Solar Energy Has Compounding Benefits for the Poor in India
Bangalore-based Selco has brought solar electricity to slums, providing value beyond what appliances provide in themselves:
"Though the slum-dwellers were employed and had earned income, their illegal settlement was not allowed to access “the grid” cables that crisscrossed overhead . Instead, families spent INR45 (US$1) per liter on kerosene—a financially unsustainable solution that could only be used for bare necessities such as cooking."
Selco claims that "solar energy empowers the urban poor to spend an additional couple of hours after dark in income generating activities such as
Sources:http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/Intellecap_Nov2011.pdf pg 12-14
In India, AIDS Risk Crosses Political Borders
"India’s AIDS epidemic has decreased drastically in the last decade. Yet... the deadly virus is highly concentrated in urban poor communities . Most vulnerable are sex workers and migrant laborers as well as their home
communities—often in rural areas or neighboring countries."
"Sex workers, largely teenage girls or younger from Nepal, are trafficked to the streets of India’s cities . One study found that more than 40% of Nepali sex workers tested HIV positive and that the number of the infected has increased 24-fold in the decade 1992-2002.
Sources:http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/Intellecap_Nov2011.pdf pg 7-11
Aging Population a Major Problem in South Asia, too
"An October 2011 article on Dawn.com notes: “South Asia will experience a dramatic increase in its elderly population by nearly nine times between 2010 and 2025 when life expectancy will increase to 75 years for men and 82 years for women.”
While this is a problem for countries all over the world, South Asia faces some unique issues. Governments in the region don't devote many resources to the elderly:
Sources:http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/Intellecap_Nov2011.pdf pg 1-6
Sustainable Tourism Aids Local Development in Middle East
"In recent years, new and improved sustainable-tourism initiatives are spreading throughout the Middle East. These initiatives propound responsible travel that helps to conserve the environment and improve the well being of the local people living there... In the past, an influx of tourists to destinations like Petra and the Sinai led to degradation of the surrounding resources and exploitation of the indigenous people. Recently however certain initiatives aim to correct some of these adverse impacts."
Sources:SFG-ME December 2010 pgs. 10-13
Green Inovation in Israel Could Be Development Model
"Israel’s strategy to use technology to address the deficit of water, energy and other resources is set to create a new model for social development. A new method of drip irrigation that measures the precise amount of water required by each plant will cut consumption in the agricultural sector by more than 50% in the next 10-15 years. The use of nano-technology will reduce the cost of desalination and wastewater treatment, while a new grid for battery stations across the country will phase out cars run on petrol."
Sources:SFG-ME December 2010 pgs. 8-10
Media, ICT as a Tool for Minority Empowerment in Morocco
"Morocco’s newly launched Tamazight TV channel aims to incorporate minority communities into mainstream culture and communication. The channel will conduct programs in the Berber dialect (Tamazight) which has been largely excluded from public and private institutions. As much as 28% of the country’s population only speaks Tamazight and the launch of this particular TV station points toward a larger trend in using Information Communication Technology (ICT) to represent the voice of the marginalized."
Sources:SFG-ME Dec 2010 pgs. 2-4
Islamic Finance Meets Microfinance in Syria, Possible Solution to Food Security Issues (08)
"In 2007, Syria became the first country in the Arab region to issue legislation in the area of microfinance. However, microfinance is growing at a slow pace as private and commercial banks are oriented towards high- income clients and reluctant to enter microfinance arena because of the 9% interest rate cap. A few NGOs and donor agencies working towards poverty alleviation support microfinance initiatives in the country. If this trend continues in the future, microfinance will take several years to meet the needs of Syrian society.
Sources:SFG ME January 2011 pgs. 11-13
Charitable religious organizations changing their role
“Religious charities in Indonesia are changing the way they conduct themselves. As an Islamic state, much of Indonesia’s charitable work is done by faith-based organizations in the country. However, the role and the type of work conducted by religious organizations, is changing to fit better with the times.
Sources:SFG January 2011 pgs. 14-15
Elfahmi. “Empowerment of the Poor in Religion”. RETURN. 01 November 2010.
Wardana, Amika. “Religions decline and proliferate”. The Jakarta Post. 12 November 2010.
Ali, Muhamad. ‘Role of religious philanthropy in reducing poverty’. The Jakarta Post. 19 June 2004.
‘Muhammadiyah Empowers Rural Farmers’. Indonesian Philanthropy Project Blog. 04 April 2010.
‘Revitalizing Primary Health Care Country Experience: Indonesia’. South East Asian Regional
Community’s ‘fish bank’ model saving their biodiversity and fishing livelihoods
“The small initiatives taken by the Tomia fishermen community in the southeast of Sulawesi in Indonesia have succeeded in conserving the biodiversity of the area… Komunto, a community-based organization, was formed by fishermen from East Tomia and Wakatobi districts in Indonesia in response to the widespread coral damage of the Wakatobi National Park (WNP), primarily from fishing pressures. Approximately 100,000 people live within the boundaries of WNP; therefore local fishing pressure is high.
Sources:SFG January 2011 pgs. 10-11
Beijing overhauling transportation
Beijing may be designing the city of the future on order to control traffic problems. They are overhauling everything from building new roads, limiting cars and licenses, providing bike sharing, increased bus routes, and limiting driving hours. Below are some highlights of the changes taking place in Beijing.
“Beijing Traffic Control Restriction Policy Limit on new car licenses Only 240,000 car licenses will be issued in 2011 through number-drawing (lottery), with a monthly average of20,000.
Sources:NISTPASS January 2011 pgs. 15-16
Major policies released to ease Beijing's traffic.