washed out to sea.
And a recent report does just that! Poverty Reduction and Shared Prosperity in Moldova: Progress and Prospects looks at what Moldova has achieved over the past decade in terms of poverty reduction and inclusive growth, and what the challenges are for the coming years.
Stories and anecdotes of how migrants contribute to our economies are everywhere. A recently released McKinsey Global Institute report put some numbers to it. Migrants account for only 3.4% of the global population but produce 9.4% of the world output, or some $6.7 trillion. That’s almost as large as the size of the GDP of France, Germany and Switzerland combined. Compared to what they would’ve produced had they stayed at home, they add $3 trillion – that’s about the economic output of India and Indonesia combined.
"Every time you think you've reached the end of that long dead-end street, you slip around the edge, past that stopping point. And at the end of your life, all the things you thought were periods, they turn out to be commas. There was never a full stop to any of it."
- Matthew McConaughey is an American actor and producer.
- Quote of the Week
This is the fifteenth in our series of job market posts this year.
For better or for worse, social norms have profound influence on many of the decisions we make—from political to personal. These norms can be particularly influential when it comes to making decisions surrounding child rearing, including the decision parents make to participate in the practice of female genital cutting (FGC). Parents living in communities that practice FGC—located primarily in parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia—decide whether or not their daughter will undergo FGC based on social pressure and the perceived costs and benefits of adhering to or deviating from the social norm.
The practice has no known medical benefits, and it is associated with a wide range of health complications, both physical and psychological. Women who undergo FGC are more than twice as likely to experience birthing complications (Jones et al., 1999), and are 25 percent more likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases (Wagner, 2014). In addition, women who have undergone FGC are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (Dorkenoo, 1999; Behrendt & Moritz, 2005). These health complications make working in and outside of the household more difficult.
It has always been assumed that migrant workers work in unsafe places, for long hours, and are treated unequally where they find work but these “costs” have never been estimated, let alone quantified. The KNOMAD/ILO surveys on migration costs is the first attempt to quantify some of these “hidden costs” of migration, and the findings confirm the seriousness of the phenomenon. The KNOMAD/ILO surveys have so far been undertaken in 11 countries involving some 24 migration corridors. They sought information on what workers paid to find and get recruited for their jobs abroad, as well as the terms and conditions under which they worked.
We live in an increasingly globalizing world, characterized by the transnational movement of goods, services, people and ideas. Yet, the merits of international migration have been underestimated. In fact, migration has recently been at the wrong end of the stick; its discourse the world over driven by political rhetoric with populism, xenophobia, issues of security and the flag of sovereignty and nationality as its principal tools.