March 2013

  • A Vietnamese woman collects water from a distance source. Photo by the author.

    Wake Up! Advocate taps and toilets for maternal and child health

    By Anupma Jain on Wednesday, 27 March 2013

    Incremental achievements in reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are possible before they “expire” in 2015 if linkages among strategies to achieve various goals are made.  MDG 5 demands an improvement in maternal health. MDG 4 calls for an improvement in child health.

  • Pacific Economic Outlook: Moderating growth across developing countries in 2013

    By on Wednesday, 27 March 2013

    ADB is expecting growth to moderate across ADB's Pacific developing member countries (DMCs) this year (including Timor-Leste), mostly as a result of solid but slower growth in a few of the region’s larger, natural resource–extracting economies.

  • BRICS countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Photo courtesy of, 2012.

    The BRICS Bank — An idea whose time has come

    By Indu Bhushan on Monday, 25 March 2013

    Later this month, the leaders of five major emerging economies—some say they have already emerged— are likely to announce the establishment of a BRICS Bank. These countries are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. As the name suggests, the Bank will focus on investment needs in the BRICS countries, but might cover some other countries as well.

  • Photo credit: Lester V. Ledesma for ADB 2011

    Government budgets strengthen safety nets, inclusiveness

    By Bart Édes on Monday, 25 March 2013

    With their middle and lower economic classes being squeezed, governments overseeing several leading Asian economies are responding with greater social spending and tax relief.

  • Becoming bolder about diversity and inclusion

    By Betty Wilkinson on Thursday, 21 March 2013

    There is a delicate balance in everything. Gender and diversity is the same. Within many organizations there have been significant historic challenges in rebalancing the numbers of men and women, and treating everyone more fairly.

  • Male staff from Oudomxay Provincial Water Supply State Enterprise

    Pink pipes and tea servers: Challenging women’s role in water utilities

    By Anupma Jain on Thursday, 21 March 2013

    The realm of “utilities” is perceived as a man’s employment domain in many Asian countries. It is about gadgets—pipes, concrete, construction, machines, control panels, etc. Women’s role in utilities is often relegated to serving tea and welcoming guests.

  • Impressions of Asia and the Pacific's priorities for Post 2015

    By Susann Roth on Monday, 18 March 2013

    The famous poet Rumi once said, “Your true country is not where you are but where you are going.“ He wanted us to think about the afterlife because what we believe affects our action. But even Rumi could only guess and theorize what lies on the other side. Like the future the afterlife is unknowable. 

  • Engineer Nisha Tripathee of Nepal

    Meet Nisha Tripathee: A female engineer in Nepal

    By Shanny Campbell on Monday, 18 March 2013

    The only professional women many girls in rural Nepal see are health workers and teachers. Therefore it nearly always sparks conversations when members of our project field teams are women engineers and scientists. You can just see the expanded future possibilities ticking away behind girls’ eyes.

  • Revitalizing the G20—three suggestions for the incoming Russian Presidency

    By Indu Bhushan on Monday, 18 March 2013

    As I sat through two days of discussions in the first meeting of the G-20 Development Working Group under the Russian Presidency in Moscow in February this year, an uneasy question kept coming to my mind—is the G-20 losing its way?

  • How PPPs are helping Papua New Guinea government deliver better rural primary health services

    By Sakiko Tanaka on Monday, 18 March 2013

    The health status of the population of Papua New Guinea (PNG) has deteriorated since the 1980s due to neglect of the health system, especially in rural areas, where 87% of the population live. An estimated 40% of rural health facilities have closed or are not fully functioning.

  • The effects of food prices on population health in developing countries

    By Cyn-Young Park on Thursday, 14 March 2013

    Global food prices remain high and volatile since the peak during the global food crisis of 2008, exacerbating hunger and malnutrition around the world. High and increasing food prices can be an immediate threat to household food security, undermining population health, retarding human development, and lowering labor productivity for the economy in the long term.

  • How can evaluation promote better results?

    By Vinod Thomas on Thursday, 14 March 2013

    In development, as in matters of health, prevention is better than cure. Had policymakers acted boldly to avert well-recognized economic imbalances before 2008, the financial crisis may have been avoided.

  • The contribution of social enterprises to training and job creation: Examples from the UK and Asia

    By Bart Édes on Monday, 11 March 2013

    Social enterprises have collectively established themselves as a viable and productive sector within the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) economy. There are over 60,000 social enterprises in the country employing at least 800,000 persons.

  • Is innovation the new driver of growth?

    By Shanti Jagannathan on Monday, 11 March 2013

    This topic has been much discussed in recent years. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports argue that capability to innovate and to bring innovation successfully to market is a crucial determinant of global competitiveness.

  • Moving towards healthy life expectancy in Post 2015

    By on Friday, 08 March 2013

    The United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) program was a big success. It kept social development alive amidst a rush for infrastructure and growth. The United Nations is now spearheading a massive movement to define new goals up to 2040, with equity and sustainability as the central themes.  

  • Why invest in infrastructure and services that work for women

    By Sonomi Tanaka on Tuesday, 05 March 2013

    When I was a student, I spent two and a half hours in hellish commuter trains each day as a Tokyo suburbanite. Being a teenager in a manga-like school uniform, I was often a target of groping, eve-teasing, stalking, and even “flashing” on the streets, in the trains, and at the stations.

  • South Tarawa residents suffer a high prevalence of waterborne diseases.

    Re-thinking sanitation approaches on a small atoll: Can they foster hygiene behavior change?

    By on Monday, 04 March 2013

    For many years it was thought that sanitation problems could be tackled by simply building toilets, sewers and treatment plants. The need for behavior change among end-users was rarely, if ever, considered, and at best saw health campaigns hastily tacked on to, what were essentially, hardware projects.

  • Photo credit:

    Myanmar must face environmental catch up challenges to stimulate growth

    By on Monday, 04 March 2013

    My visits to Myanmar including the last one in December amazed me at the pace with which world’s view of Myanmar had changed. Equally impressive was the impatience with which Myanmar seemed to be ready to reengage with the regional and global economy and get on with the business of economic development.