Jpm5000000pmSun, 06 May 2007 20:13:50 +000007 21, 2007

Blogs

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:15 p05 by minhdee87

1. “One day, our grandchildren will go to museums to see what poverty was like”

2. The World’s Smallest Yogurt Factory… in Bangladesh

3. What is Development Marketplace (DM)?

4. Lowering Debts will Help Economic Growth in HIPCs

5. Social Globalization Comment

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What is Development Marketplace (DM)?

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:15 p05 by minhdee87

Development Market Place

The Development Marketplace (DM) came to be in 1998 when the World Bank wanted “…an internally focused exercise to provide an alternative outlet for World Bank staff to change the decision-making culture, encourage risk-taking, and shorten project development and delivery time.” DM was allocated $5 million to start the programs, and recieve an overwhelming response from the global community. With its grant, the DM disburses money to certain groups that present feasible solutions to sustainable development or to combat HIV/AIDS. The issues may vary significantly, but the purpose is to help the poor nations develop. Interested groups are required to submit proposals of their initiatives. Development experts within the World Bank then analyzes the various proposals and decide on which groups to give the grants to. In this way, the DM is involving grassroots participation, not just outsiders attempting to alleviate a country’s developmental problems. In other words,

“the Development Marketplace program operates at two levels: global and country. In both cases, DM uses a transparent process to surface innovations that address development challenges at the community level. DM competitions are designed to attract ideas from a range of innovators; civil society groups, social entrepreneurs, foundations, academia, and private sector corporations, as well as staff from the World Bank and other donor organizations. It draws together people and institutions with varied affiliations and objectives to work in partnerships to find innovative development solutions.”

I think this is a very intelligent move by the World Bank. States are not simply given money and allowed to do whatever they please with it. Since countries must submit policy proposals and ideas of implementation, the money that the winning countries acheive are going toward a legit cause. Although this may appear to some as the Global North exerting its influence on the Global South, it is an extremely credible way of overseeing development and countries’ implementation. They must follow through, because they already have the funds to do so. I think it’s an incentive for countries to devise viable plans of development, because they get money for it. The World Bank and the global community benefit from this as well, because the World Bank is then able to evaluate such developmenal strategies and if successful, implement them in other parts of the world. As for the global community, everyone benefits when others develop, because they will eventually add to the overall growth of the world.

 

Jam5000000amWed, 02 May 2007 08:40:49 +000007 21, 2007

Free trade’s new apostle

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:15 p05 by minhdee87

Managing Globalization

Ben Bernanke succeeded Alan Greenspan as the chairman of the Federal Reserve. Unlike other politicians, Bernanke is pushing policies to stay away from protectionism. He shares many economists’ point of view, that is trade barriers will only weigh down the economies of the world. It may appear advantageous to those producers in the disadvantaged industries who are urging for barriers in the short run to subsidize their lost incomes, but it is extremely harmful to the global economy in the long run. Instead of employing protectionist policies, the government should look toward monetary and fiscal policies to boost the economy. Monetary policy deals with government spending and taxes by the government, while fiscal policy deals with the money supply and interest rates. Together, such policies will be much more effective in improving the U.S. economy and relations abroad than implementing restrictive barriers that impedes free trade.

Ben Bernanke

I think it is a good thing that someone with such statue and influence is speaking about the opposition and negative effectives of protectionism. Though Bernanke is not the only player involved, he probably has an influential voice in the matter, as he is serving as the chairman of the United States Federal Reserve. Bernanke’s suggests, “competition from imports keeps prices down in the United States, and exports can support the economy when its financial markets and currency are sliding.” In the end, FREE TRADE IS GOOD.

Delivering On The Doha Round’s Development Promise Now

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:15 p05 by minhdee87

Global Development

The World Trade Organization holds ’rounds of negotiations’ every few years among most of the countries of the world. The Doha Round, in Doha, Qatar began in 2001 and based its agenda on lowering trade barriers around the world. Participants include the developed countries as well as the LDCs. Currently, countries cannot reach a unanimous agreement to lower certain barriers. The basis was that the developed nations instill “the objective of duty-free, quota-free market access for products originating from LDCs [least-developed countries].”

However, the United States, whose imports of LDCs goods account for about 1 percent of U.S. total imports, is refusing to abide by the rule. U.S. trade representatives pushed for an exemption of 3 percent of products, which may not seem like a whole lot, but it does make a difference to those states who are struggling to develop economically. The 3 percent will most likely include products that are popular exports from the LDCs, such as agricultural goods, textiles, and footwear. Such barriers, especially those in the agricultural industry, will only hinder world trade and stall development. Efforts are being made to urge the United States to agree to 100% to the “duty-free, quota-free market access for the LDCs.”

Jam4000000amWed, 25 Apr 2007 05:35:39 +000007 21, 2007

U.S. Foreign Aid Reform: Will The Congress Work for a Smart Power Budget?

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:15 p04 by minhdee87

http://blogs.cgdev.org/globaldevelopment/2007/03/us_foreign_aid_reform_will_the.php

This blog is to follow up on the previous post about the President’s 2008 budget. As stated, advocates are urging for more money for the poor. A unanimous consent was made by the Senate to restore the International Affairs Budget, coming terms with the president’s request of $36.5 billion. The House of Representatives, however, did not come to agreement on the budget. As a result, the Senate and House will work together to come up with an agreeable International Affairs Budget for 2008. Furthermore, the Center for Strategic and International Studies aims devise a plan for the U.S. to incorporate its soft and hard powers into “smart power” to face challanges and determine defense, diplomacy, and development priorities.

Billions for War, Pennies for the Poor: Moving the President’s FY2008 Budget from Hard Power to Smart Power

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:15 p04 by minhdee87

http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/13232

The United States currently has the largest government deficit in American history. We are spending way more money than we are making. Our foreign debts are increasing rapidly and our deficit is mounting. This is starting to take a toll on the American people. The Iraq War plays a large role in this huge government spending. The war, since its beginnings in 2003, has cost the U.S. billions of dollars. Critics are complaining that we are spending too much money on the war, and not enough to assist the poor.

The Center for Global Development is working to influence U.S. policy, so to raise more awareness and give more attention to the needs of the impoverished. It conducts research and analyzes various topics, including aid effectiveness, education, health, migration, globalization, and trade. Currently, the Center is working to influence a change in the Presiden’ts 2008 Budget. It is advocating for more money to go toward developmental programs to help those suffering from poverty. The Center lists five important criteria that should be taken into consideration to accomplish successful results:

  • A comprehensive national strategy for development to ensure that increases in development aid take into account the long-term obstacles to growth and poverty reduction.
  • A coherent approach to weak and failing states.
  • A hard look at the top recipients of overall foreign aid and development aid to ensure the right aid, in the right amounts, is going to the right countries. Almost 50% of U.S. international assistance goes to just six countries that are allies in the global war on terror or the war on drugs.
  • An integrated impact evaluation function built into the budgeting process from the beginning, to maximize the impact of U.S. development interventions.
  • A rewriting of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and consideration of a Cabinet-level development agency.

Education, Poverty Reduction and Economic Growth

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:15 p04 by minhdee87

Friday Academy

Several characteristics are identified to influence the education system in low-income countries in terms of completion and enrollment rates:

· average annual teacher salary
· pupil-teacher ratio
· spending on inputs other than teachers
· average repetition rate
· government revenues
· education recurrent spending
· primary education recurrent spending
· private enrollments

Similarly, the blog shows various graphs depicting different groups and their education achievements. It is determined that groups with higher education rates are those that fit the following terms:

  • Devote a higher share of their GDP to public primary education;
  • Have unit costs that fell in the middle of the range;
  • Pay teachers an average annual wage of 3.3 times per capita GDP;
  • Have slightly higher spending on complementary, non-teacher salary inputs;
  • Have an average pupil-teacher ratio of 39:1; and
  • Have average repetition rates below 10 percent (Bruns, Mingat and Rakotomalala, 2003).

This shows that poor countries have low levels of education because of their inability to allocated the proper resources. It is noted that the high-income countries usually have higher GDPs and higher numbers of people receiving education. Education is the key to a successful, prosperous life. Those in the underdeveloped nations are deprived of such opportunities to succeed. The cycle seems as if it cannot be broken. Poor countries are poor because they do not have the necessary resources to develop and they all lack educated individuals that can contribute to society’s well-being. These issues are extremely important to the global economy and society as a whole, and heavy consideration should given to these matters.

Jam4000000amSun, 15 Apr 2007 08:27:26 +000007 21, 2007

“One day, our grandchildren will go to museums to see what poverty was like.”

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:15 p04 by minhdee87

Lining Up the Loan Angels

The above quote is by Muhammad Yunus, the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize recipient. As mentioned in my previous posts, Yunus developed the concept of microfinance, and through his work, some 500 million poor people have benefited from his loans. As a result, the United Nations declared 2005 the year of microcredit.

That was two years ago. Recently, critics of microfinance have stressed that providing money to the poor alone is not enough. “Critics on the left charge that micro-finance privatizes social safety networks, while conservatives dismiss it as charity disguised as enterprise.” This article doesn’t give detailed numbers of its assertions. Some argue that this lending simply places people in a cycle of never-ending debt. While some people will attempt to take advantage of their loans, others will carelessly squander the money away. Who is to control and regulate what people do with the money they get from the microcredit?

Apparently, microfinance has worked to some extraordinary extent, and numerous people have in fact prospered from it. To say that it is an “enterprise” is ridiculous. Case studies in Bangladesh have shown significant improvements in the lives of the people. Like anything else in life, there are many factors that come into play. It will take longer for some in certain areas than others to progress, but the evidence is there. The article goes on to say that only 300 of 25,000 people have reached sustainability. Is it not better than at least 300 people are now better off as a result of microfinance than their previous poverty stricken situations?

Jpm4000000pmFri, 06 Apr 2007 22:45:20 +000007 21, 2007

Thoughts on Microfinance

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:15 p04 by minhdee87

I have read and blogged about several microfinancing ideas.  I think Yunus is a genius for coming up with microfinance.  It’s good to see that the rest of the world is implementing his successful strategies to alleviate poverty.  Indeed, every country or region suffers from different problems and has a various ways of dealing with them.  However, they should take into consideration the success of Yunus’ microfinancing in Bangladesh.  The poor sector of every country are usually the marginalized people, lack necessary resources, politically and socially on the lower part of the spectrum, and incapable of moving up the ladder.  Most of the countries suffering from extreme poverty are also enduring civil strife, political corruption, inequality among the various sectors of society, and lack of education and formal training. 

If countries want to improve their conditions and status, they should start small.  For instance, Yunu focused on a particular group of people and then moved on to accomplish greater things.  Microfinance is a great idea that needs greater attention and implementation.

Promoting Microfinance to Reduce Poverty and Fight Extremism in Pakistan

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:15 p04 by minhdee87

CIPE Development Blog

The Pakistani Government is planning to take on Yunus’s idea of microfinance in efforts to reduce the poverty level and lower unemployment rates in Pakistan.  It is collaborating with international agencies and with Yunus himself to improve the socioeconomic conditions of Pakistan.  By improving the conditions for the people, Pakistan hopes to relieve extremism as well.  Pakistan has a population of about 160 million people, with 24% living below the national poverty line.  Hence, there is a serious need to address this issue.

Yunus has shown that microfinancing works, as proven by his success in Bangladesh.  The lives of the people in Bangladesh have significantly improved, especially the women. 

With Yunus’ assistance, the government of Pakistan plans to reach out to three million households by 2010 through microfinancing.  However, the government is still improving its own microfinance institutions.  With that, it is limited an individual to borrow a maximum of US $2500.  The obstacle is reaching out to the masses and bringing awareness to the poor about this opportunity.  Hopefully, an efficient initiative can be developed to bring microfinance to those living in poverty and successfully improve their living conditions.

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