Development Projects in ColombiaIn February 2017, President Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Army Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) successfully completed a definitive cease-fire agreement which ended violence in specific zones of the South American country. This event raised many Colombian citizen’s enthusiasm. But, not all problems in the nation have been solved, as Colombia’s economy depends on oil, exportation and tourism, which have been negatively affected in recent years.

However, the Colombian government and other investors are attempting to reverse this situation, developing new projects in order to help the country’s economy to grow. New highways, ports, as well as advanced infrastructure and stylish developments in several Colombian cities will attempt to improve economy over the next 10 years. Here are the five development projects in Colombia that are changing the nation’s face.

  1. Alfonso Bonilla and El Dorado airports
    The Colombian government has invested $230 million in modernization for the Alfonso Bonilla airport. The remodeled facility will have a new international terminal and six new boarding bridges. In addition, the old terminal was redesigned and new public spaces were added. In total, the airport located in Cali, one of the most important cities in Colombia, will be around 55,000 square meters. In Bogota, a $200 million investment has improved El Dorado airport’s landing zones and infrastructure. Now, it has better logistics that allows aircraft traffic to move faster.
  2. Cartagena port
    In July 2017, the Colombian government approved an investment of $93 million for the Cartagena port. With this contribution, it is expected that the port will triple its cargo capacity thanks to the new infrastructure, better operation and giant cranes that can receive bigger vessels. President Santos defined the Cartagena port as the most important in the Colombian Caribbean, as in 2016, it moved around 201 million tons of cargo containers.
  3. Agora Convention Center
    The new convention center, located in the capital city of Bogota, is the third biggest center in South America in terms of capacity and the most modern on the continent. In October 2017, the building held its first massive meeting for the United Nations First Young World; this left an economic impact of 14 million pesos for Colombia. Conventions and meetings generate 27 percent of Colombian tourism economy. The Agora project cost 414 million pesos and created 15,000 jobs in its construction.
  4. Bogota’s Elevated Railway
    Among all transportation development projects in Colombia, this particular one is essential. The new elevated railway is a local public transportation project that has been in planning for almost 15 years in Bogota. The first construction attempt was in 2000, but multiple government branches failed to reach an agreement. However, this year, President Santos’ administration and Bogota’s authorities revealed the construction will begin in 2018 and that the trains will be electric. It is expected that 35,000 Colombians will use the railway every hour. Authorities commented that the elevated railway construction will finish in 2024 and will be the first development of this kind in the country’s capital.
  5. 4G Project
    The 4G project is the most ambitious road infrastructure project in Colombia. The four generation plan will connect the entire country, making mobility easier and faster for citizens. More than 7,000 kilometers of roadway will be constructed and rehabilitated over the next several years with an investment of $50 billion. In addition, this project will work on bridges and tunnels that link the cities and towns over the mountains of the country. Projects such as Conexion Pacifico 3 and Girardort-Honda-Puerto Salgas have already begun.

These development projects in Colombia will positively affect the country’s future, improving the lives of Colombians as well as the Colombian economy. Although some projects are still in development, within the next 10 years, the Colombia will certainly be one of the most developed nations in South America.

– Dario Ledesma

Photo: Flickr

Development ProjectsThe mission statement of the World Bank is to, “end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.” The World Bank has funded over 12,000 development projects across the globe since 1947, and in Jamaica, these projects have provided much-needed assistance to those who need it most. Here is a list of five development projects in progress in Jamaica that are aimed toward improving the lives of the impoverished.

  1. Jamaica Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project
    Launched in 2016, this project aims to increase Jamaica’s ability to handle natural disasters or dramatic climate events via a four-part plan. The first step is to increase the island’s technological infrastructure to allow for better tracking and predicting of weather events. The next component of this project is the improvement of physical infrastructure on the island to better resist and withstand natural disasters. The third step is to improve emergency services, so that in the event of a disaster, people can more rapidly be assisted. The fourth and final component, which ties all of the parts of this project together, is administrative oversight by the World Bank to ensure accountability.  This project comes at an investment cost of $30 million from the World Bank, a worthy donation that will ensure Jamaica can withstand natural disasters to come.
  2. Early Child Development Project
    The Early Child Development Project (ECD) sets out a three-tier strategy to ensure a better future for at-risk youth. The first goal of this project is to increase the regularity of developmental monitoring, health risk screenings and emergency intervention procedures for children. The second goal is to improve early childhood education facilities through both physical renovation and program development. Lastly, the ECD aims to strengthen and improve training for early childhood education groups, i.e. the adults responsible for providing care for children.  The World Bank began this project in 2014, and has since pledged $14 million toward the cause.
  3. Second Competitiveness and Fiscal Management Program
    Commencing in June of 2017, this project is the World Bank’s most recent development project in Jamaica, with $70 million in funding. The goal is to strengthen Jamaica’s economy and financial sector through a two-part strategy. First, the World Bank aims to support legislative reforms which will enhance the development of the Jamaican economy. Secondly, this plan aims to increase the availability of fiscal management for both businesses and private citizens. If all goes to plan, this project will help Jamaica become a developed country by the year 2030.
  4. Youth Employment in Digital and Animation Industries
    This project began in 2014 with the help of a $20 million loan from the World Bank, and aims to increase employment opportunities for Jamaican youth, specifically in the rapidly expanding digital and animation industries. The World Bank’s plan for this project puts funding into each step along the journey to working in these fields, from early childhood skills training, to investing in the digital animation industries themselves to stimulate growth and job availability. This project also provides funding toward individuals carrying out research, development and innovation in these fields.
  5. Jamaica Integrated Community Development Project
    The World Bank has pledged to provide $42 million from 2014 to 2020 in an effort to improve safety and infrastructure in communities across Jamaica. This project aims to improve roads, drainage, electrical, sewage and water systems and community organizations.

With the assistance of the World Bank, these development projects will encourage Jamaica’s social and economic growth as a nation. With hope and continued aid, Jamaica may be pulled out of poverty and into a bright future.

– Tyler Troped
Photo: Flickr

KarachiPakistan is currently undergoing many development projects in order to improve the safety and general quality of life for its people. Here are five development projects in Pakistan that are currently underway.

The Strategic Strengthening of Flood Warning and Management Capacity of Pakistan

In 2010, around 2 million homes were damaged and 20,000 lives were lost due to flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains. There was no system set in place to warn individuals of the impending flooding and no recovery programs to assess the damages. The Strategic Strengthening of Flood Warning and Management Capacity of Pakistan project, developed by the United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organization began in 2011. $2.5 million in aid was provided in order to upgrade flood warning systems, asses damages caused by flooding, and update flood hazard maps in order to help with recovery efforts as well as prevent future catastrophes.

Sindh Resilience Project

Another one of the development projects in Pakistan which focused on disaster management is the Sindh Resilience Project. The main goals of this project are to mainstream disaster risk reduction in development budgeting, support restoration and improvement of high-risk sites, and construct rainwater dams in drought regions. Starting in 2016, the Pakistan government allocated $120 million for this project.

Karachi Neighborhood Improvement Project

Many Pakistani people live in neighborhoods that are not easy for pedestrians to navigate and do not have safe transportation. The objective of the Karachi Neighborhood Improvement Project is to create usability of public spaces, increase mobility, improve traffic safety, and provide better city management. Funded by the International Development Association, this project will cost around $98 million.

The Polio Eradication Project

Pakistan is one of the only polio-endemic countries in the world, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria. Due to an increasing trend of polio cases in Pakistan, the government announced the National Emergency Action Plan for Polio Eradication. In order to support these efforts in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Polio Eradication Project allocated $43 million to provide polio vaccines and to implement campaigns focusing on bringing light to the polio-endemic. 

Ranolia Hydropower Project

Imported oil is Pakistan’s main source of power. The high price of oil is causing a strain on the country and causing power outages. The Ranolia Hydropower Project was started in order to harness clean energy and create jobs. The Renewable Energy Development Sector Investment Program, a $510 million program, is funding the construction of a hydropower plant fueled by the Indus river, which will generate three times the electrical capacity of Pakistan’s current national demand.

These five development projects in Pakistan are all working to make Pakistan a better place to live thanks to the support and cooperation of generous organizations committed to public health and safety in Pakistan.

– Jenae Atwell

Photo: Flickr

Five Development Projects in EgyptEgypt, a nation located in northeast Africa, has always been a country that has looked towards the future. In 2000, the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin nicknamed it the “Future Economic Powerhouse of the Arab World”, and it seems the future they were talking about is happening now. With five development projects in Egypt including housing, manufacturing and electrical infrastructure, Egypt is making its name in the modern world.

Egypt’s Growing Rail Infrastructure
Egypt’s Minister of Transportation, Dr. Hesham Arafat, spoke in March 2017 about its growing investments in the rail industry. Egypt will invest $16.73 billion into new high-speed rail projects that will link Hurghada to Luxor, Luxor to Cairo and Cairo to Alexandria.  The longest line, the one from Cairo to Luxor, will take five years to construct, while the one from Luxor to Hurghada will take four and the Alexandria to Cairo line taking three years.

Dr. Arafat stated that “These three lines are proposed for promoting tourist activity that is expected to reach more than 30 million tourists per year by 2025”. By providing quick and easy transportation, this will keep tourists off the roadways and allow tourists to more easily explore Egyptian culture.

Egypt Advances Its Solar Projects
With technology relating to solar energy becoming cheaper and more advanced, Egypt’s Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker hopes to fund solar development projects in Egypt. Their goal by 2022 is to have 20 percent of Egypt’s energy supply come from renewable energy sources, including solar. ACWA Power, a Saudi Arabian electricity company, is developing and building three solar plants with a 120MW capacity in northern Aswan. These three plants alone will provide power to 80,000 households and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 156,000 tons per year.

New Jobs Through Manufacturing
Egypt has recently restructured its subsidies and liberalized the exchange rate, which has earned it attention from manufacturing companies, including General Electric. General Electric’s CEO in Egypt and North Africa, Ayman Khattab, announced that it will be providing 100 locomotives to the Egyptian Railway Authority.

The benefit to Egypt is not only the locomotives, but the fact with the help of the Arab Organization for Industrialization, 50 of these locomotives will be assembled in Egypt. This will provide Egyptians with jobs, and if things go well with this project, it opens the doors for Egypt to take on more manufacturing projects for other companies.

New Cairo Will House Five Million
By the year 2050, the United Nations predicts the nearly 6.5 billion people will be living in cities. To accommodate this change, Egypt is developing New Cairo Capital, a collection of 21 residential districts that can provide housing to five million people. Besides the housing, these districts will have 1,250 mosques and churches, 2,000 schools and colleges and 600 medical facilities. This project, costing $45 billion in total, will be completed by 2022.

Egypt Continues to Build Its New Roadway System
The last of the five development projects in Egypt is a new roadway system. Egyptian roads are crowded with those providing goods; providing alternate highways allows fast transportation for regular commuters. 1,154km of new roadways are in the process of design and construction, with 400km of this being dedicated to a link between Cairo and Assiut. A 37km link will be built alongside the Cairo-Suez highway to help take some of the traffic load off that highway. In total, this project is expected to cost $524.3 million.

– Scott Kesselring

Photo: Flickr

Development ProjectsWe have all been exposed to effective development projects, as well as to ineffective development projects. Sometimes these look like carefully constructed and well-funded projects created by NGOs, and sometimes they are drives created by high school students to help disaster victims. The scale and scope are not necessarily the key determinants for whether or not a development project will be effective. The following areas are useful to consider in order to create a development project, large or small, that does the most good for the most people.

“Participation is involvement by a local population and, at times, other stakeholders in the creation, content or conduct of a program or policy designed to change their lives.”

In other words, participation is placing the input of a local population at the forefront of the process of creating effective development projects. If a project is going to affect them and address their needs, they must have the primary say in tailoring it to their situation.

Needs Assessment
Needs assessment goes hand in hand with participation – it is most effective when the target population shares their needs, instead of projecting a set of presumed needs onto them.

By involving people in the process, development organizations can hear from the local population and find out exactly what needs they most want to address.

Cultural Sensitivity
Cultural sensitivity is the awareness of another culture’s norms and traditions and the ways in which they differ from your own. If you do not understand a community’s culture, it is difficult to develop solutions. For example, if a predominantly Muslim community was experiencing a food shortage, teaching them to raise pigs would not be a culturally sensitive or effective solution.

Gender Equality
Men and women often have different needs in a community based on the distinct roles they play. Sometimes women need to be specifically empowered in order to overcome gender disparities. It is important to consider gender dynamics in a development project. Will this project produce greater gender equality? Will it exacerbate inequality? Will it help or harm women or men disproportionately? These are all important questions to ask.

Effective development projects must hold themselves accountable to the people they are trying to help, to the government of the local population, to any NGOs they are partnering with and to their donors. To avoid issues like inefficiency, resentment, unmet needs or corruption, all stakeholders should communicate and be held accountable for their agreements.

Capacity Building
Capacity building is “those sets of activities in which vested parties develop the ability to effectively take part in governance.” In other words, it is helping a community develop the skills to help themselves after a development project or organization pulls out of the region. Like everything else in this list, capacity building should be country specific and meet the needs of the target population. Effective capacity building can lead to more sustainable projects.

This all seems very nebulous and difficult to juggle – and in some ways, it is. No organization does all of this perfectly. So, what does this look like in practice? If you decide you want your school to help improve education for children in a particular village in Tanzania, you should ask yourself a few questions when deciding what to do. What do these children actually need? Is it resources? Textbooks and supplies? Transportation to and from far away schools? If they need books, on what subjects? In what language? How will you get them there, and how will they be processed once they arrive?

The main take away is this – if you are struggling with questions like these while trying to create effective development projects, the best people to ask are the children in Tanzania. They know exactly what they need and you should listen to them.

Olivia Bradley

Photo: Flickr