Monday, February 25, 2008

Population and everything after

Everything you need to know about world population -- simple demographics, migration rates, birth and death rates -- is offered at this great data base, sponsored by the United Nations Population Division.

It is here. Check out Panel Two: Detailed Data for heavier numbers.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Is that a GMO in your pocket? Tracking biotechnology and GMOs in developing countries

FAO, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, tracks the use of different biotechnologies and GMOs in developing countries across many sectors: crop, animal, forestry and fisheries.

is the FAO search engine, which can query by country, sectors, region and different traits.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sodomy laws worldwide

A look at different laws throughout the world (and U.S.), with updates on different legal issues affecting the gay community.

Here is the link.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Remittances and development

150 million migrants worldwide sent more than US$300 billion to their families in developing countries during 2006, says the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

IFAD has become a leading knowledge base in the field of immigrants and the amount of remmitances they send home to their home countries. For example, an IFAD report found that the 30 million strong African Diaspora sent home more than $40 billion back to the continent in 2006. This money has become a significant form of development. In some countries, like Gambia and Mali, remittances make up more than 10 percent of the country’s GDP.

The report is called Sending Money Home and can be found here.

IFAD also organized what is called the Remittance Forum, which talks about the issues surrounding remitting money.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Notes on energy

A paper on the state of electrical integration in West Africa. (Good footnotes with hot links.)
Some useful background information on the West African Power Pool group. Info from the U.S. government.

Here is a series of discussion papers from the World Bank. This one, Reforming Power Markets in Developing Countries: What have we learned?, provides a good overview on the lack of state reforms in the energy sector. It's long.

Here is the main link to a workshop that took place in Kenya titled "Electricity Access and Development Challenge in Africa." A few outtakes: The role of Energy in Achieving MDGs; A perspective from the African Energy Industry; Energy reform and the poor.

A magazine article on importance of energy to development.

Rising sea levels and the effect on land use, population and economies

A study investigating the implications of rising world sea levels. By taking into account sea level increases of one meter, five meters and ten meters, researchers gauge the effect on land use, population and economics. These predictions are broken down by regions within continents.

Using GIS technology, they also create pretty cool maps.

Here is the link. (PDF)

Daily environmental news

World environmental news from Reuters. Search on such issues as acid rain, toxins, fur and genetic research.

Here's the link.

Friday, January 25, 2008

From Transparency International, the Corruption Perceptions Index

Corruption Perceptions Index. Where there is smoke, they argue, there is fire.

Here's a link to documents for the 2007 version.
Here's a direct link to the Index.

From the website of Transparency International:
The 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index looks at perceptions of public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories - the greatest country coverage of any CPI to date – and is a composite index that draws on 14 expert opinion surveys. It scores countries on a scale from zero to ten, with zero indicating high levels of perceived corruption and ten indicating low levels of perceived corruption.

Ibrahim Index of African Governance

From its website: "The Ibrahim Index measures the degree to which essential political goods are provided within the forty-eight African countries south of the Sahara."

One caveat: The Index is always two years behind.

The man who brought us the company Celtel (this is not a paid announcement) and the Ibrahim Prize for Good Governance.

World Bank: The ease of doing business

Investigating such aspects of business life as the ease of starting a business or legal difficulties in firing employees to obtaining credit and enforcing contracts, the World Bank bundles these together to create a Ease of Doing Business ranking. (You can also look at each issue separately and compare them by countries in the same region, same economic group or population size.)

All in all, a very handy device.

Here is the link.
Technorati Profile

The world through the eyes of the CIA

The CIA World Factbook is an essential document for any pertinent information -- geography, population, government, economy, etc -- regarding every country in the world.

It is located here.

US Dept. of State human rights country reports

Link here.

On the left, you can choose by year. 2007 should be up sometime around April.