On a Friday evening last November, twelve mayors from nearby districts gathered at the municipal office building in Tarapoto, Peru. Even though the rainy season was just ramping-up in this lush tropical area of the country, local roads were already being washed away. These mayors were eagerly planning for the local Provincial Road Institute to use their tractors to protect their roads to counter the negative effects of the rain.
One of them cried out, “How will my people bring grapes and coffee to local markets without good roads? Our products are going to rot and my people are going to suffer.”
A five hours’ drive south of Lima lays the coastal provinces of Chincha. If one heads inland into the deserted mountains that are typical of costal Peru, one would be surprised to find agriculture blanketing the valley floor. For centuries local communities in these rugged terrains have been using water from small meandering streams to grow maize, and eke out a living by selling surpluses at nearby markets. However, in recent years the growth of industrial agriculture has squeezed these communities, making it hard for them to survive in these ancestral lands, forcing many of them to move to nearby cities such as Chincha Alta.
Argentine bonds surged to a three-year high Wednesday on speculation that government officials and holdout creditors are nearing a deal to avert the country’s second default in 13 years. Argentine dollar bonds maturing in 2033 rose 10 cents on the dollar to 95.5 Wednesday morning in New York, the highest since November 2010. The yield fell to 8.8% from 10.1%. Argentine stocks traded in the U.S. also rose, gaining as much as 31%, while the country’s benchmark Merval stock index advanced 4.8% in Buenos Aires.
Thanks to Thomas Piketty, we’ve heard a lot this year about rising inequality. And with just over a year to go before the MDG ‘window’ closes, we’ve also heard a lot about the ‘post-2015 agenda’. In a paper with Leander Buisman that just came out in the World Bank Research Observer, we bring these two themes together and ask: “Were the poor left behind by the health MDGs?” Influenced perhaps by all the talk of rising income inequality, there are certainly plenty of pessimistic folks out there who think that health inequalities, too, are on the rise; that the better off are likely to have seen much faster improvements in MDG indicators than the poor.
New developments and curiosities from a changing global media landscape: People, Spaces, Deliberation brings trends and events to your attention that illustrate that tomorrow's media environment will look very different from today's, and will have little resemblance to yesterday's.
Every day, people create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data- this astonishing rate means that 90% of the data in the world today was created in just the last two years!
Sources of data include mobile phones, tablets, the Internet of Things, and social media. Mobile technologies, in particular, have contributed to the growth of mobile data as new apps are created and used every day to to send text, make mobile payments, watch multimedia, or shop to name a few. These activities all leave a digital footprint-- big data that can be analyzed.
The graphic below illustrates recent global mobile data traffic growth by region and provides a forecast for the coming years:
A few weeks ago, the results of the OECD’s PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) module on financial literacy were revealed, with Shanghai taking top honors in this category – just as it has in the last two rounds (in 2009 and 2012) on the traditional academic curriculum (reading, math and science).
This is no coincidence, as the OECD results and many other studies suggest a close relationship between education levels and academic performance in math and reading comprehension and scores on financial literacy tests.
In the PISA report, the correlation coefficients between financial literacy scores and performance in mathematics and reading were 0.83 and 0.79 respectively across 13 OECD countries in the survey sample. For high performers like Shanghai and New Zealand, these correlations were even stronger: 0.88 for mathematics, 0.86 for reading.
While waiting for general improvement in academic performance is one path to improved financial literacy, the urgency of addressing financial skills for today’s youth has led many educators and policymakers to look for more immediate steps that can be taken, including financial education interventions at school. The PISA results, however, don’t include an assessment of the value of possible financial literacy curricula, due to the “limited and uneven provision of financial education in schools.” That factor makes comparisons across countries difficult, as described in the report.
Another measure of growth is reflected in the continent’s demographic dividend, which accounts for 200 million people aged between 15 and 24. Africa has the youngest population in the world, with about 2 to 3 million of these young people entering the labor force every year.
“The great struggle of our generation is the global fight to end poverty and build inclusive prosperity while safeguarding the Earth for those who will come after us. At its heart, this is a fight for wiser, more capable governance.”
- The World Region
62.3% of people in Indonesia and 63.9% in Kenya who want public financial information do not know how to access it.
Understanding the demand for open data seems like more of an art than a science. In many cases, given the "free" nature of open data, we are often limited to analyzing unique visitors, downloads, and consumption patterns at data engagement events. To publishers of open data seeking to respond to stakeholder demand, this incomplete measurement of data use and consumption can feel limiting and frustrating.
Open data in large part is possible due to the dramatic power and potential that the Internet and other technologies continue to bring us. As the latest information revolution continues to unfold, estimates suggest that about three-fifths of the world is offline in 2014. Given current access to connectivity, is the Internet reinforcing inequality in the real world? From an international development perspective, this is troubling. As initiatives and projects like Facebook's Internet.org, Google Loon, and Oluvus seek to extend affordable Internet access, it is still critical to understand what the potential impact of open data efforts may be on the path to a more open and connected world.