Middle East and North Africa http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/taxonomy/term/252/all en What kind of evidence might persuade people to change their minds on refugees? http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/what-kind-evidence-might-persuade-people-change-their-minds-refugees <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> Oxfam Humanitarian Policy Adviser <a href="https://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/blog/author/ed-cairns" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Ed Cairns</a> reflects on using evidence to influence the treatment of refugees.<br /><br /> Who thinks that governments decide what to do on refugees after carefully considering the evidence? Not many, I suspect. So it was an interesting to be asked to talk about that at the  <a href="https://views-voices.oxfam.org.uk/methodology/research/2017/10/evidence-influencing-excited-first-oxfam-research-network-conference/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">‘Evidence for Influencing’</a>conference <a href="http://oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/how-can-ngos-get-better-at-using-evidence-to-influence-governments-and-companies/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Duncan wrote about</a> last week.<br /><br /> When I think what influences refugee policy, I’m reminded of a meeting I had in Whitehall on Friday 4 September, two days after the three-year-old Syrian boy,<span> </span><span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Alan_Kurdi" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><span>Alan Kurdi</span></a></span><span>, </span>had drowned.  Oxfam and other NGOs had been invited in to talk about refugees. The UK officials found out what their policy was by watching Prime Minister David Cameron on their phones, as he <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34148913" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">overturned the UK’s refusal to resettle thousands of Syrians</a> in a press conference in Lisbon.  Even then, he and his officials refused to promise how many Syrians would be allowed. By Monday, that line had crumbled as well, and a promise of 20,000 by 2020 was announced.<br /><br /> The evidence of course had shown that children and other refugees had been tragically drowning in the Mediterranean for months. But it was the sheer human emotion, the public interest, and no doubt Cameron’s own compassion that made the change. Evidence and the evidence-informed discussion between officials and NGOs had nothing to do with it. More important was that a single image of a drowned boy spread to 20 million screens within 12 hours as #refugeeswelcome began trending worldwide. As <a href="https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/aylan-kurdi-social-media-report-1.533951" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">research by the Visual Social Media Lab</a> at the University of Sheffield set out, “a single image transformed the debate”.</p> <div> <a href="http://oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Cairns-2.png" title="Cairns 2" rel="nofollow"><img alt="Cairns 2" height="262" src="http://oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Cairns-2.png" title="" width="647" /></a></div> <p> <br /> Two years later, a new <a href="http://www.migrationpolicycentre.eu/observatory-of-public-attitudes-to-migration/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Observatory of Public Attitudes to Migration</a> has just been launched by the Florence-based <a href="http://www.migrationpolicycentre.eu/about/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Migration Policy Centre</a>and its partners, including IPSOS Mori in the UK.  It aims to be the ‘go-to centre for researchers and practitioners’, and has sobering news for anyone who thinks that evidence has a huge influence on this issue.  Anti-migrant views, it shows, are far more driven by the values of tradition, conformity and security, and within the UK in particular, according to an <a href="http://migrationpolicycentre.eu/docs/OPAM/Duffy_presentation.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">IPSOS Mori study</a>, by a distrust of experts, alongside suspicion of diversity, human rights and “political correctness”.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 21 Nov 2017 19:59:00 +0000 Duncan Green 7761 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Weekly wire: The global forum http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/weekly-wire-global-forum-223 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img alt="World of News" height="139" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Weekly%20Wire%20Photo_1.jpeg" style="float:right" title="" width="140" />These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week<br />   <p> <strong><a href="https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/7891TRANSFORMING%20OUR%20WORLD.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Finalised text for adoption</a></strong><br /> United Nations<br /> This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. We recognise that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.  All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan. We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind.  The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets which we are announcing today demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda. They seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve.</p> <p> <strong><a href="https://news.vice.com/article/there-are-still-tons-of-people-around-the-world-who-havent-heard-about-climate-change" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">There Are Still Tons of People Around the World Who Haven't Heard About Climate Change</a></strong><br /> Vice<br /> Whether a person is aware of climate change or not — and how much they worry about it — depends on a range of factors, including what country someone lives in and how developed it is, their education level, and even what the local air quality is like, according to a report published in the journal Nature Climate Change.  In fact, when researchers analyzed data from over 100 countries collected by Gallup in 2007 and 2008, they found two big trends. The report could help to explain why, as extreme weather events displace tens of millions of people each year and diplomats prepare to meet in Paris for a historic climate change conference, public attention remains low in many countries, even ones most impacted by climate change.<br />  </p> </div></div></div> Thu, 06 Aug 2015 14:17:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7129 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Weekly wire: The global forum http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/weekly-wire-global-forum-206 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="World of News" height="139" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Weekly%20Wire%20Photo_1.jpeg" style="float:right" title="" width="140" />These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.<br /><br /><strong><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2015/04/02/the-surprising-benefits-of-autocratic-elections/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The surprising benefits of autocratic elections</a></strong><br /> Washington Post<br /> After a bitterly contested election campaign and several controversial postponements, Muhammadu Buhari engineered an upset of Nigeria’s incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday, the country’s first-ever case of electoral turnover. Legislative elections will follow on April 11, while two other African countries, Sudan and Togo, are also scheduled to hold elections over the next two weeks. Besides the coincidence in electoral timing, these countries share another surprising link—all three are generally recognized as autocracies. The marriage of autocracy with contested elections is, in fact, the norm nowadays. All but five autocracies have held a national election since 2000, with about three in four allowing multiparty competition. What makes these regimes autocratic is that the elections fail to meet democratic standards, typically with state power being used to favor the ruling party.<br />  <br /><strong><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/02/business/dealbook/melinda-gates-cellphones-for-women-aid-ascent-from-poverty.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Cellphones for Women in Developing Nations Aid Ascent From Poverty</a></strong><br /> New York Times<br /> Here is what life is like for a woman with no bank account in a developing country. She keeps her savings hidden — in pots, under mattresses, in fields. She constantly worries about thieves. She may even worry about her husband taking cash she has budgeted for their children’s needs. Sending money to a family member in another village is risky and can take days. Obtaining a loan in an emergency is often impossible. An unexpected expense can mean she has to pull a child out of school or sell a cow the family relies on for income. Or, worse, it can mean she must give birth at home without medical assistance because she doesn’t have the money for a ride to a clinic. In ways big and small, life without access to financial services is more difficult, expensive and dangerous. It constrains a woman’s ability to plan for her family’s future. At the community level, it traps households in cycles of poverty. More broadly, it limits the economic growth potential of developing countries.</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 09 Apr 2015 13:46:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7019 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere What Happens when 20 Middle East Decision Makers Discuss Theories of Change? http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/what-happens-when-20-middle-east-decision-makers-discuss-theories-change <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img alt="" height="187" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/14154156907_7434cc43e8_o.jpg" style="float:left" title="" width="280" />My first job after returning from holiday (disaster tourism in Northern Ireland – don’t ask) was to speak on <a href="http://oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/what-is-a-theory-of-change-and-does-it-actually-help/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Theories of Change</a> to a really interesting group – ‘building a rule of law leadership network in the Middle East’, funded by the UK Foreign Office. The <a href="https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CCEQFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.johnsmithmemorialtrust.org%2F&amp;ei=rnlXVOqbK8er7Abq54CgBQ&amp;usg=AFQjCNHr3xgXoAVxojvbTMbGKED7vsxyyQ&amp;sig2=IXLqwzIm8kTdpXYoIK_pqw&amp;bvm=bv.78677474,d" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">John Smith Trust</a> has about 20 lawyers, civil servants, policemen, UN personnel and business people for a 3 week training programme. Equal numbers of men and women, from Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman. <a href="https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CCEQFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.chathamhouse.org%2Fabout%2Fchatham-house-rule&amp;ei=P8VYVK_KFc2v7AbtqYCgAg&amp;usg=AFQjCNE4hv9Cb-1l0SsIJldLPgcrFkYIDw&amp;sig2=RYmC4qfc5eZqXtJKqyfevg&amp;b" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Chatham House rules</a> so that’s your lot viz info.<br /><br /> Over the course of a year, each Leadership Fellow develops an Action Plan for reform back home, ranging from girls’ education to police training to civil society strengthening, and will work on it during their UK visit, where they get inputs from people like me, discussions and visits to the UK Parliament and elsewhere.<br /><br /> I was presenting on theories of change (ToCs) – <a href="http://oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Intro-to-ToCs-RSA-November-2014.pptx" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">here’s my powerpoint</a>. My co-presenter (from a UK thinktank) defined a ToC as ‘a conceptual map of how activities lead to outcomes’. As you might imagine, I disagreed with the implied linearity of that. But the disagreement, and the views of those present was interesting.<br /></div></div></div> Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:14:00 +0000 Duncan Green 6881 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere New Study Offers Us Fresh Insights into the Attitudes and Behaviors of Online Users in the Middle East http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/new-study-offers-us-fresh-insights-attitudes-and-behaviors-online-users-middle-east <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <em><img alt="" height="186" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/14128462812_f24db1ae0c_o.jpg" style="float:left" title="" width="280" />Damian Radcliffe outlines a new report from Qatar’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology on internet behaviors in the Middle East. To read the full report, click </em><a href="http://www.ictqatar.qa/en/rassed/major-studies" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><em>here</em></a><em>. </em><br /><br /> Qatar’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ictQATAR) published <a href="http://www.ictqatar.qa/en/rassed/major-studies" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">a new full length study</a> on the attitudes and behaviors of internet users in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).<br /><br /> The 20,000 word study benchmarks the experience of the online population in the region against global users in five key areas: access to technology, attitudes towards the internet, levels of concern, trust in online actors, and user behaviors—demonstrating in the process that, despite clear cultural considerations, MENA is not an outlier.<br /><br /> In fact, compared to their global counterparts, online users in the Middle East are among the most enthusiastic commentators about the positive impact that the internet has on their lives.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:32:00 +0000 CGCS 6858 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Media (R)evolutions: Attitudes and Behaviors of MENA Internet Users http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/media-revolutions-attitudes-and-behaviors-mena-internet-users <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> New developments and curiosities from a changing global media landscape: People, Spaces, Deliberation brings trends and events to your attention that illustrate that tomorrow's media environment will look very different from today's, and will have little resemblance to yesterday's.<br /><br /> The <a href="http://www.ictqatar.qa/en" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Ministry of Information and Communications Technology of Qatar</a> (ictQATAR) <a href="http://www.ictqatar.qa/sites/default/files/Cybersafety%2C%20security%20and%20data%20privacy.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">published a new report</a> that covers the shifting attitudes of Internet users in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regarding cyber safety, online security, and data privacy, as well as their basic habits online.<br /><br /> Among the key findings, the report found that the majority of Internet users in MENA countries access the web from home and are much more likely to agree with the statement that “the Internet is making things better for people like me” compared to the world average.<br /><img alt="" height="457" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/MENAInternetMakesBetter.PNG" width="540" /><br />  </p> </div></div></div> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 14:03:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 6746 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Weekly Wire: The Global Forum http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/weekly-wire-global-forum-163 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img alt="" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Weekly%20Wire%20Photo_1.jpeg" style="border:1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); float:right; height:139px; max-width:none; padding:2px; vertical-align:bottom; width:140px" />These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/oreillymedia/2014/05/01/most-of-what-we-need-for-smart-cities-already-exists/?ss=transform-tech" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Most Of What We Need For Smart Cities Already Exists</strong></a><br /> Forbes<br /> The compelling thing about the emerging <a href="http://www.wired.com/2013/05/internet-of-things-2/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Internet of Things</a>, says technologist <a href="http://tomarmitage.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Tom Armitage</a>, is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel — or the water and sewage systems, or the electrical and transportation grids. To a large degree, you can create massive connectivity by simple (well, relatively simple) augmentation. “By overlaying existing infrastructure with intelligent software and sensors, you can turn it into something else and connect it to a larger system,” says Armitage.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2014/05/mideast-media-study-facebook-rules-censoring-entertainment-ok/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Mideast Media Study: Facebook Rules; Censoring Entertainment OK</strong></a><br /> PBS Media Shift<br /> A new study by Northwestern University in Qatar and the Doha Film Institute reveals that Middle Eastern citizens are quite active online, with many spending time on the web daily to watch news and entertainment video, access social media and stream music, film and TV. <a href="http://mideastmedia.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">“Entertainment Media Use In the Middle East”</a> is a six-nation survey detailing the media habits of those in Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia. The results of the survey, which involved 6,000 in-person interviews, are, in part, a reflection of how the Internet has transformed Arab nations since the Arab Spring. More than ever, consumers in the Middle East/North Africa (MERA) region are using technology to pass along vital information, incite social and political change, become citizen journalists and be entertained. </div></div></div> Thu, 15 May 2014 14:16:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 6700 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Look Who Has a Megaphone! http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/look-who-has-megaphone <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/PicAProtest.jpg" style="float:left; height:217px; width:280px" />In an interview on TN TV Channel, Argentina in November 2013 <a href="http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/11/28/337061/pope-slams-youth-unemployment-in-eu/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Pope Francis said</a> that, “Today we are living in an unjust international system in which ‘King Money’ is at the center.” He continued, “It is a throwaway culture that discards young people as well as its older people. In some European countries, without mentioning names, there is youth unemployment of 40 percent and higher.”<br /><br /> It seems Pope Francis has heard the rallying calls from youth around the world.<br /><br /> In 2010, youth in Mozambique <a href="http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Mayhem-in-Maputo-as-SA-visitors-exit-20100902" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">staged protests</a> in Maputo and Matola against rising food prices.<br /><br /> The ‘<a href="http://geracaoenrascada.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/convite-a-sociedade-civil/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Geração à Rasca</a>’ (Scraping-by Generation) of Portugal took to the streets in March 2011 as a spontaneous Facebook event to call attention to underemployment, lack of social protection, and unemployment that many experience.<br /><br /> Youth protests <a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/brazil/131004/brazilian-economy-youth-unemployment-protests" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">flared in Sao Paulo, Brazil</a> in June and September of 2013 in reaction to high unemployment, low-paying jobs, inflation, and the high cost of living in big cities.<br /><br /> And just a month ago, around <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/06/unemployed-moroccans-march-jobs_n_4053615.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">2,000 unemployed Moroccans marched</a> through their capital in January 2014 to demand jobs, a particularly thorny problem for university graduates.<br /><br /> The more famous protests of Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement and the Gezi Park protests in Turkey were also spurred, in part, by young people.</p> </div></div></div> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 19:55:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 6612 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Quote of the Week: Nawal El Saadawi http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/quote-week-nawal-el-saadawi-0 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <em><img alt="" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/5951279606_27e40b6cd6_m.jpg" style="width:176px; float:left; height:240px; margin-left:0px; margin-right:0px" />"Many people come here and they think my apartment is a poor relative to my name. But you cannot be radical and have money, it’s impossible."</em><br /><br /> -- <a href="http://www2.webster.edu/~woolflm/saadawi.html" rel="nofollow">Nawal El Saadawi</a> is a leading Egyptian feminist, sociologist, medical doctor and militant writer on Arab women's problems. She is one of the most widely translated contemporary Egyptian writers, with her work available in twelve languages.<br />  </p> </div></div></div> Mon, 13 May 2013 15:02:00 +0000 Sina Odugbemi 6333 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Building the “Iraqi Media” – A Book Review http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/building-iraqi-media-book-review <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Johanna/FINAL-COVER-IRAQI-MEDIA-2403rev.jpg" style="width:180px; height:285px; float:left" />Ten years after Iraq was declared as liberated, many are reflecting on how Iraq presents itself to the world today.  Our mediatised view of the country is one rife with renewed sectarian divide, and as <a href="http://mailto:http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/better-baghdad" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">previously written</a>, any economic good news is overshadowed by the rise violence.  One aspect given much attention in the efforts to build a new Iraq was the media sector.  A decade later the Iraqi government announced their <a href="http://mailto:http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/apr/28/al-jazeera-banned-iraq-sectarian" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">decision to ban</a> Al-Jazeera and nine Iraqi television channels, eight of which are Sunni. They claim the channels were fuelling sectarian divide.<br /><br /> On the same day as the media ban and the anniversary of “liberation”, Dr Al-Safi quietly launched his academic study of Iraqi media. His research for “Iraqi Media” lasted three years and earned him a PhD from City University, London. The book offers a fascinating chronological juxtaposition of dictatorship and occupation and this thorough, academic study of Iraqi media pre and post Saddam also has its “shock and awe” moments.   Saddam Hussein’s persecution of the journalist tallies with the popular narrative on his reign, but the fact that Uday Hussein’s paranoid actions may have been perversely good for Iraqi journalists is a new story.  Through his interviews with hundreds, Al Safi also reveals complexities and challenges in a frank and detailed account of the post Saddam attempt to build a “free” media. He claims, the largest media-building project ever attempted. </p> </div></div></div> Thu, 09 May 2013 15:15:26 +0000 Caroline Jaine 6332 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere A Better Baghdad? http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/better-baghdad <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG height=201 alt="" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Johanna/fun-faresmall.jpg" width=280 align=left>This morning I tapped “Baghdad News” into Google and over half of the first 40 results were about bombing and violence. A further 12% of results were political analysis (mostly about bombing and violence). And there was a smattering of more positive news, mostly on Iraqi news channels: three stories on the reinstatement of <A href="http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/02/iraq-kuwait-flights-resume.html" target=_blank>flights between Baghdad and Kuwait</A>;&nbsp;one story about <A href="http://www.niqash.org/articles/?id=3172" target=_blank>art</A>; and another about nice <A href="http://mawtani.al-shorfa.com/en_GB/articles/iii/features/2013/02/27/feature-02" target=_blank>pavements</A>. &nbsp;Hardly dynamic, dramatic news and negative news appears to dominate.</P> <P>In 2012, Pakistan's&nbsp;biggest English language news agency Dawn helped me to conduct a <A href="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/smoke-without-fire-look-influence-trust-and-media-built-perceptions" target=_blank>survey</A>, which looked at how people build perceptions of nations. &nbsp;With an academic interest in nation branding, and public diplomacy, I was staggered to see that 83% of respondents drew their perceptions of Iraq from the media. &nbsp;And not surprisingly, these were <A href="http://dawn.com/2011/12/05/axis-of-evil-iraq-and-the-balaclava/" target=_blank>largely negative</A>.</P> <P>As the 10th&nbsp;anniversary of the invasion of Iraq draws near, the political pundits swarm and draw their conclusions about Baghdad and Iraq, and Blair and Bush are challenged with the rhetoric of “was it worth it?” &nbsp;Having penned a modest account of “<A href="http://askancepublishing.wordpress.com/publications/a-better-basra/" target=_blank>A Better Basra</A>” I too am drawn into the discussion, canvassing my Iraqi friends for their opinion.</div></div></div> Mon, 11 Mar 2013 17:00:08 +0000 Caroline Jaine 6265 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Of Protests, Politics, and Policies http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/protests-politics-and-policies <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG height=280 alt="" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Johanna/8325777082_d9ee45bbd8.jpeg" width=280 align=left>The recent massive streets protests against the brutal and deadly assault on a young woman in a private bus in India capital, New Delhi, have been likened to the <A href="http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/07/is-this-the-start-of-indias-arab-spring/" target=_blank>Arab Spring of India</A>, a definitive <A href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/ab583ada-58c8-11e2-99e6-00144feab49a.html#axzz2HP1eTHyy" target=_blank>turning point</A> in the country’s political evolution. Clearly, in both its composition and content, the protests resonate with, not only the revolutionary street demonstrations in early 2011 in many countries in the Middle East, but also with a number of other movements that have burgeoned in countries across the world over the last couple of years. In the wake of the <A href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/arab-spring" target=_blank>Arab Spring</A>, and supposedly drawing inspiration from it, demonstrators <A href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_movement" target=_blank>occupied</A> the financial centers of the US and Europe, conjuring up images of the 1960s. Unrest over austerity measures in European capitals hit by the global financial crisis continued. In the UK and Chile, students took to the streets protesting against high university fees. And in India itself, the anti-rape protests came on the heels of an <A href="http://www.indiaagainstcorruption.com/" target=_blank>anticorruption movement</A>, unparalleled in its mass participation, media attention, and longevity.</div></div></div> Mon, 11 Feb 2013 20:22:39 +0000 Anupama Dokeniya 6241 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Twitter vs. Facebook: Bringing Transparency to the Middle East http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/twitter-vs-facebook-bringing-transparency-middle-east <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG height=210 alt="" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Johanna/7649875954_7dbb7a418f.jpeg" width=280 align=left>Think about it:</P> <UL> <LI>Twitter limits all "conversations" to 140 words</LI> <LI>Twitter allows privacy whereas Facebook is based on discovery of relationships</LI> <LI>Twitter relationships can be one way, the way real relationships often are (we all “know” President Obama but he knows very few of us) whereas Facebook is always a two way street</LI></UL> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P>Wherever democracy is absent or weak, for example in a dictatorship or a monarchy, there could be a high price to pay for any open expressed dissension.&nbsp; Twitter allows anonymity for those who push for transparency and democracy.&nbsp; Although one can exist without the other, studies show that the two are highly <A href="http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1750824" target=_blank>linked</A>.</P> <P>A 2011 study from the University of Washington entitled <A href="http://pitpi.org/index.php/2011/09/11/opening-closed-regimes-what-was-the-role-of-social-media-during-the-arab-spring/" target=_blank>“Opening Closed Regimes: What Was the Role of Social Media During the Arab Spring?”</A> showed that social media, via Twitter, played a vital role during the revolutionary movements in Tunisia and Egypt.&nbsp; The authors said “for the first time we have evidence confirming social media’s critical role in the Arab Spring”.&nbsp; The project created a database of information collected from Twitter, analyzing more than 3 million Tweets based on keywords used, and tracking which countries thousands of individuals tweeted from during the revolutions.</div></div></div> Thu, 01 Nov 2012 15:58:51 +0000 Tanya Gupta 6146 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere What a Difference Political Culture Makes http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/what-difference-political-culture-makes <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG height=146 alt="" hspace=0 src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/political_culture.jpg" width=280 align=left border=0>While democracy is developing and strengthening in more and more countries across the world, there may be some lessons to learn from older, established democracies. Democracy does not equal democracy – different forms and philosophical foundations shape different political cultures. Different political cultures favor different practices and outcomes. The political and civic leadership in evolving democracies may possibly have a chance to push things in one or another direction by looking at practices and outcomes in other countries.</div></div></div> Thu, 30 Aug 2012 16:31:37 +0000 Anne-Katrin Arnold 6082 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Weekly Wire: The Global Forum http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/weekly-wire-global-forum-74 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG height=120 alt="" hspace=0 src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/weekly_wire_photo.jpeg" width=121 align=left border=0></P> <P>These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.</P> <P><STRONG>International IDEA<BR></STRONG><A href="http://www.idea.int/resources/analysis/do-accountability-mechanisms-in-safety-nets-improve-access.cfm" target=_blank>Do Accountability Mechanisms in Safety Nets Improve Access to Social Services? The case of Brazil’s Bolsa Família</A></P> <P>"This paper was part of International IDEA’s work on “Democracy and Development” in 2011. It was selected as a contribution to stimulate debate on and increase knowledge about the impact of democratic accountability on services. A summary of the papers selected and an analysis on some general trends are provided in “Democratic Accountability in Service Delivery: A Synthesis of Case Studies”</P> <P>The study analyses a semi-governmental mechanism for accountability called social control councils. Through this mechanism beneficiaries are supposed to provide feedback on health and education services. However as beneficiaries have been heavily underrepresented in these councils and membership tends to be skewed towards the local government, they have not been able to function as intended." <A href="http://www.idea.int/resources/analysis/do-accountability-mechanisms-in-safety-nets-improve-access.cfm" target=_blank>READ MORE</A></P> <P><STRONG>Mashable<BR></STRONG><A href="http://mashable.com/2012/06/08/arab-world-facebook-twitter/" target=_blank>How the Arab World Uses Facebook and Twitter</A></P> <P>“Social media has been often touted for the role it played in the popular uprisings that have spread across the Arab world since December 2010. Despite the buzz, you may be surprised that only 0.26% of the Egyptian population, 0.1% of the Tunisian population and 0.04% of the Syrian population are active on Twitter.</P> <P>Of all the countries in North Africa and the Middle East, Twitter is most popular in Kuwait, where 8.6% of the population is active users, defined as those who tweet at least once per month. Facebook’s more popular throughout the region. In its most popular country, the U.A.E., some 36.18% of the population is on Facebook.” <A href="http://mashable.com/2012/06/08/arab-world-facebook-twitter/" target=_blank>READ MORE</A></div></div></div> Thu, 28 Jun 2012 14:14:22 +0000 Kalliope Kokolis 6028 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere