In Search of India’s Smart Cities Author’s illustration “Smart Cities” have become the buzzwords in India ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlined his vision for creating a series (a hundred, to be exact) of Smart Cities in India. Since then, there have been many debates to unpack, understand and define the Smart City. “Smart Cities” joins the long list of many other often overused city ...

Long Absence Does Not Necessarily Kill Love It is said short absence quickens love, long absence kills it.  This is not always true in reality. One case is remittance behavior of long-term migrants. The remittance literature argues that the amount of remittances sent by migrants to their countries of origin declines through time. Reunification of families or breakdown of family ties underpins such behavior. However, the ...

Rural jobs allow people to escape poverty; urban jobs are a ticket to the middle class South Asia is sometimes known as the land of extremes with opulence surrounded by poverty. How much social mobility is there in South Asia? The intuitive answer is: very little. South Asia is home to the biggest number of poor in the world and key development outcomes – from child mortality to malnutrition – suggest that poverty is entrenched. ...

Engaging the Public on Country Partnership Strategies Click to Explore OpenIndia Country Partnership Strategies are a central element of the World Bank Group’s effort to act in a coordinated way to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. But they can be hard for the average person to navigate—some are three-volume tomes, and others can be dense with technicalities. When we make them inaccessible to the general ...

Will South Asia Take Advantage of its Export Opportunity? The Port of Chittagong at night in Bangladesh. South Asia has a great opportunity to increase exports to realize greater growth and prosperity. ​Photo by: Shahadat Rahman Shemul  Watching export growth across South Asia surge in the recent past leads one to ask the obvious but crucial question: Will this trend continue in the longer term and is South ...

Is Bangladesh likely to achieve its 2021 universal food security target? Since gaining independence in 1971, food security issues in Bangladesh have been amongst the highest priorities on the government’s agenda. This is because Bangladesh faces a number of demographic, social and ecological challenges, which make it particularly vulnerable to food insecurity. These challenges are further exacerbated by climate change, including the consequences of sea level rise. Silent threats such ...

Do you want to fight violence against women? Start by changing yourself It was a Friday evening and the auditorium inside St. Xavier’s College in Kathmandu was packed with almost 300 people. Students, activists, experts from the government and civil society gathered inside the hall along with an eclectic panel comprising of a film celebrity, a lawyer activist, an IT entrepreneur and an INGO Head. They were all there to discuss ...

Changing the Landscape of Technical and Vocational Education for Women   The Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP), since its inception in 2010, has supported vocational training institutions to improve the quality of training and expand access for disadvantaged youth in Bangladesh. 33 polytechnics are currently receiving financial assistances from STEP for their institutional development. Vocational training institutions in Bangladesh have plenty of investment needs that are long overdue – degraded facilities, ...

The Remittance Multiplier in Action David Waldorf/World Bank In introductory macroeconomic class, students learn the theory of the multiplier and many interesting counterintuitive notions such as the paradox of thrift and the balanced budget multiplier based on the multiplier process.  Essentially, the multiplier multiplies because one person’s expenditure is another person’s income of which they spend a fraction, which in turn becomes another person’s ...

Collaborating Across Boundaries: Pushing University Research to the Next Level in Bangladesh Piloting of Climate Resilient Cropping System in Coastal Region by BAU The Bangladesh government wants to enhance support for university research as a part of its strategy for higher education (Strategic Plan 2006-2026). Supported by the Academic Innovation Fund (AIF) under the Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project (HEQEP), researchers in Bangladeshi universities are conducting advanced research on some of ...

A New Breed of Marketing Graduates? The University of Kelaniya, my seat of higher education, sadly was never considered the ‘cream of the crop’ in Sri Lanka when I attended; certainly not the Departments of Humanities and the Social Sciences! After listening to decades of unproductive lip service on the need for marketable graduates, I encountered a remarkable transformation in higher education at my very ...

Apples and Walnuts for Change in Nepal Photo Credit : Saurav Rana Jijodamandu, a small hilltop village in Doti district in Western Nepal is a full day’s walk from the nearest motorable road. Below the village, the hillside is littered by terraced paddy fields producing rice. Surrounding many homes in the village slightly above the terraced paddy fields, there are fruits trees planted sporadically – oranges, lemons ...

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