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Showing posts for "Financial Inclusion"

Five Questions on Sustainable Investing With Morgan Stanley’s Audrey Choi

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil
A man fills a glass with water from a spring in Chiffa in Medea Governorate, Algeria (Reuters/Ramzi Boudina). A man fills a glass with water from a spring in Chiffa in Medea Governorate, Algeria (Reuters/Ramzi Boudina).

This post features a conversation with Audrey Choi, chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing and managing director of its Global Sustainable Finance Group. Choi talks about the evolving $20 trillion sector, including important U.S. policy changes and her thoughts on where sustainable investing is headed. Read more »

Tackling Climate Change Through Agriculture

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil
A farmer burns a paddy field in Thailand's Nakhonsawan province, north of Bangkok, Thailand, August 14, 2015 (Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom). A farmer burns a paddy field in Thailand's Nakhonsawan province, north of Bangkok, Thailand, August 14, 2015 (Reuters/Chaiwat Subprasom).

Emerging Voices highlights new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges from contributing scholars and practitioners. This post is from Dr. D. Michael Shafer, president and founder of Warm Heart Worldwide and professor emeritus of political science at Rutgers University. Warm Heart is a community-based development organization dedicated to building socially- and economically-sustainable communities in rural areas of northern Thailand.

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: Central America’s Anticorruption Support, UNDP at Fifty, Foreign Bribery Action

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Demonstrators hold candles as they sing the national anthem during a march to demand the resignation of Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez, in Tegucigalpa, September 11, 2015. The protesters are calling for the resignation of Hernandez over a $200-million corruption scandal at the Honduran Institute of Social Security (Reuters/Jorge Cabrera). Demonstrators hold candles as they sing the national anthem during a march to demand the resignation of Honduras' President Juan Orlando Hernandez, in Tegucigalpa, September 11, 2015. The protesters are calling for the resignation of Hernandez over a $200-million corruption scandal at the Honduran Institute of Social Security (Reuters/Jorge Cabrera).

Central America’s Anticorruption Support
The presidents of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras were in Washington to discuss plans for the $750 million that Congress authorized to help their nations take on violence and boost economic development. The outlay comes in the wake of a record uptick in Central American migration to the United States. Nearly 3 million people have fled their homes and neighborhoods, including 100,000 unaccompanied minors who arrived at the southern border between October 2013 and July 2015. The U.S. funding requires Northern Triangle governments to address myriad domestic problems, including strengthening legal systems, protecting human rights, and rooting out corruption. U.S. anticorruption efforts will be met with broad civil society and multilateral support, dovetailing with grassroots campaigns against graft and high-level impunity in Honduras and Guatemala, and furthering the resolve of multilateral-backed bodies such as Honduras’s new Mission Against Corruption and Impunity (MACCIH).

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Five Questions with Dean Karlan

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil
A girl studies while sitting on top of a taxi outside her shanty home at a roadside in Mumbai, India (Shailesh Andrade/Reuters). A girl studies while sitting on top of a taxi outside her shanty home at a roadside in Mumbai, India (Shailesh Andrade/Reuters).

Emerging Voices highlights new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges from contributing scholars and practitioners. This post features a conversation with Dean Karlan, professor of economics at Yale University, president and founder of Innovations for Poverty Action, and founder of ImpactMatters, a newly-launched organization that assesses how well nonprofits use and produce evidence of impact.

1) How have development economics and the study of poverty evolved in recent years?

Until about fifteen years ago, there were two different strands of development work, both with limitations. The first asked a big, monolithic policy question—“does aid work?—and compared how aid affected development outcomes across countries. But the cross-country research lacked the necessary data and an understanding of critical micro-level mechanisms, or the obvious first step of why some countries get more aid than others. It led to big debates, but failed to determine causality.

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: Modi’s Reform Agenda, the WTO, and 2015 UN Development Report

by Shannon K. O'Neil
A labourer pushes a handcart loaded with sacks containing tea packets, towards a supply truck at a wholesale market in Kolkata, India, June 26, 2015. For years Indian businesses have lobbied for a nationwide sales tax, hoping to replace a chaotic structure that inflates costs and halts their trucks at state borders for duty payments, and to unify the country into one of the world's largest single markets. But after political compromises that finally got a goods and services tax (GST) bill before parliament, they have turned wary (Reuters/De Chowdhuri). A labourer pushes a handcart loaded with sacks containing tea packets, towards a supply truck at a wholesale market in Kolkata, India, June 26, 2015. For years Indian businesses have lobbied for a nationwide sales tax, hoping to replace a chaotic structure that inflates costs and halts their trucks at state borders for duty payments, and to unify the country into one of the world's largest single markets. But after political compromises that finally got a goods and services tax (GST) bill before parliament, they have turned wary (Reuters/De Chowdhuri).

Modi’s Reforms at Odds
A senior official in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is pushing a corruption probe that threatens to derail his own party’s Goods and Services Tax (GST). A linchpin of Modi’s economic platform, the reform would replace numerous local and state taxes with a single nation-wide tax. The government expects GST to boost government revenue, attract foreign investment, and add up to two percent to GDP. With the corruption case’s targets—opposition Congress Party leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi—denouncing the investigation as politically motivated, the fallout will likely halt Modi’s tax reform in India’s opposition-led upper house. As the Gandhi case advances, the GST may not, putting Modi’s ambitious pro-business and anticorruption agendas at odds.

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Five Questions with Elmira Bayrasli

by Guest Blogger for Shannon K. O'Neil
Software developers work on computer sytems at the Information Technology Developers Entrepreneurship Accelerator (iDEA) hub in the Yaba district in Lagos June 25, 2015. At first glance, Yaba is like many other parts of Nigeria's sprawling commercial capital: a cacophony of car horns and shouting street vendors, mingling with exhaust fumes and the occasional stench of sewage. But in between the run-down buildings in this seemingly inauspicious part of Lagos, a city of around 21 million, tech start-ups are taking root and creating a buzz that is drawing international venture capitalists and more established digital firms. (Reuters/Akinleye) Software developers work on computer sytems at the Information Technology Developers Entrepreneurship Accelerator (iDEA) hub in the Yaba district in Lagos June 25, 2015. At first glance, Yaba is like many other parts of Nigeria's sprawling commercial capital: a cacophony of car horns and shouting street vendors, mingling with exhaust fumes and the occasional stench of sewage. But in between the run-down buildings in this seemingly inauspicious part of Lagos, a city of around 21 million, tech start-ups are taking root and creating a buzz that is drawing international venture capitalists and more established digital firms. (Reuters/Akinleye)

Emerging Voices highlights new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges from contributing scholars and practitioners. This post features Elmira Bayrasli, the co-founder of Foreign Policy Interrupted and a lecturer at New York University.

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: Africa’s Stalled Progress, Nepal’s Post-Disaster Setbacks, and What We’re Reading on TPP

by Shannon K. O'Neil
A man walks past the debris of collapsed houses in Bhaktapur, Nepal October 5, 15. Twin earthquakes in April and May killed almost 9,000 people in Nepal's worst natural disaster (Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar). A man walks past the debris of collapsed houses in Bhaktapur, Nepal October 5, 15. Twin earthquakes in April and May killed almost 9,000 people in Nepal's worst natural disaster (Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar).

CFR’s Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy (CSMD) Program highlights noteworthy events and articles each Friday in “This Week in Markets and Democracy.”

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: Sustainable Development Goals Adopted

by Shannon K. O'Neil
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses attendees during a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York September 27, 2015. More than 150 world leaders are expected to attend the UN Sustainable Development Summit from September 25-27, 2015 at United Nations in New York to formally adopt an ambitious new sustainable development agenda, a press statement by the U.N. stated (Reuters/Mike Segar). U.S. President Barack Obama addresses attendees during a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, New York September 27, 2015. More than 150 world leaders are expected to attend the UN Sustainable Development Summit from September 25-27, 2015 at United Nations in New York to formally adopt an ambitious new sustainable development agenda, a press statement by the U.N. stated (Reuters/Mike Segar).

The biggest achievement of the past week’s United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York was the adoption of a new fifteen-year plan for global development. Replacing the soon-to-expire Millennium Development Goals, seventeen new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will guide UN and domestic development policies through 2030 with an ambitious, and some say overly idealistic agenda. Based on UN member and civil society input over a three-year process, the final set of SDGs aims to eliminate hunger, reduce inequality, promote shared economic growth, and “end poverty in all its forms everywhere.” President Obama, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and Pope Francis all endorsed the new “global goals” during the three-day UN Sustainable Development Summit held in the run-up to UNGA. Here are two major takeaways from the summit:

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This Week in Markets in Democracy: What We Are Reading

by Shannon K. O'Neil
A vendor selling flowers hands over change to a customer in Kunming, Yunnan province, August 19, 2015. China's currency devaluation should give a shot in the arm to global foreign exchange volumes as traders take advantage of and protect themselves against the surprise surge in volatility, but its longer-term impact on market activity may not be so benign (Wong Campion/Reuters). A vendor selling flowers hands over change to a customer in Kunming, Yunnan province, August 19, 2015. China's currency devaluation should give a shot in the arm to global foreign exchange volumes as traders take advantage of and protect themselves against the surprise surge in volatility, but its longer-term impact on market activity may not be so benign (Wong Campion/Reuters).

This Week in Markets and Democracy will return on August 28. Until then, here is what CSMD is reading this week.

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This Week in Markets and Democracy: Calais Crisis, TPP Stalls, and Post-2015 Agreement Reached

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Sudanese migrants stand at "The New Jungle" camp in Calais, France, August 6, 2015. For most of the 3,000 inhabitants of the "Jungle", a shanty town on the sand dunes of France's north coast, the climax of each day is the nightly bid to sneak into the undersea tunnel they hope will lead to new life in Britain (Juan Medina/Reuters). Sudanese migrants stand at "The New Jungle" camp in Calais, France, August 6, 2015. For most of the 3,000 inhabitants of the "Jungle", a shanty town on the sand dunes of France's north coast, the climax of each day is the nightly bid to sneak into the undersea tunnel they hope will lead to new life in Britain (Juan Medina/Reuters).

This is a post in a new series on the Development Channel,“This Week in Markets and Democracy.” Each weekCFR’s Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Program will highlight noteworthy events and articles.

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