These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
World Bank Group
Too often, government leaders fail to adopt and implement policies that they know are necessary for sustained economic development. Political constraints can prevent leaders from following sound technical advice, even when leaders have the best of intentions. Making Politics Work for Development: Harnessing Transparency and Citizen Engagement focuses on two forces—citizen engagement and transparency—that hold the key to solving government failures by shaping how political markets function.
The most challenging notion to take on board in the governance of today’s world is that not all that counts can be counted. We increasingly rely on numbers as shortcuts to information about the world that we do not have time to digest. The name of the game is governance “as if” the world counts. It might be a smart shortcut sometimes, but we are in deep trouble if we forget that we are doing it “as if” the world counts. Leadership should take making good decisions seriously. If the method by which we get knowledge and the method by which we make decisions is limited to what can be numbered, we are setting up a system of governance that’s systematically getting stuff that actually counts wrong.
Africa has major development aspirations in the broader context of a global and continental economic development agenda. This calls for substantial financial resources at a time when the global development finance landscape is changing, from a model centred on official development assistance and the coverage of remaining financing needs through external debt, to a framework with greater emphasis on the mobilization of domestic resources. The Economic Development in Africa Report 2016, subtitled Debt Dynamics and Development Finance in Africa, examines some of the key policy issues that underlie Africa’s domestic and external debt, and provides policy guidance on the delicate balance required between financing development alternatives and overall debt sustainability.
Global eSustainbility Initiative/Accenture
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) envisage a world transformed from today. A world where poverty and gender inequality no longer exist. Where good healthcare and education are available for all. And where economic growth no longer harms the environment. The ambition is huge. Every country in the world falls short on more than half of the 17 SDGs. And a quarter of the world’s countries fall short on all 17 of the goals. Find out how digital technologies can hugely accelerate progress towards achieving every single one of the SDGs by 2030. In developed and developing countries alike.
In 2007, the Rockefeller Foundation devised the term “impact investing”, officially inaugurating a new era in finance and development. This form of investing channels funds privately to vulnerable segments of the population in need, and it complements welfare and social protection programs by the public sector, as well as other innovations in financing development, such as community banking, microfinance, and mobile banking. The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) estimates the impact investing market at USD $77.4 billion and defines impact investing as “investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.” The intent to generate positive social or environmental impacts through investments is what differentiates this approach from ethical or responsible investment, and this type of investment now has the support of several political and religious leaders.
Conflict and violence have escalated globally over the past decade. Digital tools are offering creative ways to counter the trend, with information and communications technology leading the way. What are its main peacebuilding functions, how can it make a real and lasting impact, and does it truly offer fresh hope for a more peaceful future? This Spotlight presents an in-depth analysis including opinions and facts and figures. It features a debate with opposing views offered by Shamil Idriss, president of peacebuilding organisation Search for Common Ground, and Anahi Ayala Iacucci, humanitarian director at media NGO Internews. And it includes an interview with Dan Marsh, head of technology at the NGO International Alert.
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