Three ways national development banks can unlock climate-smart growth

28 January 2020
ATMs in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo: Asian Development Bank, 2015. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

There is no doubt the world is facing a climate emergency. We must all act now to shift to climate-smart growth by redirecting our current investment and financing flows towards the Paris Agreement. National development banks (NDBs) have huge untapped potential to support this transformation. But our new report finds that despite their collective firepower – which far exceeds that of the multilateral and bilateral development banking system – NDBs have yet to step out of the shadows and into the international and domestic limelight. It is now time for NDBs to claim their rightful place at the policy table.
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Half the world’s schools lack clean water, toilets and handwashing

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Nearly half the world’s schools lack clean drinking water, toilets and handwashing facilities, putting millions of children at risk of disease, experts warned on Monday.

Almost 900 million children have to contend with a lack of basic hygiene facilities during their education, putting their health at risk and meaning some have to miss school.

“You can’t have a quality learning environment without these basics,” said Dr Rick Johnston of the World Health Organization, a lead researcher on the project.

“Children may not come to school at all if there’s no toilets … Then, when they are at school, they are not going to at their very best if they not able to use a decent toilet or if they are not properly hydrated.”

World leaders have signed up to global pledges to provide safe water and hygiene facilities for all and ensure every child gets a comprehensive education by 2030 under the UN’s sustainable development goals.

10 things to know about the global labour force

Briefing papers

April 2017

ODI_Creating more and better jobs is frequently identified as a top priority in global development, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are no exception.

Nearly six million participants of the MY World Survey, a UN survey which influenced and informed the SDGs, identified ‘better job opportunities’ as key for their and their families’ futures. As a result, jobs have found their space in SDG8: ‘Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all’, and are referenced in several other goals.

10 things to know about the global labour force examines the number of people inside and outside the global labour force, illustrating who they are, where they are and the scale of the global jobs challenge, drawing attention to the 2 billion people of working age classified as outside the labour force, many of whom want to work. Surprisingly, there has been little focus on this group. Less surprisingly, about two-thirds are women, and a very high share of them are in the Asia-Pacific region. Their need for jobs will add significantly to the challenges of job creation and of meeting the SDGs.

Tiếp tục đọc “10 things to know about the global labour force”


worldwatch – Cities are the world’s future. More than half of the world’s people live in cities, and the urbanization trend is continuing. Will the world invest in shaping livable, equitable, and sustainable cities?

“The path to a sustainable city starts with a vision,” explains Gary Gardner, co-director of the our newest book, Can a City Be Sustainable? “A well-crafted vision can rally public support and mobilize civic energy for a long-term urban makeover.”

“A well-crafted vision can rally public support and mobilize civic energy for a long-term urban makeover.”

Here are Worldwatch’s top 7 tips for cities who want to unlock sustainability:


1. Reduce, circulate, and clean up material flows.

Perhaps the biggest single step that cities can take toward a sustainable future is to create economies that greatly reduce materials use and (re)circulate materials. Good examples are car sharing and tool libraries, which reduce a person’s materials footprint.

Can Better Technology Lure Asia’s Youth Back to Farming?

Can Better Technology Lure Asia’s Youth Back to Farming?

Reprint |   | Print | |En español

ADB president Takehiko Nakao speak at the Food Security Forum in Manila. Credit: Diana G. Mendoza/IPS

ADB president Takehiko Nakao speaks at the Food Security Forum in Manila. Credit: Diana G. Mendoza/IPS

ipsnews – MANILA, Jun 25 2016 (IPS) – Farming and agriculture may not seem cool to young people, but if they can learn the thrill of nurturing plants to produce food, and are provided with their favorite apps and communications software on agriculture, food insecurity will not be an issue, food and agriculture experts said during the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Food Security Forum from June 22 to 24 at the ADB headquarters here. Tiếp tục đọc “Can Better Technology Lure Asia’s Youth Back to Farming?”

Changing global patterns of poverty

Loewe, Markus / Nicole Rippin
Briefing Paper 3/2012

Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

die-gdi _ Global patterns of poverty do not look like they did twenty years ago. Many developing countries have been able to raise their average per-capita income over the last two decades; 18 have even trespassed the highly noticed – though arbitrary – ceiling differentiating between ‘low income’ and ‘middle income countries’ (LICs and MICs).

The latter event in particular has attracted much attention has the most populous countries are among those that ‘graduated’ – with the effect that 72 per cent of the extreme income-poor world-wide (defined by the 1.25 USD Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) poverty line) are now living in MICs. Donors increasingly wonder whether development co-operation should therefore focus more on the remaining LICs or rather explore new ways of assisting MICs in poverty alleviation.

We argue that whatever future development co-operation with MICs may look like, poverty eradication should take a central place in it. Even if per-capita income levels are rising in most countries, it is much too early to celebrate the end of global poverty: Tiếp tục đọc “Changing global patterns of poverty”

Inequality is bad for growth of the poor

Recent economic thinking has discredited the idea that high inequality stimulates economic growth. Public investment in education is the key to both cutting inequality and achieving sustainable growth, argue Roy Van der Weide, Branko Milanovic and Mario Negre.

Branko Milanovic is Visiting Presidential Professor at the The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and senior scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study Centre. Roy Van der Weide works as an economist at the Poverty and Inequality Unit of the World Bank Research Department. Mario Negre is senior economist at the Poverty and Inequality Unit of the World Bank Research Department and senior researcher at the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE). Tiếp tục đọc “Inequality is bad for growth of the poor”

Gender equality, the MDGs and the SDGs: Achievements, lessons and concerns

Naila Kabeer

Professor of Gender and Development at the Gender Institute – London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

theIGC – Following the formal announcement of the Sustainable Development Goals, Naila Kabeer reflects on lessons from the Millennium Development Goals through a feminist lens, which she argues were weakened by their very narrow interpretation of women’s empowerment. She writes that much more is needed to dismantle more resilient structures of inequality, and while the SDGs offer some grounds for cautious optimism, there is a continued lack of emphasis on rights.

This post forms part of a cross-blog series on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development run by the IGC, Africa at LSE, and South Asia at LSE blogs. View more posts in this series. Tiếp tục đọc “Gender equality, the MDGs and the SDGs: Achievements, lessons and concerns”

Women and Girls Imperative to Science & Technology Agenda

Lakshmi Puri is UN Assistant-Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director UN Women

Lakshmi Puri

ipsnews _ UNITED NATIONS, Feb 8 2016 (IPS) – Can you imagine an entire day without access to your mobile phone, laptop, or even to the internet? In our rapidly changing world, could you function without having technology at your fingertips?

Unfathomable for most of us, but across the world—especially for many in developing countries–using and accessing technology is not readily available, and certainly not a privileged choice. This is particularly true for women and girls.

In low- to middle-income countries, a woman is 21 per cent less likely to own a mobile phone than a man, and the divide is similar for Internet access. The possibilities of scientific and technological progress is almost limitless, yet women and girls are sorely missing in these fields, particularly as a creators and decision-makers in spheres that are transforming our everyday world. Tiếp tục đọc “Women and Girls Imperative to Science & Technology Agenda”

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: What It Means and How to Respond

foreignaffair – We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.

The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.

There are three reasons why today’s transformations represent not merely a prolongation of the Third Industrial Revolution but rather the arrival of a Fourth and distinct one: velocity, scope, and systems impact. The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance. Tiếp tục đọc “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: What It Means and How to Respond”

SDG Indicators and Data: Who collects? Who reports? Who benefits?

By Barbara Adams

versión en español

Download this briefing (pdf version)

globalpolicywatch – As part of its mandate to develop an indicator framework by which to monitor the goals and targets of the post-2015 development agenda, the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDGs (IAEG-SDGs) held its second meeting in Bangkok, 26-28 October 2015. The objective was to seek agreement on the proposed indicators for each target—keeping in mind that indicators alone can never be sufficient to fully measure progress on the goals. More specifically, it was to move provisional indicators marked yellow—needing further agreement—to either green—agreed by all parties—or grey—no agreement possible. As a result, there are now 159 green indicators (including 52 moved from yellow and 9 new ones), and 62 greys (including 28 moved from yellow plus 5 new ones).

While there is now a proposed indicator (either green or grey) for every target, as required by the IAEG-SDGs’ commitment to “no indicator left behind”, many of the agreed indicators remain inadequate, and 62 require “more in-depth discussion and/or methodological development.” What will happen to these grey indicators if there is no agreement before March 2016 when the framework is to be presented to the UN Statistical Commission? Will they be shoved into an Annex, or dropped altogether? Either way, they risk becoming orphans as the framework is implemented. Tiếp tục đọc “SDG Indicators and Data: Who collects? Who reports? Who benefits?”

Don’t Panic — End Poverty

Hans Rosling asks: Has the UN gone mad?

The United Nations just announced their boldest goal ever: To eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, already by 2030.

Gapminder – Looking at the realities of extremely poor people the goal seems impossible. The rains didn’t fall in Malawi this year. The poor farmers Dunstar & Jenet, gather a tiny maize harvest in a small pile on the ground outside their mud hut. But Dunstar & Jenet know exactly what they need to break the vicious circle of poverty. And Hans Rosling shows how billions of people have already managed. This year’s “hunger season” may very well be Dunster’s & Jenet’s last.

Up-to-date statistics show that recent global progress is ‘the greatest story of our time – possibly the greatest story in all of human history. The goal seems unrealistic to many highly educated people because their worldview is lagging 60 years behind reality.

About the film

The visualizations are based on original graphics and stories by Gapminder. The data sources are listed here.

The Dollar Street project, featured in this film, will launch later this year.
Learn more and stay tuned here.

This film follows the previous award-winning BBC productions Don’t Panic – The Facts About Population and The Joy Of Stats.

The film was produced by Wingspan Productions and broadcasted on BBC TWO on September 23, 2015. Director & Producer: Dan Hillman. Executive Producer: Archie Baron. ©Wingspan Productions for BBC, 2015

Will the SDGs influence domestic policy? Some lessons from the MDGs

20 November 2015 Articles and blogs

ODI – With the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed, the next big question is: are governments going to use them?

Despite many years of experience implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), we still know surprisingly little about how national governments actually use these kinds of international frameworks.

How countries responded to the MDGs

A new qualitative study of five governments finds that they used the MDGs in three ways:

  • They set up new institutions to track progress – for example, since 2012 Nigeria has convened a quarterly committee of over 25 state governors, heads of ministries and other government officials to monitor national progress towards the MDGs;
  • Some, such as Indonesia, referenced the MDGs in national development strategies;
  • They saw the MDGs as an opportunity to show international leadership – Mexican politicians, for example, used them to raise the country’s profile across the region.

However, it took countries up to 10 years to translate the MDGs into domestic institutional commitments – they often waited until they had to renew existing domestic targets before doing so. UN-led efforts, particularly the MDG Acceleration Frameworks established in 2010, may have helped prompt eventual action.

Did the MDGs influence government priorities and budgets? Tiếp tục đọc “Will the SDGs influence domestic policy? Some lessons from the MDGs”

On World Toilet Day, it’s time Pacific leaders start talking toilets

Alyse Schrecongost's picture

Preventable maternal mortality can be eliminated by 2030, but much more effort is needed

Report from WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group
and the United Nations Population Division highlights progress since 1990

Maternal mortality has fallen by 44% since 1990, United Nations agencies and the World Bank Group reported today.

Maternal deaths around the world dropped from about 532 000 in 1990 to an estimated 303 000 this year, according to the report, the last in a series that has looked at progress under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  This equates to an estimated global maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 216 maternal deaths per 100 000 live births, down from 385 in 1990.

Maternal mortality is defined as the death of a woman during pregnancy, childbirth or within 6 weeks after birth.

“The MDGs triggered unprecedented efforts to reduce maternal mortality,” said Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant Director-General, Family, Women’s and Children’s Health. “Over the past 25 years, a woman’s risk of dying from pregnancy-related
causes has nearly halved.  That’s real progress, although it is not enough. We know that we can virtually end these deaths by 2030 and this is what we are committing to work towards.” Tiếp tục đọc “Preventable maternal mortality can be eliminated by 2030, but much more effort is needed”