Unido: What Does Its Future Hold?

Li Yong, director-general of Unido

At the end of 2012, Britain withdrew its membership from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, or Unido, the most recent of several major donor countries (including the United States and Canada) to do so. Although it has had strong support from many developing countries, Unido has for many years been regarded with skepticism by … Read more

Poverty Experts Want New Thinking on Development Goals

A colonial-era home in Bolama, an island off Guinea-Bissau

If 2015 comes and goes with a significant number of Millennium Development Goals failing to meet their targets, questions will abound over whom or what to blame. There will also be skepticism over reports that a few of the goals have already been met with 100 percent success. In general, specialists in development have already … Read more

Signals of Greater Times Buoy Developing Nations

A displaced person in Mali.

For the developing world, the news in the 2013 United Nations Human Development Report is almost all good. (More on that “almost” later.) The title of the report, The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World, sets the tone. New players with global clout, increased South-South trade and investment, strengthening regional institutions … Read more

The Glory of Self-Learning, Discovered by Children in India

An Indian student in front of a Hole in the Wall education kiosk.

Imagine a new world of innovative, inexpensive and successful learning, where dusty streets in rural towns in developing countries are lined with self-powered computer kiosks and children from poor neighborhoods have the same ability to work with new technology as children in richer areas do. That dynamic is the goal of new education policies put … Read more

 

The New Normal? Severe Weather Battering Cities

Flood in Congotown, Liberia

  Latin America and the Caribbean have always faced the threat of hurricane intensely, but with new weather extremes related to climate change occurring amid growing urban populations, the lethal mix is bound to cause more damage and deaths every year. Urban planners are not even close to being prepared. Consider the recent havoc that … Read more

In the Mideast, Women’s Hopes Give Way to Harsh Realities

International_women_day_in_Egypt

Overshadowed by daily reports from a horrific war in Syria, lingering violence in Libya and sporadic protests in Egypt and other regional nations, a struggle to salvage and advance the rights of women caught up in the revolutions of the Arab Spring is reaching a crucial stage. Women who joined men in the streets, enduring … Read more

A Top Economist Faults UNDP for Outmoded Policies

UNDP literacy program

In a broadside against the United Nations Development Program, Jagdish Bhagwati, professor of economics at Columbia University and an adviser to the government of India and numerous international bodies, argues that the UN’s premier agency has declined in staff quality as it clings to outdated policies that actually harm poor countries. At the heart of … Read more

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