Rural-urban migrationWhen thinking of rural-urban migration, experts tend to focus on the positive aspects for migrants. New economic opportunities, access to public services and greater social tolerance define the experience of newly-urban migrants in the conversation around rural-urban migration. When discussing flaws, the conversation gravitates toward the slum conditions and informal labor in large developing-world cities. However, the developing world’s rapid amount of rural to urban migration leaves many villages with less human capital and resources. What does this rural-urban migration mean for the rural developing world?

Urban Transition

Rural-urban migration has swept the developing world since the late 20th century. This transformation, known as “urban transition,” brings the economies of countries from rural-driven to urban-driven. Seeing this trend, many countries have supported larger development projects in urban areas, looking to get ahead of the curb. While an admirable strategy, it leaves out the rural populations who tend to be more isolated. This creates a vicious cycle, where people move where the government invests, and the government invests where people move.

This lack of investment creates a problem for rural areas. Unable to increase productivity and suffering from a lack of investment, impoverished rural areas are stuck in a loop, using the same basic techniques for subsistence farming utilized in the 20th century. Rural families have many children, hoping some will move to the city to send back money and some will work on their local subsistence farm. By sending the educated children to the city, families create a gap in living standards, with those with opportunity leaving while those without stay behind.

Migration in Trade for Remittances

However, this rural-urban migration also brings benefits to the rural areas. Many families send their young adult children into the cities, investing in their future in the city. Remittances, money sent back by those moving to urban areas, keep rural finances diverse and pay for many essential services for rural people. Without this income source, rural families would be completely dependent on the whims of nature, with no sense of security that a separate income gives. Studies show that these remittances increase life expectancy and happiness, two factors increased with security.

How to Help Rural Areas

One of the rural areas’ biggest difficulties is low productivity which hinders economic growth. Many Africans living in rural areas are subsistence farmers, meeting their own food needs but creating little surplus which drives economic growth. For this reason, young people commonly move to higher productivity urban areas. To prime rural areas for development, scholars have identified several factors which developing-world governments should attack. For instance, poor rural infrastructure, illiteracy and low social interaction all hinder rural growth, which drives rural-urban migration.

By attacking these problems, governments can increase rural development, attack poverty at its heart and protect rural communities in the long run. Severe “brain drain,” where educated people move to more productive areas, especially impacts rural communities. Lowering populations will lead to less monetary and representative allotments, decreasing the voice of rural residents. Additionally, men make up the majority of rural-urban migrants, leaving women in a vulnerable position both in caring for children and running subsistence farms.

Rural development projects which take into account community leaders at all levels of planning and execution can greatly increase their effectiveness. Improving the governance of these projects, especially reducing corruption, is essential in assuring rural development. The integration of system-wide rural development projects serves as an opportunity to increase rural development. Currently, thousands of NGOs operate rurally around Africa, with many separate governmental programs overlapping. By increasing cooperation, systematic development of rural areas can occur rather than a patchwork of unrelated development projects.

– Justin Morgan
Photo: Flickr

development projects in north koreaRuling out of fear and paranoia produces extreme tension in a state. North Korea remains one of the most oppressive authoritarian states in the world. Ruled by the Kim family and the Worker’s Party of Korea for seven decades, Kim Jong-Un continues the path of oppression through development projects in North Korea under the appearance of betterment and growth.

Development projects in North Korea do offer economic growth, some at the direct expense of citizens. These projects seek to establish an economy that is developed and thriving in order to boost its ability to be a key state in international affairs.

The Pyongyang missile development projects illustrate Kim Jong-Un’s desire to exercise extreme power by developing both nuclear missiles and military power. Creating a military powerful enough to defend borders against potential enemies allows North Korea to pursue self-sufficiency. Developing, testing and moving such missiles produces international tensions, provoking ideas of world wars.

Kim Jong-Un’s focus is not solely on military ventures but also on building orphanages, schools, ski resorts and building complexes. The project for building orphanages and schools was carried out in Wonsan. An additional 22 markets have been built and 60 renovated to grow the economy. In the five years Kim Jong-Un has ruled, the economy has increased by 1 percent to 5 percent per year.

Ten power plant projects have sprouted up to supply power to North Korea. China partnered with North Korea in order to complete two of the construction projects. Reforestation of land within North Korea shows signs of development to restore and recover timber for future logging. North Korea’s forests are used for timber exports and firewood for domestic energy. Reforestation allows for future economic growth in timber sales and exports.

These development projects in North Korea increase the pace of economic growth. However, the funding for such projects comes from bypassing sanctions set out by the U.N., manufacturers supplying funds for military expenses and North Korean workers forced to send wages home for economic projects.

Forced labor, arbitrary arrests, public executions and tightening borders to disallow people from seeking refuge in other countries are some of the harmful actions taken to fulfill development needs within North Korea. These development projects do not provide relief to the citizens but are fraught with corruption.

However, the U.N. Human Rights Council adopted a resolution to try and remedy the human rights abuses in North Korea. Through authorization, a group of independent experts was tasked to defend victims of human rights abuses. The council enacted the International Criminal Court as a mechanism to hold human right violators accountable.

North Korea is oppressive in its pursuit of economic growth, but with sanctions and accountability enacted by trade partners and organizations, the benefits from development projects in North Korea could possibly be more evenly dispersed among all citizens.

– Bronti DeRoche

Photo: Flickr

Cabo Verde

Cabo Verde is a chain of islands off the coast of Senegal, West Africa. Despite having only 10 percent arable land, limited mineral resources, mountainous terrain and an arid climate, Cabo Verde has been developing rapidly. This is mainly due to the booming tourism industry and development projects in Cabo Verde.

Being a small island nation, there are a few challenges with development. The money spent on transportation between the nine inhabited islands is quite high. Several infrastructure constraints exist which make the delivery of public services and energy in need of improvement. Due to Cabo Verde‘s climate, the agriculture industry is not able to reach its full potential. Lastly, being an island in the Atlantic Ocean, it is susceptible to climate change, rising sea levels and natural disasters.

In light of these challenges, five development projects in Cabo Verde have been created to boost the economy, increase tourism and ensure the well-being of the residents on the islands.

  1. The Competitiveness for Tourism Development project recognizes tourism as the economy’s main source of growth, with the public sector as the key force. This project backs the implementation of Cabo Verde’s vision for this industry. The project began in April 2016 and will cost approximately $3.7 million.
  2. The Transport Sector Reform Project consists of four components. The first is road preservation with routine maintenance. The second component is the development and operationalization of a road and bridge management system. The third is a road safety action plan which puts an accident database and monitoring and evaluation system in place. Finally, there will be an inter-island transport strategy to improve the quality of services and the management of ports and airports.
  3. Another one of the five development projects in Cabo Verde is the Water Supply Development Project of Santiago Island. It is a $220 million project aiming to strengthen the bulk of the water supply on Santiago Island. There will be construction on two water treatment plants with reverse osmosis technology, 12 water reservoirs, 14 pumping stations and about 100 miles of water mains.
  4. The Cabeólica Wind Project was created to develop the use of wind power as a more sustainable alternative to imported fossil fuels. This project will help achieve Cabo Verde’s goal of using 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2020. On four of Cabo Verde’s islands, a 25.5-megawatt facility is meeting about 25 percent of the nation’s energy demands.
  5. The final of the five development projects in Cabo Verde is the Watershed Management and Agriculture Support Project. It was created to increase productivity in agriculture by supporting the conversion of dry farmland to higher-value horticultural production. This was done by improving natural resource management, including the sustainable use of soil and water resources. The project also improves the capacity to support the development and implementation of community-based watershed management plans.

As a middle-income country with a relatively low poverty rate, Cabo Verde is able to design projects like these to continue promoting growth and achieve goals. These development goals will boost the economy, increase tourism and ensure the well being of the residents and visitors on the islands and keep the poverty rate low.

– Lorial Roballo

Photo: Flickr

5 Development Projects in TurkeyTurkey, the country that straddles the line between Asia and Europe, has been investing billions of dollars to improve its infrastructure. There are five development projects in Turkey that focus on improving its transportation, energy and healthcare systems.

The Istanbul New Airport
The first of these development projects is the construction of Turkey’s third international airport; its current name is the Istanbul New Airport. When completed, this airport will be the largest international airport in the world. As mentioned, since Turkey is a bridge between Asia and Europe, its airports receive a lot of traffic. In 2018, by the airport’s completion, it will have already provided business to 150 million people. This extensive project, with a projected cost of $11.3 billion, will not only hold 500 airplanes and rail-connected terminals but also provide the best security available. Security is a top concern, especially after the Atatürk Airport terrorist attack in 2016 that killed 40 and injured 250 more.

Three-Story Grand Istanbul Tunnel Project
Turkey was not satisfied with developing one record-breaking construction project, so they are also working on a second. The Three-Story Grand Istanbul Tunnel Project is a three-story subsea tunnel, consisting of two highways above and below a railway that will ride in the middle. This 6.5 kilometer tunnel will connect the two ends of Istanbul and will reduce travel times between Hasdal and Çamlık by about 14 minutes. This tunnel system is expected to cost $3.5 billion after completion, which is a modest cost for a transportation system that will service 6.5 million travelers a day.

Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project
The project to build the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project began in March 2015, yet the project is still ongoing. The project is to develop a pipeline that will send natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe and Turkey. 10 billion cubic meters of gas will be sent to Europe, and another 6 billion cubic meters will be sent to Turkey starting in 2018. This project will cost $11.7 billion and will provide 15,000 jobs.

Nuclear Power Plants
Along with receiving gas power, Turkey will also invest in developing its own nuclear power after having plans for one since 1970. The first of these plants, Akkuyu 1, will begin construction in 2018 and will begin operation in 2023. This $20 billion dollar plant will produce 1,200 megawatt reactors and will be the first of four reactors built by Rosatom. This is an important investment for Turkey since it spends $50 billion annually on importing energy, and this first plant will provide 5 percent of the country’s energy.

Etlik Integrated Healthcare Campus
The last of these five development projects in Turkey is the Etlik Integrated Healthcare Campus, which will be one of the world’s largest hospital campuses at more than one million square meters. This hospital will offer general care, as well as specialty units for neurological sciences, cardiovascular surgery, orthopedics, pediatrics and many more. These units are also separated into designated areas for diagnosis and treatment, with 3,577 beds for patients. The construction of this center will cost $1.3 billion, take three and a half years to construct, and will provide a 24-year operating term after completion.

Turkey is investing billions upon billions of dollars to ensure a successful and healthy environment for its people. By providing support for these five development projects in Turkey, the government is increasing its citizens’ standard of living with the best technology, convenience and security.

– Scott Kesselring

Photo: Flickr

Development Projects in Costa RicaCosta Rica has long been a global leader due to its environmental accomplishments and is the only country in the world that has reversed deforestation. This upper-middle-income country is a developmental success in many ways and still has work to be done. Here is a look at five development projects in Costa Rica.

  1. The city of Limon is undergoing a large project which aims to modernize the port city. The Integrated Infrastructure Project aims to improve the protection and management of the cultural and natural heritage of the city. It is also working to increase access to the sewage system in order to reduce urban flooding as well as foster a more credible local government. From a business perspective, this plan hopes to create new employment opportunities and to support port modernization in order to improve access to the Limon and Moin port terminals.
  2. As mentioned earlier, Costa Rica is a global leader in environmental programs. One program with environmental impacts is the Carbon Sequestration in Small Farms which aims to reduce over 500,000 tons of CO2 emissions by the end of 2017. This would be done by reforesting 4,140 hectares of land in Costa Rica over a period of three years. This project will also create additional ecological, wildlife and landscape diversity in the project area.
  3. The Umbrella Project is another project to help reduce carbon emissions. This would be done by substituting electricity produced by thermal plants with electricity from renewable sources. This is called the Umbrella Project because it is essentially serving as an umbrella to facilitate the implementation of other smaller projects in the country.
  4. Beginning in January 2018, Costa Rica is set to begin construction and expansion of a key highway. This highway, Ruta 32, connects the provinces of Limon and San Jose. This project will also add 16 miles of bike lanes, 23 pedestrian bridges, 176 bus stops and an access road to the port city of Moin.
  5. The last of the five development projects in Costa Rica deals with the environment. The Tourism Institute of Costa Rica will be designating $3 million over the course of three years in order to enhance services in Protected Wild Areas in order to provide an unforgettable experience to visitors.

– Lorial Roballo

Photo: Pixabay

5 Development Projects in Algeria
Since gaining independence from France in 1962, Algeria has been arduously attempting to gain some headway on the international stage. Following a 20-year engagement with the socialist model, Algeria shifted its approach to development in the early 80s, and has been actively engaged in the precepts of globalization ever since.

Yet, the road towards development has yet to reach its end. The following are five development projects in Algeria that aim to settle the country in a place of prosperity and hope, once and for all.

  1. International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
    IFAD has spent $65.6 million on a series of agricultural development projects in Algeria. First, they aim to strengthen the capacity of rural communities to operate independently. Second, they work to improve irrigation infrastructure, soil and water conservation, management of silo-pastoral ecosystems, livestock husbandry and rural tracks. Lastly, they continue to push for the progression of women’s place in society through the development of rural microenterprises. They have focused assistance on three communities whose economic capabilities are all but limited to agriculture. Currently, their five programs operate in the mountainous areas in the north of the country, the Saharan areas in the south and the coast, where poor fishing communities make up the majority of the population.
  2. Arab Reform Initiative – International Development Research Center of Canada (IDRC)
    After the uprisings in 2011, commonly referred to as the Arab Spring, the fervor slowed as national governments cramped down on protestors. The aim of IDRC funding is to ensure that ideals of democracy and progress are maintained and cultivated in the youth of Algeria. The project, lasting for two years, is managed by the Arab Reform Initiative, and aims to develop the youth as political actors and active citizens engaged in their country’s political, social, economic and cultural spheres.
  3. The Trans-Saharan Highway (La Route Transsaharienne)
    The development of the trans-Saharan highway has been years in the making. The route from Algiers, running through Niger and down through Nigeria, is about 5,000 km. The route itself has been used for trade since the eighth century, but, until recently, has been a road of sand. Paving the road is meant to increase the trade profit between the three nations it runs through. The Algerian government has opted to pay for its portion of the construction from its national budget, a reflection of a trend in their more recent national policy.
  4. World Food Program (WFP) – Algeria’s Sahrawi refugees
    The WFP has operated in Algeria since the late 80s. They work to provide basic food and nutrition needs to the populations of Sahrawi refugees on the country’s Western border. Algeria has hosted Sahrawi refugees from Western Sahara since 1975. The program’s main focus is decreasing a debilitating rate of iron deficiency found in Sahrawi women and children.
  5. Transparency International
    Transparency International is an organization whose aim is to evaluate the transparency of governments. In Algeria, it has determined that transparency is sorely lacking. The country has been scored 34 out of 100, and comes in 108 out of 176 countries. The organization’s tactics are simple. By shining a light on issues of corruption within the government and private sector, Transparency International is able to create accountability in situations where it is sometimes nonexistent. In this way, ideals of transparency have begun to permeate governance, as seen in the 2006 creation of the Central Office for the Suppression of Corruption, an agency tasked with the investigation and prosecution of all forms of bribery in the country.

These five development projects in Algeria are just a small indication of the state of Algerian society today. Ultimately, what these projects exemplify is the potential for further improvement in the North African nation.

– Katarina Schrag

Photo: Flickr

5 Active Development Projects in AfghanistanThe World Bank Group is currently providing funding for 49 active development projects in Afghanistan. These projects are working to address the full spectrum of needs of the Afghan people. Here are five development projects in Afghanistan currently underway.

  1. Trans-Hindukush Road Connectivity Project. The Hindukush Mountain range spreads across a vast piece of central Asia, including much of eastern Afghanistan. Travel throughout this region is limited and road conditions are generally poor. This project will provide aid to the Afghan government to rebuild and maintain roads spanning the Hindukush mountain region. Improved transportation infrastructure will bring economic growth as well as increased access to resources for people living in remote areas. The project started in 2015 and will come to a close in 2022 and The World Bank group has pledged a loan of $250 million.
  2. Women’s Economic Empowerment National Priority Program. This project came about when the Afghani government accepted a loan of $482.3 million in a plan to enact seven new development projects to combat the growing poverty crisis. The Women’s Economic Empowerment National Priority Program aims to ensure better access to economic opportunities and rights for women.
  3. Urban Development Support Project. The Urban Development Support Project was implemented to strengthen urban policymaking and development on both the national and provincial level. The project aims to improve city planning capabilities, census and data management and urban institution development and accountability. The project began this year and cost $20 million in funding; completion is projected for 2020.
  4. Herat Electrification Project. A small province in western Afghanistan, people in the Heratprovince have limited access to electricity. This project aims to provide homes and businesses in this region with a sustainable source of power. The World Bank group plans to accomplish this by expanding the electrical grid in the region. In areas which are further removed from electrical grid access, solar panels are being implemented to supply power to those who need it. The project began in 2017 and will hopefully be complete by 2022. The total cost of the project is $60 million, which was loaned to the Afghani government by The World Bank Group.
  5. Afghanistan Strategic Grain Reserve Project. This project was started in 2017 and aims to create a reliable stockpile of grain in hopes that in the event of an emergency there will be a safety net of food security. The project has an estimated total cost of $30 million and is hoped to be completed by 2022.

Development projects in Afghanistan such as these are radically improving the quality of life in Afghanistan, however, they only begin to scratch the surface of the larger web of issues preventing Afghanistan from becoming a fully developed country. Cooperation between the World Bank Group and the Afghan government has set the stage for Afghanistan to move closer and closer to development as time moves on.

– Tyler Troped

Photo: Flickr


Development Projects in Indonesia
Indonesia, a country known for its large economy and diverse population, is home to 243 million people. Previously, the country dealt with an autocratic leader and has had many issues with corruption. However, the country’s newest president, Joko Widodo, wants to make the country more democratic. With 
poverty affecting 11 percent of the population and many people living in “near poverty”, several development projects in Indonesia have been working toward solutions.

Here are five development projects in Indonesia that are addressing different issues in order to make the country better for its citizens.

The National Program for Community Empowerment (PNPM Mandiri)

PNPM Mandiri works within the poorest communities in Indonesia to help develop villages. By engaging in these projects, community members have access to employment and help their community’s infrastructure. It is a flagship community organization for the government. The program also teaches others how to plan communities and apply the practices elsewhere in Indonesia. The program is now operational in 70,000 communities throughout 33 provinces.

Asian Development Bank’s Microfinance Program

As a way to invest in communities, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) started a microfinance program to help small businesses in North Sumatra. The program was originally intended to help businesses after the 2004 earthquake and tsunami. Instead of having a bank, representatives visit communities and give presentations where business owners can get loans. This enables businesses to expand and allows people to get loans that they thought they could not have gotten before. The microfinance program provides “finance that changes lives.”

Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) in Jakarta

The MRT is an infrastructure development project aimed to relieve traffic congestion. It is being built by the Jakarta government and it will be completed in 2027 with a construction cost of over $1 billion. This project is going to impact almost 500,000 people daily so they can travel efficiently to their jobs and improve the economy.

IFAD in Indonesia

Similar to the ADB microfinance program, IFAD invests in the rural sector. IFAD focuses on investing in remote and vulnerable areas. It has invested over $400 million into Indonesia since 1980 and helps establish public-private partnerships. It places an emphasis on smallholders in these communities.

The Legal Empowerment and Assistance for the Disadvantaged (LEAD) Project

This program works to ensure that the most marginalized in Indonesia are given the proper rights and treatment. The LEAD Project aims to spread awareness of legal rights regarding government services and legal claims. As a result, policies have been strengthened and government officials have been more responsive to marginalized communities claiming rights and bringing up legal issues.

Indonesia has issues that span the rural and urban areas as well as in the spheres of legal and human rights. These 5 development projects in Indonesia will benefit the people as the country continues to progress.

– Emilia Beuger

Photo: Flickr

Iraq, a country attempting to rebuild itself after decades of war, has implemented various projects to help stabilize the country. The five development projects in Iraq that are among the forefront include a decrease in the number of citizens diagnosed with tuberculosis, a crisis response program, a water improvement project, oil and gas development projects and a reconstruction project that spans various Iraqi cities.

To address the many health concerns in Iraq, the country partnered with UNDP, who created the Global Fund TB Grant. The grant provided emergency cell phones for tuberculosis patients to ensure they can reach centers to avoid treatment interruptions that threaten to increase drug resistance. Since the implementation of the grant and enhanced TB testing, 36,800 cases of TB were successfully treated, resulting in a 92 percent treatment success rate in 2014, and the detection and treatment of 25,900 new smear-positive TB cases.

The second of the development projects in Iraq was the creation of the Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP), another project supported by the UNDP. The ICRRP was created to address the large humanitarian crisis in the country.

More than 10 million people were affected by development gaps, and more than 3.3 million had to flee their homes. This crisis led the UNDP and Iraq to create the ICRRP to prevent human rights violations, reduce the risk of gender-based violence and develop cohesion among diverse communities. Using a gender mainstreaming approach, the program also aims to address the practical and strategic needs of affected women. The ICRRP has helped create jobs for 14,000 people, gave 94,000 enhanced livelihoods in eight governorates and gave 5,000 Syrian refugees and displaced residents legal support.

On the energy resource side, the Rumaila field, the world’s fourth-largest oilfield, has helped increase the number of producing wells by 50 percent. The field has produced more than three billion barrels since 2010 and in December 2016 was producing 1.45 million barrels a day, generating over $200 billion. In addition, the Rumaila oilfield project has helped create numerous jobs and generated more revenue and energy for Iraqi residents.

One of the most significant development projects in Iraq is the Bismayah construction project, which aims to house half a million people within four years. The $8 billion project faced a six-month setback after the project’s land was lost to Islamist militants and the obstacles of providing clean water and electricity to the housing units.

This is due to the fact that Iraq is still trying to make up for the years lost to war, so they rely on foreign investments in electricity, as well as refineries, transport, telecoms and health. The clean water supply obstacle is due to the fact that the water has not been delivered to the city’s purification plant, making the available rooms unlivable. Despite the drawbacks, the project has surged on.

To benefit the Iraqi people apartments are available for a down payment of just $6,300, which is equal 10 percent of the total cost of the smallest 100 square meter homes. The monthly rent is less than the minimum government wage, making them extremely affordable.

To address the ongoing water concerns, Australian firm Protechnique has helped start the $80 million Basra Project. The project aims to provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the project’s transmission reservoir and transmission pump station. The pumping station will also concentrate on chlorine building, blending chambers, electrical substation, generator building and more.

The project is expected to be completed by December 2018 and will operate with neighboring pumping and circulation stations to pump water from a desalination plant to Basra.

As Iraq continues to rebuild itself, the country will see an increase in jobs, revenue, housing, clean water and other resources. The above development projects in Iraq are the country’s first stepping stones on a long road to recovery.

– Amira Wynn

Photo: Flickr

development projects in AngolaAngola has an extremely diverse population of approximately 29 million people. It is a developing country with over 40 percent of its population living beneath the poverty line. There are various projects underway to develop the country. Here are 5 development projects in Angola.

  1. Institutional and Sustainability support to Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Service Delivery. Fifty percent of the population does not have access to clean water and sanitation facilities. This program would finance 5 Provincial Water and Sanitation Utilities in order to increase sanitation, increase water connections and promote hygiene.
  2. Local development project. According to the World Bank, the purpose of this project is to improve access of poor households to basic services and economic opportunities and to enhance local institutional capacities among Angola’s municipalities.
  3. Smallholder Agriculture Development and Commercialization Project. This project would increase smallholder agriculture productivity, production and marketing for selected crops in the project areas. This is beneficial since 10 percent of the population works in agriculture. Smallholder agriculture is key to food security in the region.
  4. Fisheries sector support project. The project will result in an increase of income from artisanal fishery and fishery-related activities, like fishing, processing, marketing, servicing and trade, according to African Development Bank. Since one of the agricultural products Angola is known for is fish, this is an exceptional development project in Angola.
  5. The Lauca Dam. The Lauca Dam is one of the largest projects underway in Africa. The dam will greatly affect Angola’s economy as it will provide access to more reliable energy and has provided jobs to 8,000 workers.

Due to the creation of these projects, Angola is moving forward and sparking development within the country. Angola is usually dependent on its oil, but as demand for oil changes so too does Angola’s market. With these development projects in Angola, the country can decrease the poverty faced by citizens.

– Dezanii Lewis

Photo: Flickr