Category Archives: South America

10 Global Development Stories to be Thankful For

Typically when we think of global development we focus on everything that is wrong because the challenges are so great. Rarely are the successes celebrated because with every move towards a goal there is still so much to do.

Today we are featuring those stories that have been more about success than failure; more about moving forward than moving backward even if the net result only makes a small dent in the overall scheme of things.

    1. Female Genital Mutilation Banned Under New Somalian Constitution
    2. Path’s Sure Start Program Ensures the Reduction of Maternal Mortality
    3. Living, Thriving with HIV/AIDS: A Mother’s Story
    4. A Return to Normalcy: Mogadishu’s Lido Beach Lively Again
    5. Somalia’s Concerted Move Toward Gender Equality
    6. Men March Against Child Marriage in Liberia
    7. A Promising Trend for Data,Transparency
    8. New Fishing, Agricultural Development Project in Haiti
    9. Quick Impact Project Provides Education for Darfur Children
    10. Powering the Country With Wind Energy

What global development stories are you thankful for?

Photo: Jennifer James, Kenya

The Ease of Doing Business in 185 Economies, Including How Women Fare

The World Bank released its 10th annual edition of Doing Business which shows the state of, in fact, doing business in 185 economies. On its ease of doing business index it is easiest to do business in Singapore followed by Hong Kong, New Zealand, United States, Denmark, Norway, and the UK. Some African countries made doing business easier such as Zimbabwe that reduced start-up fees and sped up name search in databases, for example. Zambia also reduced their required start-up capital amount and Mozambique simplified its licensing procedures. You can search by country if you’re interested in seeing how they have improved or reduced the ease of doing business. Poland is the most improved economy in the past year. Of African countries, Burundi was the most improved.

As far as women in business, 39 countries made a legal move toward gender equality and yet 232 million women still live in economies where they cannot start their own business without their husband’s permission. Legally women have equal rights with men in only 45 countries out of 141 economies.

Rio + 20: How Rio is Upgrading Its Urban Slums

Even while staying in Copacabana instead of Barra where most of the Rio + 20 activities are happening this week there is still ample opportunity to learn new things about sustainable development.

I ran across this interesting exhibit made of milk crates in Copacabana an hour ago that drew attention to Rio’s Morar Carioca Programme.

What Morar Carioca has done since July 2010 is upgrade the urban slums in Rio. The program will last until 2020 fueled by an investment of 8 billion reais and will benefit 280,000 households.

Inside the exhibit I learned that  Rio de Janeiro considered climate change and opted for environmentally responsible solutions to address slum urbanization.  The exhibit laid out the plan in detail.

There will be resizing of the sewer and drain network. We all know how important sanitation is to global health. Additionally, new residential buildings will be made of sustainable materials.

Photos: Jennifer James