Sunday, 19 December 2010

Mobile phones and broadband subscriptions in developing countries

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) the UN agency established to promote  the development of networks and services for information and communication technology released interesting statistical data on mobile phones sales and Internet access via broadband  connection. With regards to cell phones sales, the 3G technology is increasing its market share both in developed and developing countries. Main difference between 2G and 3G network resides in the faster data speeds offered by 3G. The 3G standard allows data, pictures and videos to be uploaded and downloaded quickly, while for voice use and text messaging, the differences between the two standards is minimal.
The developing world is increasing its share of mobile subscriptions from 53% of total mobile subscriptions at the end of 2005 to 73% at the end of 2010. In particular, countries like China and India and others in the Asia Pacific region are leading this growth.
The situation is still critical in Africa. While 71% of the population in developed countries are online, Internet user penetration in Africa will reach in 2010 only 9.6%, far behind both the world average (30%) and the developing country average (21%).

Further details on the access to the Internet are available on the Internet World Stats site.

Friday, 17 December 2010

AidData - Tracking Development Finance

The AidData database was  launched to the public last March 2010 in occasion of the Aid Transparency and Development Finance Conference held at University College in Oxford,U.K..

The project combines together the data and experiences of two former initiatives: the PLAID project, established in 2003, a joint partnership between  the Brigham Young University and the College of William and Mary ( funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation) and the AIDA initiative created by the Development Gateway Foundation.
The database is one of the most comprehensive sources of information on development projects. It provides information on interventions yet implemented since 1970 or currently under implementation.

The usage of innovative technologies ranging  from geocoding to crowd-sourcing and sector specific coding and visualization contributes to strengthen accountability of donor agencies and partner governments. AidData in collaboration with Uppsala University, has developed a comprehensive way to gather information on aid projects.Information on project locations is critical for determining whether aid is reaching areas of greatest need, as well as for avoiding duplication of effort within a country. Recent work includes the partnership with the World Bank Institute, where 1200 projects were geocoded using the AidData methods. further details on this initiative are available in a newer post.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness

The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness expresses the international community’s consensus on the direction for reforming aid delivery and management to achieve improved effectiveness and results.
 The Paris Declaration is grounded on five mutually reinforcing pillars:
  • Ownership: Partner countries exercise effective leadership over their development policies and strategies, and coordinate development actions.
  • Alignment: Donors base their overall support on partner countries’ national development strategies, institutions, and procedures.
  • Harmonization:  Donors’ actions is more harmonized and transparent. Made as cost-effective as possible through the elimination of duplicate efforts and the rationalization of activities.
  • Managing for results: Managing resources and improving decision making for development results.
  • Mutual accountability: Donors and partners are accountable for results.

Commitments. The Paris Declaration contains 56 partnership commitments to improve the quality of aid. For example, under ownership, partner countries commit to exercise leadership in developing and implementing their national development strategies, and donors commit to respect partner countries’ leadership and help strengthen their capacity to exercise it.
Indicators and Targets. The Paris Declaration also sets out 12 indicators to provide a measurable and evidence-based way to track progress, and sets targets for 11 of the indicators for the year 2010.

Monitoring. A first round of monitoring of the 12 indicators was conducted in 2006 on the basis of activities undertaken in 2005 in 34 countries. It suggests that important efforts are still needed if we are to achieve the commitments agreed in the Paris Declaration and realize the full potential for improving development effectiveness at the country level. In the run-up to the Third High-Level Forum, another survey was conducted in early 2008 in 56 countries to assess progress in implementing the Paris commitments and prompt tangible improvements in the way aid is delivered.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

European Development Days - EDD

Brussels hosted last 6 and 7 December 2010 the 5th edition of the EDD conference. The event have seen the participation of representatives from academic, institutional and civil society organizations gathering in the Belgian capital to discuss, comment and try to define the new set of priorities for the international cooperation sector. In particular, the presentations arranged in the Square Brussels Meeting Centre focused on 5 main topics. Namely, governance, democracy and human rights, private sector and global health.
Aid effectiveness, ownership, technical innovation, support to the local initiatives are concepts echoing in all the presentations. But good words are not enough. How is it acceptable in the 21 century the proliferation of counterfeit medicines? the MDGs objectives are far to be reached and resources for development projects initiatives have been cut down significantly both at states' and international level. But money is not all, first of all a more committed political will in the international community towards the needs of the most poor countries could contribute to a radical change

We will recap what have happened this year in occasion of the next edition of the EDD...See you sharing good news in December 2011 in Warsaw!!!!!!