innovation Archive

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Scaling Up Programs for the Rural Poor: IFAD’s Experience, Lessons and Prospects

Brookings Global Working Papers | No. 50 | January 2013
Scaling Up Programs for the Rural Poor: IFAD’s Experience, Lessons and Prospects (Phase 2)
By: Arntraud Hartmann, Homi Kharas, Richard Kohl, Johannes F. Linn, Barbara Massler and Cheikh Sourang
http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2013/01/ifad-rural-poor-kharas-linn

The challenge of rural poverty and food insecurity in the developing world remains daunting. Recent estimates show that “there are still about 1.2 billion extremely poor people in the world. In addition, about 870 million people are undernourished, and about 2 billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiency. About 70 percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas, and many have some dependency on agriculture,” (Cleaver 2012). Addressing this challenge by assisting rural small-holder farmers in developing countries is the mandate of the International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD), an international financial institution based in Rome.

For many years, IFAD stressed innovation as the key to success, giving little attention to systematically replicating and building on successful innovations. In this regard, IFAD was not alone. In fact, few aid agencies have systematically pursued the scaling up of successful projects. However, in 2009, IFAD management decided to explore how it could increase its focus on scaling up. It gave a grant to the Brookings Institution to review IFAD’s experience with scaling up and to assess its operational strategies, policies and processes with a view to strengthening its approach to scaling up.

Download the full paper [pdf 3 MB]:
http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2013/1/ifad-rural-poor-kharas-linn/ifad-rural-poor-kharas-linn.pdf

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The European Journalism Centre Announces Journalism Grants for Innovations in Development Reporting

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) is pleased to announce that it has received financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance journalistic coverage of issues related to global development and the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. Therefore, in 2013 the EJC will implement a grants programme supported by the Gates Foundation.

The Centre will provide a selection of innovative reporting projects with the necessary funds to enable journalists, editors, and development stakeholders to perform thorough research and to develop entirely new and experimental reporting and presentation methods. They will also be able to use multi-platform approaches and to think laterally across disciplines and techniques of journalistic storytelling. Award decisions, based on journalistic quality and merit, will be taken in complete editorial independence from the Gates Foundation.

The programme will launch three rounds of open calls for proposals and, in parallel, proactively solicit proposals from eminent media outlets focusing on the eight European countries with the highest development spending, namely France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Funding will cover direct expenses for journalistic research and study trips, possible technical costs for crews and equipment, data acquisition and analysis, visualisation, etc. Interested parties may apply for full or partial grants, excluding, however, salaries of permanent staff. More detailed information on the application procedure, deadlines, and the aims of the project can be found at www.journalismgrants.org. Please send your story pitches by 25 March at http://www.journalismgrants.org

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IPA is fighting Poverty with Innovation, Evidence and Action

Innovations for Poverty Action http://www.poverty-action.org is a US nonprofit dedicated to discovering what works to help the world’s poor. We design and evaluate programs in real contexts with real people, and provide hands-on assistance to bring successful programs to scale. IPA uses randomized evaluations because they provide the highest quality and most reliable answers to what works and what does not. We also repeat studies in different countries to test if findings are really transferable.

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Innovations for Poverty Action

Innovations for Poverty Action.

Innovations for Poverty Action is a nonprofit dedicated to discovering what works to help the world’s poor. We design and evaluate programs in real contexts with real people, and provide hands-on assistance to bring successful programs to scale. IPA uses randomized evaluations because they provide the highest quality and most reliable answers to what works and what does not. They also repeat studies in different countries to test if findings are really transferable.

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Africa Platform for Development Effectiveness (APDev) | Inspiring Change

Africa Platform for Development Effectiveness (APDev) | Inspiring Change.

APDEv is an African-led and owned physical and virtual multi-stakeholder platform and organizing mechanism for mobilizing African policy makers and practitioners towards achieving sustainable development results. The Platform focuses on 3 inter-related themes of Aid Effectiveness and South-South Cooperation with Capacity Development as a core driver for development effectiveness (DE) fostering “knowledge and evidence-based innovation processes” which is one of the six cornerstones of the AU-NEPAD CDSF.

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THE CLUB OF ROME – A New Path for World Development

THE CLUB OF ROME – A New Path for World Development.

It is clear that the present path of world development is not sustainable in the longer term, even if we recognise the enormous potentials of the market and of technological innovation. New ideas and strategies will be needed to ensure that improved living conditions and opportunities for a growing population across the world can be reconciled with the conservation of a viable climate and of the fragile ecosystems on which all life depends. A new vision and path for world development must be conceived and adopted if humanity is to surmount the challenges ahead.

In response to this intellectual and practical challenge, the Club of Rome will undertake a three year programme on “A New Path for World Development” so as to achieve a better understanding of the complex challenges which confront the modern world and to lay solid foundations for the action which must be taken to improve the prospects for peace and progress.

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Office of Science & Technology – The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Self-destructive of Innovation Policy:

Innovation has become the central driver of economic growth and thus a key focal point of countries’ economic development strategies as they seek to gain global competitive advantage. In fact, no fewer than three dozen countries have now created both national innovation agencies and strategies designed specifically to link science, technology, and innovation with economic growth. These countries’ innovation strategies seek to align their policies toward skills, scientific research, information and communications technologies (ICTs), tax, trade, intellectual property (IP), government procurement, standards, and regulations in an integrated and coordinated approach designed to drive economic growth through innovation.

via Office of Science & Technology – The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Self-destructive of Innovation Policy:.

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Public consultation on future funding to boost EU competitiveness and innovation

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the successor to the
Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme 2007-2013 (CIP). The CIP is the
main EU budgetary instrument targeting competitiveness outside the research and skills areas. Its main priorities are SMEs, access to finance, innovation (including
eco-innovation), take-up and use of information and communication technologies (ICT),
energy efficiency and renewables. http://ec.europa.eu/cip/public_consultation/index_en.htm

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Economic Development Publications, July 2009

CIPE Guide to Governance Reform: Strategic Planning for Emerging Markets

http://tinyurl.com/lmljz9
In order for democracy to deliver value to citizens, it must be founded on good governance. Accountability, transparency, and citizen input in decision-making create the foundation for prosperous, entrepreneurial societies. Good governance is the means by which citizens of emerging markets countries devise local solutions to local problems.

David Roodman’s Microfinance Open Book Blog
http://blogs.cgdev.org/open_book/
This Open Book Blog is a way to share the writing of a book about the history and impacts of microfinance. CGD research fellow David Roodman posts and seeks feedback on draft chapters, burning questions, and useful sources.

EC’s report on EU development finance
http://www.eurodad.org/whatsnew/articles.aspx?id=3583
On the 8th of April 2009 the European Commission released its annual development finance Communication: ‘‘Supporting Developing Countries in Coping with the Crisis”. Eurodad has summarized and analysed the main elements on four issues central to aid effectiveness, debt, reform of international financial institutions, and taxation. For Eurodad, the EC’s annual Communication, based on questionnaires sent to Member States, is a useful, if limited, accountability exercise. It shows that much more needs to be done to implement existing European commitments on development finance, and to go further now that the financial and economic crises are severely affecting developing countries and may push a further 100 million people into poverty in 2009. Source: Eurodad

Entrepreneurship in post-conflict transition : the role of informality and access to finance
http://tinyurl.com/nczugr
The World Bank authors examine the factors affecting the transition to self-employment in Bosnia and Herzegovina, using the World Bank Living Standard Measurement Survey panel household survey for the years 2001-2004. In the beginning of the sample, the country changed its legal framework, with the primary aim to promote labor market flexibility and to encourage entrepreneurial activity. The analysis identifies individuals that switched to self-employment (employers and own account) during the sample period and the viability of this transition, in terms of business survival for more than one year. The results suggest an important role for financing constraints. Specifically, wealthier households are more likely to become entrepreneurs and survive in self-employment. After controlling for household wealth, having an existing bank relationship increases the likelihood of starting a business with hired employees and increases the chances of survival for the new entrepreneur. By contrast, overseas – and in some cases domestic – remittances decrease the likelihood of becoming an entrepreneur. Source: GTZ Online – Library Sustainable Economic Development.

European Development Cooperation to 2020
http://www.edc2020.eu/fileadmin/Textdateien/EDC2020_WP4_Webversion.pdf
This paper has been produced as part of a programme of work on the prospects for European Union development co-operation in the period up to 2020. It focuses specifically on the challenges Europe faces by the emergence of new actors in international development co-operation. In the past 10-15 years, the established development donors in the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) have forged a consensus about what aid is for, where it should be best directed and how it should be managed. With the increasing salience of a variety of new actors in international development, both governmental and nongovernmental, this consensus is being challenged at a time when aid budgets are under threat and when there are other new challenges for development cooperation, not least climate change. Source: EDC2020.

Finance in the Value Chain Framework
http://collab2.cgap.org//gm/document-1.9.34593/09.pdf

Value chain finance’ is defined and applied in many ways, referenced in countless articles and discussed at numerous conferences. This USAID brief paper is designed to clarify the term for practitioners, implementers and donors. Source: GTZ Online – Library Sustainable Economic Development.

Guide to responsible sourcing
http://tinyurl.com/dfqfjf
To help companies develop their own approaches to responsible sourcing, this guide provides a series of practical steps from a global and multisectoral perspective. These steps are based on real-life experiences from around the world, and can be used by companies of all sizes, sectors and regions.

How green is EU’s development aid?
http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2009/05/envi_tools.html
BirdLife International, FERN and WWF presented a new study analysing how useful are the EU tools designed to integrate environmental concerns into its development aid. To do so the report looks at 21 geographically diverse Country and Regional Environment Profiles (CEP& REP)”, and assesses them on the quality and information they provide using a standardised checklist. Source: BirdLife International

How to Ensure Development Friendly Economic Partnership Agreements –

Lessons Across Regions. Services – Investment – Other Trade Dimensions
http://www2.gtz.de/wbf/doc/How_to_ensure_development_friendly_EPAs.pdf
Negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) of the European Commission and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries have been ongoing since 2002, and they have attracted much attention from the development community. BMZ and GTZ have commissioned a series of analyses into issues covered by the CARIFORUM EPA which go beyond the trade in goods debate. By Dr. Regine Qualmann, GTZ Trade Programme. Source: GTZ NEDANews.

Impact assessments in finance and private sector development:
What have we learned and what should we learn ?
http://tinyurl.com/n7ntnl
Until recently rigorous impact evaluations have been rare in the area of finance and private sector development. One reason for this is the perception that many policies and projects in this area lend themselves less to formal evaluations. However, a vanguard of new impact evaluations on areas as diverse as fostering microenterprise growth, microfinance, rainfall insurance, and regulatory reform demonstrates that in many circumstances serious evaluation is possible. The purpose of this World Bank paper is to synthesize and distil the policy and implementation lessons emerging from these studies, use them to demonstrate the feasibility of impact evaluations in a broader array of topics, and thereby help prompt new impact evaluations for projects going forward. Source: GTZ Online – Library Sustainable Economic Development.

Improving impact evaluation production and use
http://tinyurl.com/cqrq3t

The past five years have seen a proliferation of impact evaluations (IEs) by development agencies across the globe. This report was commissioned by the UK Department for International Development’s (DFID’s) Evaluation Department to inform discussions on impact evaluation production and use within the Network of Networks Impact Evaluation Initiative (NONIE). It builds on an initial scoping study prepared for DFID which made recommendations on improving IE production and use, focusing on clustering, coordination, knowledge management, capacity strengthening and communication and uptake. This ODI report goes further by expanding both the literature review and the annotated database of IEs, as well as honing in on specific dynamics of IE production across sectors. Source: GTZ Online – Library Sustainable Economic Development.

Innovative firms or innovative owners ?
Determinants of innovation in micro, small, and medium enterprises
http://tinyurl.com/kq9jos
The authors develop a model of innovation that incorporates the role of both owner and firm characteristics, and use this to determine how product, process, marketing, and organizational innovations should vary with firm size and competition. The analysis finds that more than one-quarter of the microenterprises are engaging in innovation, with marketing innovations the most common. As predicted by the model, firm size has a stronger positive effect, and competition a stronger negative effect, on process and organizational innovations than on product innovations. Owner ability, personality traits, and ethnicity have a significant and substantial impact on the likelihood of a firm innovating, confirming the importance of the entrepreneur in the innovation process. Source: GTZ Online – Library Sustainable Economic Development.

Integrated Financing for Value Chains
http://www.woccu.org/functions/view_document.php?id=value_chain_techguide
WOCCU’s recent technical guide details the methodologies and lessons learned from WOCCU’s experience developing value chain finance initiatives for credit unions in Peru (USAID, 2006-09) and Kenya (USDA, 2006-10). The methodologies in these two countries are relatively new and still evolving, but they have proven successful in providing the missing financial link to help increase agricultural productivity.

Inventory of innovative farmer advisory services using ICTs

http://tinyurl.com/9tktpg
This paper documents all known innovative farmer advisory services or systems, currently in design, in existence or recently completed in Africa. The report notes that currently most farmers’ information is provided either by extension workers, through libraries or via websites. The authors assert that as the number of extension workers has been going down while that of farmers has been growing, there is a need for innovative information systems to address this gap.

Is Informal Normal? Towards More and Better Jobs in Developing Countries
http://tinyurl.com/mr6xov
Two billion people, or two- thirds of the global labour force, work in the informal sector. These workers receive low wages and have no formal contracts or benefits. In the context of the current economic crisis, likely to result in job losses in the formal sector, the study Is Informal Normal? by the OECD Development Centre provides evidence for policy makers on how to respond to the challenge of promoting more and better jobs for all.

Learning from Evaluation
http://tinyurl.com/kqloor
Evaluation serves two main purposes: accountability and learning. Development agencies have tended to prioritize the first, and given responsibility for that to centralized units. But evaluation for learning is the area where observers find the greatest need today and tomorrow. Asian Development Bank Knowledge Solutions by Olivier Serrat.

Open Access Guide for researchers based in Africa: Cheap or free Access to Databases and E-Journals

http://www.ilissafrica.de/en/howto/OpenAccessGuide.html
The internet library sub-Saharan Africa (ilissAfrica) is a portal that offers an integrated access to relevant scientific conventional and digital information resources on the sub-Saharan Africa region.

Participatory Approaches to Value Chain Development
http://collab2.cgap.org//gm/document-1.9.34596/13.pdf
Significant stakeholder involvement in a value chain development initiative increases the likelihood of success and sustainability. With broad participation, solutions to value chain constraints are generally more appropriate to the local setting, and when stakeholders understand and take ownership of the value chain development process they are more likely to remain actively engaged beyond the life of the project. USAID study. Source: GTZ Online – Library Sustainable Economic Development.

Participatory methods in the analysis of poverty: a critical review
http://tinyurl.com/nebw8m
This paper reviews and analyses the literature on on participatory methods in poverty analysis. The popularity of participatory poverty assessments has greatly increased in the last decade, and a growing number of development agents is adopting some forms of participatory methodology. this spread however seems to be possible even without a shared understanding of what participation stands for. This paper starts by introducing the broad lines of the debate on participation, before focusing more specifically on participatory methods in poverty analysis.

Private Sector Development in Post-Conflict Countries: A Review of current Literature and Practice
http://www.enterprise-development.org/download.aspx?id=1294
This Review by Naoise Mac Sweeney and Jim Tanburn discusses the characteristics of the post-conflict private sector, and the ways in which the development community can engage with it. It gives an overview of current approaches and experiences across most agencies active in the field. Edited by the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED). Source: GTZ NEDANews.

Promoting Economic Innovations in Sub-Sahara Africa
http://www2.gtz.de/wbf/doc/Promoting_Economic_Innovations.pdf
Based on a desktop enquiry, this GTZ paper by Nicole Rippin seeks to describe how innovations in the specific context of SSA emerge and how they can be promoted. Source: GTZ NEDANews.

Quantifying Achievements in Private Sector Development. Implementation Guidelines
http://www.enterprise-development.org/page/library-item?id=1309

These Guidelines have been developed by the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) as a companion to the DCED Proposed Methodology for Control Points and Compliance Criteria.

SmartAid for Microfinance Index 2009: Submission Guide. A Technical Guide
http://www.cgap.org/gm/document-1.9.9604/SmartAid_TechnicalGuide.pdf
This SmartAid Technical Guide distills learning from many years of CGAP’s work in aid effectiveness to measure what funders need to support microfinance effectively. The Guide draws from CGAP’s interactions with a broad range of donors and investors – through peer reviews and our ongoing microfinance work together.

Special Economic Zones: Performance, Lessons Learned, and Implications
http://tinyurl.com/mhqcct
This paper examines 30 years of experience in zones, reviewing development patterns and economic impacts of zones worldwide. The experience shows that while zones have been effective in addressing economic growth and development objectives, they have not been uniformly successful; successes in East Asia and Latin America have been difficult to replicate, particularly in Africa, and many zones have failed. Source: GTZ NEDANews.

Striving toward a Competitive Industry: The Importance of Dynamic Value Chain Facilitation
http://www.microlinks.org/ev_en.php?ID=33548_201&ID2=DO_TOPIC

This paper will highlights the importance of dynamic facilitation within the value chain approach. Specifically, it examines approaches for embedding active read-and-respond mechanisms within the management systems of a facilitator, while providing practical examples of how a program actively applies a follow-on facilitation strategy. By David Knopp, USAID. Source: GTZ Online – Library Sustainable Economic Development.

Tasks of the new European Commission
http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/id/ipa/06388.pdf
This publication of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung covers the financial and economic crisis which represents a window of opportunity for an active European Commission. The Barroso Commission has largely confined itself to managing the EU rather than acting as a driver of reform. The new European Commission will have to be measured by whether it will go beyond the necessary crisis management. What the EU needs is a long-term paradigm shift towards a social EU with a sustainable approach to the economy and a global presence.

The A-Z of German Media Development Cooperation
http://tinyurl.com/kvbrwl
This directory, an initiative by Forum Medien und Entwicklung (FoME), gives you an overview of the institutions and programmes currently involved in German media development cooperation.

The business of product innovation : international empirical evidence

http://tinyurl.com/mzx563 World Bank paper by Daniel Lederman.
It is so widely recognized that innovation is a key driver of economic growth that it is cliché to say so. This article studies product innovation by firms with data from 68 countries, covering more than 25,000 firms in eight manufacturing sectors. The author assesses the predictions of inter-disciplinary research on innovation by firms. The econometric evidence suggests that globalization and local knowledge increase the likelihood that firms will introduce new products. By contrast, domestic regulatory impediments to competition are not robustly correlated with product innovation.

The Debate on the Developmental State: Evidence from the Indian Software Industry
http://www.soas.ac.uk/cdpr/publications/dv/file51754.pdf
The author, , draws on a well documented case study of the successful Indian software industry in staking out a new position on the continuing debate on the preconditions for an effective developmental state. One of his major points is that supporters of such a state often assume, unrealistically, that state autonomy – namely, complete independence from vested political and economic interests- is a prerequisite for successful state interventions, such as in industrial policy. By Jyoti Saraswati, Department of Politics, Queen Mary, University of London, The Centre for Development Policy and Research Development Viewpoint #31.

The Impact of the Business Environment on the Business Creation Process,
http://tinyurl.com/mjncf7
New data from the 2008 World Bank Group Entrepreneurship Survey indicates a very strong and statistically significant relationship between entrepreneurship and a better business environment. Data for 100 countries on the number of total and newly registered corporations over an eight-year period (2000– 2007) were collected directly from registrars of companies around the world. This paper—a product of the World Bank’s Finance and Private Sector Team, Development Research Group, and Investment Climate Advisory Services Group—is part of a larger effort in the departments to study entrepreneurship.

USAID Poverty Assessment Tools Update
http://www.povertytools.org/tools.html
USAID and the IRIS Center at the University of Maryland want to make sure you are aware of the currently available Poverty Assessment Tools (PATs), the tools in development, and the resources available to implementers. There are 26 current USAID PATs, and new tools are expected to be available in late 2009 for Bolivia, Liberia, Nepal, Nigeria, West Bank, and Senegal.

USAID Value Chain Resources available in French and Spanish
View French resources at http://www.microlinks.org/francais
View Spanish resources at http://www.microlinks.org/espanol
Value Chain Finance, Integrating ICT into Value Chain Development, and Participatory Approaches to Value Chain Development are part of a briefing papers series emphasizing action-oriented recommendations for improved practice. In addition to these briefing papers, microLINKS contains a number of other resources available in French and Spanish.

Value Chain End-Market Research Toolkit Available

http://www.microlinks.org/ev_en.php?ID=39116_201&ID2=DO_TOPIC
The End-Market Toolkit: Upgrading Value Chain Competitiveness with Informed Choice informs implementers on the process and value of end-market research efforts for value chain development, provides a portfolio of tools, and grounds these tools through case studies of their practical application. The toolkit is divided into two broad sections in line with common practices in market research: Phase I: Secondary End-market Research, and Phase II: Primary End-market Research.

What future for the Cotonou Agreement?
http://www.cncd.be/spip.php?article610
The Cotonou Agreement is the jewel in the crown of EU development cooperation with the countries of the South and lays claim to a large proportion of development spending. However, nine years after its conclusion civil society organisations both in Europe and in the 77 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific are asking questions. Does it really promote sustainable development, human rights and development cooperation in a spirit of mutual respect? The various authors who have contributed to this publication show that there are grounds for scepticism and that commercial and political interests tend get in the way. The book raises some serious questions by suggesting that although next year should only mark the half-way stage, the Cotonou Agreement has actually already run its course and invites the reader to think about why, despite the agreement’s imperfections, that conclusion is worrying. Source: CNCD

Working in Teams
http://tinyurl.com/m6t5e2
Cooperative work by a team can produce remarkable results. The challenge is to move from the realm of the possible to the realm of practice. Asian Development Bank Knowledge Solutions by Olivier Serrat.

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Websites of the Month

>(loband)-
http://www.loband.org
loband is a service that simplifies web pages, in order to make them download faster over slow Internet connections. The simplified page viewed through loband will contain the same text information as the original. The formatting of the simplified page will be as similar to the original as possible, with colours and images removed. On certain pages you may find that things have moved around to some degree.

Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD)

http://aiard.org
The Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) is an association of professionals and practitioners in international development with experience and intellectual and institutional capabilities to articulate and address broad-based as well as more focused development issues in agriculture and rural development.

Banking With The Poor Network
http://www.bwtp.org
The Banking With The Poor Network is a network of some 30 national policy institutions, commercial banks and NGO’s from nine countries in Asia – namely Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The BWTP objective is to link microfinance with the financial system and to support the provision of inclusive financial services in Asia. It pursues this objective through capacity building, information sharing, policy dialogue, advocacy and research.

Business Fights Poverty
http://businessfightspoverty.ning.com
From the team behind Business Action for Africa and Mentori, Business Fights Poverty is a professional network for all those passionate about fighting world poverty through the power of good business. I joined this recently and will invite you personally.

DB Classifieds: Vacancies, Training, Materials, and Events

http://www.comminit.com/en/node/263664#TME
DB Classifieds includes information relevant and helpful to people and organisations involved in international development. As part of the Classifieds service, organisations can now post training and events related to international development in the Classifieds section of the CI website as well as within the DB Classifieds – TME.
DB Classifieds will often include material for which organisations have paid for placement.

EASYPol is an FAO on-line
http://www.fao.org/easypol/output/
Interactive multilingual repository of downloadable resource materials for capacity development in policy making for food, agriculture and rural development. EASYPol is maintained by the FAO Agricultural Policy Support Service.

Eldis Community
http://community.eldis.org

The Eldis Community is a free on-line community where you can meet others involved in international development, discuss issues that are important to you and share useful resources. Anyone with an interest in development issues can join the site free of charge.

eldis Ressource Guide: EU trade policy
http://www.eldis.org/go/topics/resource-guides/trade-policy/eu-trade-policy/
This Resource Guide provides easy structured access to our extensive collection of research and policy documents. All are editorially selected, summarised and available free to download in full text. Resource guides are intended to help you keep up to date with the latest in development research, policy and practice.

European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP)
http://www.microfinance-platform.eu
Sharing the vision that everyone on this globe has access to inclusive financial services, microfinance is a solution. e-MFP, as a multi-stakeholder and well connected European microfinance community, has the mission to promote innovative and inclusive financial sectors in developing countries.

Geneva Trade and Development Forum (GTDForum)
http://www.gtdforum.org

The GTDForum seeks to provide an enduring platform – and a novel experience – for reflection, innovation, debate and dialogue. It will address the specific challenges and opportunities of developing countries trying to reap the benefits and heal the wounds from globalization and trade liberalization. The Forum offers a much needed neutral environment away from the negotiating table for all stakeholders, where the needs and interests of the poorer countries and the use of trade as a development tool will be at the centre of discussions.

Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN)
http://www.odihpn.org
HPN is an independent forum for humanitarians to share and disseminate information, analysis and experience. It has specialist resources for practitioners and policy makers alike and facilitate debate through regular events and the Online Exchange discussion forum.

Improving the Business Enabling Environment, by IFC
http://www.ifc.org/bee
Here IFC collects, summarizes, and analyzes various data on the successes and failures of business environment reform efforts, and develop practical guides for designing and implementing these reforms. They are currently focusing on business registration, business licensing, business inspections, municipal simplification, corporate tax administration, export/import procedures, building the capacity of business membership organizations, and alternative dispute resolution.

Mentori – Share your business skills for a better world.
http://www.mentori.org

Mentori connects you online with people from developing countries who value your expertise. Its simple. You can volunteer anytime, anywhere, from any computer. Mentori offers the Diaspora the opportunity to do a ”virtual return” home.

MicroFinance Network (MFN)
http://www.mfnetwork.org
MFN is an international association of leading microfinance institutions. Through the MFN, 39 members from 31 countries share ideas, experiences, and innovative solutions to the challenges they face in search of continuous growth and progress. MFN members seek to be models of what is possible in the industry.

Poverty Action Lab, MIT
http://www.povertyactionlab.org
The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) serves as a focal point for development and poverty research based on randomized trials. The objective is to improve the effectiveness of poverty programs by providing policy makers with clear scientific results that help shape successful policies to combat poverty.

Senegal: Inter-agency multifunctional platform programme (MFP)
http://www.ptfm.net

MFP has been recently launched in Senegal with the financial support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The MFP is a national / subregional programme based in Senegal. It aims to bring energy to the poorest rural areas and thus contributes to poverty alleviation and increasing the quality of life. A village enterprise – the Multifunctional-Platform: more time and more income for rural women and higher levels of schooling for girls. Using a simple diesel engine, rural people, particularly women, can now have access to affordable, simple and modern energy services. This improved access saves time and effort that can be devoted to income-generating activities, education, health and childcare.

The Gurteen Knowledge Website
http://www.gurteen.com
David Gurteen hosts on his personal website the Gurteen Knowledge Community, a global learning community of over 15,000 people in 154 countries. The main themes of the site are knowledge management, learning, creativity, innovation and personal development. Everything on this site is open and you do not need to be a member to access any part of it or to subscribe to any of the services provided. However, you will want to come back often and be part of it.

The Right to Food Virtual Library
http://www.fao.org/righttofood/kc/library_en.htm
This Library is a unique repository of information on the Human Right to Adequate Food and Freedom from Hunger. It provides catalogued documentation to assist the implementation of the Right to Food at national level. The aim of the Right to Food Virtual Library is to collect, maintain and provide a relevant, up-to-date, and outstanding collection of documents to fulfill the information needs of policy makers, practitioners, general public, civil society, NGOs, UN country teams, media and the academia, working toward the realization of the Right to Food. The Virtual Library is also available on CD and free of charge.

Theoretical Economics
http://www.econtheory.org

Theoretical Economics aims to become the leading journal in economic theory. It differs from existing journals in one major respect: all content is freely available

VISION Era-Net Portal for Innovation Policy Publications
This portal is a unique collection of publications related to innovation policy. The Innovation Policy Portal provides a valuable source and unique of information for both practitioners and researchers alike. The database consists of over 50 research reports, white papers, and policy documents from the world-leading researchers on the most advanced countries in the innovation policy.
http://www.visioneranet.org/?84_m=222&s=10

Wikigender
http://www.wikigender.org
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the OECD Development Centre launched this new interactive website to share and exchange information on gender equality issues.

Wikinomics

http://www.wikinomics.com
Today, encyclopedias, jetliners, operating systems, mutual funds, and many other items are being created by teams numbering in the thousands or even millions. While some leaders fear the heaving growth of these massive online communities, Wikinomics explains how to prosper in a world where new communications technologies are democratizing the creation of value. Anyone who wants to understand the major forces revolutionizing business today should consider Wikinomics their survival kit.

World Bank Knowledge Resources: Financial & Private Sector Development
http://rru.worldbank.org
Rapid Response is the World Bank Group’s knowledge hub on financial and private sector development in developing countries. This site offers best practice public policy advice for private sector led growth and financial market development in developing countries. Find expert analysis, powerful databases, quick solutions, and comprehensive ”how-to” guides.