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Problem: Lack of Adolescent Girls' Empowerment

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250 million adolescent girls live in poverty according the Girl Effect. Yet, beyond poverty, adolescent girls are at additional disproportionate risk of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, child marriage, HIV infection, and maternal mortality. The statistics, according to the World Health Organization, are improving, but the odds remain stacked against adolescent girls in developing economies...

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    Conversation active 6 March — 27 March 2014
 
    Shubha Chakravarty, The World Bank
    Judith Bruce, the Population Council
    Jeannie Annan, International Rescue Committee
    Mayra Buvinic, of UN Foundation

Problem: Opening Budgets for Accountability

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Government budgets matter to the mother in Bihar in India who relies on the midday meal in a government-run school to feed her daughter, and to the smallholder farmer in Timor-Leste who needs better roads to transport his produce to Dili, the capital. Despite the fact that government budgets have a direct impact on people’s lives, particularly the poor, still few countries provide significant budget information. According to the International Budget Partnership’s Open Budget Survey 2012, only 23 out of 100 countries examined provide “extensive” or “significant” information on their budgets, while 41 countries provide “minimal,” “scant or no” information.

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    Conversation active 27 January - 13 February 2014
 
    Massimo Mastruzzi, The World Bank
    Tanya Hamada, INCITEGov
    Paolo de Renzio, Open Budget Initiative, IBP
    Anders Pedersen, The Open Knowledge Foundation

Problem: Ecosystems for Innovation

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Innovation Labs can “be catalysts, distillates of ideas and centrifuges for separating out the sediment.” At the same time, innovation is, by its nature is risky and creating a lab to foster innovation can be both expensive and time-intensive. In many large organizations, established processes and protocols have grown into barriers that can hinder or stymie ideation. Yet, interest in frugal innovation, user centric design, crowd sourcing, and rapid prototyping, is growing and leading some organizations to seek the formal structure provided by an innovation lab, as the spearhead of the effort to make an innovation-friendly environment for all staff.

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    Conversation active 5 December - 21 December 2013
 
    Adarsh Desai, The World Bank
    Chris Fabian, UNICEF
    Maria May, BRAC
    Aleem Walji, The World Bank

Problem: Innovations in Social Inclusion

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Poverty alone is not a comprehensive marker of deprivation and this fact is now well recognized. Quite often, exclusion is driven by social identity like race, ethnicity, gender or religion to name a few. These often become stigmatized markers that leave individuals, groups or households out of a range of processes and opportunities. Based on their ascribed status, individuals from these groups have lower social standing, accompanied often, by lower outcomes in terms of income, human capital endowments, access to employment and services.

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    Conversation active 1 November — 21 November 2013
 
    Maitreyi Bordia Das, The World Bank
    Gillette Hall, Georgetown University
    Judith Morrison, IDB
    Emcet Oktay Tas, World Bank

Problem: ICT to Eradicate Extreme Poverty

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Never in the history of humankind have we been given the opportunity to use technology to communicate, educate, connect, employ, mobilize, and give voice to the voiceless. Until now! With universal access predicted to become a reality by 2020, increased attention is focused on how to ensure that anyone, anywhere can use information and communications technologies (ICTs) for education, skills, job creation, health and empowerment.

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    Conversation active 8 October — 24 October 2013
 
    Sarah McCue, BluWorld, United Nations
    Siddhartha Raja, World Bank
    Christine Prefontaine, Facilitating Change
    Tim Kelly, World Bank

Problem: Access to Medicines

There are several reasons why developing countries still face significant hurdles in making essential medicines available to the patients who need them. These reasons are complex and range from lack of research and development (R&D) for neglected diseases which primarily affect those in poverty, to patent issues that impact affordability and availability of generic versions of medicines, to procurement inefficiencies, and last mile logistics of stocking, delivery, quality assurance and monitoring.

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    Conversation active 21 August — 9 September 2013
 
    Yvonne Nkrumah, The World Bank
    Mandy Sugrue, mHealth Alliance
    Dr. Shelly Batra, Operation Asha
    Dr. John Munyu, KEMSA

Problem: Coalition Building and Leadership

Complex problems seep across sectors. Increasingly, there is a recognition that "large-scale social change comes from better cross-sector coordination rather than from the isolated intervention of individual organizations." Poverty alleviation solutions need to engage those outside the nonprofit sector and find ways to involve citizens in the local community. Leaders of successful collective impact initiatives have to embrace "a new way of seeing, learning, and doing that marries emergent solutions with intentional outcomes." But how do leaders determine the specific problems to solve (and the measurable outcomes), identify stakeholders, bring them to the table, and still encourage effective participation of the poor constituents who may be seen as disinterested or problematic?

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    Conversation active 13 May — 16 June 2013
 
    Tony Lambino, World Bank Institute
    Mark Ruiz, MicroVentures/Hapinoy
    Joe McCarron, Reos Partners
    Eva Schiffer, Net-Map Creator

Problem: Citizen Engagement

The benefits of citizen engagement may be significant for all stakeholders. For the marginalized poor, participation mechanisms can provide channels for shaping solutions and holding governments accountable for policies and services delivered. For organizations, governments, and funders, engagement with communities is beneficial in that citizens will support, adopt, champion, and eventually share in the ownership and success of programs. However, there are a number of possible barriers to citizen engagement.

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    Conversation active 11 March — 9 April 2013
 
    Tiago Peixoto, The World Bank
    Joanne Caddy, OECD
    Vera Schattan Coelho, CEBRAP
    Edward Andersson, Involve

Problem: Open Data for Poverty Alleviation

Newly available data sources are being used to improve people's lives. We're just starting to understand the potential of data for social good, but some of the challenges are clear: key data and reliable statistics either are not being produced, are of poor quality, or are locked behind government and corporate doors; a lack of technical and political skills is holding back potential users; and there's a gap between what data advocates think citizens want and what the data citizens know will improve their lives.

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    Conversation active 31 January — 4 April 2013
 
    Tariq Khokhar, The World Bank
    Nathan Eagle, Jana
    Tim Davies, Practical Participation
    Nithya V. Raman, Transparent Chennai

Problem: Slums & Service Delivery for the Urban Poor

Informal settlements or slums are home to an increasing number of the urban poor. The lack of basic services, from sanitation and waste removal to water and electricity, has resulted in untenable conditions. Innovations in infrastructure, services, public-private partnerships, and programs aim to give slum dwellers a voice in planning decisions.

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    Conversation active 3 January — 30 January 2013
 
    Judy Baker, The World Bank
    Sheela Patel, Slum Dwellers International
    Tereza Herling, City of São Paulo
    Melanie Walker, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Problem: Carbon and Climate Change

Climate change is one of the major developmental concerns of this century. In the absence of global mitigation efforts, climate change can have significant effects in the global economy — and poorer nations face disproportionate impacts.

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    Conversation active 29 November — 20 December 2012
 
    Pablo Benitez, World Bank Institute
    Timothy Hassett, World Wildlife Fund
    Bill Farmer, Uganda Carbon Bureau
    Estomih Sawe, TaTEDO

Problem: Contract Oversight and Transparency

Failings in public contracting are undermining development. Public revenues are not being generated, allocated and spent as effectively as they should be. Such factors as corruption, opaque contracting processes and poor oversight are undermining results. Citizens, particularly the poor, are paying the price.

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    Conversation active 31 October — 13 November 2012
 
    Michael D. Jarvis, World Bank Institute
    Dr. J. Chris Anderson, Rio Tinto Limited
    Daniel Kaufmann, Revenue Watch
    Marinke van Riet, Publish What You Pay

Problem: Mapping and Disaster Risk Management

Reducing disaster risks is an integral part of the fight against poverty. As the Center for Hazards and Risk Research explains, "Disasters represent a major source of risk for the poor. These natural events can wipe out development gains and accumulated wealth in developing countries." In fact, more than two million people have been killed by natural disasters around the world over the past 30 years.

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    Conversation active 17 October — 2 November 2012
 
    Niels Holm-Nielsen, The World Bank
    Erica Hagen, Map Kibera Trust
    Hiroyuki Miyazaki, University of Tokyo
    Nicolás di Tada, InSTEDD