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Issues and innovations in global economic development

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Showing posts for "Sub-Saharan Africa"

Raising the Age of Marriage in Malawi

by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Children play at a school roughly 50 km south of Malawi's capital Lilongwe, March 2009 (Courtesy Antony Njuguna/Reuters). Children play at a school roughly 50 km south of Malawi's capital Lilongwe, March 2009 (Courtesy Antony Njuguna/Reuters).

Last week, the government of Malawi took a big step toward protecting its girls and strengthening its families: it increased the legal age of marriage to eighteen. Previously, girls in Malawi were allowed to marry at sixteen or, with parental consent, at fifteen.

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UN Reports Rising Attacks on Girls’ Education

by Catherine Powell
A girl reads from the board in a home-based school in Kabul, Afghanistan, December 2001 (Courtsey Damir Sagolj/Reuters). A girl reads from the board in a home-based school in Kabul, Afghanistan, December 2001 (Courtsey Damir Sagolj/Reuters).

Attacks on girls’ schools and female students have appeared in the headlines regularly in recent years, from the abduction of schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria, by Boko Haram to the assassination attempt on student and girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai.

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Podcast: What the Ebola Outbreak Says About Global Health Governance

by Guest Blogger for Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
A health worker demonstrates putting on protective gear in a Red Cross facility in the town of Koidu, Kono district in Eastern Sierra Leone, December 2014 (Courtesy Baz Ratner/Reuters). A health worker demonstrates putting on protective gear in a Red Cross facility in the town of Koidu, Kono district in Eastern Sierra Leone, December 2014 (Courtesy Baz Ratner/Reuters).

This guest post is from my colleague, Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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Leveraging Tech Innovations in Development

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Flood victims show their ID cards to receive food rations at a distribution centre in Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province August 25, 2010 (Courtesy Reuters/Reinhard Krause). Flood victims show their ID cards to receive food rations at a distribution centre in Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province August 25, 2010 (Courtesy Reuters/Reinhard Krause).

Over the past decade, technology has begun to revolutionize industries ranging from education and healthcare to financial services and commerce. These transformations are not limited to the developed world – in emerging economies rapid mobile technology proliferation and internet penetration have had profound and unforeseen effects, including expanding financial inclusion through mobile banking services and facilitating employment through online and mobile job platforms.

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Truly Sustainable Development Calls for Systemic Responses

by Guest Blogger for Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Orphans wait to be given snacks at the Mphandula Childcare Center at Namitete, outside Lilongwe, Malawi, April 2008 (Courtesy Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko). Orphans wait to be given snacks at the Mphandula Childcare Center at Namitete, outside Lilongwe, Malawi, April 2008 (Courtesy Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Alicia Ely Yamin, lecturer on global health and policy director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University.

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The Role of Government in Agriculture

by Guest Blogger for Isobel Coleman
A farmer harvests tobacco in Harare, Zimbabwe, January 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo). A farmer harvests tobacco in Harare, Zimbabwe, January 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is by Evan Axelrad, a recent graduate of the Master of Public Policy program at University of California Berkeley and former program specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agriculture Service. He has also consulted with organizations including the International Fund for Agricultural Development and Kiva Microfunds.

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Segovia: A New Player in Cash Transfers

by Isobel Coleman
Customers are seen at mobile money transfers kiosks, known as M-Pesa agents, near Ngong township in the outskirts of Kenya's capital Nairobi, July 15, 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Thomas Mukoya). Customers are seen at mobile money transfers kiosks, known as M-Pesa agents, near Ngong township in the outskirts of Kenya's capital Nairobi, July 15, 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Thomas Mukoya).

For several years now I’ve been following the progress of an innovative new philanthropy: GiveDirectly. Its cofounders, Michael Faye and Paul Niehaus, started the organization in 2008 while doing their PhD’s in economics at Harvard. Their idea was simple. Given mounting evidence that cash transfers are among the most efficient and effective ways to address poverty (and that the poor know very well what to do with money), why not start a charity that skips the rigmarole of providing services to poor people in poor countries and just gives them cash?

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World Bank Report on Women’s Empowerment Breaks New Ground

by Isobel Coleman
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, and Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Isobel Coleman participate in an event on empowering woman and girls at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., May 14, 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Jonathan Ernst). Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, and Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Isobel Coleman participate in an event on empowering woman and girls at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., May 14, 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Jonathan Ernst).

Over the past several decades, the World Bank has been an important thought leader on the value of investing in women and girls. In 2001, the Bank released a seminal report, “Engendering Development – Through Gender Equality in Rights, Resources, and Voice,” which made the incontrovertible case that investing in girls’ education and other aspects of female empowerment is critical for poverty alleviation. More recently, in 2012, the Bank devoted its annual World Development Report to women and girls, highlighting that, despite gains, gender gaps persist and greater gender equality is critical to growth.

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Empowering Female Entrepreneurs in Rwanda

by Guest Blogger for Terra Lawson-Remer
Artisan entrepreneurs receive business training from Indego Africa at their cooperative, Covanya, in Nyamata, Rwanda, 2011 (Courtesy Benjamin D. Stone, copyright Indego Africa). Artisan entrepreneurs receive business training from Indego Africa at their cooperative, Covanya, in Nyamata, Rwanda, 2011 (Courtesy Benjamin D. Stone, copyright Indego Africa).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is from Benjamin D. Stone, director of strategy and general counsel at MicroCredit Enterprises, CFR term member, and vice chairman of Indego Africa; and Karen Yelick, CEO of Indego Africa. Here they discuss how Indego Africa’s Leadership Academy for female artisan entrepreneurs in Rwanda aligns with the country’s twenty-year history of empowering women leaders.

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International Development in 2014

by Isobel Coleman
Relatives mourn as they show pictures of garment workers lost in the Rana Plaza building collapse, Savar, Bangladesh, April 28, 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Andrew Biraj). Relatives mourn as they show pictures of garment workers lost in the Rana Plaza building collapse, Savar, Bangladesh, April 28, 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Andrew Biraj).

Looking back at 2013, several developments stand out for their significant potential to better the lives of the world’s poorest. Here are three that will likely reverberate for years to come:

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