Sunday, 29 September 2013

Apply Now: The World Bank Group Fellowship Program

World Bank Group is launching the World Bank Group Fellowship Program for Ph.D. students of African descent. The program will increase the diverse workforce that is a priority for the Bank and its clients.

The Fellowship Program aims to build a pipeline of researchers and professionals from the African Diaspora, particularly women, who are interested in working in the development field at home or abroad, and in starting careers with the World Bank Group.

“The Fellowship Program represents an incredible opportunity not only for young African scholars to conduct research and develop their careers in development, but also for the World Bank Group to learn from their experiences and fresh insight, as well as absorb the tremendous energy young people can contribute to our work and mission,” said Sean McGrath, Vice President for Human Resources at the World Bank Group.

About the Fellowship

Fellows will spend a minimum of six months at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. getting hands-on experience in development work. This includes knowledge generation and dissemination, design of global and country policies and the building of institutions to achieve inclusive growth in developing countries. While benefitting from research and innovation in multiple sectors, Fellows will also work on economic policy, technical assistance, and lending for eliminating poverty and increasing shared prosperity. Special attention will be given to work with Fragile and Conflict-Affected States.

Fellows will be expected to complete a research project and prepare a research paper to present to staff. High-standard papers may be published internally.

Specifically, selected participants will:

 •Gain a better understanding of the World Bank Group's mission and operations

 •Access quality data for their research work

 •Interact with seasoned experts in their field of development

 •Contribute to the World Bank Group's mission

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South-South Technology Transfer Offers Low-Cost Sanitation Solution for Africa’s Urban Poor

South-south transfer of condominial sewer technology from Latin America could offer solutions for low-cost sanitation for African towns and cities grappling with the challenge of serving increasing populations of urban poor living in informal settlements. More than a third of Africa's one billion inhabitants currently live in urban areas, which are dominated by informal settlements that lack basic services such as water supply, sanitation and waste removal.

In Zambia, the development of a condominial sewer network together with innovative sanitation marketing approaches are being tried on a pilot basis to provide affordable sanitation to 45,000 residents of Kalingalinga, a peri-urban settlement on the outskirts of Lusaka City.

The pilot project is being implemented by the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC), with support from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing (MLGH), the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), and other partners.

Affordable piped sewer systems for informal settlements

Access to sanitation is particularly low in Zambia’s urban areas, especially in the peri-urban low income settlements of Lusaka which accommodate more than 60 percent of the city’s population.

Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company, which provides water and sewerage services in the city, is under pressure from informal settlements where increasing incomes have boosted residents’ aspirations for better but affordable sanitation solutions, and better service delivery.

While pit latrines offer practical and affordable ‘on-site’ sanitation for the community, the proliferation of pit latrines could contaminate the rich underground water aquifers of Lusaka that provide 50 percent of the city’s drinking water.

On the other hand, piped sewer systems are expensive to install and maintain, and as a result often not accessible to many residents in low-income settlements. A piped system also increases demand for water to flush the sewer, and requires significant behavior change to ensure proper usage and maintenance.

The challenge facing urban utilities in Zambia is to deliver a piped network for peri-urban areas in a cost-effective and sustainable manner. This will increase access to sanitation for the urban poor and also enable water utilities to increase revenue through water sales and sewage service charges.   

South-south knowledge exchange and technology transfer

The condominial sewer system was introduced in Zambia in 2010 following exposure visits to Brazil, Peru, Senegal and Burkina Faso to identify innovative solutions for delivery of affordable piped sanitation services within peri-urban areas.

The knowledge exchange facilitated by the Water and Sanitation Program enabled technical staff of LWSC and Ministry of Local Government and Housing (MLGH) to learn about developing and maintaining the simplified sewer systems, managing community demand for improved sanitation and behavior change at the community and household level.

The condominial sewer network is now being piloted in Kalingalinga peri-urban settlements where more than 80 percent of the residents use basic pit latrines. By providing an alternative to pit latrines, the condominial sewer network will safeguard the longevity of 15 boreholes around Kalingalinga that account for one-fifth of ground water supplied by LWSC.

So far, a total of 4.5 kilometers of water piping and 3.2 kilometers of the sewer network have been installed within Kalingalinga. Other components include a sanitation marketing campaign to encourage households to build toilets and connect to the sewer line, pay for water and sewerage services, and to adopt hygienic practices.

Securing community buy-in and leveraging financing

The pilot project employs a bottom-to-top approach to engage and sustain the participation of community leaders, landlords and tenants in planning, community sensitization and consultations, and overall decision-making.

The willingness and ability of landlords to buy into the new technology and to invest in household sanitary facilities is critical in ensuring that the sewer system can operate sustainably. Already, 90 percent of the landlords have indicated their readiness to construct toilets and connect to the condominial network.

The pilot project has also successfully leveraged financing from diverse partners. The Ministry of Local Government and Housing has provided US$513,000 for primary sewer lines and the sanitation marketing campaign; Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company has spent US$176,000 for water supply improvement and allocated another US$2.4 million for sewer network extension and water supply improvement.

The World Bank, through the ongoing Water Sector Performance Improvement Project (WSPIP), has committed US$200,000 for social marketing and committed additional funds to introduce ICT-based mechanisms for strengthening consumer voice and accountability, while WSP is providing US$900,000 in technical assistance. The Millennium Challenge Corporation has committed US$54m for the expansion and rehabilitation of wastewater treatment ponds and replication of the sewer in a neighboring settlement.

The lessons from the pilot project will inform replication and scale-up approaches in Zambia and elsewhere in Africa.





A comprehensive analysis

Southern African Agriculture and Climate Change: A Comprehensive Analysis examines the food security threats facing eight of the countries that make up southern Africa — Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe — and explores how climate change will increase the efforts needed to achieve sustainable food security throughout the region. Southern Africa’s population is expected to grow at least through mid-century. The region will also see income growth. Both will put increased pressure on the natural resources needed to produce food, and climate change makes the challenges greater. Southern Africa is already experiencing rising temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns, and increasing extreme events. Without attention to adaptation, the poor will suffer.

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5,4 milliards d'euros pour le développement de l'Afrique

Grâce aux 7,3 milliards de dollars (5,4 milliards d'euros) que la Banque africaine de développement (BAD) est parvenue à mobiliser aux termes de négociations conclues, vendredi 27 septembre, à Paris, 20 millions d'Africains devraient être raccordés au cours des trois prochaines années à des services énergétiques fiables et à la portée de leur faible pouvoir d'achat, 19 millions bénéficieront de meilleurs transports publics, 7,5 millions profiteront d'une alimentation en eau potable et d'un assainissement, 3 millions se verront offrir une formation professionnelle et technique et 7 millions recevront les moyens d'améliorer leur productivité agricole.


Tous les trois ans, la BAD demandent à tous les bailleurs possibles de reconstituer son fonds dédié aux pays les plus démunis afin de pouvoir consentir à ceux-ci des dons et des prêts à des taux extrêmement avantageux et pour des durées très longues.

Vingt-sept pays, en tête desquels se trouvent les Européens, ont répondu favorablement à son appel, dont quatre africains : l'Angola et la Libye ont rejoint l'Egypte et l'Afrique du Sud. Donald Kaberuka, le président de la Banque, a salué cet effort méritoire "sur fond de choix budgétaires difficiles", qui permet à la Banque de mener à bien son programme "qui s'articule autour des infrastructures, de l'intégration économique, du développement du secteur privé, en veillant particulièrement à accélérer l'égalité entre les hommes et les femmes et à relever les défis de la fragilité de l'Afrique".

Sur les 7,3 milliards de dollars promis pour la période 2014-2016 (en légère augmentation par rapport à la période 2011-2013) , un milliard sera en effet consacré aux pays dits "fragiles", sortant de conflits armés comme le Mali ou la Guinée. La création de mécanismes de garantie de crédit pour le secteur privé devrait rassurer les investisseurs potentiels et les inciter à miser sur l'Afrique.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Why girls' education can help eradicate poverty

By Pauline Rose
Educating girls and young women is not only one of the biggest moral challenges of our generation, it is also a necessary investment for a peaceful and poverty-free world. Until we give girls equal access to a good quality education, the world will continue to suffer from child and maternal mortality, disease and other byproducts of poverty.
This week, when world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly debate why many of the Millennium Development Goals remain out of reach, they should look no further than education disparities across the developing world. UNESCO's Education for All Global Monitoring Report team has released new evidence that shows how education gives girls and young women the freedom to make decisions to improve their lives.
Education is linked to the age at which women marry and have children. In sub-Saharan Africa and in South and West Asia, child marriage affects one in eight girls; one in seven gives birth by the age of 17. Education can empower these girls to have a say over their life choices — by giving them the confidence to speak up for their rights, and to demand the opportunity to continue their studies. Our analysis shows that if all girls in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia had primary education, there would be 14 percent fewer child marriages. If all girls received a secondary education, 64 percent fewer girls would be locked into marriage at an age when they should still be in school.
Education also helps girls and young women defy social limits on what they can or cannot do. It empowers them to decide how many children they will have, and how frequently they will get pregnant. By learning about the health risks associated with years of consecutive childbirth, women can choose to delay getting pregnant. In Pakistan, for example, only 30 percent of women who have no education believe that they have a say over how many children they will have. This proportion rises to 63 percent among women who have secondary education. Giving uneducated girls a secondary education in sub-Saharan Africa would reduce the number of births per mother from almost seven to four. In practical terms, too, improving literacy among girls and young women offers enormous economic benefits. Until there are equal numbers of girls and boys in school, there will still be more illiterate women than men, and many fewer women than men in secure, well-paying jobs. When a young woman is seen as a potential wage-earner for her family, she has a better likelihood of making her own choices and resisting cultural and family pressure to have children.
Education is also closely linked to health. Our analysis provides evidence that educated girls are far more likely to be able to protect their children from preventable diseases, and to stave off malnutrition in their children's early years. At least 12 million children — a quarter of the world's population of malnourished children — could be saved from malnutrition if all mothers in poor countries were given a secondary education. Malnutrition is not only about food: it starts with poverty, which can be avoided if women receive the education they need to read and earn a living.
Providing girls with a quality education also equips them with the confidence to confront people in power and challenge the inequalities that still exist for girls and women worldwide. Consider Mariam Khalique, a teacher in Pakistan who has used education to build her female students' confidence and to encourage them to stand up for their rights. One of her pupils was the young education activist Malala Yousafzai, whose global advocacy work is proof of the transformative power of quality schooling.
Gender imbalances in education seldom make the news. But the evidence gathered by the EFA Global Monitoring Report team shows that when such inequalities are eliminated, educated girls and young women go on to improve their own prospects and those of their families and communities.
As we near the deadline for Millennium Development Goals and the Education for All goals — many of which are far from being achieved — world leaders must remember this simple truth: education transforms lives.
(Pauline Rose is the director of UNESCO's Education for All Global Monitoring Report. Any opinions expressed here are the author's own.)

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Sustainable Development Report on Africa: Managing Land-Based Resources for Sustainable Development

Indicators are important for measuring and translating knowledge into meaningful and manageable units of information to support policy analyses and research, and to inform planning and decision-making.

This chapter is specifically on indicators of sustainable development in Africa. It succinctly reviews the international recommendations on indicators, and scans the existing literature for the state of knowledge on approaches for measuring sustainable development. The main objective of the review is to discuss the international policy and agenda on indicators, and to explore the conceptual methodologies, usefulness and relevance of indicators for measuring and studying progress towards sustainable development. The chapter analyses the implementation of international agenda on indicators in Africa. Subsequently, it develops a
framework to be used to arrive at indicators for measuring sustainable development in Africa

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Call to all African women and men innovators!

4-5 December 2013, Paris

Africa’s dynamism and sustainable development are driven in particular by innovators. Confidence in the future of that part of the world is being built by promoting the innovative projects that are developing there and contribute to the wealth and well-being of all, women and men alike. Supporting the creativity, investment, expansion and success of African innovators will be a key contribution to the future of Africa.

The “African Forum – 100 innovations for sustainable development” is designed to meet this objective. It is organized as part of the Elysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa to be held on 6 December 2013 in Paris. 100 innovators will gather in Paris on 4 and 5 December 2013 to attend an event for the promotion of African women and men who create innovations in the technological, economic, social and environmental areas for contributing to new sustainable development models and poverty reduction. The Forum is placed under the high patronage of the President of the French Republic François Hollande and organized by the Minister Delegate for Development Pascal Canfin.

The “African Forum – 100 innovations for sustainable development” will bring together during the Elysée Summit innovation developers who contribute to sustainable development, African entrepreneurship and inclusive growth, and help satisfy the basic needs of populations while offering solutions to social and environmental crises.

The “African Forum – 100 innovations for sustainable development” will bring together the most striking financial, technical and technological, social, cultural and ecological innovations in Africa: those which serve businesses, society and individuals, those which increase neighbourliness and lessen exclusion, particularly the exclusion of women and the most fragile, those which benefit disadvantaged populations and areas and make use of leverage for rapid dissemination.

Your are an African citizen: a business representative, an NGO, a locally elected representative or an innovation developer. This call concerns you! Come to present your innovation in Paris, in the context of an international summit for peace and development in Africa. Come to convince, come to disseminate your solutions!

Innovations and their developers will be selected by a French-African jury and invited to Paris. The developers of those innovations will present their work to the Minister Delegate Pascal Canfin, international donors and investors, foundations, researchers and African Heads of State participating in the Elysée Summit. A forum for exchange, a conference and round table of international experts on the conditions for the dissemination of innovation are scheduled. A delegation of innovators will meet the President of the French Republic and African Heads of State. The event will be widely covered by the media.

For further information, please complete the application form before 1 November 2013, together with any useful additional information (illustrations, brochures, assessments).


Women as drivers of sustainable development

Gudrun Kopp, Parliamentary State Secretary to Germany's Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), hosted the second women ambassadors' "power talk" at the Ministry in Berlin on July 17. The Berlin-based ambassadors from BMZ partner countries and Kopp met to exchange views and build on the experience gained through mutual cooperation.

Enlarge image "Capacity Development", trained Malawian explains the advantages of energy saving stoves to fellow villagers in Malawi(© GTZ / Lisa Feldmann) At the meeting, Kopp highlighted the key role that women play for sustainable development: "Gender equality is a key objective of Germany's development policy. I am convinced that ending all forms of discrimination against women will translate into enormous potential for national development. Unfortunately, this promising potential has been going untapped in far too many cases. So we will continue to work with our partners to strengthen the voice of women in development processes in terms of social, political and economic aspects."


Gender and Climate Change Women Matter

This paper seeks to draw attention to the gender dimension of climate change and the need to integrate gender issues in climate change responses, with particular emphasis on women’s concerns. The paper is divided into four sections. The first highlights the inevitability of climate change, its impact on the poor and vulnerable, its implications for sustainable development and the need for effective adaptation and mitigation measures. It also underscores how climate change would disproportionately affect women and what needs to be done to ensure that women’s concerns are adequately addressed.
The second looks at how climate change would impact key climate sensitive sectors, the gender dimension of the impacts, and proffers recommendations on what should be done to reduce the vulnerability of women to these impacts, and enhance their adaptive capacities. The third provides an overview of financing and capacity building initiatives that could be accessed to fund adaptation and mitigation programmes and projects. The final section makes concluding remarks on the basis of the findings of the preceding sections.


Indoor air pollution taking its toll on women, kids

More than half of the people in the world rely on coal, wood, crop wastes or dung for their energy needs, according to the World Health Organization. Three billion people in developing nations depend on biomass in the form of wood, charcoal, dung, and crop residue, as their domestic cooking fuel. Because much of the cooking is carried out indoors without proper ventilation, millions of people, primarily poor women and children face serious health risks.

In parts of Africa and Asia, women often spend three to five hours a day in close proximity to the cookstove (chulho), typically with their infants and children close by. Despite the availability of simple technologies that would eliminate potential health risks, 75 percent of the population in South Asia, including India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, continue to use traditional cooking methods, according to the WHO.

The majority of the victims of exposure to indoor air pollution are women and children. In low-income homes, especially in rural areas and informal urban settlements, women often spend many hours a day near traditional open fire stoves cooking meals and warming themselves by fire. Small children at home with their mothers share the smoky environment and exposure to toxic fumes and pollutants.

The smoke from indoor fires exposes families to harmful levels of gases, particles and dangerous compounds such as carbon monoxide, benzene and formaldehyde. Indoor air pollution is responsible for deaths due to pneumonia, chronic respiratory disease and lung cancer. Other diseases and conditions associated with indoor air pollution include asthma, bronchitis, tuberculosis, cataracts, low birth weight and heart disease.

Nearly two million people a year die prematurely from illness attributable to indoor air pollution due to solid fuel use as suggested by the WHO. Among these deaths, 44 percent are due to pneumonia, 54 percent from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 2 percent from lung cancer.

Likewise, nearly half of deaths among children under five years old from acute lower respiratory infections are due to particulate matter inhaled from indoor air pollution from household solid fuels.

Women exposed to heavy indoor smoke are three times as likely to suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than women who use cleaner fuels. Among men, who already have a heightened risk of chronic respiratory disease due to their higher rates of smoking, exposure to indoor smoke nearly doubles that risk


Freshwater parasitic worms widespread

Be aware that contact with all freshwater from canals, rivers, streams, ponds or lakes can put you at risk of getting parasitic worms called schistosomiasis, or bilharzia. Schistosomiasis is especially prevalent in poor communities without access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.
Schistosomiasis often affects farming and fishing population as well as women doing domestic chores in infested water, such as washing clothes. Poor personal hygiene and play habits make children especially vulnerable to the parasites.
There are two major forms of schistosomiasis – intestinal and urogenital – caused by five species of parasites. Most people have no symptoms early in the infection but many develop itchy skin and a rash within days. Fever, chills, cough and muscle aches can follow and occur within 1 to 2 months after infection.
Fully matured worms often travel to the intestine, liver or bladder. The symptoms of intestinal schistosomiasis can include abdominal pain, diarrhoea and blood in the stool. Liver and spleen enlargement is also common in advanced cases.
The classic sign of urogenital schistosomiasis is blood in the urine. In women, urogenital schistosomiasis can present with genital lesions, vaginal bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse and nodules on the vulva. Due to bleeding, urogenital schistosomiasis is also a risk factor for HIV transmission, especially in women.
In men, urogenital schistosomiasis can affect the testicles, prostate and other organs. A serious, long-term irreversible consequence of schistosomiasis can include male infertility.

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Wells Bring Hope: The Clean Water Savior

In Niger, West Africa the water is dirty and deadly. What if you had no choice but to give it to your child? For the families who live there this is a potentially deadly reality. Only one out of seven children make it to their 5th birthday. Over 65 percent of the people in Niger don't have access to clean water and more than 90 percent of women walk an average distance of 10 kilometers daily just to bring some back to their villages.

"There is no greater need than to have access to safe drinking water," says Barbara Goldberg, Founder and President of Wells Bring Hope, a non-profit charity organization dedicated to saving lives in West Africa. "The concept is basic; all you need is to is drill a well and educate the population on good sanitation and hygiene practices," says Goldberg. "It saves lives and gives hope for the future." Since 2008, when it launched, Wells Bring Hope has decreased child mortality by 70 percent. Furthermore, schools with hand washing facilities have increased from 24 to 40 percent. "It's a simple solution to a simple problem!" says Goldberg. With the help of their partner, World Vision, Wells Bring Hope is able to not only drill wells and provide safe water, but they provide education and support for the villages for the next 15 years.

Before becoming President of Wells Bring Hope, Goldberg founded Salon Forum where she would bring over 800 women together for monthly events. In 2008, Gil Garcetti, (former District Attorney of Los Angeles and father to Eric Garcetti, current Mayor of Los Angeles and now Vice President of Wells Bring Hope) inspired Goldberg to launch Wells Bring Hope after guest speaking at one of her events.

No other humanitarian intervention produces a more dramatic effect on life than access to safe water and sanitation," states The World Health Organization. Two hundred wells have been drilled to date. By 2014, Wells Bring Hope is expected to drill another 100 wells. Furthermore, 100 percent of every donation goes directly towards funding a well and World Vision multiplies any donation by five to assist with the cost of drilling.

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