Army emerges as key actor pushing for democratic transition in Madagascar
Malagasy President Andry Rajoelina, who seized power in a March 2009 coup, has agreed to attend talks in South Africa over a transition to democratic governance. The military, which backed Rajoelina’s coup, has been pressing for a resolution to the sustained political crisis which followed his seizure of power. The South Africa Node writes that “the army gave Rajoelina until the end of April to come up with an acceptable way out of the political impasse.”
the Institute for the Future writes:
Health sector development assistance replacing rather than supplementing State outlays
The South Africa Node writes:
“According to new research published in the latest issue of The Lancet, donor aid to the health sector is in many cases replacing, rather than complementing, government health spending in the world’s poorest regions including sub-Saharan Africa. Every US $1 of health sector aid to Sub-Saharan African governments means ministries reduce health funding from domestic resources by $0.43 to $1.14.”
the Institute for the Future writes:
Shadow economies growing in the wake of the financial crisis
The South Africa Node writes,
Sources:South Africa Node Aug 2010, pg. 3
Citizen advocacy organizations are bringing political awareness and self-determination to the lower classes in India.
A burgeoning citizen movement in India is bringing a political voice to those who've traditionally been more on the sidelines in India's democracy. These programs are helping to institute greater citizen particpation in governance, leadership, and urban reform. Recent changes in the way money is distributed by the Indian government should translate to more self-determination at the local level, sidestepping intervening state bureaucracies. Some of these funds will be tied to greater accounability and reforms in how local governments do business.
Sources:Searchlight South Asia, March 2010, page 1
Non-formal learning centers educate urban slum children
In Bangladesh, NGO-run learning centers, operating outside the formal school system, find ways to education the growing urban slum children population that the formal system has not reached.
The Strategic Foresight Group writes,
Bangladesh faces the permanence of slums
"Every year, around 300,000-400,000 new migrants flock into Dhaka, the bulk of which come from rural, underprivileged backgrounds and are seeking employment opportunities in the city's fast-growing manufacturing and service sectors. However, the reality they face upon arrival is grim--unable to afford decent housing, they are forced to move into large, illegal settlements.
Sources:Searchlight South Asia by Intellecap; pg. 3
Crime in Rapidly Growing Inner Cities on the Rise in Latin America
Urbanization at a rate beyond the absorption capacity of already existing cities has for a long time been known as a major issue in developing countries, in part because it is connected with increased rates of crime. While "crime in urban areas in South America reached alarming levels during the 1980s ... the situation has radically changed in the 2000s: crime is consolidating as an urban phenomenon ... in regional cities."
Sources:FORO Nacional International, August 2010, pg. 3:
Latin America Faces Growing Challenges for Pension System
"While for the last 25 years there has been decreasing social security coverage, Latin America's population over 65 is growing and will triple from 6.3% in 2005 to 18.5% in 2050. Also, labor markets continue to be highly informal, while independent and short-term employment have been increasing, which further complicates coverage and affiliation to retirement schemes. South American pension systems have been diverse in terms of coverage and quality, yet in no case have they incorporated all workers (see figure).
Sources:FORO Nacional International, August 2010, pg. 2
For an in depth look at labor issues see William Greider's One World Ready or Not: the manic logic of global capitalism
Boat Schools in Bangladesh Deliver Services by River
Boat schools in Bangladesh provide a unique approach for sending out from large capital cities to remote areas the same cultural goods and social services previously available only in cities:
"The ‘Boat Schools’ in Bangladesh provide a great opportunity for the development of education in remote villages, especially in the monsoon season when almost one fifth of the country is flooded and inaccessible.
Sources:Strategic Foresight Group, Asian Horizons, Issue No: 8, October 2010. Page 8.
Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha. <http://www.shidhulai.org/learning.html>.
‘School itself goes to the students of Cholon beel’. 06 August 2010.
‘Bangladesh children flock to school on water’ New Age. 04 October 2007.