Business Engagement in Building Healthy Communities

19003-0309316669-covers450Business Engagement in Building Healthy Communities is the summary of a workshop convened by the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Population Health Improvement in July 2014 to consider the role of business in improving population health beyond the usual worksite wellness and health promotion activities. The workshop followed previous roundtable discussions on the importance of applying a health lens to decision making in non-health sectors and the need for cross-sector collaborations to advance population health. Invited speakers included representatives from several businesses that have taken action to improve the health of their communities and representatives of business coalitions on health. The workshop was designed to discuss why engaging in population health improvement is good for business; explore how businesses can be effective key leaders in improving the health of communities; and discuss ways in which businesses can engage in population health improvement. This report is a record of the presentations and discussion of the event.

This book is published by National Academic Press.

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Measuring the Digital Economy: A New Perspective

The growing role of the digital economy in daily life has heightened demand for new data and measurement tools. Internationally comparable and timely statistics combined with robust cross-country analyses are crucial to strengthen the evidence base for digital economy policy making, particularly in a context of rapid change.

Measuring the Digital Economy: A New Perspective presents indicators traditionally used to monitor the information society and complements them with experimental indicators that provide insight into areas of policy interest. The key objectives of this publication are to highlight measurement gaps and propose actions to advance the measurement agenda.

This book is published by Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, OECD

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World Development Report 2014: Risk and Opportunity – Managing Risk for Development

The last 25 years have witnessed unprecedented changes around the world – many of them for the better. In all continents, numerous countries have embarked on a path of international integration, economic reform, technological modernization, and democratic participation. As result, economies that had been stagnant for decades are growing, people who had suffered deprivation for generations are escaping poverty, and hundreds of millions are enjoying the benefits of improved living standards and scientific and cultural sharing across nations.

As the world changes, a host of opportunities arise constantly. With them, however, old and new risks appear, from the possibility of job loss and disease to the potential for social unrest and environmental damage. If ignored, these risks can turn into crises that reverse hard–fought gains and endanger the social and economic reforms that produced these gains.

World Development Report (WDR) 2014: Managing Risk for Development, contends that the solution is not to reject the changes that bring about opportunities along with risks, but to prepare for them in a proactive and holistic way. Thus, managing risks responsibly and effectively has the potential to bring about a sense of security and means of progress to people in developing countries and beyond.

Although individuals’ initiative and responsibility are essential for managing risk, their success can only be limited without a supportive social environment, especially when risks are large or systemic in nature. The WDR 2014 argues that a way in which people can successfully confront risks and opportunities that are beyond their means is to share their risk management with others. This can be done through naturally occurring social and economic systems that enable people to overcome the obstacles that individuals and groups suffer from, including lack of resources and information, cognitive and behavioral failures, missing markets and public goods, and social externalities and exclusion. These systems – from the household and the community to the state and the international community–have the potential to support people’s risk management in different yet complementary ways.

WDR 2014 presents a detailed approach and specific advice to improve resilience. For policy makers in developing (and developed) countries, the Report also provides strategic recommendations that cut across risks and social systems in an integrated framework. They attempt to provide both innovative solutions to long-standing problems in poor and emerging economies and ways to mainstream risk management into the development agenda. These recommendations should serve to guide the dialogue, operations, and contributions from key development actors –from civil society and national governments to the donor community and international development organizations.

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Nanotechnology and Tyres: Greening Industry and Transport

New nanomaterials offer promising avenues for future innovation, which can contribute towards the sustainability and resource efficiency of the tyre industry. Yet uncertainty over environmental health and safety (EHS) risks appears to be a main and continuous concern for the development of new nanomaterials in tyre production, even for those closest to market. Lack of sector-specific guidance represents a major gap.

This report provides insights into the policy issues related to nanotechnology use in the tyre industry: the status of nanotechnology innovation in the sector and the drivers of innovation in the tyre industry; the economic and social costs and benefits of using nanotechnology in tyres; the safe use of new nanomaterials at all stages of their life cycles; the identification of the tools and frameworks supporting decision making at various stages of product development; and the facilitation of outreach and knowledge transfer on the safe use of new nanomaterials.

A risk management framework has also been developed as part of the study to enable site-specific or company-specific risk assessments or risk management strategies for using nanomaterials as additives in tyres.

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Doing Business 2014 (Report)


Doing Business 2014: Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 189 economies and ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency and trading across borders. This year’s report data cover regulations measured from June 2012 through May 2013. The report is the 11th edition of the Doing Business series.

Main Findings

  • Ukraine, Rwanda, the Russian Federation, the Philippines, Kosovo, Djibouti, Côte d’Ivoire, Burundi, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Guatemala are among the economies improving the most in 2012/13 in areas tracked by Doing Business.
  • Worldwide, 114 economies implemented 238 regulatory reforms in 2012/13 making it easier to do business as measured by Doing Business – 18% more reforms than in the previous year.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 9 of the 20 economies narrowing the gap with the regulatory frontier the most since 2009. Low-income economies narrowed this gap twice as much as high-income economies did.
  • Singapore topped the global ranking on the ease of doing business. Joining it on the list of the top 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulatory environments are Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; the United States; Denmark; Malaysia; the Republic of Korea; Georgia; Norway; and the United Kingdom.
  • Doing Business collected data for the first time this year in four economies: Libya, Myanmar, San Marino, and South Sudan.
  • Case studies highlighting good practices in 6 of the areas measured by Doing Business indicator sets are featured in the report: the role of minimum capital requirements in starting a business; risk-based inspections in dealing with construction permits; the cost structure in getting electricity; single window systems in trading across borders; e-filing and e-payment in paying taxes; and e-courts in enforcing contracts.
  • This year’s report presents a separate chapter about research on the effects of business regulations. There is a rapidly growing body of empirical research examining the impact of improvements in many of the regulatory areas tracked by the Doing Business indicators, and this chapter provides a useful—and encouraging—synthesis.


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2012 Information and Communications for Development : Maximizing Mobile

image_miniWith some 6 billion mobile subscriptions in use worldwide, around three-quarters of the world’s inhabitants now have access to a mobile phone. Mobiles are arguably the most ubiquitous modern technology: in some developing countries, more people have access to a mobile phone than to a bank account, electricity, or even clean water. Mobile communications now offer major opportunities to advance human development from providing basic access to education or health information to making cash payments to stimulating citizen involvement in democratic processes. The developing world is ‘more mobile’ than the developed world. In the developed world, mobile communications have added value to legacy communication systems and have supplemented and expanded existing information flows. However, the developing world is following a different, ‘mobile first’ development trajectory. Many mobile innovations such as multi-SIM card phones, low-value recharges, and mobile payments have originated in poorer countries and are spreading from there. New mobile applications that are designed locally and rooted in the realities of the developing world will be much better suited to addressing development challenges than applications transplanted from elsewhere. In particular, locally developed applications can address developing-country concerns such as digital literacy and affordability. This 2012 edition of the World Bank’s information and communications for development report analyzes the growth and evolution of mobile telephony, and the rise of data-based services delivered to handheld devices, including apps. The report explores the consequences for development of the emerging ‘app economy.’ It summarizes current thinking and seeks to inform the debate on the use of mobile phones for development. This report looks at key ecosystem-based applications in agriculture, health, financial services, employment, and government, with chapters devoted to each.


Free Online Economics Courses

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