New Capacities

New capacities extend the ability of communities to meet familiar poverty-related challenges like health, education, employment, and shelter. They also create a rich ecosystem of resources, relationships, and infrastructures for responding to new stresses and, more importantly, for creating wealth out of poverty. These new capacities tend to have three distinctive characteristics: First, they change the scale of solutions, leveraging both very small and very large innovations. Second, they tap new digital infrastructures to make scarce resources more affordable and even abundant. And third, they create new relationships across the public and private sectors. Together, these innovations are building smarter communities, a stronger workforce, and more resilient environments-both built and natural.

The Pivotal Challenge

Action Zones

Even as cities struggle to accommodate massive in-migrations—with the consequent problems of smog, traffic jams, slums, and public health threats—the quest for urban resilience will redefine cityscapes throughout the developing world, with everything from so-called health cities that target the poor to new models of personal rapid transport.

Dial 1298 for emergency

Mumbai for-profit organization provides low-fee ambulance service

Gray solutions for aging citizens

Aging populations drive universal design for cities and villages alike

India's health cities

Process efficiencies provide affordable care to poor

The Pivotal Challenge

Growing Economies of Violence

New capacities for economic improvement are, unfortunately, also building a shadow infrastructure for piracy, human and drug trafficking, and organized crime throughout the developing world-all fueled by growing inequality. These economies of violence will challenge both rich and poor over the coming decade.

Growth of organized crime

Transnational networks threaten Latin America and other regions

Human trafficking

African Union's AU.COMMIT combats human trafficking

Somali pirate stock exchange

Pirates offer shares to finance their operations

Discover More Signals

Gulf countries invest in ICT, foreseeing post-oil economy
ICT health in India: smart phone medical consultation app
ICT health in India: mobile phones bring eye exams to rural poor
ICT health in India: government uses video chat to bring healthcare to rural poor
Haryana to give ID cards to hemophiliac children
Building the infrastructure for an African Internet
Cost-effective e-readers for mass education delivery in India
Peru investigates underlying obstacles in ICT for education strategies
One-stop shot for ICT4E solutions in India
Bright flight and the decaying suburbs
Employee-centric strategies could lead to fragile households
Functional literacy programs and regional cooperation help some South American countries prepare for youth bulge
Future of India could hinge on skills training for youth
India to launch vocational education program
Bangladesh losing their highly skilled handweavers
Education not enough for employment
Skills shortage in reproductive health in Africa
Jobless growth
Curbing dangers of West African youth bulge
Exportable labor, unemployment solution
Growing pool of unskilled labor left behind in Vietnam
Why are poverty wages sometimes enough
Rwanda’s structural change for job creation
Bangladesh: No minimum wages for 34 industrial sectors
Green jobs in South Africa
Aging Southeast Asian population may create “grey collar” economy
Gender disparities in Wages, Work, and Vocational training in Indonesia
Motorcycles a major pollutant in Vietnam, water transport a solution
Personal transporation pods could ease traffic, emissions, but leave urban poor behind
Smog holidays, water dumping pollution fixes create their own problems in Tehran
Mid-day meal scheme fights food inflation and urban malnutrition in India
Massive urban renewal underway for poor in India
Self-administered flu vaccine delivered by mail
Distress call for maternal health in West Africa
Death by delays to mothers
Senior care in need of new solutions
How to deal with increasing public health concerns in India
Bangladesh faces the permanence of slums
Urban sprawl a "symptom of a divided, dysfunctional city"
Massive infrastructure investments in Indonesia
Unsafe water kills 250,000 children a year in Pakistan
State gov to cut supply to those in Bangalore who refuse to save water
India: $US2bn unused aid for water and sanitation
Toilet turns poo into fertilizer
Signs of hope for environmental issues in the Niger River Delta
India slums to charge fee for safe drinking water
Water conflicts at a boiling point in Southeast Asia
Pro-poor perspective in Urban Water Supply
Surface water shortages force farmers to monocrop
Micro-credit financing for water infrastructure, but excludes slum-dwellers
Public-private partnership for 24/7 water supply deemed successful