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A strategy for sustainable and equitable ICT deployment

After consideration of existing digital divides and the potential risks of ICT,
LKYSPP recommends six intervention points aimed to spreading benefits of ICT. This pushes a holistic picture of ICT that includes policies, tech infrastructure, and tech literacy. Small and medium enterprises and civil society groups have shown the way.

The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy writes,

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Sources:

LKYSPP Asian Trends Monitoring Bulletin, December 2010, pg 8-10:
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/LKYSPP_Dec2010.pdf

The World Bank. 2010. Employment in agriculture (% of total employment). Retrieved from UNCTAD. 2005. ICT and e-business: what developing countries stand to gain. Issues in Brief, 11, 1-2.

Internet World Stats. 2010. Internet Usage in Asia. Retrieved 20 December 2010 from http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats3.htm

Jakarta Globe (2010a) SBY inaugurates ‘Blackout-Free’ Era. July 28. http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/business/sby-inaugurates-blackout-free-era/388131

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ICT in development is a double-edged sword

ICT has been hailed as an engine of innovation and development, but poorly applied, it can reinforce existing inequalities and disproportionally benefit the urban elite.

The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy writes,

"In large measure, development is a function of the ability of nation-states to engineer innovation, apply technology to economic activities, and increase productivity. ICT thus plays a crucial role in the development equation.

While ICT attracts a relatively low proportion of trade and investment in developing countries compared to traditional sectors such as

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Sources:

LKYSPP Asian Trends Monitoring Bulletin, December 2010, pg 4:
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/LKYSPP_Dec2010.pdf

The World Bank. 2010. Employment in agriculture (% of total employment). Retrieved from

The World Bank. 2010. Employment in agriculture (% of total employment). Retrieved from

UNCTAD. 2005. ICT and e-business: what developing countries stand to
gain. Issues in Brief, 11, 1-2.

Internet World Stats. 2010. Internet Usage in Asia. Retrieved 20 December 2010 from http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats3.htm

Jakarta Globe (2010a) SBY inaugurates ‘Blackout-Free’ Era. July 28. http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/business/sby-inaugurates-blackout-free-era/388131

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Food security efforts should focus on energy independence, not food or energy subsidies

Countries that rely heavily on food imports and foreign oil are particularly sensitive to food price spikes, which helped catalyze Middle East and Bolivia unrest (see Middle East unrest holds lessons for South America: indicators for political vulnerability) Such dependence limits the government’s ability to shield the poor, which is a short-term strategy regardless. Investing in agricultural innovation and energy strategies that don’t rely on subsidies will be key for long-term stability.

Gonzalo Alcade of FORO writes,

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Sources:

FORO March 2011 pages 4-5:
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/FORO_Mar2011.pdf#page=4

UNDP, Informe Nacional de Desarrollo Humano para Bolivia 2010, online at: http://idh.pnud.bo/index.php?option=com_hello&view=hello2&Itemid=56&id=6

Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación, “La volatilidad de precios en los mercados
agrícolas”. Informes de Política 12, available online at: http://www.fao.org/economic/es-policybriefs/es

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A rich ecosystem for micro-entrepreneurs in Peru, Columbia, Chile

Some market-oriented countries, particularly Peru, have created a lending climate supportive of micro-enterprise, not only opening financing channels but including advisory and incubator services. This can help create employment opportunities for educated youth.

Fernando Prada of FORO writes,

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Sources:

FORO March 2011 pages 2-3:
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/FORO_Mar2011.pdf#page=2

Diaz, J. and M. Jaramillo (2006), An evaluation of the Peruvian Youth labor training program PROJOVEN, Office of Evaluation and Oversight Working Paper OVE/WP-10/06).

See for example: http://www.eluniversal.com.co/cartagena/internacional/jovenes-desempleados-son-el-rostro-de-protestas-enmedio-oriente-6599 and http://www.clarin.com/mundo/Jovenes-educados-vanguardia-rebelion-popular_0_430757030.html

Organización Internacional del Trabajo (2010), Trabajo decente y juventud en América Latina, Lima OIT: Proyecto Promoción del Empleo Juvenil en América Latina (Prejal). Available in http://prejal.oit.org.pe/prejal/docs/TDJ_AL_2010FINAL.pdf

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Zimbabwean law forces multinational corporations to "indigenize" ownership

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe maintains that the government will implement a law which forces multinational firms to sell a majority of voting stock to Zimbabwean citizens.

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Challenges and possibilities of CSR practices in South America

Corporate social responsibility is gaining ground in South America, and with more data collection, analysis, and exchange, CSR initiatives could help greatly impact social change.

Mario Bazan of FORO writes,

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Sources:

Searchlight Latin America: Trends and Challenges for Development, FORO; pg. 2
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/FORO_Sept2010.pdf#page=2

OECD (2001), Corporate social responsibility: private initiatives and public goals. OECD: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/58/54/35315900.pdf

See: Sagasti and Prada (2010), “La nueva cada de la cooperación al desarrollo: El papel de la cooperación Sur-Sur y la responsabilidad social corporative” (forthcoming as a chapter in a book).

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Why are poverty wages sometimes enough?

Although it may be hard for people in the global north or in the middle and upper class strata of the global south to understand why anyone would choose to work under terrible conditions for a mere 24USD a month (see http://rfsearchlight.clearsignals.org/node/246), as we will see, something is still better than nothing.

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Bangladesh fighting wage arbitrage

"The 29th of July 2010 was an important day for roughly 3.5 million Bangladeshis. The Bangladesh Wage Board, after a series of protests from workers in the growing garment sector, agreed to double the minimum wage. Workers who were earning a monthly TK1,662.50(US$24) will now be earning TK3,000 a month.

"The TK3,000 promise is still far from the TK5,000 per month they've demanded, and is only a one-time increase rather than an annual reassessment... It seems violence in the city has actually increased, with workers smashing cars and blocking roads in response to the announcement.

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Extracivist Development Methods Being Questioned

"The 2009-2010 Report: State of the Environment in South America finds persistent deterioration of biodiversity and a lack of environmental protection measures in the region. The report finds the region must take urgent measures to develop alternatives to the current extractivist mode of development that generates high environmental impacts and social conflict. Faced with this challenge, the region's Ministers of Environment have presented a Regional Plan of Action 2010-2011, which prioritizes environmental issues."

Implications:

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Sources:

FORO Nacional International, August 2010, pg. 6:
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/FORO_Aug2010.pdf#page=6
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