Friday, 30 November 2012

Week in Review

Week in Review

Welcome to the Wikiprogress Week in Review, a selection of headlines and highlights from another busy week. With COP18 taking place in Doha, this Week in Review includes a new report on rising temperatures, the launch of the Sustainable Society Index, a number crunch on global warming, as well as the OECD Economic Outlook and an article on urban jobs.

4 °C
‘Turn the Head Down: Why a 4 °C World Must Be Avoided’ is a new report from the World Bank that analyses the likely impacts and risks associated with a 4° Celsius warming in this century. The report finds that those in the least developed countries will suffer the most. Find out more, download the report: Turn the Head Down

Sustainable Society Index 2012
This week, the Sustainable Society Foundation released their 2012 Index (SSI 2012), which measures the level of well-being and sustainability in 151 countries across the world. The index can be broken down into three key dimensions: human well-being, environmental well-being, and Economic well-being. So how is the world faring on sustainability? Have a look, SSI 2012 you’ll most likely find yourself pleasantly surprised!

Number Crunch
2012 is expected to be the 9th warmest year on record. Source

Economic Outlook
The OECD Economic Outlook has forecast that the global economy will make a hesitant and uneven recovery over the next few years. A key issue highlighted in the report is the need to address potential trade-offs between growth and equality, growth and stability, growth and environmental sustainability. Watch the key highlights: OECD Economic Outlook 2012 Video

Top 10 Urban Jobs
There are around 185,000 people who move into cities every day - that’s 2 billion more people living in cities by 2035. Cities are where jobs are - so what are the top 10 urban jobs? Among the list are: construction work, city planning, communicators, servers and more. Do you fit one of these categories? I know I do.

That’s all from me this week. Hope you can tune in again the same time next week for another Week in Review.

Yours in Progress,

Philippa Lysaght

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Check the level of well-being and sustainability for your country!

News update - the Sustainable Society Index, SSI-2012

The new 2012 update of the Sustainable Society Index, SSI, was released on 29 November,  again showing at a glance the level of wellbeing and sustainability for 151 countries. You are invited to have a look yourself on our website. See how your country is doing, make your own correlations and comparisons with other countries. And use the information to help change your country’s policy towards sustainability.


The world’s overall score with respect to sustainability is now 4.74 on a scale of 1 to 10. Over the past 6 years this score has won 0.13, about 0.02 per year. Thus we are moving in the right direction. However, if we don’t speed up, it will take over 200 years to achieve a sustainable society with a score of 10. But that is just theory. Either we will accelerate the progress, or we’ll have to face disasters, which may prevent us from ever achieving the required sustainability.

More important than to look at the overall index, is to see how the three wellbeing dimensions that define the SSI are performing. Of these three, Human Wellbeing scores best, 6.2, and shows the  largest progress. Environmental Wellbeing is lagging way behind with a score of 4.5 and is even slightly in decline. This is due to poor performance of the categories Climate & Energy and Natural Resources. Economic Wellbeing, considered to be the precondition for achieving Human and Environmental Wellbeing, has the lowest score, 3.8, with a slight increase over the 6 years since SSI-2006.

Good news is that all three indicators for the category Basic Needs, i.e. Sufficient Food, Sufficient to Drink and Safe Sanitation, are in progress. Certainly not enough, since over eight hundred million people are undernourished and/or have no access to safe drinking water; more than 1.8 billion people have no access to Safe Sanitation. But there is progress, in absolute figures as well as percentage wise. Indicators which are performing worst are Renewable Energy – in spite of the need felt world-wide for a rapid change to renewables – and Organic Farming. And contrary to all good intentions, the quantities of Greenhouse Gase Emissions have increased, resulting in lower scores.

GDP is the fastest growing indicator. Apparently, the huge increase in income has hardly been used for progress towards sustainability.

The regional differences are still large. There is, not surprisingly, a correlation with income. The high income countries in Europe, North America and Oceania are performing well on Human Wellbeing and show a poor performance on Environmental Wellbeing. For low income countries, the picture is quite opposite.

For more details visit

In 2012 the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, JRC, has audited the SSI and concluded ‘that the revised SSI framework is conceptually coherent and meets the statistical requirements set by JRC. The SSI is well suited to assess nation’s development towards sustainability in its broad sense: Human, Environmental and Economic Wellbeing.

Geurt van de Kerk
Sustainable Society Foundation

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Lies, Damned Lie and Evidence Based Policy

Lies by Leo Reynolds via Flickr

Talk to most policy makers – especially those who work directly with politicians – and they will roll their eyes and smirk at the very idea of evidence-based policy making.  Policy, as they well know, is based on politics. And politics is at best a concoction of evidence, opinion, anecdote, ideology, political nouse and whatever the weekend papers are saying. Groucho Marx had it right when he said that “politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”

Many of the world’s national statistical offices (NSOs) can count themselves lucky to be kept at arms length from such shenanigans. And I firmly support the idea that a statistical agency needs to be quasi-independent from the executive to ensure that the statistics remain – and appear to remain – impartial.   While such a “we’re just good friends” relationship has much to commend it, it comes at a cost: government statisticians are often naïve in their understanding of the world of the policy maker, and in particular in their understanding of how policy is made.

Ignorance is not bliss however. In a world where policy is based on evidence, the role of an NSO is relatively easy.  But it is much more difficult to have an impact  when evidence is only once voice among many competing for attention. 

In the former world, the statistical agency needs only to produce data. Their data – the evidence – is used rigorously and impartially by statistically-savvy policy makers to analyse and design, almost mechanistically, the policy solutions they require. Politicians are motivated by nothing more than finding the best solution to the correct problem.  How perfect.

In reality, though, the policy makers are incredibly busy, under immense - and often unreasonable - pressure to be seen to be “doing something” and at the beck and call of ministers with at least one eye on the next election. And so they need to be helped, tempted, persuaded, coerced and cajoled into making sure that evidence at least gets a look in when they are working on policy.

Neither statisticians - nor policy makers - may like the reality, but it is important that anyone with an interest in a better world recognizes the evidence about evidence-based policy.  And for statisticians this simple shift – shifting from a world view in which policy is based on evidence, to one in which policy is influenced by evidence – has profound implications. Because an NSO ought to judge its worth by the amount of evidence used in debate and decision making, not by the tonnage of statistical publications released.  And this means putting far more effort into designing the sorts of statistics that policy makers need, releasing them in the right way and at the right time, and then following through to make sure they are used. Although many statistical agencies have become much better at doing this in recent years, much much more could be done.  The budget on outreach in communication in most NSOs is, I’d wager, a fraction of that spent on any of the major collections.

It takes time to change mindsets and world views.  Perhaps we might start by recognizing that “evidence based policy” is to the statistical profession, much what the tooth fairy is to dentistry.

 Jon Hall

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Well-being goals for all

On October 16, 2012 almost 400,000 babies were born in the world. On that same day, approximately 1000 people from around the world, including economists, statisticians, policy-makers and representatives from business and civil society, met to talk about the future lives of these babies. The 4th OECD World Forum on Measuring Well-Being for Development and Policy Making was held in New Delhi, featuring around 70 presentations, four roundtables and several keynote lectures. The Forum provided a great opportunity for sharing knowledge and networking on Well-Being and Development.

Photo sourced by OECD

Issues discussed by participants included: factors shaping trends in poverty and inequalities; business models and practices holding greater promise to improve well-being at work and beyond; links between effective and responsive institutions and people’s well-being; obstacles to gender equality and the type of environment needed for the start-up and success of women-owned businesses; policies helping children and at-risk youth to move into adulthood; preventing environmental degradation; improving the capacity of people, business and policy-makers to manage the consequences of disasters and conflicts; how to strengthen social cohesion.

The OECD World Fora on ‘Statistics, Knowledge and Policies’ have become one of the most important rendez-vous of the global community working on Well-Being

The 4th OECD Forum followed those held in Palermo (2004), Istanbul (2007) and Busan (2009). However, this forum marked a shift in the international well-being agenda. While previous Fora focused mainly on the “why” and the “how” to measure well-being, the 4th OECD Forum looked at how well-being can be made actionable. The discussions at the Forum built on the OECD Better Life Initiative, an initiative which lies at the heart of this attempt to use improved well-being metrics to influence policy making.

But knowing what matters to citizens and where societies want to go is not enough to ensure that we will get there; this is one of the main messages coming out of the discussions held in New Delhi. 

We need to build our knowledge regarding what works or does not work to achieve better lives. We need new evidence and models to understand how people think and behave, and how policies can raise well-being given our new understanding. Part of the evidence is already there, though, and models are being developed. But the journey is long and will require the involvement of all actors—researchers coming from a range of disciplines, decision-makers, business, ordinary citizens.

Four additional key messages came out from New Delhi, and you can read the summary of conclusions here. The first is that the well-being agenda has made giant steps all over the world and that it is based on a common understanding of the issues. The second is that progress in measuring well-being has been uneven, with great advancements in areas such as subjective well-being but much more modest ones on measuring sustainability for example. The third is that more research is needed on the determinants of well-being, particularly on the role of policies. The fourth is that the well-being agenda is relevant for both developed and developing countries, although priorities may differ. The next OECD World Forum will take place in 2015 and be aligned with discussions on the outcomes of Rio+20 and the post-2015 agenda. The 5th Forum will thus be an important landmark to judge whether Development Goals will have become, indeed, Well-Being Goals for all.

By Martine Durand, OECD 

This blog fist appeared on the OECD Better Life Index site on 23 November, 2012 and is also available in French here

For further information on the 4th OECD World Forum on Measuring Well-Being for Development and Policy Making.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Week in Review

Welcome to the Wikiprogress Week in Review. I am delighted to share some cheerful highlights from the busy week that was. This week’s highlights include: well-being data in the UK, a report on Australia’s well-being, a video on happiness, new research guidelines and a fast fact on pregnancies. 

A new nef report highlights the role that data can play for government analysts and civil society in terms of identifying the factors that correlate with low and high levels of well-being. nef have used data from the ONS well-being survey and analysed it according to themes such as ethnicity, employment and geography. 

A new report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics consolidates findings from a nation-wide consultation conducted by Measures of Australia’s Progress (MAP). The report looks at the aspirations Australians have for themselves and their country, and highlights an interesting use of social media in engaging citizens and gathering data. 

Number Crunch: 
In 2012, more than 80 million unintended pregnancies will occur, 40 million of which will result in abortion. State of the World’s Population

Oxfam have released a new series of research guidelines  that cover issues such as how to conduct interviews, writing for impact and creating facts and graphics. Originally intended for Oxfam staff, the resources have been made available here to anyone who wants to learn about key aspects of the research process.

That’s all us this week. We hope to see you again the same time next week. 

Yours in Progress,

Philippa Lysaght

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The threat of inequality to children

Migrant families pitch camp next to a railway line in Delhi, while they look for work, India. ©Raghu Rai:Magnum for Save the Children

As a group that are often the most vulnerable to poverty and its detriments, children were a central focus when the Millennium Development Goals were implemented in 2000.

The eight goal plan adopted by World leaders at the UN Millennium Summit in New York has arguably been a success, having facilitated huge progress in dealing with a number of the world's biggest challenges.

In the last decade, the number of people suffering from extreme poverty fell from almost 2 billion to less than 1.3 billion, child mortality dropped to 6.9 million (12 million in 1990) and huge improvements were made in school enrolment. 

Research from the World Bank shows that in 1981, almost three-fourths of citizens in the developing world lived on less than $2 a day – this rate has dropped dramatically to 43 percent. Their report Inequality in Focus claims that, “Progress is undeniable”, with preliminary estimates revealing that positive trends are set to continue. This encouraging assessment is backed up in part by Justin Forsyth, the Chief Executive of Save the Children who recently stated:

Despite the considerable improvements made to child well-being, the positive figures on show bely the rapidly growing problem of inequality. In a recent report Born Equal: How reducing inequality could give our children a better future, Save the Children argues that global progress masks a huge number of disparities. When broken down, national statistics on poverty reduction, hunger, child mortality show striking imbalances between rich and poor, urban and rural areas, men and women and ethnic groups.

The top deciles of populations in developed and developing countries are getting rapidly richer and the disproportionate levels of healthcare, nutrition and better access to school enjoyed by this section of society make it difficult to provide an accurate picture of whether the progress being made is benefiting those who need it most. In a TED Talk on economic inequality and its effects on society, public health researcher Richard Wilkinson describes the 'extraordinary' disparities between rich and poor, pointing at a near ten year life expectancy gap between the wealthy and the impoverished in England and Wales. Born Equal exemplifies the issue by using the case of Madagascar, where a striking drop in under-five mortality between the late 90s and the mid-2000s had been concentrated in the top wealth quintile:

“While child mortality in the richest quintile fell from 142 to 49 per 1000 live births, the poorest quintile saw less progress, with a more modest fall from 195 to 101 per 1000 live births.”

The report stipulates that children bear the brunt of inequality, demonstrating that in some cases children born into the richest households have access to 35 times (Born Equal) the resources of the poorest. Furthermore, child mortality rates are more than double among the poorest countries and stunting rates can reach levels six times higher in rural than in urban areas in countries with noticeable spatial inequalities. Notably, research from the OECD has shown that for the first time inequality has risen in traditionally low-inequality countries, such as Germany, Denmark, and Sweden (and other Nordic countries), where it grew more than anywhere else in the 2000s. Widening disparities in income have been shown to compromise a country's economic growth, damage well-being outcomes and threaten poverty reduction. On a micro level, inequality threatens the right of every child to have an equal chance to survive and thrive.

Despite the fact that children are hardest hit by inequality, little focus has been applied to the measurement of inequality among them. Born Equal not only lays out the damaging effects of inequality on children but identifies the policies and interventions that have successfully dealt with the problem up until now and then goes further by providing a number of recommendations for the upcoming post- 2015 framework that will replace the Millennium Goals. These include a call for a more equitable approach to the pursuit of development goals through the disaggregation of targets and indicators by wealth and other forms of group based inequalities. They also provide suggestions on progressive taxation and break away from other major development organisations by being the first to call for a fight against illicit flows.

The problem of inequality is transcendent throughout the world and it seems paramount that while focus is still applied to the current MDGs – the next generation of these goals must pursue equity in similar measure. Only by shifting the attention to those who have not benefited from the current program will its aims be fully achieved. Justin Forsyth emphasized this necessity when he added:

“Unless inequality is addressed...any future development framework will simply not succeed in maintaining or accelerating progress. What’s more, it will hold countries – and the world – back from experiencing real growth and prosperity.”

Robbie Lawrence
Wikichild Coordinator

Monday, 19 November 2012

Week in Review

Hi all,

This week’s highlights include: both sides of the ICT4D story, birth control as a human right, the impact of Sandy on GDP in the U.S. and a number crunch on the aging population.

Disruption at the Intersection of Technology and Human Rights (Forbes 12.11.2012)
The growing field of ICT4D (D standing for either development or democracy) has received a lot of attention in recent years, particularly in relation to the Arab Spring. This article focuses on the interesting cross-section of digital media and human rights.
Interested in ICT4D? Tweet us your thoughts @Wikiprogress

It’s Not about the Technology, It’s about the People: Evaluating the Impact of ICT Programs (World Bank Blog 15.11.2012)
On the same note but from a different point of view to the Forbes article, this World Bank blog challenges the technological determinist argument put forth by those from the ICT4D crowd and argues that is is the people, not their technology, that are the change makers

United Nations: Access to contraception a human right (Examiner 14.11.2012)
This week, the United Nations declared access to contraception as a universal human right. The announcement accompanies the release of the 2012 The State of the World Population 2012 report, entitled “By Choice, Not By Chance.” According to the report, 222 million girls and women in developing countries do not have the means to delay or plan their pregnancies.

How Sandy Reveals the GDP's Twisted Logic
In his last annual economic report, President Barack Obama concluded that the nation must move beyond GDP and develop "new indicators of societal well-being." This Huffington Post blog aims to discover whether Hurricane Sandy revealed one of the many flaws of the GDP as an indicator of national growth.

Number Crunch
By 2050, nearly 1 in 5 people in developing countries will be over 60. Source: Aging in the 21st Century

That’s all from me this week. Hope to see you again next week.

Yours in Progress,

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Impact of daycare interventions in Latin America

Urbanisation and increased female labour market participation have led to increased demand for daycare services, which in developing countries is partly met by government daycare programmes. Some of these programmes offer subsidised community daycare services, in which women from the community provide full time childcare in their home, food and some recreational or educational activities for the children. Other programmes offer public preschool education to children between 3 and 5 years of age. But do these daycare interventions benefit the child’s development?
Impact evaluations of these programmes were undertaken to assess their effectiveness by comparing the wellbeing of children cared for at daycare (or preschool) to those cared for at home. To synthesise the evidence, researchers of the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico (myself and Jef Leroy, currently at the International Food Policy Research Institute) and the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (Maite Guijaro), undertook a systematic review. The study, The impact of daycare programmes on child health, nutrition and development in developing countries: a systematic review examined the effects of daycare interventions (formal out-of-home care) on the health, nutrition and development of children under five years of age, in low- and middle-income countries.
Photo sourced by 3ie
The systematic review identified 13,190 studies, but only six, based in Latin America, met the inclusion criteria in terms of scope, type and quality. Four studies evaluated community-based interventions and two looked at preschool interventions.
The findings showed that attending daycare had positive effects on language skills, social and emotional development of children in the short run. In the medium term, school attendance, student behaviour and test scores witnessed a positive trend. In fact, the effects on the children were more pronounced depending on the exposure to the programme. For example, the Bolivia daycare programme had a positive effect (2-11% increase) on bulk (gross) and fine motor, language and psycho-social skills for children with more than seven months of exposure to the programme. On medium-term outcomes, the Argentina study found that one year of preschool increased mathematics and Spanish test scores at third grade of primary education by eight percent. In Uruguay, it was found that children who attended at least one year of preschool, increased their schooling by nearly one additional year by the age of 15.
On child health outcomes, only one study from Colombia evaluated the impact on prevalence of diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections. Although this study found reductions in the prevalence of both diseases with longer exposure to the programme, it is not clear if the results are a true health effect of the programme or if the comparison group of children with less than one month of exposure to the programme, might have suffered from a steep increase in infections right after joining a daycare centre.
However, no conclusions could be drawn with respect to the nutrition outcomes. One study from Guatemala analysed child dietary intake and found positive impacts, a study from Bolivia found no impact on child growth, and two additional studies from Colombia found inconsistent results on child anthropometrics, such as height and weight.
Finally, the reviewed studies did not provide a good description of the type and quality of care children receive in the absence of the programme. This represents an important limitation of the reviewed studies since the potential impact a daycare programme might have is determined by the “net” treatment, which is the difference in the type and quality of care between daycare interventions and the alternative forms of child care in the absence of the programme. For instance, a positive “net” treatment effect can be expected if daycare interventions provide a high quality childcare alternative to mothers who take care of their children while working. However, a negative “net” treatment effect could be anticipated if children who receive adequate family care are enrolled into a low-quality daycare programme.
Policy implications
The evidence shows that daycare interventions in Latin America, community-based or school-based, have had a positive impact on child development. However, there is not enough evidence to conclude that these programmes have improved child health and nutrition. Based on this information, should policymakers decide not to implement daycare interventions until there is conclusive evidence about its impacts?
Considering the proven impact daycare interventions can have on improving child development in the short and medium term and the increasing demand for out-of-home care, these programmes should be implemented if they provide a high quality alternative to the care children normally receive.
However, it is crucial that new programmes are evaluated and closely monitored, not only to add to the very limited knowledge base of programme effectiveness and pathways of impact, but also to guarantee that unintended negative effects are identified and corrected.
(Paola Gadsden is the Coordinator of Analysis and Evaluation of Public Policies for the State of Morelos, Mexico)
3ie funds impact evaluations and systematic reviews that generate high quality evience on what works in development and why. Evidence on development effectiveness can inform policy and improve the lives of poor people.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

CIC Impact Summit aims for a big splash in November

This is a guest post from Jim Farnham, co-organizer of the upcoming Community Indicators Consortium Impact Summit in College Park. Community indicators are an effort to bring performance metrics to local-level governance, and as such are related to the Open Data movement. 

CIC’s Impact Summit – November 15-16,2012 in College Park, MD — will be a forum for community indicators practitioners and stakeholders to share projects, research and lessons of various fields including Sustainability, Health, Education as well as to explore approaches and tools in creating positive impacts within our communities. The Community Indicators Consortium (CIC) is an active, open learning network and global community of practice among persons interested or engaged in the field of indicators development and application. We host webinars and conferences, manage an indicator project database, and undertake projects aimed at building the field.

The conference provides an opportunity to share ways of increasing the impact of our work on behalf of our communities, public officials, funders, professional networks, businesses and clients in a variety of formats and tracks.

With over 200 practitioners, analysts, academics, funders, and data providers in over 20 sessions to share our work and explore new ways and tools to track impact, understand macro trends buffeting our communities, and learn how to effect change and bridge the distance between objective high quality data and subjective perceptions and interpretation.  Full details are available at the conference web site.

For those of you who cannot make it, there will be streaming of portions of the conference.

Presenters at the CIC Impact Summit  include:
Robert Groves – Former Director of US Census Bureau
Bryan Sivak  – Chief Technology Officer, US. Department of Health and Human Services
Eugenie Birch – University of Pennsylvania
Charlotte Kahn – Director of Boston Indicators Project
Chantel Bottoms – Austin Community Action Network
Michael McAfee – Promise Neighborhoods Institute, PolicyLink
Salin Geevargese – HUD, Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities
And about 50 others.

Follow @CommunityIC and tweet to #CICSUMMIT

Please contact with any questions or comments regarding the conference.

Jim Farnham
Co-organizer Community Indicators Consortium Impact Summit

The original blog first appeared 6 November 2012 on the Data Community DC site. 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Can the number of vegetables you eat define your mental well-being and progress?

Flicking through different UK papers and websites, you would be forgiven for not knowing that the 4th OECD World Forum on Measuring Wellbeing for Policy Making and Development had taken place in New Delhi in October.    What’s more, nobody heard a word in the press about David Cameron’s address to the event – albeit by video link.  The mainstream press has had its hands full of other dreadful stories, which you could say show a distinct lack of progress and wellbeing in our society.

Conventional indicators of economic performance* and equalityin Wales point towards increasingly disadvantaged communities in this country. Professor Sir Michael Marmot might say that such inequalities give a good indication as to the lack of fairness in Welsh society*.  Which begs the obvious question, how can we make our communities fairer?  And how do we know when we’ve got there?
This is a point made by Nobel Prize winning economist and conference speaker in New Delhi, Professor Joseph Stiglitz. 

“What we measure effects what we do.  If we measure the wrong thing, we do the wrong thing.  GDP measures the busy-ness of our economy.  But the big question is whether we are busy doing the right things.  Our preoccupation with GDP makes it difficult for politicians to back policies that are good for society and for the environment but which might not result in an increase in GDP.”
So how about a couple of alternatives? The University College of London’s English Longitudinal Study of Ageing has suggested that future disability and poor health could be predicted by the state of a person's mind.  Professor Andrew Steptoe points to the “protective effect of enjoyment,” with nearly three times more people dying in the lower enjoyment group than compared to the greater enjoyment group.  Imagine public services whose performance was measured using indicators of user enjoyment.

Another alternative might come from a Warwick University study that found mental wellbeing appeared to rise with the number of daily portions of fruit and vegetables consumed.  Seven a day was the magic number. 

What about a national indicator of organic, locally sourced vegetables consumed per person as a key measure of societal progress.  Its not a bad idea.  It implies a local economy, that’s sympathetic with the environment, meets the needs of the community and has the added bonus of being healthy.   It also has a certain wider, public appeal if you have ambitions of wanting to do things differently.  I wonder if it’ll catch on?

* Welsh GDP is just under 80% of the EU average and is lower than any other part of the UK with 9.1% of the population being unemployed (
Public Health Wales Observatory, Measuring inequalities: trends in mortality and life expectancy in Wales, 2011 shows an increase in the inequality gap in life expectancy, healthy life expectancy and quality of life in Wales.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Week in Review

After another busy week we have gathered a selection of highlights including 2012 elections around the world, an article on hurricane Sandy and resilience, a quote about big data, a look at women in peacebuilding and an uplifting video on growth and sustainability.

2012 A Year of Elections (not just in the U.S.) (Time 08.11.2012)
2012 has certainly been the year of elections, with the rare alignment of four major electoral stars: China, Russia, France and the U.S. These four countries combine represent 80% of the U.N security council and 40% of global GDP.
See more and contribute to the Wikiprogress article on governance

Learning to Bounce Back (New York Times 02.11.2012)
In the wake of the ferocious hurricane Sandy, an alarming new discourse has emerged around creating resilience opposed to sustainable solutions. A New York Times Op-Ed explores the dangers of resilience thinking.
See more and contribute to the article on sustainable development

Quote about Big Data:
“There was more data produced in 2011 alone than in all of the rest of human history combined back to the invention of the alphabet.” Robert Kirkpatrick, Director of UN Global Pulse

Women in Peacebuilding
To mark the 12th anniversary of the UN Security Council resolution 1325, the UN Security Council organised on 29 October an open debate on the role women’s civil society organizations play in preventing and resolving conflict and in building peace
See a selection of media highlights: Wikigender Special Focus on Women and Peacebuilding

In a campaign to build a better food system, Oxfam have produced a beautiful short video about the importance of inclusive growth and sustainability.

That’s all for this week.Tune in again same time next week for another edition of the Week in Review.

Yours in Progress,
Philippa Lysaght