World Bank Spring Briefings: 1) Bending Arc of Poverty, 2) Millennial Development Goals, Civil Society Organizations

Millennial Development Goals
Live blogging:
  • Maria Kiwanuka, Minister of Finance, Planning & Economic Development, Uganda
  1. Millennial Development Goals were being developed in silos…maternal health goal wasn’t considering education goals
  2. Disagrees a bit w/Seema Aziz, Founder of CARE, largest NGO in Pakistan. Rather, Kiwanuka argues that Poverty, Ignorance and Disease are the root causes rather than illiteracy…- we feel that this is a “chicken or the egg” debate
  • Kaushik Basu, World Bank Chief Economist
  1. Is there a point to raise poverty line definition
  2. New indicator for different engagement regarding the bottom 40%, move away from focusing on poor countries and shift a World Bank policy-making
World Bank Press Release: Developing Countries Need to Harness Urbanization to Achieve the MDGs: IMF-World Bank report
WASHINGTON, April 17, 2013 – Urbanization helps pull people out of poverty and advances progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but, if not managed well, can also lead to burgeoning growth of slums, pollution, and crime, says the Global Monitoring Report (GMR) 2013, released today by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Urbanization has been a major force behind poverty reduction and progress towards other MDGs. With over 80 percent of global goods and services produced in cities, countries with relatively higher levels of urbanization, such as China, and many others in East Asia and Latin America, have played a major role in lowering extreme poverty[1] worldwide.
GMR 2013: Rural-Urban Dynamics and the Millennium Development Goals starkly compares the well-being in the countryside versus the city. Urban infant mortality rates range from 8-9 percentage points lower than the rural rates in Latin America and Central Asia; to 10-16 percentage points in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa and highest in East Asia (21 percentage points).
“The rural-urban divide is quite evident. Megacities and large cities are the richest and have far better access to basic public services; smaller towns, secondary cities, and areas on the perimeter of urban centers are less rich; and rural areas are the poorest,” said Kaushik Basu, the World Bank’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Development Economics. “But this does not mean unfettered urbanization is a cure-all – the urban poor in many places urgently need better services as well as infrastructure that will keep them connected to schools, jobs and decent health care.”
“Bending Arc of Poverty” Moderated by Lesley Wroughton, Senior Correspondent, Reuters
Live Blogging:
World Bank Live@WorldBankLive 1h Kim and Basu agree: Working in fragile states is key to ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity worldwide. #ittakes

  1. The WBG believes in inclusive growth — countries’ growth must include youth, women, the poor. – Kim  #ittakes
  2. Evidence shows massive inequality builds instability in societies – Kim  #ittakes
  3. @WorldBankLIve: Basu: People already living under the poverty line – $1.25/day – are our first line of attention.  #ittakes
  • World Bank President Kim
  1. Boosting “Shared Prosperity” inter-generationally is new. #ODA is still critical. ~Kim #ittakes I’m an anthropologist, please don’t tell me that your culture holds back gender equality. We should insist. We’ve taken a position.
  2. Primary purpose to look at 2 goals
  3. Agreements are important, climate issue: we’re committed to it
  4. We have a lot of civil society actors: bloggers and media (the 4th Estate)
  5. We will make mistakes, but if you’re trying to be ambitious and bold, as long as we learn from our mistakes, we will move forward. we will not be paralyzed.
  • Kaushik Basu
  1. Culture and Gender, I’m a closet anthropologist. Respect cultures, and two are completely compatible
  2. As long as there are these little pockets that have “emergency fires” we can tend to that
  3. As BRIC countries integrate, we will differ, but fundamentally, when we scrape the surface will achieve the broad objectives.

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