Posts tagged under inequality
Did you know?
- Less than 20% of cities publish their needs
- Cities know about less than 10% of solutions available to them
- Almost 90% of cities do not trust information from providers
Citymart.com is a platform to connect cities and providers to improve the lives of citizens around the world. It is focused on making the process of problem definition, research, customised solutions and deployment easier and more cost-effective for all stakeholders involved. In the presentation below, Citymart’s CEO Sascha Haselmayer, explains their newest initiative Cities Pilot to End Poverty.
Cities Pilot to End Poverty is a 2-year programme designed by Citymart.com & Dublin City Council and endorsed by the World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty (WACAP) and the UNDP to find the most promising solutions around the world to fight poverty in our communities and implement them in real life.
By showcasing newly developed technology or innovative approaches on Citymart.com, cities can share with each other and even benefit from their own solutions. Among the benefits are not only international recognition and shared continued development but even a new revenue model. Worldwide, there are roughly 556,000 local governments spending more than 10% of GDP on public services. However, the overwhelming majority of local governments do not make their issues public.
Happy Lunar New Year!
The Asian Trends Monitoring team would like to use the opportunity at the beginning of the Year of the Snake to share with you our research publications from the past year.
For the first time ever, the team collected primary data from poor urban communities in Jakarta, Manila, Hanoi and Vientiane. Our survey on urban poverty and service provision had a total of 1,400 respondents, and granted valuable insights into the difficulties faced by the urban poor.
You find the results in the four Bulletins of the ATM Urban Poverty Series published so far.
Download all issues for free at http://bit.ly/All_ATM_Bulletins
For more frequent updates, follow us on Facebook: http://bit.ly/AsianTrends
Throughout 2013, we will continue this series by comparing key themes such as education, health and financial access across these cities and the rest of Southeast Asia.
We are looking forward to your feedback and wish you prosperity in the year to come.
To register for the talk please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org . We are looking forward to welcoming you at our talk on January 18th.
Social and economic inequality are a “hot topic” for the media as well as for researchers. The ATM team published a series of data posters on inequality in ASEAN in 2011 with a special emphasis on access to basic services such as health, water & sanitation but also financial services. Our friends from Trendnovation Southeast recently published an infographic on inequality in ASEAN with a slightly focus on three areas:
- Social security and health expenditure,
- Politics & human rights, and
- Economic situation
While not everyone would agree that the indicators are a good choice to measure inequality in these areas, they have chosen very interesting indicators to illustrate the rising inequality in the region. Intra-country inequality is a definitely an important issue, but this infographic very clearly illustrates inter-country differences. Not a single ASEAN country comes out consistently on top – not even Singapore (the usual suspect for No.1 in ASEAN rankings).
Singapore does not so well on government expenditure on health, human rights, and the GINI coefficient on income inequality. At the same time it takes top spot for control of corruption, contribution to social security (really?) and GNI per capita ($). Thailand scores low on political stability, human rights issues and social security, but fares quite high in government health expenditure and control of corruption.
Imagine a whole country country with less than 20 ATMs, where only 1 in 10 people has a bank account. Imagine a completely underdeveloped banking infrastructure in a country where more than 90% of people are unfamiliar with any kind of modern financial service… welcome to Myanmar today. After hearing these few facts, a case for financial inclusion seems pretty hopeless. After all, how many examples are out there where banks and microfinance organisations have managed to rapidly expand their services throughout a country.
But in this day and age, Myanmar has a unique opportunity to leapfrog towards financial inclusion. Senior Microfinance Specialist Eric Duflos from the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) commented on the necessary steps to enable Myanmar to bring financial services to its largely unbanked population within a short period of time. In his blog post he points out that the extremely low starting point could turn into an advantage at the attempt to bring millions of unbanked into the formal financial system.
This weekend I came across a headline familiar from last year’s reporting about the Arab Spring – only that the country discussed in the news article was Myanmar. The article was entitled “Myanmar poverty risks stoking unrest”. In the past months mainstream media and blog entries in unison praised developments in the conflict-ridden country, in particular steps taken towards further democratisation and the opening up to foreign investments. Business delegations from China, Japan and increasingly also Western countries have visited the country eager to scope out the enormous economic opportunities in a country that desperately needs better infrastructure and technology.
Most articles focus on Myanmar’s economic potential:
- Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi makes parliamentary debut (BBC July 9, 2012)
- Myanmar: Open for business (Aljazeera.Com June 9, 2012)
- New foreign investment hits $133 million: MIC (The Myanmar Times, July 15, 2012)
Although others caution the international community not to disregard the enormous challenges with regard to simmering ethnic conflict, social and economic inequality and the country’s rampant unemployment. In her first foreign visits after over 20 years of house arrest, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has urged investors to keep a “healthy scepticism” with regard to her country’s reform agenda and its deficient judicial system. She called her country’s level of youth unemployment a “time bomb” that has to be defused urgently. Two articles that illustrate how human rights and extreme poverty remain a threat for Myanmar’s future development can be found here:
In the Asian Trends Monitoring (ATM) Bulletin 12: Rising Asia, Growing Inequalities, we highlighted some inequalities that still persist throughout ASEAN, despite rapid economic growth. This issue seeks to highlight several interventions developed to close these gaps. Moreover, the examples are meant to bring life to the numbers and illustrate a range of successful approaches in tackling the inequities highlighted.
The interventions we have chosen vary greatly in size and scope. This allows us not only to provide a clearer picture of the wide array of existing innovations and interventions, but also touch on the strengths and weaknesses that differentiate the efforts of governments from those of grassroots organisations.
Our first section discusses interventions in providing basic infrastructure. We showcase three examples of small-scale, market-driven interventions in the provision of water, rural electrification and clean cooking methods, as well as a broad overview of national-level approaches in rural electrification. We discuss why these small start-ups have enjoyed much success in filling the gaps that governments cannot reach
The Roundtable on “Rising Asia, Growing Inequality”, which was attended by a full house of about 220 guests, students and media, saw a lively debate on the nature of inequality witnessed today and the sense of injustice amplified by the social media, which is in turn facilitated by rapid technological change.
Watch the exciting debate among the six panelists moderated by Dean Kishore Mahbubani here. The first video features the only debate, further below you will find the Question & Answer Session.
- Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Chair)
- Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation
- Dr. Anies Baswedan, President, Paramadina University and one of Indonesia’s leading public intellectuals
- Professor Fu Jun, Executive Dean, Peking University School of Government
- Mr. Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist, The Financial Times
- Mr. Karim Raslan, writer and consultant based in Indonesia and Malaysia
Senator Ton Nu Thi Ninh, President, Founding Committee of Tri Viet University, Vietnam
We would like to express our gratitude to the Rockefeller Foundation, New York and the Centre for Strategic Futures, Singapore for their generosity in supporting this Roundtable event and the Asian Trends Monitoring Project.
Coming on Monday: Full-length video of the event and footage from the Q&A Session. We will post it here.
The session was moderated by Dean Kishore Mahbubani and featured Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation; Dr. Anies Baswedan, President, Paramadina University and one of Indonesia’s leading public intellectuals; Professor Fu Jun, Executive Dean, Peking University School of Government; Mr. Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist, The Financial Times; Mr. Karim Raslan, writer and consultant based in Indonesia and Malaysia; and Senator Ton Nu Thi Ninh, President, Founding Committee of Tri Viet University, Vietnam.
Don’t want to wait for tomorrow? To find out what the panelists discussed during the 90 minute debate, read a feature article about the roundtable event on the LKY School’s homepage here.
Asia is rising! Asia’s growth is now celebrated the world over, much of this focused on China and the phenomenal economic growth that over the last 30 years has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of abject poverty. But Asia is not China, and this remarkable transformation is not a ubiquitous story for all of Asia. While Southeast Asia has experienced its own economic miracles, the problems of endemic poverty, increasing divides between rural and urban communities, and absolute growth in economic inequalities, represent the dark shadow of Asia’s success that is too easily overlooked.
Asia is rising but not all Asians are enjoying this growth; many have realised only marginal improvements to their economic resilience, others have gone backwards, and still others now suffer an ever more precarious existence, shut out of any hope of accessing even the most basic of infrastructures. A deeper examination of the “rise of Asia” reveals growing gaps in access to basic financial, health, education, and social services, both across countries and within national borders. Despite Southeast Asia’s economic success, millions of its poor continue to exist in a parallel economy: a mass underclass of invisible urban and rural populations who are marginalised from the changing economic landscapes that so often make the media headlines each of us are familiar with.