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Development

Smart cities: Digital solutions for a more livable future

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, June 1, 2018
Abstract in English: 
As cities get smarter, they are becoming more livable and more responsive—and today we are seeing only a preview of what technology could eventually do in the urban environment.
Until recently, city leaders thought of smart technologies primarily as tools for becoming more efficient behind the scenes. Now technology is being injected more directly into the lives of residents. Smartphones have become the keys to the city, putting instant information about transit, traffic, health services, safety alerts, and community news into millions of hands.
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152
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Productivity and Jobs in a Globalised World

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This report looks at how regional policies can support productivity growth and jobs. While there has been a remarkable decline in inequality in OECD countries, inequality among regions within certain countries has increased over the same time period. Regions that narrowed productivity gaps tended to benefit from economically vibrant tradable sectors and integration with well-functioning cities. This report considers in detail the role of the tradable sector as a driver of productivity growth and its relationship with employment. It addresses the possible risks of a growing tradable sector and how diversification is central to strengthening regional economic resilience. It considers how regions integrate global value chains and highlights the role of regional and policy links in fostering productivity growth and job creation. It asks what policies can help better anticipate or cushion shocks from trade in specific regions and, more generally, what strategies and framework conditions are conducive for regional productivity and employment growth.
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188
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Ibrahim Index of African Governance

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) is a tool that measures and monitors governance performance in African countries. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation defines governance as the provision of the political, social and economic public goods and services that every citizen has the right to expect from their state, and that a state has the responsibility to deliver to its citizens. In the IIAG, country performance in delivering governance is measured across four key components that effectively provide indicators of a country’s Overall Governance performance.
The key components that form the four categories of the IIAG as described in the diagram below are Safety & Rule of Law, participation & Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development. Each of these categories contains subcategories under which we have organised various indicators that provide quantifiable measures of the overarching dimensions of governance. In total, the IIAG contains 100 indicators.
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176
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World Development Report 2018 : Learning to Realize Education's Promise

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Every year, the World Bank's World Development Report takes on a topic of central importance to global development. The 2018 Report, Learning to Realize Education's Promise, is the first ever devoted entirely to education. Now is an excellent time for it: education has long been critical for human welfare, but is even more so in a time of rapid economic change. The Report explores four main themes. First, education's promise: Education is a powerful instrument for eradicating poverty and promoting shared prosperity, but fulfilling its potential requires better policies - both within and outside the education system. Second, the learning crisis: Despite gains in education access, recent learning assessments show that many young people around the world, especially from poor families, are leaving school unequipped with even the most foundational skills they need for life. At the same time, internationally comparable learning assessments show that skills in many middle-income countries lag far behind what those countries aspire to. Third, promising interventions to improve learning: Research from areas such as brain science, pedagogical innovations, or school management have identified interventions that promote learning by ensuring that learners are prepared, that teachers are skilled as well as motivated, and that other inputs support the teacher-learner relationship. Fourth, learning at scale: Achieving learning throughout an education system will require more than just scaling up effective interventions. Change requires overcoming technical and political barriers by deploying salient metrics for mobilizing actors and tracking progress, building coalitions for learning, and being adaptive when implementing programs.
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239
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African futures: Horizon 2025

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Abstract in English: 
If Sub-Saharan Africa’s future had to be encapsulated in a single word, it would be transformation. In recent years the continent has undergone significant economic, socio-political, and technological transformations, a process which is likely to accelerate over the coming decades. While it would be an overstatement to proclaim that the future will be African, there are strong indications that the global importance of the continent is set to rise – and not only as a source of risk factors spilling over from poverty and instability. By 2045, approximately a quarter of the world’s population will be African. Looking ahead, there is also the potential for Africa’s economic growth to outpace the global average. The expansion of foreign direct investment (FDI), which today already outstrips aid, could drive further integration of African countries in the world economy. The diversification of Africa’s relationship with external partners – which now not only include traditional Western partners such as the EU, but also Asian, Middle Eastern and Gulf countries – will also contribute to increasing Africa’s prominence in the global arena.
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84
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Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Ten years on from the global financial crisis, the prospects for a sustained economic recovery remain at risk due to a widespread failure on the part of leaders and policy-makers to put in place reforms necessary to underpin competitiveness and bring about much-needed increases in productivity, according to data from the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018.
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393
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Chokepoints and Vulnerabilities in Global Food Trade

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, June 26, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Global food security is underpinned by trade in a few crops and fertilizers. Just three crops – maize, wheat and rice – account for around 60 per cent of global food energy intake.A fourth crop, soybean, is the world’s largest source of animal protein feed, accounting for 65 per cent of global protein feed supply. Each year, the world’s transport system moves enough maize, wheat, rice and soybean to feed approximately 2.8 billion people. Meanwhile, the 180 million tonnes of fertilizers applied to farmland annually play a vital role in helping us grow enough wheat, rice and maize to sustain our expanding populations. International trade in these commodities is growing, increasing pressure on a small number of ‘chokepoints’ – critical junctures on transport routes through which exceptional volumes of trade pass. Three principal kinds of chokepoint are critical to global food security: maritime corridors such as straits and canals; coastal infrastructure in major crop-exporting regions; and inland transport infrastructure in major crop-exporting regions.
A serious interruption at one or more of these chokepoints could conceivably lead to supply shortfalls and price spikes, with systemic consequences that could reach beyond food markets. More commonplace disruptions may not in themselves trigger crises, but can add to delays, spoilage and transport costs, constraining market responsiveness and contributing to higher prices and increased volatility.
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124
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Innovation-Led Economic Growth: Transforming Tomorrow’s Developing Economies through Technology and Innovation

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The world faces a confluence of changes and technological advances that are fundamentally altering the relationship between individuals, economies, and society. Innovations in a diverse set of fields including robotics, genetics, artificial intelligence, Internet-enabled sensors, and cloud computing are individually disruptive. Collectively they are world changing. Experts around the world have come up with different names and descriptions for this phenomenon: Klaus Schwab calls it the “fourth industrial revolution”; Alec Ross points toward the “industries of the future”; Steve Case recognizes it as the “third wave” of the Internet; and Martin Ford looks toward the “rise of the robots.”

Although these thinkers have slightly different visions for the future, there is a shared recognition that existing assumptions and economic models need adjustment. For both developed and developing countries, the innovation- and technology-driven economy offers significant risks and opportunities. On the one hand, this change offers the potential for increased global prosperity, efficiency, and quality of life. On the other hand, if poorly managed, this transition could disrupt employment models, pathways out of poverty, and stability around the world.
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60
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Global Trendometer - Essays on medium- and long-term global trends

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, September 4, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The European Union has come through difficult years. A succession of crises, often interlinked, have been the major concern of European leaders for much of the past decade. This experience has driven home the lesson that prevention is better than the cure, and that more can be done to identify and prepare for future challenges. The EU as a whole has worked to enhance its foresight capacity, notably through the work of the inter-institutional ESPAS process. For its part, the European Parliament is placing greater emphasis on agenda-setting and on horizon scanning, both to support its work in shaping the future through legislation and to improve the quality of public policy discussion of key challenges and choices ahead.
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62
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Reforming and Reorganizing U.S. Foreign Assistance: Increased Efficiency and Effectiveness

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, July 24, 2017
Abstract in English: 
CSIS convened a bipartisan Task Force on Reforming and Reorganizing U.S. Foreign Assistance in response to the March 1, 2017, executive order asking all federal departments and agencies to submit reorganization plans that will “improve efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability” and to the president’s FY2018 budget request.1 The Trump administration is right to question whether the current foreign assistance system is optimized to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Although many Americans believe that foreign assistance makes up 25 percent or more the federal budget, it is no more than 1 percent. However small a percentage, it is important to note that these funds do not represent pure altruism; they are smart investments that contribute to the national security and prosperity of the United States.

Though it intends to align priorities, strategy, budget, and work force, the Trump administration’s first budget proposal includes significant cuts to foreign assistance funding and runs the risk of having budgeted amounts—rather than U.S. national interests—drive creation of strategy and organization. This would produce suboptimal outcomes, particularly if the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) were to be subsumed into the Department of State as some have suggested. It is not in the national interest to remove the development leg from the U.S. national security stool.
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54
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