Tag Archives: World Bank

World Bank Releases New World Indicators Data

wdi-2014-cover-smallEveryone knows the World Bank loves its data and for those of us who write about and follow global health and development trends we are particularly grateful for how thorough they are in continually updating and releasing data that is relevant to the stories we write and to the global health programs we cover.

On Friday, the World Bank released its latest datasets about World Development Indicators. I just finished reading much of the data and downloaded it as Excel files (a perk for those of us who need to refer to this data time and again). The data are also quite interesting for anyone who might be interested in seeing where various countries fall in terms of reaching the Millenium Development Goals. You can also find mortality stats per country as well as statistics on poverty eradication among other sets of relevant country data.

Bookmark: data.worldbank.org/products/wdi.


Covering Agriculture, Poverty, and Hunger in Tanzania

In nine days I will be traveling to Tanzania as an International Reporting Project (IRP) Fellow to cover agriculture, poverty, and hunger.  As you may recall I also traveled to Zambia this summer to cover infectious diseases as an IRP fellow. This trip promises to be a eye-opener to me as I rarely concentrate on the subject. Typically, my concentration rests on women and girls, maternal and child health, and infectious diseases. Since so much of Africa depends on agriculture I look forward to uncovering how subsistence farming, agriculture, poverty and hunger affect daily life, particularly that of women and girls.

During our time in Tanzania we will be visiting several programs and sites that deal specifically with poverty and hunger alleviation through agriculture including a Feed the Future and One Acre Fund site.

According to Feed the Future, Tanzania (a country of 42 million) has a 68 percent poverty rate. Agriculture accounts for 25 percent of Tanzania’s GDP. Additionally, and even more importantly, agriculture employs over 75 percent of the population.

Tanzania has recently laid out a framework, the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGRP), to alleviate poverty and to create sustainable development of the economy. The goals of the framework consist of improving rural infrastructure, irrigation, mechanization, research and development, farm inputs, and increasing renewable natural resources. For example, Tanzania has an irrigation potential of 29.4 million hectares, but only irritates .33 million hectares, an area that statistically needs increased investment and an overhaul of goal setting and national improvements.

The Tanzanian government understands that to reach certain agricultural and economic benchmarks they must invest more of its national budget in the agricultural sector. In 2010 – 2011, only 7.78 percent of the budget was allocated to agriculture. Although the Tanzanian government pays for most agricultural investments there is some foreign direct investment in crop buying, but the investment numbers have been low due to supposed risks in investing in agriculture. While Tanzania is widely encouraging private investment in its agricultural sector, investments have been low. However, development partners including the Government of Japan, the World Bank, Irish Aid, International Fund for Agricultural Development and African Development Bank have pledge $315.5 USD towards improving Tanzania’s agricultural sector. The overall costs of the National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty implementations, however, total $2.1 billion USD.

I look forward to exploring these issues while in Tanzania. You can follow along here on the blog as well as on Impatient Optimists, Babble, Huffington Post, as well as on our African Global Health and Development digital magazine.

I will be in Tanzania from September 30 – October 9.

Source: Creating an Enabling Agricultural Policy Environment

Photo: United Nations | Fred Hoy

Join Us for the “Picturing Maternal Health” Twitter Chat

This Friday, April 5, 2013, leading NGOs and Momentum 1000 partners will rally to spread awareness about the 1000-days countdown to the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in 2015. MDGs are the international development goals that were set by the United Nations and its partners in 2000 to improve the lives and health of people living in the world’s poorest countries.

On Friday between 9:30 – 10 PM EST we will host a Twitter chat called Picturing Maternal Health where we will discuss the global maternal health crisis through facts as well as photos. We would love for you to join us.

The maternal health MDG is all over the map globally. Some countries will successfully meet its MDG goals and others are far off the mark. In fact, the World Bank announced last year that the maternal health MDG will not be met, but that does not mean progress needs to slow or stop especially as world leaders work towards a post-2015 international development goals agenda.

MDG - Maternal Health

Join us on Friday, April 5 from 9:30 – 10:00 PM EST for the Picturing Maternal Health Twitter chat. You can join and follow the conversation with the #SocialGoodMoms and #MDGMomentum hashtags.

New Media Journalists Travel to India, Report on Child Survival

Caption: Women and Children’s Hospital in Mumbai, India: A child is pictured at Cama Hospital, a major hospital for women and children, in Mumbai, India. Photo: United Nations

The International Reporting Project (IRP) has sent ten new media journalists to India to report on child survival. You may recall, the Indian Ministry of Health along with UNICEF and USAID convened the latest Child Survival Summit earlier this month where, of course, child survival reigned top on the agenda.

India accounts for the largest number of under-five deaths in the world at around 1.5 million. According to the World Bank that number has steadily decreased from 69 under-five child deaths per 1000 in 2008 to 61 (Source). And according to the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN-IGME) India and Nigeria account for more than a third of all under-five deaths worldwide.

India, however, is committed to lowering its child mortality rate. Through site visits and expert round tables, the IRP journalists will share what they learn on their ten-day visit to India. Follow the #IRPIndia hashtag to follow the conversation through the end of the month.

Some key tweets that have stood out so far are:

Save the Children Releases Report on Post-2015 Framework for Ending Poverty

Ending Poverty in Our GenerationAs we all know the Millennium Development Goals are set to expire in 2015. While much progress has been made globally over the past twenty years to eradicate poverty and to meet each of the individual goals there is still much to do. With the MDGs on their way out, Save the Children has devised a framework for post-2015 work to end global poverty and spur human development.

Save the Children’s Chief Executive Justin Forsyth said:

“An historic achievement is within reach. By committing to these ambitious but achievable new targets, we really can become the generation that ends extreme poverty forever.

“For the first time, it is feasible to imagine that in the next two decades no child will die from preventable causes, no child will go to bed hungry and every child will go to school.”

In Ending Poverty In Our Generation,  Save the Children says global poverty can end in 20 years through new goals it lays out for post-2015 global development action. Save the Children notes that the following goals are not meant to be definitive. Rather, they are a starting place to continue the poverty eradication conversation. A high level panel, including Prime Minister David Cameron, Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will meet in Monrovia, Liberia between 29th January and 1st February 2013 to discuss the direction of post-2015 global development.

Goal 1: By 2030 we will eradicate extreme poverty and reduce relative poverty through
inclusive growth and decent work

Goal 2: By 2030 we will eradicate hunger, halve stunting, and ensure universal access to
sustainable food, water and sanitation

Goal 3: By 2030 we will end preventable child and maternal mortality and provide
healthcare for all

Goal 4: By 2030 we will ensure all children receive a good-quality education and have
good learning outcomes

Goal 5: By 2030 we will ensure all children live a life free from all forms of violence,
are protected in conflict and thrive in a safe family environment

Goal 6: By 2030 governance will be more open, accountable and inclusive

Goal 7: By 2030 we will have robust global partnerships for more and effective use of
financial resources

Goal 8: By 2030 we will build disaster-resilient societies

Goal 9: By 2030 we will have a sustainable, healthy and resilient environment for all

Goal 10: By 2030 we will deliver sustainable energy to all

UNICEF, one of Save the Children’s key partners, said they welcome the new goals and framework set forth in the report saying:

“UNICEF looks forward to continuing to work closely with Save the Children and other key partners for children’s rights, as the debate intensifies on how best to safeguard, extend and sustain human progress in the post-2015 international framework.”

Download Ending Poverty in Our Generation: Save the Children’s Vision for a Post-2015 Framework.

Photo: Children in Hawassa, Ethiopia. Copyright: Jennifer James