A strong evidence base is the backbone of our operations in communications, trade, investment and consultancy. We gain this knowledge from our own research, thought leaders, research institutions and other key sources of information. We stay abreast of developments in sustainability and industry innovation to keep our network members well informed. Click on categories to see a full list of our thematic areas.
A Primer on Blockchain Technology and its Potential for Financial Inclusion
The invention of Bitcoin in 2008/2009 gave consumers and businesses the possibility to transfer money nationally and internationally on a truly peer-to-peer basis (i.e. without a trusted central party such as a bank). Few people realised the full potential of the technology in the early days, but today blockchains are often referred to as the “internet of trust”. This term relates to the universal potential of blockchain technology, which goes beyond payment systems and enables people that do not trust each other to directly exchange (digitally representable) goods and services with each other. Today’s variety of blockchain technologies, including many crypto currencies, is impressive. Start-ups and IT incumbents are constantly reducing the speed, cost and effort it requires to transfer crypto currencies globally, while also increasing transaction capacity and offering services that go beyond payments. This discussion paper characterises the 10 biggest crypto currencies in terms of market capitalisation and explains the functioning principles of their underlying technologies. These variants of the technology are also essential for non-financial applications.
A focus of this paper is the potential of blockchain technologies to improve (international) payments and land registries. Bitcoin-enabled payments were the first application of blockchain technology, and frictionless (international) payments are an essential part of financial inclusion. In contrast, improving land registries is a more innovative use of the technology, but the connection to financial inclusion is not straightforward. However, land registries may indeed play an important role in fostering access to credit for financially underserved people.
Almost any technology comes with new risks, and blockchains are no exception to this rule. Although blockchains can provide a very high level of safety and immutability, it depends on the concrete design of the implementation whether this potential is realised. In addition, some blockchain technologies are very energy-intensive, which is an environmental risk. Finally, the high levels of volatility of most crypto currencies represent an economic risk for their users. National and international regulators are challenged by the rapid evolvement of the technology and should aim to mitigate its risks without compromising its potential.
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World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2018
This edition examines the current state of the labour market, assessing the most recent developments and making global and regional projections of unemployment, vulnerable employment and working poverty.
Mapping Water Governance Results
The GWP network delivers results and this month we launch an online, interactive map showing how we have contributed to improving water resources management over the years. You can use several filters to see the results according to different categories.
Water insecurity keeps hundreds of millions of people in poverty. It hampers human development and economic growth, and since 2012 the water crisis has been continuously listed among the top five global risks in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report.
“In contrast, the map we offer you to dive into, tells a different story: one where water, when managed well, is an enabler of inclusive, sustainable growth, and a solution to many of the challenges of sustainable development, from achieving food and energy security to alleviating poverty, promoting equitable societies, reducing disaster risk, and combating climate change” explains GWP Resource Mobilisation and Partnership Manager Nicolas Delaunay.
Explore the Results
Behind the many dots on the map are stories where a new water policy, a national adaptation plan, a transboundary management agreement, an investment plan or strategy, a regional planning framework, strengthened legislation or institutional reform led to stronger water governance.
“This is a condition sine qua non to ensure real development and socioeconomic benefits through increased investment in appropriate infrastructure, empowerment of marginalised groups and more sustainable use of resources, across many of the most vulnerable countries, regions, water basins”, says Delaunay.
With the overall vision of achieving water security and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), GWP supports countries to advance governance and management of water resources for sustainable and equitable development.
In the little over 20 years since GWP was founded, the network has successfully influenced more than 400 outcomes that have contributed to improved water governance. These results are the most demonstrable illustration of GWP's achievements and progress in reaching the vision of water security through the incorporation of IWRM and water governance.
The map can be searched through filtered results - global, regional & transboundary river basins, and country – and by key pillars of IWRM and themes. It also responsive and adapats to all devices. The content will be updated continously.