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I’ve been thinking about scale a lot lately and I’m increasingly skeptical that it is the right way to get greater development impact. Let me explain. On the one hand, how can you not ‘think big’ when there are still nearly 2.4 billion people living on less than $2 per day? But is a cookie-cutter solution to eliminating poverty feasible given the complex factors that cause poverty and the vested political interests that sustain it?
How can economic growth benefit more people? What will it take to double the share of renewables in the global energy mix? Will the world have enough food for everyone by 2050? You can hear what experts have to say on these topics and others, ask questions, and weigh in at more than 20 webcast events from Oct. 7 to 11. That’s when thousands of development leaders gather in Washington for the World Bank-International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings.
Ellen Goldstein, The World Bank’s Regional Director for Eastern Europe, talks about the Bank’s response to devastating floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This is for anyone who ever found themselves frustrated by numbers — myself included. Right before college, I remember my parents asking me what degree I wanted to pursue. Vaguely, I answered “Anything without math.” Even during my post graduate studies, I consciously picked a degree with less mathematics in its curriculum. The irony is, I now work in the World Bank Group and numbers is its core language. But there is good news, not only for rookies like me, but for everyone – numbers can be fascinating, insightful and even fun.
In September, the world’s top scientists said the human influence on climate was clear. Last month, they warned of increased risks of a rapidly warming planet to our economies, environment, food supply, and global security. Today, the latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) describes what we need to do about it. The report, focused on mitigation, says that global greenhouse gas emissions were rising faster in the last decade than in the previously three, despite reduction efforts. Without additional mitigation efforts, we could see a temperature rise of 3.7 to 4.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times by the end of this century. The IPCC says we can still limit that increase to 2 degrees, but that will require substantial technological, economic, institutional, and behavioral change
With people around the world struggling to afford health care, countries as diverse as Myanmar, Nigeria, Peru, Senegal, Kenya, South Africa, and the Philippines are warming to the idea of universal health coverage. This growing momentum was the subject of a high-profile Spring Meetings event examining the case for universal health coverage and the steps to get there. Some 70 governments have asked the United Nations for help to achieve universal health coverage, said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He spoke at Toward Universal Health Coverage by 2030, co-sponsored by the World Bank and World Health Organization and moderated by the WHO Director-General Margaret Chan. “We can celebrate the fact that virtually all mothers in Sweden survive childbirth,” Ban said
The world needs to step up efforts to educate large numbers of young people to meet the challenges of the 21st century. That was a key message at the Learning for All Symposium, Investing in a Brighter Future, at the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings. The event, moderated by PBS News Anchor Judy Woodruff and webcast in three languages, linked what several participants described as an ongoing “learning crisis” with high unemployment among young people worldwide.
One voice can make a difference. Many can change the world. From civil rights in America to the global fight against AIDS, history has shown that when people come together in pursuit of a goal, they can overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. We’re urging everyone to come together to help end extreme poverty by 2030. The World Bank Group, along with other like-minded organizations and individuals, is part of a global movement to change the lives of millions of people who survive on less than $1.25 a day.
Remember when you were a kid and everyone asked: “What do you want to become when you grow up?” What did you answer? Have you fulfilled your dreams? Most of us aspire to live our lives to the fullest; to develop our talents; to make a difference in the world. Sometimes we may feel lost in the great scheme of things. But as the World Bank Group’s Jim Yong Kim points out: The most successful movements to change the world started with a small group of like-minded people.
Laura Tuck, Vice President for the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia region, discusses her trip to Poland, its economy, progress in boosting shared prosperity, and the World Bank’s partnership with the country. <span itemprop=”name” content=”Laura Tuck Vlog – Poland”></span> <span itemprop=”description” content=””></span> <span itemprop=”duration” content=”207″></span> <span itemprop=”thumbnail” content=”https://cdnsecakmi.kaltura.com/p/619672/sp/61967200/thumbnail/entry_id/1_ddoyflmm/version/100001/acv/341″></span> <span itemprop=”width” content=”400″></span> <span itemprop=”height” content=”333″></span>
With its scenarios of increasing risks as a result of climate change – from sea level rise to disappearing fish populations, food insecurity, and forest diebacks from extreme heat – the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) paints a picture of a complicated future where no one gets by unscathed, where existing vulnerabilities are exacerbated, and where, as Fred Pearce so aptly puts it, we need to “prepare for the worst.” But, as the scientists rightly point out, it doesn’t have to be like this.