Global Ideas News Brief: Fat and lean countries + Maximizing impact

Global Ideas News Brief: Fat and lean countries + Maximizing impact

Global Ideas News Brief
Mar. 18, 2014

A weekly roundup of mainstream news about the context in which Mercy Corps works.

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Structural Revolution and the Social Sector
Stanford Social Innovation Review
How field-level strategies could help shift the social sector toward a relentless focus on maximizing impact.

Why Chelsea Clinton Is Obsessed With Diarrhea--And Data
At SXSW, she told Fast Company about her role at the Clinton Foundation helping to solve the challenges of the developing world.

Emerging markets

Income Gap, Meet the Longevity Gap
Everywhere, and across time, the poor tend to live shorter lives than the rich, whether researchers compare the Bangladeshis with the Dutch or minimum-wage workers with millionaires.

The Case for Dividing the World Into 'Fat' and 'Lean' Countries
The Atlantic
When resource scarcity is a blessing, not a curse.

Growing Focus on Inequality Puts Asia in Spotlight
Wall Street Journal
Asia has been the fastest-growing global region in recent years. But it’s also a place where inequality – as measured by the range of disposable incomes – has risen fast.

How China (and the Rest of the Emerging Markets) Spend Today
The Atlantic
After 30 years of catchup growth, consumers around the world are starting to look more and more American.

Afghanistan From the Air
The Atlantic
What does an airport say about a country? More than you might think.

Food prices: reining in volatile markets
The Guardian
In increasingly uncertain times, how can we limit the damaging effects of fluctuating costs of the world's staple foods?

Small business + social enterprise

A Fault in Funding

Stanford Social Innovation Review

An initiative undertaken by the World Bank reveals a troubling gap in the financing of social enterprises.

Afghanistan in transition: will small businesses survive?

The Guardian

The donor community must focus its aid to support livelihoods as the political and economic landscape rapidly changes.

Financing development

Give impact investing time and space to develop
Harvard Business Review
As this sector moves from the margins to the mainstream, it’s important to consider: What will it take for impact investing to reach its full potential?  This question is hard to answer because, in the midst of all of this excitement, there aren’t clear success markers for the sector.

GiveDirectly? Not So Fast.
Stanford Social Innovation Review
We are mistaking an important experiment for a proven solution.

Research findings address impact of conditional cash transfer program in India
International Center for Research on Women
The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) has released a summary of initial research findings from its ongoing evaluation of a state government program to delay girls’ age of marriage and enhance girls’ value in India.


Technology: using power for good
The Guardian
New technologies can enhance the work of development groups from grassroots to global, but with this new potential comes the responsibility to understand the risks.


Angry Young Men Are Making the World Less Stable
The Atlantic
Gender imbalances and a lack of employment can galvanize conflict.

The Locust Effect
Financial Times, book review
The most significant threat to today’s emerging markets is hidden in plain sight. No, it’s not education, it’s not health and it’s not income inequality. The most ignored threat to emerging market development is violence. That’s the main thesis of “The Locust Effect”, a new book about emerging markets.

South Sudan violence leaves donors disillusioned
LA Times
South Sudan was one of the most ambitious state-building projects that global donors have ever undertaken. Some now question the wisdom of the U.S. and others in pouring billions of dollars into a place long-racked by staggering corruption, poor governance and ethnic violence.


Jordan's Urban Refugees
NYT op-ed
This past weekend marked the third anniversary of the Syrian uprising against President Bashar al-Assad — and the outlook is increasingly grim.

The World Bank Gets An Overhaul — And Not Everyone's Happy
The World Bank, the largest international development institution, is undergoing a sweeping reorganization, the first of its kind for the bank in nearly a generation.

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