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Dutchbar Batticaloa in eastern Sri Lanka was decimated by the 2004 tsunami. It fell under a newly created 200m buffer zone set up to protect people. But it destroyed fishing communities. Chris Young - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

‘Building back better’ may seem like a noble idea. But caution is needed

There is a need to be alive to tensions between short- and long-term objectives, as well as the assumptions we hold around what we consider to be “better” and how to achieve it.
Public participation has been found to increase voluntary cash contributions for the construction of schools in Ugandan sub-counties. Photo by: Wayne Hutchinson/Farm Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Does bottom-up monitoring improve public services? What we found in Uganda

Public participation increased the quality and quantity of some public services, though not in all sectors, and some services were affected more than others.
People queue for food aid south of Johannesburg. The impact of COVID-19 on people’s livelihoods has been severe. Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

COVID-19 has hurt some more than others: South Africa needs policies that reflect this

South Africa's economic recovery plan must focus on at least three areas: protecting vulnerable populations, supporting the vulnerable sectors and external trade diversification.
Young Kenyans typically see farming playing some role in their future, although few respondents want only to farm. Getty Images

How young Kenyans feel about farming goes against conventional wisdom

Young people typically see farming playing some role in their future as they prefer to remain in their rural homes, although few respondents want only to farm.
A market place in Ghana’s capital Accra. Developing countries like Ghana risk being left behind in the race to secure COVID-19 vaccines. Christian Thompson/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Dummy’s guide to how trade rules affect access to COVID-19 vaccines

A waiver on some intellectual property rules at the WTO for COVID-19 vaccines would ensure more equitable access, but wouldn't solve all the problems facing developing countries.
Some of the practices of microfinance institutions have been shown to increase indebtedness as well as economic and social vulnerabilities. Shutterstock

Collective action around common resources could help vulnerable communities

The creation of resources that are shared, accessible, and collectively owned and managed by communities has become a way for social entrepreneurs to contribute to community development.
Conflict arising from government’s ownership of Telkom and its regulatory role contributed to failure to achieve digital transformation. Shutterstock

South Africa has failed to harness the digital revolution: how it can fix the problem

South Africa has come short of its digital ambitions, but it can catch up by ensuring access to high speed broadband, and support for domestic digital firms and entrepreneurs.