The World Bank

Washington, DC, United States

The World Bank

Washington, DC, United States
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The conference highlighted the cross-cultural importance of project-based learning and social constructivism in the development of active learning methods that enable all students to learn and apply science and mathematics. The subsequent eight-day train-the-trainer workshop included hands-on training modules on the use of CTL's Progressive Science Initiative® (PSI) and Progressive Mathematics Initiative® (PMI) modules on physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics, as well as WPI modules in materials science and engineering, robotics, and project-based learning. Wole Soboyejo, dean of engineering and professor of mechanical engineering at WPI, said that one of the goals of the conference was to demystify science and technology for African students, and to encourage these students to feel like "they can do it." "The conference offered the opportunity to present a new approach that could be transformative in the lives of young Africans," says Soboyejo. Referencing the "youth bulge" in Africa, in which 70 percent of African residents are under 30 years old, Soboyejo says a better education boosts individual student learning immediately, and has greater impact on the global level, where more skilled workers create a competitive workforce. "There are a lot of young folks who have to be engaged," he says. "Electronic access to good information is critical. Then it's about how you creatively use that information." Soboyejo also said that WPI's project-based curriculum, along with the CTL's PSI and PMI modules, creates a new teaching and learning paradigm for African schools. "A problem-solving approach used in materials science helps students," he says. "A diversion from the way things have always been done leads to great things." Bob Goodman, Executive Director of the New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning, reflected on the delegates' shared vision: "We are tremendously inspired by the opportunity to collaborate with an esteemed group of educational leaders from throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, along with the World Bank and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, to share our preliminary successes in customizing PSI and PMI to address the unique needs of The Gambia's students and teachers." Vice President of the Africa Region, World Bank, Makhtar Diop, welcomed the initiative. "Science and technology are a priority for the Africa strategy of the World Bank. This initiative will help countries in Africa leapfrog as they improve students' learning in and understanding of mathematics and science." Lynne Sherburne-Benz, Senior Regional Adviser, Africa Region World Bank, highlighted the importance of the regional dimension of the initiative. "The MS4SSA collaboration aims specifically to utilize and build African expertise institutions, so that it can help other African institutions improve their capacity to improve teaching of mathematics and science in schools across the continent. The World Bank has successfully supported a number of regional initiatives, and we want this one to grow and expand rapidly." The participating African delegates expressed their excitement about the modules, and indicated their strong desire to return to their countries to train other trainers on the use of the CTL and WPI modules, which have the potential to stimulate the next generation of Africans to pursue STEM fields and build a highly skilled workforce. Several delegates noted that demonstrations, including one highlighting inexpensive ways to introduce robotics curriculum into the classroom, were particularly inspiring, as the hands-on excitement of robotics is highly engaging for young students. The final two days of the workshop included African delegates' reflections on potential strategies for the roll out of implementation plans the countries had developed during the workshop. About The World Bank With 189 member countries, staff from more 170 countries, and offices in over 130 locations, the World Bank Group is a unique global partnership: five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries. The World Bank is one of the largest external education financiers for developing countries, managing a portfolio of $14 billion, with operations in 76 countries as of June 2015. About Worcester Polytechnic Institute Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI is one of the nation's first engineering and technology universities. Its 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. WPI's talented faculty work with students on interdisciplinary research that seeks solutions to important and socially relevant problems in fields as diverse as the life sciences and bioengineering, energy, information security, materials processing, and robotics. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university's innovative Global Projects Program. There are more than 40 WPI project centers throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. About CTL The New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to empower teachers to lead change so that all children have access to a high quality education. CTL believes the best way to improve education is to invest in teachers by creating changes that make their work less isolated, simpler, more effective, and less stressful. This belief has propelled CTL to an unparalleled track record in rapidly increasing the supply of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teachers and advancing student STEM attainment. The New Jersey Education Association created the organization in 2007; and its support and participation continues today. Learn more at: https://njctl.org To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sub-saharan-african-educators-partner-with-new-jersey-center-for-teaching-and-learning-world-bank-and-worcester-polytechnic-institute-to-strengthen-stem-education-300467451.html SOURCE The New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning


News Article | May 24, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

"Pure Storage has built the data platform for the cloud era," said Pure Storage CEO Scott Dietzen. "We are pursuing one of the biggest available markets in tech in supporting new data-driven applications including AI, the rapid adoption of cloud computing and the revamping of the enterprise data center. With our best year of innovation yet, we could not be more excited about the road ahead." "Q1 was a strong quarter for Pure, with our results notably exceeding both top line and bottom line guidance," said Pure Storage CFO Tim Riitters. "We continue to drive strong year over year improvement in operating leverage as we drive to our $1 billion full year revenue target." In the quarter, approximately 300 new customers joined Pure Storage, increasing the total to more than 3,350 organizations, including nearly 25% of the Fortune 500. New customer wins in the quarter include: Churchill Downs Incorporated, Fujitsu Cloud Technologies, Henry Schein, Inc., telecommunications and Cloud IaaS service provider IP Telecom, MacStadium, Oppenheimer & Co. and Securitas Direct. New FlashBlade customer wins include: Black Duck Software, the City of Davenport and nuclear power plant KKG. The following tables summarize our consolidated financial results for the fiscal quarters ended April 30, 2017 and 2016 ($ in millions except per share amounts, unaudited): A reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP information is provided at the end of this release. Pure Storage's second quarter fiscal 2018 guidance is as follows: Pure Storage's full year fiscal 2018 guidance is as follows: All forward-looking non-GAAP financial measures contained in this section titled "Financial Outlook" exclude stock-based compensation expense, payroll tax expense related to stock-based activities and, as applicable, other special items. We have not reconciled guidance for non-GAAP gross margin and non-GAAP operating margin to their most directly comparable GAAP measures because such items that impact these measures are not within our control and/or cannot be reasonably predicted. Accordingly, a reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measure guidance to the corresponding GAAP measures is not available without unreasonable effort. Pure Storage will host a teleconference to discuss the first quarter fiscal 2018 results at 1:30 p.m. (PT) on May 24, 2017. Pure Storage will post its supplemental earnings presentation to the investor relations website at investor.purestorage.com following the conference call. Teleconference details are as follows: Pure Storage has posted a blog from its CEO discussing first quarter fiscal 2018 results at investor.purestorage.com and blog.purestorage.com. Pure Storage will hold its 2017 annual meeting of stockholders on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. (PT). The meeting will be held virtually, via live webcast at www.virtualshareholdermeeting.com/PSTG2017. The record date for the meeting was April 25, 2017, and only stockholders of record on that date are eligible to participate in the meeting. Other interested persons may listen to the live webcast of the meeting and can view the 2017 proxy statement and Annual Report on Form 10-K at investor.purestorage.com. Pure Storage will host its 2017 investor day from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (PT) on June 13, 2017, in conjunction with its second annual technology conference, Pure//Accelerate. A live video webcast will be available at investor.purestorage.com. This event is designed for financial analysts and institutional investors. Building upon a successful inaugural Pure//Accelerate last year, the 2017 conference will feature guest speakers from technology giants such as Cisco and VMware; marquee brands including Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One and The World Bank; cutting-edge scientific minds from the UC Berkeley AMPLab; and Jeffrey Ma of the infamous MIT Blackjack Team. Pure//Accelerate will be held June 12-14, 2017 at Pier 70 in San Francisco. Pure Storage (NYSE: PSTG) helps companies push the boundaries of what's possible. Pure's end-to-end data platform – including FlashArray, FlashBlade and our converged offering with Cisco, FlashStack – is powered by innovative software that's cloud-connected for management from anywhere on a mobile device and supported by the Evergreen business model. The company's all-flash based technology, combined with its customer-friendly business model, drives business and IT transformation with solutions that are effortless, efficient and evergreen. With Pure's industry leading Satmetrix-certified NPS score of 83.5, Pure customers are some of the happiest in the world, and include organizations of all sizes, across an ever-expanding range of industries. Connect with Pure Storage: Read the blog  Converse on Twitter  Follow on LinkedIn Pure Storage, Evergreen, FlashBlade, FlashStack and the "P" Logo mark are trademarks of Pure Storage, Inc. All other trademarks or names referenced in this document are the property of their respective owners. This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding our products, business and operations, including our expectations regarding technology differentiation, our current and future opportunities and ability to execute for continued growth and industry leadership, and our outlook for the second quarter and full year fiscal 2018 and statements regarding our products, business, operations and results, including progress toward profitability. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are based on potentially inaccurate assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expected or implied by the forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from the results predicted, and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from the results predicted include, among others, those risks and uncertainties included under the captions "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in our filings and reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 31, 2017, which are available on our investor relations website at investor.purestorage.com and on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. Additional information will also be set forth in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended April 30, 2017. All information provided in this release and in the attachments is as of May 24, 2017, and we undertake no duty to update this information unless required by law. To supplement our condensed consolidated financial statements, which are prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP, we use the following non-GAAP financial measures: non-GAAP gross profit, non-GAAP gross margin, non-GAAP operating loss, non-GAAP operating margin, non-GAAP net loss, non-GAAP net loss per share, free cash flow, and free cash flow as a percentage of revenue. In computing these non-GAAP financial measures, we exclude the effects of stock-based compensation expense and payroll tax expense related to stock-based activities. The presentation of this financial information is not intended to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for, or superior to, the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP. We use these non-GAAP financial measures for financial and operational decision-making and as a means to evaluate period-to-period comparisons. Our management believes that these non-GAAP financial measures provide meaningful supplemental information regarding our performance and liquidity by excluding certain expenses and expenditures such as stock-based compensation expense that may not be indicative of our ongoing core business operating results. We believe that both management and investors benefit from referring to these non-GAAP financial measures in assessing our performance and when analyzing historical performance and liquidity and planning, forecasting, and analyzing future periods. The presentation of these non-GAAP financial measures is not meant to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for our financial results prepared in accordance with GAAP, and our non-GAAP measures may be different from non-GAAP measures used by other companies. For a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP measures, please see the tables captioned "Reconciliations of non-GAAP results of operations to the nearest comparable GAAP measures" and "Reconciliation from net cash provided by (used in) operating activities to free cash flow," included at the end of this release. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pure-storage-announces-first-quarter-fiscal-2018-financial-results-300463432.html


News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Could the blossoming fintech scene in Andhra Pradesh turn this coastal state in southern India into the next Silicon Valley? India has a reputation for producing the world’s best technology experts, millions of whom flock to global tech epicenters like California. But a few years from now, could a coastal region in southern India become the next Silicon Valley? The global tech industry is undergoing a transformation. U.S. President Donald Trump’s outlook on foreign workers is disrupting Silicon Valley norms. A study by the Economic Policy Institute found the majority of H-1B workers "are employed in occupations related to computers and information technology,” with most of these tech workers hailing from India. CNBC reported Indian workers make up about 70 percent of foreign-born tech experts in the U.S., citing Goldman Sachs’ estimates in 2015. Recent rumors of massive offshoring layoffs in India gave the community a new imperative, which Quartz called a “re-skill or perish” mantra. But Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a plan. India is now investing in a domestic blockchain ecosystem, including academic training programs, initiatives at the Indian Central Bank and public support for startup accelerators. “From the government’s perspective, there’s a huge push for a startup ecosystem,” NT Arunkumar, CEO of Fintech Valley in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, told the International Business Times. ”There’s a concentrated effort to make a fintech valley in Andhra Pradesh.” Last year, India started a nationwide push to make digital banking more accessible and encourage unbanked citizens to join Indian financial institutions. It started with demonetization, which made most of the old rupee notes worthless and forced citizens to trade them for new currency at official banks. Quartz reported the push created 9.1 million new taxpayers, reducing India’s stockpile of unaccounted wealth. Now the government is experimenting with blockchain technology as it looks to streamline expansive financial infrastructure. “With blockchain, how does this open up financial inclusion to so many citizens that are unbanked?” Arunkumar asked. “We want to accelerate financial inclusion. We can’t do that unless we are all working on one platform.” There are now dozens of new blockchain firms sprouting up across India. Mumbai hosted India’s first international blockchain hackathon in May and there already are plans to host a bigger fintech event in October, a Blockchain Summit sponsored by the government of Andhra Pradesh. “This is initiated by the government, but we want private sector participation,” Arunkumar said. So authorities are working with Visa to make Visakhapatnam, the financial capital of Andhra Pradesh, into the region’s first “less cash” city. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu tweeted in February that Yes Bank, one of the first Indian banks to implement blockchain technology, is keen on setting up a fintech park in the new state capital Amaravati. Indian fintech influencers aren't the only companies eyeing the prospects. “India is a very interesting market for us because there is this huge, massive amount of mobile money enablement going on right now,” Stefan Thomas, chief technology officer at the fintech company Ripple Inc., told IBT. “There’s interesting infrastructure in India, with the identity system that they have, where identities are actually tied to bank accounts.” India, with its $2 trillion economy including over a billion people, is also one of the world’s top remittance recipients. The World Bank reported ex-pat Indian workers sent $62.7 billion home to India in 2016. That’s why Ripple’s blockchain-inspired fintech solutions was a perfect fit for Indian banks like Yes Bank and Axis Bank. “We don’t want to stop there,” Thomas said. “We will expand in India.” On the cryptocurrency front, Ripple has an additional partnership with the Hyderabad-based digital currency exchange BTCXIndia. Arunkumar said government efforts are also looking into blockchain land registries and smart contracts, as well as blockchain solutions for government transparency and biometric ID cards. That blockchain biometric system, called Aadhaar, uses the basic concept of blockchain ledgers with identity keys and uses it to make ID cards that are almost impervious to fraud. Aadhaar, which is already enrolling citizens across India, assigns each person a unique 12-digit number. The number is stored in a central database along with biometrics like iris scans and fingerprints. If an Indian resident wants to open a bank account, for example, he presents the ID card and has his iris scanned. The Harvard Business Review said this program is “by far the largest and most comprehensive adoption of biometrics technology by any government in the world.” Eric Piscini, head of global blockchain financial services at the consultancy firm Deloitte, told IBT his company has a team of blockchain developers in India and sees the Indian market as ripe for fintech expansion. Working in a developing nation offers the advantage of installing the newest technology and watching regulation mature along with the industry, rather than trying to reform established infrastructure. “Especially in India, the letter of credit market is very paper-based,” he explained. “Let’s make sure every participant is receiving value from being on the blockchain.” A recent Deloitte study claimed Asia has quietly become the center of global economic growth through tech innovation. India has a layered approach for rising to the top: attracting international power players and building up local talent. Modi’s Digital India plan aims to overhaul the country completely by 2020. Although there have certainly been missteps, demonetization sparked demonstrations and riots across the country, the digitization efforts are quickly yielding results. Mastercard announced earlier this year expanding digital payment options in India was one of the company’s top priorities. According to the Economic Times, government initiative to support local startup hubs recently gave India the third highest number of startup incubators and accelerators in the world. And fintech is the beating heart of India's tech revolution. Just this week the Indian mobile payment startup Paytm attracted a $1.4 billion investment from Japan's SoftBank Corp. “We want to be home to the best blockchain, fintech companies,” Arunkumar said. “In two to five years, we see ourselves being the global hub of fintech.” Read: Fundraising With Initial Coin Offerings Hot New Trend Among Blockchain Startups These Women Are Making Blockchain More Inclusive


News Article | June 28, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GenePeeks, Inc., a computational genomics company focused on transforming genetic disease risk analysis, today announced a new partnership with The World Egg Bank to bring GenePeeks Preconception Screen to even more families around the world. The World Egg Bank, the longest operating egg bank in the US, is a premier egg donation program headquartered in Arizona with affiliates in New York, London and Boston. “ We are thrilled to add The World Egg Bank to our growing list of partners, with its legacy of innovation and outstanding support for intended parents,” said Anne Morriss, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of GenePeeks. “ This partnership continues to expand families’ access to our advanced analytics and visibility into the true risk that a prospective child could inherit any one of more than a 1000 serious diseases.” GenePeeks is The World Egg Bank’s exclusive provider of advanced genetic screening services. Prospective parents using the services of The World Egg Bank may now choose from donors identified as “GenePeeks Ready,” saving significant time in their fertility journey. Completing the GenePeeks Preconception Screen before fertilization will help families better understand their future child’s risk of disease inheritance and provide them with critical genetic risk information to make a more informed donor selection. “ Increasingly, we see growing awareness of genetic disease risk and demand for better safeguards,” said Diana Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of The World Egg Bank. “ We have a deep commitment to bring advanced reproductive technologies to our families and are excited to now add GenePeeks Preconception Screen to our suite of services.” Preconception care and testing for intended parents is a growing global marketplace. According to The World Health Organization (WHO), there is increasing demand for preconception care in both developed and emerging countries. Preconception screening programs are being launched worldwide to help potential parents better understand their risk of a child being born with a genetic disorder.1 About GenePeeks’ Technology GenePeeks’ comprehensive approach, called Virtual Progeny Analytics (VPA), uniquely integrates simulated DNA information from two genetic participants to predict the future genome of a child prior to conception. For every mutation in these hypothetical genomes, the company computes a proprietary Variant Gene Dysfunction (VGD) score that predicts gene function and associated disease risk. This next generation approach allows GenePeeks to cover an expanded number of diseases with increased sensitivity and evaluate variants that may remain uncharacterized by other genetic tests, while avoiding the confusion and anxiety that can be associated with carrier testing. In contrast to carrier screening, which identifies parental carrier status, GenePeeks focuses on a future child’s true risk of disease inheritance. GenePeeks offers this physician-ordered service through its CLIA certified clinical laboratory. About GenePeeks GenePeeks is a computational genomics company focused on identifying inherited disease risk in future generations. GenePeeks’ patented technology digitally combines the genetic information of two potential parents, simulating the complex genetic interactions that occur naturally in human reproduction. The company’s proprietary platform creates and analyzes thousands of Virtual Progeny to uncover disease risk that cannot be seen with alternative screening tools. GenePeeks offers this physician-ordered service through its CLIA certified clinical laboratory. GenePeeks is privately held, with corporate offices in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, visit www.genepeeks.com GenePeeks’ next-generation screening technology is available today. For more information about becoming a partner, please contact support@genepeeks.com About The World Egg Bank As the highly sought-after, first egg bank, The World Egg Bank (TWEB) is the premier center for egg vitrification. TWEB sets high industry standards for egg quality and in cultivating close relationships with egg donors, recipients, and clinics both domestically and internationally. TWEB’s singular focus on egg donation, operating out of a state of the art facility, has proven to further improve egg quality. By providing and maintaining quality controlled monitoring, procedures, and environment, The World Egg Bank has a record of high pregnancy rates supported by a large body of pregnancy data from clinics, large or small, around the world. TWEB’s expanded donor roster includes over 400 donors and currently holds thousands of frozen eggs available for immediate shipment. The World Egg Bank, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is able to support egg donors, recipients, and clinics no matter the distance. For more information, visit www.theworldeggbank.com/ 1Saffi M, Howard N, Exploring the Effectiveness of Mandatory Premarital Screening and Genetic Counselling Programmes for β-Thalassaemia in the Middle East: A Scoping Review. Public Health Genomics 2015; 18:193-203.


The global air ambulance services market is expected to reach USD 8.2 billion by 2025 Increasing incidents of life-threatening diseases, such as cardiovascular disorders, that require emergency medical response support the lucrative growth of the market over the forecast period. In addition, increasing awareness about air medical transport services also spurs growth of this market. Furthermore, Availability of reimbursement in developed countries, such as the U.S., helps people avail these services despite the high cost. Improving global economy led to increased spending, which resulted in increased spending on healthcare. The per capita healthcare expenditure has increased exponentially over the last couple of decades. This per capita health expenditure increased by about 55.0% from 1996 to 2014 as published by The World Bank Group. As a result, the demand for these services has been increasing over the forecast period. This industry is capital intensive, yet there exhibits constant entry of new players, which has helped maintain the supply-demand balance in fierce market place. For instance, in 2012 there were more than 300 players operating in this space with around 1,300 aircrafts, and this number is likely to increase over the forecast period. Further key findings from the study suggest: Key Topics Covered: 1. Methodology and Scope 2. Executive Summary 3. Air Ambulance Services Market Variables, Trends & Scope 3.1. Market Segmentation & Scope 3.2. Market Driver Analysis 3.3. Penetration & Growth Prospect Mapping 3.4. SWOT Analysis, by Factor 3.5. Industry Analysis - Porter's 4. Air Ambulance Services: Type Estimates & Trend Analysis 4.1. Air Ambulance Services Market Share, 2016 & 2025 4.2. Market Size, Estimates & Forecasts and Trend Analyses, 2014 to 2025 for the following types: 4.2.1. Rotary-wings 4.2.2. Fixed-wings 5. Air Ambulance Services: Services Model Estimates & Trend Analysis 5.1. Air Ambulance Services Market Share, by Service Model 2016 & 2025 5.2. Market Size, Estimates & Forecasts and Trend Analyses, 2014 to 2025 for the following service model 5.2.1. Hospital based 5.2.2. Community based 6. Air Ambulance Services: Regional Estimates & Trend Analysis 7. Competitive Landscape For more information about this report visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4w3fng/air_ambulance Research and Markets Laura Wood, Senior Manager press@researchandmarkets.com For E.S.T Office Hours Call +1-917-300-0470 For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call +1-800-526-8630 For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900 U.S. Fax: 646-607-1907 Fax (outside U.S.): +353-1-481-1716 To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/air-ambulance-services-market-2014-2017--forecasts-to-2025-focus-on-types-rotary-wing-fixed-wing--service-model-community-based-hospital-based---research-and-markets-300464606.html


The forthcoming InsiderScope panel discussion ‘Reinsurance: survival tactics in a brutal market’ on 9 May 2017 is timely. The Insurance Industry is being hammered relentlessly by the devastating effects of manmade climate change and the resulting claims payouts. At PAL, we estimate that the percentage increase in insured loss and damage attributable to global warming is about 20%. This is increasing at about half a percent per year. By 2025 it will be an eye-watering 25%. And yet Government reacts by levying evermore punitive taxes on the very enterprise that can save it money. Unsurprisingly, most insurers’ response is to retreat: to reduce cover and increase premiums. Whilst providing a temporary sticking plaster to staunch the cash flow, this can never treat the wound. In fact, it makes a bad situation worse: in a world where most of its population is uninsured, this response by insurers will only increase their number. Therefore governments (i.e. their tax payers) have to finance reparation for these disasters, often against a backdrop of existing economic and political crises. Again, the resulting fallout can be an economic disaster in itself. What if we could offer reparation to the insurance industry in recognition of the losses they risk incurring as a result of climate change? They could then innovate, perhaps using micro-insurance policies to provide affordable cover to citizens across the globe – inclusive of disaster compensation. This would encourage far more people to insure, while governments would no longer have to underwrite unforeseen catastrophes, and would thus be able to plan with more confidence. This is no ‘Pie in the Sky’ proposal. It is fully documented in PAL’s book ‘Predicting The Price Of Carbon: How to crack the climate change code for good’, by my colleague Richard Clarke, Director (Research) at PAL. It espouses not only a practical approach but also a radical rethink to tackling manmade climate change and how to mitigate its effects for the good of future generations. This model is financially sustainable and can be rolled out internationally today. It can for the blueprint for a modern perspective of our world, by: developing a science-based method which evaluates the price of carbon – which currently should be about $15-20/tonne; arguing that the global levying of this ‘carbon charge’ should be the responsibility of the World Bank; and proposing that fully 30% of this revenue should be allocated to the worldwide Insurance Industry as shown in the pie chart below. Carbon dioxide is by far the biggest cause of climate change. By evaluating the price of carbon, a market mechanism is created. This results in a vital feedback signal that automatically corrects the hitherto widespread practice of emitting carbon for free. Richard’s book demonstrates how the price of carbon can be scientifically determined by analysing the damage attributable to manmade climate change. This is shown to be currently around $15-20/tonne CO . The World Bank must surely be the agency for collecting this as a “carbon tax”. The revenue should then be fairly distributed by emulating, in part, the British Columbia Carbon Tax system. Richard advocates using the resulting revenue for four realistic ‘AIMS’, whereby allocations will be directed to Adaptation (e.g. flood protection); Insurance (ensuring viability); Mitigation (e.g. solar panels, wind turbines and carbon capture) and to Social dividend (a per capita allowance, to make the tax fair across all income levels). This remarkable, ground-breaking approach offers practical solutions, real hope and a sustainable future to a world threatened by natural disasters which are already beyond our current ability to control them. Instead of hammering the Insurance Industry with punitive taxes, we must tax CO emissions and pay 30% of the resultant revenue to recompense those insurers who are carrying the can for manmade climate change. The post The Insurance Industry is already hammered by climate change – to punish it with heavy taxes is madness appeared first on PAL Carbon Pricing.


Jolliffe D.,The World Bank
Economics and Human Biology | Year: 2011

Contrary to conventional wisdom, NHANES data indicate that the poor have never had a statistically significant higher prevalence of overweight status at any time in the last 35 years. Despite this empirical evidence, the view that the poor are less healthy in terms of excess accumulation of fat persists. This paper provides evidence that conventional wisdom is reflecting important differences in the relationship between income and the body mass index. The first finding is based on distribution-sensitive measures of overweight which indicates that the severity of overweight has been higher for the poor than the nonpoor throughout the last 35 years. The second finding is from a newly introduced estimator, unconditional quantile regression (UQR), which provides a measure of the income-gradient in BMI at different points on the unconditional BMI distribution. The UQR estimator indicates that the strongest relationship between income and BMI is observed at the tails of the distribution. There is a statistically significant negative income gradient in BMI at the obesity threshold and some evidence of a positive gradient at the underweight threshold. Both of these UQR estimates imply that for those at the tails of the BMI distribution, increases in income are correlated with healthier BMI values. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Kim J.Y.,The World Bank | Farmer P.,Brigham and Women's Hospital | Porter M.E.,Harvard University
The Lancet | Year: 2013

Initiatives to address the unmet needs of those facing both poverty and serious illness have expanded significantly over the past decade. But many of them are designed in an ad-hoc manner to address one health problem among many; they are too rarely assessed; best practices spread slowly. When assessments of delivery do occur, they are often narrow studies of the cost-effectiveness of a single intervention rather than the complex set of them required to deliver value to patients and their families. We propose a framework for global health-care delivery and evaluation by considering efforts to introduce HIV/AIDS care to resource-poor settings. The framework introduces the notion of care delivery value chains that apply a systems-level analysis to the complex processes and interventions that must occur, across a health-care system and over time, to deliver high-value care for patients with HIV/AIDS and cooccurring conditions, from tuberculosis to malnutrition. To deliver value, vertical or stand-alone projects must be integrated into shared delivery infrastructure so that personnel and facilities are used wisely and economies of scale reaped. Two other integrative processes are necessary for delivering and assessing value in global health: one is the alignment of delivery with local context by incorporating knowledge of both barriers to good outcomes (from poor nutrition to a lack of water and sanitation) and broader social and economic determinants of health and wellbeing (jobs, housing, physical infrastructure). The second is the use of effective investments in care delivery to promote equitable economic development, especially for those struggling against poverty and high burdens of disease. We close by reporting our own shared experience of seeking to move towards a science of delivery by harnessing research and training to understand and improve care delivery. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Skeptics point out, with some justification, that the nuclear industry's prospects were dimmed by escalating costs long before Fukushima. If history is any guide, one direct consequence of the calamity in Japan will be more stringent safety requirements and regulatory delays that will inevitably increase the costs of nuclear power and further undermine its economic viability. For nuclear power to play a major role in meeting the future global energy needs and mitigating the threat of climate change, the hazards of another Fukushima and the construction delays and costs escalation that have plagued the industry will have to be substantially reduced. One promising direction for nuclear development might be to downsize reactors from the gigawatt scale to less-complex smaller units that are more affordable. Small modular reactors (SMRs) are scalable nuclear power plant designs that promise to reduce investment risks through incremental capacity expansion; become more standardized and reduce costs through accelerated learning effects; and address concerns about catastrophic events, since they contain substantially smaller radioactive inventory. Given their lower capital requirements and small size, which makes them suitable for small electric grids, SMRs can more effectively address the energy needs of small developing countries. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Khandker S.R.,The World Bank
Journal of Development Economics | Year: 2012

Seasonal food deprivation in Bangladesh, locally known as. Monga, sometimes rises to the level of famine during the pre-harvest period of. aman rice. An analysis of household income and expenditure survey data shows that income and consumption are lower during Monga than in other seasons, and that seasonal income greatly influences seasonal consumption. Econometric estimates reject the hypothesis of perfect consumption smoothing. In the northwestern region of greater Rangpur, rural households suffer disproportionately from Monga. Seasonal differences in poverty across regions are due mainly to differences in household-specific seasonality of income and consumption. Income diversification explains the lower incidence of income seasonality observed in non-Rangpur regions. To contain seasonal hunger in greater Rangpur, public policies should promote rural income diversification together with seasonal migration. A flexible microfinance scheme that provides both production and consumption loans on flexible repayment terms could help diversify income and reduce seasonality of income and poverty. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

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