Friday, April 17, 2015

Jim Kim, safeguards and 'the problem of multilateralism' | Devex

Jim Kim, safeguards and 'the problem of multilateralism' | Devex: "Kim acknowledged that leading an institution composed of 188 member states, where “all of the conflicts of the world exist on my board,” means that there will be people “unhappy on both sides of every issue.”

The safeguards — which just completed a second round of consultations with civil society stakeholders around the world — will go to the executive board for approval early this summer. If the draft isn’t approved, it will undergo a third round of consultations. The bank hopes to present a completed framework by the end of 2015."

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Collaboration not competition: could this be the future of development?

Collaboration not competition: could this be the future of development?

“Now the intention is to form interesting collaborations.” He believes that innovation happens when different people with different perspectives work together. The aim is that this project will bring development professionals together with the private sector, tech startups, local experts and anyone else who has an idea and interest in solving the challenges.
Amplify will look at 10 global development challenges over five years. Anyone can contribute ideas to solve these problems on an open-platform website. The ideas are then refined through a series of stages where experts and opinionated amateurs give their feedback, before the best few are awarded DfID funding. It’s crowdsourcing development: but will it work?

Setting the stage for African success in global value chains | The Trade Post

Setting the stage for African success in global value chains | The Trade Post: "Value chains, whether they are regional or global, offer developing countries new opportunities to engage bigger markets, gain new skills, and innovate. As developing countries participate in increasingly complex production processes, they gain knowledge and modern techniques from foreign companies. When Toyota makes car parts in Thailand, for example, Thailand imports the company’s technology, managerial and business practices, and more.

Historically, GVC-related opportunities for economic development have come in the form of manufacturing: East Asian countries saw tremendous growth and poverty-reduction as a result of their engagement in electronics and automobile production. Observers have long lamented – and studied – Africa’s difficult relationship with manufacturing. Currently, the continent’s share of manufacturing in GDP is lower than most developing countries, and it is declining. In “Can Africa Industrialise?” John Page postulates that the steep manufacturing decline in the 1980s and 1990s happened because the continent shed protectionist and import substitution policies that had propped up manufacturing. With these policy changes, African economies shifted to producing more in sectors in which they were internationally competitive, including natural resources and agricultural products.

In recent years, global value chains have become much more diverse than manufacturing: no longer are offshore workers in developing countries just soldering microchips or sewing t-shirts. They are using advanced technology to package locally grown fruits and vegetables, and they are providing back-end administrative support to US companies. Take flowers – they might be grown in Colombia or Kenya, but they are sold in the US or Europe. They must be kept cool and fresh through sophisticated cold-chain logistics and be transported quickly to market.  Or take shared-services centers in India. They must have fast internet technology and an educated workforce. This business-driven modernization drives development. "

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Peace Corps cites 20 percent increase in sexual assault reports: A sign of progress? | Devex

Peace Corps cites 20 percent increase in sexual assault reports: A sign of progress? | Devex: "At 24, Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet was a volunteer teaching secondary school English in Western Samoa. She was also grappling with the decision of whether to report her own sexual assault — the assailant a prominent member of the community in which she worked.

“Being a model Peace Corps volunteer didn’t include being a victim,” she shared at a Peace Corps-organized event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Hessler-Radelet didn’t report the three instances of sexual assault, too afraid she would be removed from the community and the work she believed in. Looking back, she’s “baffled” by her decision to stay silent."

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

You Can't Trust Buzzfeed - Breitbart

You Can't Trust Buzzfeed - Breitbart: "For example: late last week, British political blog Guido Fawkes revealed that Buzzfeed UK had removed an article from its website that embarrassed an advertiser. The article was a frivolous, derogatory rant about the board game Monopoly by recent recruit Tom Chivers.

It turns out that Hasbro, which publishes Monopoly, had paid Buzzfeed to promote one of its other games. Anxious about upsetting a major sponsor, someone higher up the chain at Buzzfeed yanked the article. Buzzfeed even added a line of code to its website so no one could find the page using a search engine.

It would have been predictably skanky behaviour, but not a scandal, were it not for the fact that Buzzfeed UK had, a few short weeks earlier, gleefully reported on allegations that the Daily Telegraph gave HSBC, a regular Telegraph advertiser, an easy ride in its business pages.

Arguably, Buzzfeed’s sin was greater, both because it involved a retroactive deletion and also because the stakes were so low: if the site was prepared to edit the code on its website to cover up such a trivial article, how could the site be trusted to write fairly about the social issues it aspires to cover in its long-form journalism?

The chutzpah and hypocrisy are jaw-dropping."

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Senate passes bipartisan Medicare bill fixing doctors' pay -

Senate passes bipartisan Medicare bill fixing doctors' pay - "WASHINGTON, April 15 (UPI) -- The Senate passed a $200 billion Medicare reform bill Tuesday, just in time to prevent a 21 percent cut in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients.
In a rare bipartisan move, the Senate voted 92-8 to replace an unpopular "fee-for-service" payment system from 1997.

President Barack Obama said he plans to sign the bill into law, calling it a "a milestone for physicians, and for the seniors and people with disabilities who rely on Medicare for their health care needs."

The new system will base physician fees on the quality of the care they provide as opposed to the number of services they perform. The instability of the old formula has been criticized for discouraging doctors from taking on Medicare patients.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the bill was a "solution to a broken Medicare payment system that had vexed congressional leaders of both parties for years."

"It would mean an end to the annual exercise of Congress passing a temporary 'fix' to the problem one year and then coming right up to the very same cliff the next year, without actually solving the underlying problem," McConnell said.

The bill was drafted as a compromise between House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif."

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"Give one": What happens after you buy TOMS? | WhyDev

"Give one": What happens after you buy TOMS? | WhyDev: "One for One. You buy shoes; we’ll give a pair away in a developing country. Makes you feel warm and fuzzy all over, doesn’t it? Knowing you’re helping a barefoot child in need?

 TOMS Shoes aren’t big in Australia, so I’d never bought any. But after being in Kenya for five months, I was swamped with them. 27,000 pairs, to be precise. I worked with a branch of the Kenya Red Cross, one of TOMS’ 100+ partner organisations, and I was asked to head up the distribution of free shoes. The Kenya Red Cross is primarily volunteer-run, and it took around 40 volunteers to do the distribution.

 Their past shoe distributions had been marred with problems. Previously, TOMS had organised for around 10,000 primary school students to come to a single school to receive their shoes. Unfortunately, some schools couldn’t afford transportation and were unable to attend. Even without the full list of schools in attendance at the distribution, there still weren’t enough pairs for all the students who’d been told to come and get them."

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