Political Science

Human Development Report 2015 | ,

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This report takes a broad view of the link between work and human development. Work is a critical tool for economic growth and security, poverty reduction and gender equality. It enables full participation in society while affording people a sense of dignity and worth. Humans working together not only increase their material well-being, they also accumulate a wide body of knowledge that serves as the basis for cultures and civilizations. The report finds that work enhances human development when policies are taken to expand productive, remunerative and satisfying work opportunities. Workers' skills and potentials are enhanced, their well-being in terms of rights, safety and benefits are ensured with targeted interventions, and an agenda incorporating decent work, a new Social Contract and a Global Deal is pursued..

Social Science

What Works in Girls' Education | Gene B Sperling,Rebecca Winthrop

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Hard-headed evidence on why the returns from investing in girls are so high that no nation or family can afford not to educate their girls. Gene Sperling, author of the seminal 2004 report published by the Council on Foreign Relations, and Rebecca Winthrop, director of the Center for Universal Education, have written this definitive book on the importance of girls’ education. As Malala Yousafzai expresses in her foreword, the idea that any child could be denied an education due to poverty, custom, the law, or terrorist threats is just wrong and unimaginable. More than 1,000 studies have provided evidence that high-quality girls’ education around the world leads to wide-ranging returns: Better outcomes in economic areas of growth and incomes Reduced rates of infant and maternal mortality Reduced rates of child marriage Reduced rates of the incidence of HIV/AIDS and malaria Increased agricultural productivity Increased resilience to natural disasters Women’s empowerment What Works in Girls’ Education is a compelling work for both concerned global citizens, and any academic, expert, nongovernmental organization (NGO) staff member, policymaker, or journalist seeking to dive into the evidence and policies on girls’ education..

Business & Economics

The Growth Report | Commission on Growth and Development

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The result of two years work by 19 experienced policymakers and two Nobel prize-winning economists, 'The Growth Report' is the most complete analysis to date of the ingredients which, if used in the right country-specific recipe, can deliver growth and help lift populations out of poverty..

Computers

Machine Learning | Kevin P. Murphy

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A comprehensive introduction to machine learning that uses probabilistic models and inference as a unifying approach. Today's Web-enabled deluge of electronic data calls for automated methods of data analysis. Machine learning provides these, developing methods that can automatically detect patterns in data and then use the uncovered patterns to predict future data. This textbook offers a comprehensive and self-contained introduction to the field of machine learning, based on a unified, probabilistic approach. The coverage combines breadth and depth, offering necessary background material on such topics as probability, optimization, and linear algebra as well as discussion of recent developments in the field, including conditional random fields, L1 regularization, and deep learning. The book is written in an informal, accessible style, complete with pseudo-code for the most important algorithms. All topics are copiously illustrated with color images and worked examples drawn from such application domains as biology, text processing, computer vision, and robotics. Rather than providing a cookbook of different heuristic methods, the book stresses a principled model-based approach, often using the language of graphical models to specify models in a concise and intuitive way. Almost all the models described have been implemented in a MATLAB software package—PMTK (probabilistic modeling toolkit)—that is freely available online. The book is suitable for upper-level undergraduates with an introductory-level college math background and beginning graduate students..

Business & Economics

Moving Out of Poverty | Deepa Narayan,Patti Petesch

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There is no peace with hunger. Only promises and promises and no fulfillment. If there is no job, there is no peace. If there is nothing to cook in the pot, there is no peace. - Oscar, a 57-year-old man, El Gorri n, Colombia They want to construct their houses near the road, and they cannot do that if they do not have peace with their enemies. So peace and the road have developed a symbiotic relation. One cannot live without the other. . . . - A community leader from a conflict-affected community on the island of Mindanao, Philippines Most conflict studies focus on the national level, but this volume focuses on the community level. It explores how communities experience and recover from violent conflict, and the surprising opportunities that can emerge for poor people to move out of poverty in these harsh contexts. 'Rising from the Ashes of Conflict' reveals how poor people s mobility is shaped by local democracy, people s associations, aid strategies, and the local economic environment in over 100 communities in seven conflict-affected countries, including Afghanistan. The findings suggest the need to rethink postconflict development assistance. This is the fourth volume in a series derived from the Moving Out of Poverty study, which explores mobility from the perspectives of poor people in more than 500 communities across 15 countries..

Business & Economics

Advancing Human Development | Frances Stewart,Gustav Ranis,Emma Samman

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Human Development has been advocated as the prime development goal since 1990, when the publication of the first UNDP Human Development Report proposed that development should improve the lives people lead in multiple dimensions instead of primarily pursuing economic growth. This approach forms the foundation of Advancing Human Development: Theory and Practice. It traces the evolution of approaches to development, showing how the Human Development approach emerged as a consequence of defects in earlier strategies. Advancing Human Development argues that Human Development is superior to measures of societal happiness. It investigates the determinants of success and failure in Human Development across countries over the past forty years, taking a multidimensional approach to point to the importance of social institutions and social capabilities as essential aspects of change. It analyses political conditions underlying the performance of Human Development, and surveys global progress in multiple dimensions such as life expectancy, infant mortality, and education and outcomes, whilst reflecting on dimensions which have worsened over time, such as rising inequality and declining environmental conditions. These deteriorating conditions inform Advancing Human Development's account of the challenges to the Human Development approach, covering the insufficient attention paid to macroeconomic conditions and the economic structure needed for sustained success..

Arctic peoples

Arctic Human Development Report | Joan Nymand Larsen,Gail Fondahl

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The goals of the second volume of the AHDR – Arctic Human Development Report: Regional Processes and Global Linkages – are to provide an update to the first AHDR (2004) in terms of an assessment of the state of Arctic human development; to highlight the major trends and changes unfolding related to the various issues and thematic areas of human development in the Arctic over the past decade; and, based on this assessment, to identify policy relevant conclusions and key gaps in knowledge, new and emerging Arctic success stories. The production of AHDR-II on the tenth anniversary of the first AHDR makes it possible to move beyond the baseline assessment to make valuable comparisons and contrasts across a decade of persistent and rapid change in the North. It addresses critical issues and emerging challenges in Arctic living conditions, quality of life in the North, global change impacts and adaptation, and Indigenous livelihoods. The assessment contributes to our understanding of the interplay and consequences of physical and social change processes affecting Arctic residents’ quality of life, at both the regional and global scales. It shows that the Arctic is not a homogenous region. Impacts of globalization and environmental change differ within and between regions, between Indigenous and non-Indigenous northerners, between genders and along other axes..

Political Science

Transformation Index BTI 2018 | Bertelsmann Stiftung

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Managing the peaceful transition of authoritarian states to democracy and a market-economic system represents a tremendous challenge. Whether it comes to reconstituting the coherency of the state following armed conflict, expanding participation rights and the rule of law in emerging democracies, overcoming corrupt structures, fighting poverty and inequality, or establishing clear rules for stable market-economic competition, the requirements are enormous, and the pressure on responsible leaders is intense. After all, the quality of governance makes an essential contribution to the success or failure of transformation processes. The Bertelsmann Stiftung's Transformation Index (BTI) thus systematically places political decision-makers' steering capability at the heart of its analysis and, as a result, is the only index in the world that measures and compares the quality of governance with self-collected data. This is done in the firm conviction that the ongoing comparative study of transformation processes is invaluable for the successful design of reforms and holds enormous global potential to learn from different political strategies for steering change, even though diverse traditions, power configurations, resources and cultures necessarily make each transformation process unique. The BTI measures and compares transition processes in 129 transformation countries with data collected between 2015 and 2017 and establishes their global rating based on detailed country reports. Now in its eighth edition, it offers the opportunity to understand long-term trends and global developments through the analysis of time-series data. The spotlight on current developments is thus complemented by a decade of data that captures the most varied transformation processes and puts into perspective recent progress and setbacks on the way to democracy and a market economy..

Social Science

World Social Report 2020 | Department of Economic and Social Affairs

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This report examines the links between inequality and other major global trends (or megatrends), with a focus on technological change, climate change, urbanization and international migration. The analysis pays particular attention to poverty and labour market trends, as they mediate the distributional impacts of the major trends selected. It also provides policy recommendations to manage these megatrends in an equitable manner and considers the policy implications, so as to reduce inequalities and support their implementation..

Business & Economics

The Development Dictionary | Wolfgang Sachs

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In this classic collection, some of the world's most eminent critics of development review the key concepts of the development discourse. Each essay examines one concept from a historical and anthropological point of view, highlights its particular bias, and exposes its historical obsolescence and intellectual sterility. The authors argue that a bidding farewell to the whole Eurocentric development idea is urgently needed, in order to liberate people's minds in both North and South for bold responses to the environmental and ethical challenges now confronting humanity. The combined result forms a must-read invitation to experts, grassroots movements and students of development to recognize the tainted glasses they put on whenever they participate in the development discourse..

Business & Economics

Diversified Development | Indermit S. Gill,Ivailo Izvorski,Willem van Eeghen,Donato De Rosa

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Eurasian economies have to become efficient more productive, job-creating, and stable. But efficiency is not the same as diversification. Governments need to worry less about the composition of exports and production and more about asset portfolios natural resources, built capital, and economic institutions..

Science

Factfulness | Hans Rosling,Anna Rosling Rönnlund,Ola Rosling

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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “One of the most important books I’ve ever read—an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.” – Bill Gates “Hans Rosling tells the story of ‘the secret silent miracle of human progress’ as only he can. But Factfulness does much more than that. It also explains why progress is so often secret and silent and teaches readers how to see it clearly.” —Melinda Gates "Factfulness by Hans Rosling, an outstanding international public health expert, is a hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases." - Former U.S. President Barack Obama Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts. When asked simple questions about global trends—what percentage of the world’s population live in poverty; why the world’s population is increasing; how many girls finish school—we systematically get the answers wrong. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess teachers, journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers. In Factfulness, Professor of International Health and global TED phenomenon Hans Rosling, together with his two long-time collaborators, Anna and Ola, offers a radical new explanation of why this happens. They reveal the ten instincts that distort our perspective—from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version of us and them) to the way we consume media (where fear rules) to how we perceive progress (believing that most things are getting worse). Our problem is that we don’t know what we don’t know, and even our guesses are informed by unconscious and predictable biases. It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think. That doesn’t mean there aren’t real concerns. But when we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most. Inspiring and revelatory, filled with lively anecdotes and moving stories, Factfulness is an urgent and essential book that will change the way you see the world and empower you to respond to the crises and opportunities of the future. --- “This book is my last battle in my life-long mission to fight devastating ignorance...Previously I armed myself with huge data sets, eye-opening software, an energetic learning style and a Swedish bayonet for sword-swallowing. It wasn’t enough. But I hope this book will be.” Hans Rosling, February 2017..