Biodegradable toilet bag could help alleviate slum sanitation nightmare
A Swedish architect has developed the PeePoo bag, a bio-degradable toilet bag that can be disposed as fertilizer. With the huge sanitation dilemma faced by city planners and urban slum dwellers, there is great need for solutions that can accommodate the 600 million people in India who do not have access to toilet facilities.
Sources:Searchlight South Asia, March 2010, page 8
Financial inflows from developing countries more stable than developed countries
“South African FDI, along with flows from transnational corporations (TNCs) in other developing countries, such as China and India, had proved less volatile during the recent economic crisis than had been the case with flows from developed economy TNCs, which slumped markedly… [as such] emerging country investors like China and South Africa are expected to be more resilient than traditional ones, providing a potential buffer against further developed world economic stagnation and/or crises.”
Implications from Institute for the Future:
Sources:South Africa Node July 2010, pg. 2
Citizen advocacy organizations are bringing political awareness and self-determination to the lower classes in India.
A burgeoning citizen movement in India is bringing a political voice to those who've traditionally been more on the sidelines in India's democracy. These programs are helping to institute greater citizen particpation in governance, leadership, and urban reform. Recent changes in the way money is distributed by the Indian government should translate to more self-determination at the local level, sidestepping intervening state bureaucracies. Some of these funds will be tied to greater accounability and reforms in how local governments do business.
Sources:Searchlight South Asia, March 2010, page 1
A New Way of Measuring Poverty in India
According to Strategic Foresight Group Asian Horizons (SFGAH), a report given to the Planning Commission of India in December 2009 "recommended a new method, where the present national urban poverty line is taken as the basis for estimating every other poverty line in the country. According to experts, the new poverty line would factor in not just food requirements, but also those of education and healthcare that are important basic needs. Therefore, using this method in 2004-05 the percentage of poor was estimated as 41.8% in rural areas and 25.7% in urban areas.
Sources:Strategic Foresight Group Asian Horizons March 2010, page 2
Non-formal learning centers educate urban slum children
In Bangladesh, NGO-run learning centers, operating outside the formal school system, find ways to education the growing urban slum children population that the formal system has not reached.
The Strategic Foresight Group writes,
Resources needed to contain Wild Polio Virus in India
The Strategic Foresight Group writes,
Despite India’s strident attempts to eradicate polio entirely, it continues to report cases of the disease. In the last two years, a marked increase of reported cases, particularly originating from certain parts of the country, has caused concern about the resurgence of the disease. A majority of these cases are reported from Western Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Sources:The Strategic Foresight Group, July 2010, page 2: http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/SFG_July2010.pdf#page=2
‘AFP Surveillance Bulletin – India’. National Polio Surveillance Project, Government of India. 22
May 2010. <http://www.npspindia.org/bulletin.pdf> (Map Source)
‘Polio. Microbiology Procedure. <http://www.microbiologyprocedure.com/viral-diseases-ofhuman/
‘Vaccinated children spreading polio in north India’. Central Chronicle. 10 May 2010.
Jeffrey, Patricia & Jeffrey, Roger. ‘Polio in North India: What’s Next?’. Economic and Political Weekly. Vol. XLV No. 15. 10 April 2010.
Low-tech aids in tracking maternal and infant care
A new system proposed by an innovation group in the World Bank will use cell phones to track efficacy of ground-level maternal and infant health services.
Rainwater Harvesting as strategy to reconcile water-demand supply gap
Rainwater harvesting could play a significant role in water conservation in Pune, a rapidly growing city in India.
Intellecap writes that a record heat wave and growing water crisis in India are forcing politicians to measures to conserve water. Some organizations, like the Pune‐based Green Energy Foundation, are calling for increased harvesting of rainwater to serve Pune’s water needs. The organization has criticized the city for poor water management.
Sources:Intellecap July. 2010 pg 6:
Cash-transfer program for pregnant women in India extended to the informal sector
On October 20, 2010, India approved pilots of a new cash-transfer program for pregnant women and lactating mothers who are outside the formal economy.
Mega-Cities Become Mega-Regions
A trend towards “mega-regions” helped the world pass a tipping point—more half the world’s people now live in cities.
The world’s mega-cities are merging to form vast ‘mega-regions’ which may stretch hundreds of kilometers across counties and be home to more than 100 million people. The biggest mega-regions, which are at the forefront of the rapid urbanization sweeping the world, are:
Hong Kong-Shenhzen-Guangzhou, China—120 million people
Sources:The Millenium Project, South African Node, March 2010, page 10:
State of the World’s Cities 2008/2009:
The Guardian, March 22, 2010: