Thursday, September 13, 2007

Better urban mobility - and poverty alleviation.

An interesting piece of news on the link between providing good mobility (in terms of walking, bicycling, and public transport) and increasing the economic opportunities of low income people in cities, and hence poverty alleviation:

European Urban Knowledge Network - "Promote bicycling, walking and public transport to improve chances for poor people":

How can transport policy contribute to the goal of more inclusive cities? What role does the car play in ensuring mobility for all?"

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Externalities of Tourism

I subscribe to several tourism-related email lists, particularly those related to ATLAS []. In the range of activities, events and publications that are being carried out in this field, it was interesting to see a large cross-section of topics being synchronized with tourism.

Of particular significance is how the research and development activities on tourism are being linked to economic development (but of course ...), but also to heritage conservation and environmental/ecological preservation. Clearly, the multiplier effects of one sector has implications and advantages (or disadvantages) for other sectors as well.

GDRC works on all the three themes - tourism, heritage and environment - but in separate silos. it will be interesting to bring them together in a Special Feature.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Leadership Matters - Vision, Effectiveness and Accountability

A key aspect of the GDRC Programme on Urban Governance is that of leaders and leadership. And so the title of a recent World Bank Institute's meeting theme struck my eye as a good set of leadership 'matters':

VISION: Does the leader have a vision for the future? Does it match the wishes, needs and aspirations of the community that he/she leads?

EFFECTIVENESS: How effective is the leader in delivering on his/her promises? How capable ha she/she been in accomplishing stated goals and objectives?

ACCOUNTABILITY: How has the leader set up accountability in his/her working? Who is he/she accountable for? with respect to the community he/she serves?

These and many more of such attributes drive a good leader in being able to deliver to his/her constituency, their wishes and aspirations!

Go to GDRC's programme on Urban Governance

Saturday, September 8, 2007

National policies for NGOs in India

The voluntary sector in most developing countries (including NGOs, CBO etc.) are in a double dilemma - on one hand, many of the rules and regulations that they have to adhere to actually originate from the for-profit private sector. On the other, the bad actions of some of the NGOs taints the sector as a whole, calling for stricter monitoring and enforcement of the rules and regulations.

It is good to see some change in attitudes and approaches towards the sector, but much more needs to be done!

PIB Press Release: National Policy on the Voluntary Sector 2007

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Info-design Cycle

Packaging information properly so as to facilitate its contextualizing and customizing by the user to create tacit knowledge is an iterative cycle. Where is information available? Who has it? How can we match user needs with information available? What are the interlinakages between the different pieces of information? What enhancements can be envisaged to the info patterns? How can the products developed be improved further? How can the info products be delivered to the user? These are some of the questions that are covered in the cycle.

Ultimately, good information management is an aid to decision-making, of understanding what and how information is used, and developing a channel to deliver it to the user. Based on a user-needs assessment, information is collated and analyzed to build patterns. The iterative process is repeated by incorporating feedback and review it until it matches the needs of the user. This is the 'Information Desgin Cycle'

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Welcome to "Serenditous Tags"

Welcome to the GDRC Blog, "Serendipitous Tags"

In this complex world of ours, problems that we face may not be the 'real' problem - there will always be problems behind problems, and so solutions that we propose should beget more solutions. It is this interconnectedness that lies at the core of everything that GDRC does.

The multi-disciplinarity of GDRC’s 15 programmes help in discovering the connections and associations among different issues not apparent at first. This is the thinking that went into the creation of this blog – Serendipitous Tags – in making unexpected links when tagging different pieces of knowledge.