Poverty

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Even something as simple as a water pump might not work if it requires parts or power not readily available where it’s installed. World Bank

Where aid fails, appropriate technology can succeed

Much international aid fails to achieve its ends because the technology employed is not "appropriate" to its intended environment or culture. This needs to change.
Most of the world’s poorest people now reside in middle-income as opposed to low-income countries. Reuters/James Akena

Development aid works over time, but must adapt to 21st-century needs

Recent studies show that development aid to poor countries contributes in the long term to their economic growth. But the aid architecture has adapted slowly to a new reality.
South Africa is taking a tough stance against the practice of abducting and forcing young girls into marriage that’s still rife in some parts of the country. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Banning child and forced marriages is gaining traction in Africa

The reasons for the phenomenon of child marriage are complex and include the fact that in customary law, marriageable age was never reckoned as an actual number but depended on puberty.
Why do immigrant kids perform poorly in school? Michael_swan

Here’s why immigrant students perform poorly

School and teacher attitudes have a lot to answer for when it comes to the achievement gap between immigrant and non-immigrant children.
Members of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa, the country’s largest union, march to highlight high unemployment. Reuters/Rogan Ward

South Africans need to fight for change on the streets, and through the ballot

With the local government elections set to take place within the next seven months, it is worth considering what impact the recent upsurge in protests will have on the country's political future.
Children in the U.S. foster care system can languish for years. Pixaby

The hidden harms of the US foster-care system

When a child dies from neglect or maltreatment from parents, outraged observers demand at-risk kids be placed in foster care. But the US foster care system can pose risks for children, too.
Nelson Mandela with his predecessor FW de Klerk. Tough questions are being raised about the compromises Mandela made for South Africa’s transition to democracy. Reuters/Peter Andrews

Why South Africa should undo Mandela’s economic deals

South Africa's transition into democracy involved compromises that left white privilege intact and black poverty undiminished. Here are a dozen of Mandela's economic deals that need to be undone.
Informal traders at Cape Town ’s Grand Parade. Survival businesses that are here today and gone tomorrow cannot further long term devemlopment. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

How microcredit has hurt the poor and destroyed informal business

After 1994 the microcredit movement helped plunge large numbers of black South Africans into heavy debt and poverty while enriching a few white elites who provided the loans.
Crowds cheer as Pope Francis arrives at Kololo airstrip in Kampala, Uganda. Reuters/Giuseppe Cacace

Pope Francis in Africa: he came, he saw, now what?

Given the conservative stand of the Catholic Church on gays and lesbians, Pope Francis had a wonderful opportunity to extend his message of tolerance to both the religious and social realms.
In Egypt, the Great Pyramid was illuminated with the French, Russian and Lebanese flags in solidarity with victims of terrorist attacks, but most of the focus in the West has been on the victims in Paris. EPA/Khaled Elfiqi

Solidarity after Paris means being more attentive to suffering elsewhere

Selective sympathy raises troubling questions. If you neglect suffering in other places, it is much more difficult to mobilise political actors to take it seriously.
Retailers offer ‘rewards’ programs and loyalty cards that can trap customers into a debt cycle. Deborah James

Obligations, repayments and regulations: the debt conundrum in the global South

In the global South, where some argue that "everyone is now middle class", people are reluctant to acknowledge that they need to borrow money – and the stigma drives them to dodge their debts.
A Kenyan woman does a financial transaction using her mobile phone. Africaknows/Joshua Wanyama

Why financial inclusion needs a new frontier – asset building

Financial inclusion has so far focused on enhancing a poor person’s cash flow. But it needs to involve more. Not enough consideration is given to encouraging poor people to build assets.

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