A CIPE partner in Albania, Center for Economic Research (ACER), recently had a great reason to celebrate: their efforts to have Albania’s tourism VAT decreased had finally been successful. This outcome was the result of and the national tax administration recognized the work of the ACER-supported National Business Forum (NBF), including the recent release of the Forum’s priorities for economic reforms focusing on taxation, informality, and public private dialogue, which included a recommendation to reduce the tourism VAT.
If development evaluation is at an inflection point, what are the drivers that would enable this turning point? There are ten top trends in development evaluation emerging in 2017 that — if widely adopted — indeed promise to revolutionize how we determine what works and learn from development aid projects. I will discuss each of these trends in depth in future articles, but here are the top ten trends to watch for 2017:
I am their father. I am their mother. I am everything to them.
Each year on March 8, the world observes International Women’s Day, a day to recognize both how far we as a global community have come, and also how far we have to go, in achieving gender parity. The World Economic Forum (WEF) estimates that the gender gap won’t close until 2186. 2017’s theme, “Be Bold for Change,” challenges both men and women to take bold actions that will advance the gender agenda; the WEF study also indicates that the economic gender gap is widening—following a peak in 2013, the global economic gap between men and women has now reverted to where it stood in 2008. At this rate, it will take another 170 years to achieve parity.
Women represent 51.58 percent of the population of Sri Lanka, according to official data published by the Department of Census and Statistics in 2016. However, their participation in the economy remains low. Women make up only 36.5 percent of the 8. 3 million economically active population of the country, aged 15 years and over. Out of the economically inactive population, more than three quarters (75.4 percent) are women. Data compiled by the Department of Census and Statistics for the 3rd quarter of 2016 also shows a higher rate of male participation in the labor force as compared to women, in all age groups and all levels of education. For instance, the highest participation in the workforce for women was reported in the age group 45-49 years (54.1 percent) whereas in the case of men the highest participation rate was in the age group 35-39 (98.1 percent). When looking at these numbers, one wonders how women in Sri Lanka can be empowered to have the same economic opportunities as men do.
This piece originally appeared in the WIIT Communique.
The invention of the telegraph was seen as“completely revolutionizing existing modes of doing business; for when telegraphic lines become extended, and its transmitting powers vastly improve, as they doubtless will be, Western, Southern, Northern—all business men, instead of leaving their business and going to distant cities, will order by telegraph what, and as, they want.”1
With the advent of the telephone, mass-communication technology had an instant, transformative effect on the modes of doing business across industries and sectors, particularly the speed at which transactions took place. Fast forward to the present; burgeoning Internet connectivity in the digital age has led to the rise of e-commerce businesses—Alibaba, Amazon and EBay—and completely revolutionized the relationship between producers, suppliers and consumers.
Podcast guest Bill Endsley
On this week’s Democracy that Delivers podcast, Secretary General of the International Real Estate Federation – USA, Bill Endsley, discusses the importance of property rights for economic growth and prosperity.
Endsley talks about how a lack of property rights, or inadequate access to information on property rights, can undermine markets and impede business development. He highlights trends in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and explains how – even in markets where there is thriving real estate development – poorly functioning property markets can undermine the health and sustainability of the economy. He discusses lessons the rest of the world can learn from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis.
Endsley also talks about the property markets scorecard project that has mapped out the ecosystems of property markets in 30 countries so far. He highlights resources available through the project and discusses reforms that have been identified as a result of the scorecards. Learn more about the scorecards at www.propertymarketsscorecard.com
International Real Estate Federation – USA: www.fiabci-usa.com
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More than five and a half years deep into the Syrian war, the development aid space is crowded: crowded with emergency relief agencies working to supply besieged communities with critical food supplies and healthcare; crowded with multinational donors working to catalyze economic and political change in the Middle East’s countries of first asylum.
In these countries—namely, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey— many development organizations and practitioners have shifted the focus away from immediate, emergency assistance. Instead, they are opting for initiatives designed to generate longer-term, sustainable solutions for refugees and host communities on everything from livelihoods to mental health.