Archive for November 2011


November 30, 2011


Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Couples of countries are now calling for the formation of a world environmental organization. The most resonating call so far has been coming from Malaysia, one of the most prosperous nations of the ASEAN. Germany, France, and Brazil are among the resonators of the call.

As far as adopting green technologies are concerned, the developing countries notably the emerging markets have been observed to craft policies and executory measures among all the nations of the world today. That of renewable energy or RE has particularly seen the exemplary eagerness and action by the tiger economies and emerging markets.

Among the tigers, Malaysia is fast rising as a star in exemplary pursuits towards such greening ends. Below is a reportorial on the subject of world environmental organization.

[Philippines, 21 November 2011]

Malaysia adds to calls for world environment organisation
Zhen Yue
1 November 2011
[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia has joined the call for global leaders to create a World Environment Organisation (WEO).
The prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, made the proposal in his speech at the First Preparatory Meeting of the World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Sustainability, held in Kuala Lumpur earlier this month (12–13 October).
He said that numerous environmental agreements have resulted in a complex system in which each agreement has its own secretariat and administration.

It is expected that global leaders will gather for the Rio+20 environmental summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, next June, where the proposal will be discussed.
Najib’s statement follows a letter written in 2009 by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the French president Nicolas Sarkozy, to the UN, requesting the creation of such an agency. Brazil, Italy and Kenya also support the idea.
And last year, during the annual meeting of the UN Environment Program in Indonesia, its executive director Achim Steiner raised the possibility of such an organisation, saying that “the status quo is no longer an option”.
Najib said a WEO should be consultative and facilitative rather than regulatory. It would simplify existing systems, making them more coherent, and could achieve better coordination among UN agencies.

Malaysia has been focusing on adopting green technologies in line with its green technology policy.
Its government has also set up a national green procurement policy, which promotes the purchasing of green products by both the government and the private sector.

“In any country, government is usually the biggest consumer, and if government buys green there is a good chance this will spur industry growth and increase market demand,” said Najib. “Only with a major overhaul of the governance system will we be able to address the challenges of environmental sustainability.”
Nithi Nesadurai, president of the Environmental Protection Society Malaysia, said: “His idea has merit. Environmental issues are dealt with in a fragmented manner. A WEO could help look at the environment in a more holistic manner.”

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November 29, 2011


Erle Frayne D. Argonza / Guru Ra
29 November 2011

Most gracious day of peace & love!

November 11, 2011 just passed away. It was a momentous event as energy spots, grids, and 4th dimensional portals across the globe gyrated with tremendous amplitudes, the influxes impacting immensely on those whose awareness is ever readier for the Ascension Day just 55 weeks ahead. Surreptitiously riding a-crest the November waves are the minions of Satan or Ahriman across the globe, sponsoring surreptitious conferences aimed at capturing as many unsuspecting souls whom they can drag along their post-2012 incarceration agenda (they will be banished in a new planet in Kama Loka or Hell, the lowest sub-plane of the astral plane).

Satan (Ahriman, Behemoth) took over the reign of power left behind by Lucifer who was punitively deprogrammed over 3 decades ago. Niched in the 3rd plane, Satan and his minions of Fallen Ones use the mental plane as a battle ground to trap souls in the dense spheres. Propagation of atheism and the usage of ‘cold forces’ to exterminate humans en masse are the agenda of the Ahrimanians or Satanists. There too are Ahrimanians using the Cult as platform for enslaving souls, the cults being fairly recent and are of the New Age variety.

Luciferans are now on the gradual retreat, and as they do this the Satanists down the ground keep busy to shore up whatever left-over strengths they have to enslave souls in their favor. Just recently, their puppet groups conducted a dubiously secretive 3-day conference in Manila. The event was dubbed as Cosmic in nature, which is true to the extent that it represents Cosmic Evil and gyrates with blasts of negative energies that could only lead to adverse effects on participants who are the least prepared for it. [Witness accounts from among the participants, shared thru a social network, amplify evidence to such expected adverse effects.]

I got wind up of the forthcoming event as early as mid-October yet. It was publicly announced in a UFO conference by a member of the cult group BROMOKI which seems to front for a broader coalition of cults and New Age groups with surreptitious agenda (surreptitious as their intentions are done without transparency). The BROMOKI has been orchestrating a so-called Spiritual Government for PH, a dubious bloc that doesn’t have a mandate from the true Spiritual Government led by Lord Sanat Kumara (based in Shamballah), Planetary Logos of Earth and guiding deity among the Lords of the Flame who oversee spiritual evolution on Earth since their arrival 18.5 million years ago yet.

Whether the said New Age cults know what Powers are behind them and where they are being brought to, are queries worth investigating. But what is clear to me is this: the true spiritual Brotherhood, the Brotherhood of Light to which this guru is an Initiated Fellow (I ascended spiritually in 2008), has no plan whatsoever of forming super-organizations in preparation for post-2012. The Brothers of Light rather have it on the agenda to let diverse networks of cosmic awareness persons and groups traverse along parallel trajectories, not by forming super-organizations or coalitions but by interconnecting through subtle threads of Light.

A week before the conference was held, couples of would-be volunteers for an ET interest group here (name withheld) called me up to consult me about the conference. I flatly told them that the Ascended Masters—who are Divine Elders tasked to lead and aid human beings in their evolutionary sojourns—have nothing to do with the conference being sponsored by a supposed Cosmic Office. Accordingly, they were told that the conference was all about God or is cosmic in nature, a contention that is filled with ambiguity even as it smacks of kindergarten stuff for ridicule.

Isn’t it a Standard Operating Procedure to provide the conference participants a copy of the theme and the agenda? There was no such advanced copy of the agenda. Also, the venue suddenly switched from the original Shangrila Hotel to another venue (a Makati hotel), thus making it all the more clear that the Shangrila thing was merely a decoy or camouflage for the real venue. Why were the sponsors concealing the knowledge about the venue?

So scared were the enquirers that they backed off from participating in the conference after hearing my preliminary analytical peregrination. Not only that, chances are they might no longer get active in the ET interest group which seems more of a pliant sub-altern for the New Age cult BROMOKI, unless the former can prove its sterling autonomy from cult coalitions which isn’t too late a thing for it to do.

I did my own investigative scan of the conference using the meditation tool, while at the same time registering the event before office of Archangel Gabriel and the Darjeeling Council of the Brotherhood for monitoring. Couples of visions appeared during the 3 nights of scanning, the following three images being the most focal:

• A Military Officer: A fatigue-clad officer, standing in side view facing West, with beret-type head gear, fair-skinned. I couldn’t decipher the nationality of this man, but clearly his role has to do with central supervision and monitoring of the event (to succeed).

• A building: An edifice that was solitarily standing in a large tract of land. I intuited that this was the building that served as central hub for commanding the conduct of the Manila conference and possibly satellite conferences across the globe. Most probably transmitters connect this building to certain ElectroMagnetic or EM transducers used as thought-bending equipment. Satellite-borne, the EM transducers are then beamed on any conference the Satanists conduct anywhere in the world.

• Very dark-hued Horned One with glowing short-tipped horns: Satan himself. This vision appeared last night, the night after the last day of the conference. This is the last evidence to indicate Who is in command of the sponsors of the cosmic evil conference. With this evidence at hand, I rest my case.

I could only surmise at how many of the participants ended up with fragmented psyche to the disheveled state of Multiple Personality Disorder of MPD. An MPD or schizoid is so pliant a subject for evil manipulators that the former can be easily commanded to do dirty tasks using the widely popularized hypnotic tools. Black Magic or Left Hand circles are so full of these MPDs and sociopaths, though many of them aren’t even aware of their being manipulated (such as the fake Lightworkers inside social networks who slander, insult, defame the true Lightworkers and the spiritual masters, and spread grand lies or deceptions of every kind).

Be forewarned about similar conferences going on in your country or area. Immediately report them to the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, and get yourselves extra protection with the Blue Ray of the Divine Ones while such conferences go on. Rest assured all those puppets of the Evil Ones will be imprisoned in the Kama Loka Planet (Hell) that is now awaiting them, or be destroyed accordingly in accordance with their abominations.


November 26, 2011


Erle Frayne D. Argonza

What had happened to the children badly affected by wars across the planet? Those conflicts that are relentlessly fomented by insurgents wishing to establish mini-states rage like wild bushfires, conflicts that are orchestrated by the global oligarchy as a whole who finance and arm them via mafia conduits.

Kurdistan is a case in point where the conficts have taken place in Iraq and Turkey. The particular toll scales on children, women and aged have been at crescendo rates akin to those conflicts that have ruined once thriving states in Africa. Iraq is a case of a failed state, so it pays to follow through on the living conditions of the children in the whole country.

Incidentally, humanitarian and aid groups have been assisting the children in the war-torn regions such as Kurdistan. Below is reportage on the humanitarian efforts from the UNHCR.

[Philippines, 20 November 2011]
UNHCR assists displaced children in Iraq’s Kurdistan region
News Stories, 31 October 2011
© UNHCR/H.Caux
ERBIL, Iraq, October 31 (UNHCR) – In more stable countries, 13-year-old Firas and many of his classmates would probably be attending a school for children with special needs. They would also be benefitting from a much smaller student to teacher ratio.
But this is northern Iraq and these youngsters are just happy to be alive and receiving an education at the Amin Zaki state-run primary school in Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdis¬tan. Most of the 1,500 Arabic-speaking pupils fled their homes in Baghdad, Diyala, Kirkuk and Mosul after the eruption of sectarian violence in 2006.
“Many of the children in the school have been deeply traumatized by violence in our country,” explained senior staff member Nazifa. “Some saw their fa¬thers killed. They are not fit to be in a normal school; they need special schools with psycho-social counsel¬ling. But we don’t have those services here.”
Firas did not lose any close family members, but he saw the war up close and ugly. A bomb exploded outside his school in Baghdad in 2007 and he still has nightmares about the traumatic experience. His family decided to leave the Iraqi capital because of the deteriorating security situation at that time.
The teenager’s parents are happy that he can now continue his education, but he should be receiving special care for his trauma. What’s more, the situation at the school has been far from ideal because of the arrival of significant numbers of students fleeing from insecurity in other parts of Iraq in recent years.
There are simply too many students. And overcrowding is a problem that affects most schools in this region. At the Shlama Primary School, also in central Erbil, the overworked teachers complain that having 40 to 50 pupils per class is too much. The average class size for primary schools in the developed world is 22.
Many of the students simply get left behind, the teachers say, while adding that the school infrastructure cannot cope with so many people. Moreover, with so many children per class, the Arabic school has to run a shift system – some children attend in the morning and the rest come in the afternoon.
Fire-damaged classrooms at the Shlama school were renovated last year with funding from UNHCR, which has also carried out repairs at the Amin Zaki school. Shlama’s 52 teachers, all internally displaced civilians from Baghdad, are grateful to have jobs, but say it is difficult to make ends meet on an average monthly salary of US$450.
“My rent is US$400 in Erbil and I am happy that my husband found daily labouring work, otherwise it would not be possible to survive,” explains Ana, who also sets aside a small portion of her income to help the poorest students get to school by bus. Finding Arabic schools near their new homes in this predominantly Kurdish-speaking region has been difficult for some families.
Most of the displaced families have limited financial resourc¬es and cannot afford to live near the Arabic schools in central Erbil or to pay the US$50 monthly transport fees. “It’s not always possible to pay for transportation fees for all the needy children,” notes Ana. “So some of them stay at home,” she adds.
Although the tuition at state schools is free, families have to pay for uniforms and school supplies. UNHCR is looking at ways to help families struggling to pay for transportation and other school-related costs. The agency has also funded renovation work on more than a dozen schools for internally displaced children in the Iraqi Kurdistan region in the past year, including six in Erbil.
“Improving access to education for displaced children in Iraq is a priority,” stressed Claire Bourgeois, UNHCR’s representative in Iraq. She added that UNHCR was working with the government and other organizations to provide livelihood opportunities for internally displaced Iraqis as a way to tackle the problems of school absenteeism and child labour.
At least the children in Erbil study in sturdy buildings. In Gojar to the east, more than 120 internally displaced children are studying in tents at a camp managed by UNHCR They and their families fled their villages on the Iraq-Iran border in July to escape artillery fire.
“Despite the tough conditions, it is still very cheering to see all these displaced children getting on with their lives,” said Bushra Halepota, head of the UN¬HCR office in Erbil. She wished UNHCR could do more. Plans are under way to organize daily transportation to a school in the nearby city of Qaladiza.
By Hélène Caux in Erbil, Iraq

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November 25, 2011


Erle Frayne D. Argonza

The narratives from poor communities in developing countries about folks thriving on a mere once-a-day meal is classic story of the ‘wretched of the earth’. Getting to know them closely through participant observation could make one feel what a living hovel is which, in esse, far outweighs the subjects of Franz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth.

In UN development parlance, such folks are concrete cases of those families earning below US $2 per day. The UN’s member countries were thus challenged to accelerate their poverty alleviation agenda so as to half the quantities of warm bodies falling within the ‘wretched’ criterion.

Below is an example of a human interest narrative coming from Asia that fits into the MDG success story.

[Philippines, 19 November 2011]

From one meal a day to three
Asea Begum inside her home grocery store in Mymensingh district, northern Bangladesh. (Photo: UNDP)
Inside Asea Begum’s home, shelves teem with jars containing pulses, grains, spices and dried biscuits. A little girl runs in with a small plastic bottle that Begum fills with cooking oil in exchange for a few coins.
Asea Begum runs a small grocery store out of her one-room house in the Mymensingh district of northern Bangladesh. The store is a primary source of income for Begum, and allows her to provide for her family.
• UNDP’s UPPR initiative has improved living standards for more than 2.3 million people in Bangladesh.
• UPPR has provided Slums in Bangladesh with 12,370 latrines, 2,122 tube wells, 46 kilometers of drains and 128 kilometers of footpaths.
• More than 90 per cent of all posts in the UPPR initiative’s community-led committees are held by women.
Not long ago, however, Begum and her family ate just one meal a day, consisting of plain rice and a few pieces of chili. Her children were always hungry and her husband, who pulls a rickshaw all day, was continually exhausted.
All this changed when Begum received a loan of 6,000 Bangladeshi Taka (about US$85) from her local community development committee. The loan allowed her to start a small grocery business and thereby signicantly increase her income.
After repaying the loan, she also borrowed cash to buy goats, which she raises and sells in front of her house. Her monthly income is now about US$15, after expenses, and she has become a member of her local community development committee.
These committees, made up of women like Begum, are the core of the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) US$120m Urban Partnerships for Poverty Reduction (UPPR) initiative.
UPPR, which began in 2008 and will run until 2015, is implemented by various governmental and non-governmental partners and UN agencies. It currently has 100 government staff and 400 mostly national UNDP staff.
The project is the largest of its kind in Bangladesh and one of the largest in the world. Its goal is to reduce urban poverty in the country and improve the livelihoods and living conditions of Bangladesh’s three million urban poor and extremely poor people, especially women and girls.
“Poverty reduction initiatives have the best effects when they target women,” explains programme manager Richard Geier, “because [women] are the most affected, under-employed, and they are the ones caring for children.”
UPPR’s committees provide the necessary support for members to embark on income-generating activities and obtain eco-friendly job skills training. They also assess the community’s needs in order to develop action plans for providing needed services, such as health facilities and legal assistance.
“We are mobilising community members, integrating them into community organisations, and this helps them become empowered to address their needs,” says Geier. “They used to be isolated, but now they know they can seek help.”
By the end of 2009, Bangladesh had more than 1,200 committees, consisting of 1.7 million people from 23 towns and cities.
The committees, which also encourage members to form savings and credit groups, are highly effective in promoting the kind of development local people want and need.
As a result of the committees’ work, the slums covered by the UPPR initiative now have 12,370 more latrines, 2,122 more tube wells, 46 more kilometres of drains and 128 more kilometres of footpaths.
The UPPR initiative’s strategy also includes policy advocacy, which helps to develop policies that support the poor and implement them at national and local government levels.
It’s a strategy that seems to be working so far.
By selling groceries and rearing goats, Begum has been able to replace her house’s flimsy bamboo walls with sturdier material and her family now eats three meals a day including vegetables and fish. Best of all, through her local community development committee she has a cadre of other women on whom she can rely for support.

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November 23, 2011


Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Gracious day from the Pearl of the Orient!

12.3 Millions of laborers work under severe, forced labor conditions at any given time today. Such conditions are akin to the involuntary servitude of the colonial heydays of Western imperialism. Come think of it, the slave trade hasn’t really ended, it only mutated into a new form.

During the halcyon days of the British Empire, no less than over 20,000 ships owned by British traders were plying the seas just for one key purpose: to trade slaves sourced from Africa. The same slave traders, working behind the British East India Company, paid every intellectual prostitute that they can tap in order to propound and popularize laissez faire as a doctrine that, in reality, defended the interests of the same slave traders. Free trade means the unhampered, unregulated, uncontrolled trading of human chattel by greedy and inhumane British slave traders.

Today, that situation of the Empire’s dirty business is reversing towards a humanitarian bent. British consumers are now being urged to support the campaign against human trafficking, which seems to be a karmic payment for the sins of commission of their not-so-ancient compatriots.

Below is a report from the IOM about the anti-human trafficking campaign.

[Philippines, 18 November 2011]


IOM Campaign Urges UK Consumers to Buy Responsibly to Help End Human Trafficking

Posted on Friday, 14-10-2011

United Kingdom – Eliminating the demand for trafficked and exploited labour is critical if efforts to end human trafficking are to be successful, says the International Organization for Migration (IOM) ahead of Anti-Slavery Day in the UK.
Launching its “Buy Responsibly” campaign in London on 18 October 2011 (, IOM is urging consumers in particular to play a greater role in ending human trafficking in the UK and across the world.
Encouraging the public to question “What’s Behind the Things We Buy?” the campaign, designed together with Saatchi & Saatchi in Geneva, hopes to mobilise consumer power in dramatically changing consumer habits in the UK.

Estimates put the number of people in forced or bonded labour and sexual servitude in the world at 12.3 million at any given time. Although public focus has largely been on the issue of trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation, greater incidences are emerging of trafficking for labour exploitation involving all ages and both sexes.
Despite best efforts by all those involved in countering human trafficking, indications are that it is at least as widespread today as it was ten years ago.
In the UK, there is a slow but growing realisation that slavery is present in the UK itself and not limited to distant shores.
“A change in mindset and practices among consumers and businesses needs to occur,” Swing adds. “Consumers in the UK who are increasingly demanding fair trade have the power to end labour exploitation by buying responsibly and getting businesses to rethink how they operate. It’s also in the interest of business to ensure that supply chains are free of trafficked or exploited labour,” says Swing.
The IOM campaign, part of a global effort to address the demand side of human trafficking for labour exploitation, has already been launched in Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands.
The IOM campaign, part of a global effort to address the demand side of human trafficking for labour exploitation, has already been launched in Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands.
For the UK launch on 18 October, IOM and NGOs, including the Human Trafficking Foundation, Anti-Slavery International, Barnardo’s and Stop the Traffik, will be in Trafalgar Square, in the heart of London.
A 5×4 metre upside-down giant shopping trolley imprisoning people representing trafficked migrant workers, an image of the campaign, will be on site in Trafalgar Square. The public will be encouraged to stop and ask what it can practically do to make a difference.
The Buy Responsibly launch is one of the many awareness raising events being held in London and across the UK by NGOs as part of Anti-Slavery Week.
BROADCASTERS – The Buy Responsibly TV spot is available for use and download
Please go to:
For further information on the Buy Responsibly campaign, please visit:
For further information on IOM and its Counter-Trafficking Work, please visit:
For any media or interview requests, please contact:
Jean Philippe Chauzy
Tel: +41 79 285 4366
Jemini Pandya
Tel: +41 79 217 3374
For any further information on the launch itself, please contact:
Chiara Gnoli:
Tel: +44 20 7811 6053
Chris Gaul:
Tel: +44 207 7811 6077

PEACE & DEVELOPMENT LINKS:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


November 21, 2011


Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Ukraine, that once mighty component state of the Soviet Union, hasn’t seen much of the light of day of the new republic post-USSR. The once imperious and grand USSR was the world’s 2nd largest economy during its heyday, but historical mills have rolled on and the rugs under the feet of the Union peoples had drastically changed.

Badly sore on its feet for the dis-integration of that economic union, Ukraine had to scrounge for meager resources to re-start its sagging economy. It simply doesn’t have the experience to run a market economy, thus spawning mafia groups that took on every sector of the economy they can grab in a copycat of the Russian mafia.

Ukrainians, like their fellow ex-USSR folks, are compelled to seek for jobs overseas no matter what the mistreatment and risks they take. So desperate for cash are the Ukrainians that they’d opine a blindness to abuses and other mistreatments for the gainsake of pumping their cash-starved pockets.

What is your take of the Ukrainian downplaying of labor hazards overseas? Below is a report on the subject culled from the IOM.

[Philippines, 17 November 2011]


Ukrainians Underestimate Dangers of Human Trafficking, Report Finds

Posted on Friday, 14-10-2011

Ukraine – The overwhelming majority of Ukrainians have a limited awareness of the dangers of human trafficking, a newly published survey suggests.
The opinion poll conducted by a market research company GfK Ukraine for IOM Ukraine was carried out among a sample of 1,000 respondents (representative of Ukrainian population 14 – 65 years old by administrative units, types of settlements and gender). It found that 70 per cent of the interviewees believed they were not personally at risk of being trafficked.
While the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians (92 per cent) said they were aware of trafficking for sexual exploitation and 82 per cent conscious of the fact that Ukrainians are being trapped into forced labour, it is their low economic status and previous successful migration experiences which determine the level of risk they are under. 9 per cent of the poll respondents said they were planning to go abroad in search of living. Almost 80 per cent of this group’s representatives would agree on illegal employment, 13 per cent are ready to work for any employer who would offer an attractive payment. Residents of the Central region are more inclined towards risky behaviour. According to GfK data, 36.6 per cent of Central Ukraine’s population have to save on food and clothes. Up to 16 per cent of the Central Ukraine’s residents have external migration experience.
“Although considerable numbers of Ukrainian migrants have experienced exploitation and abuse abroad, the poll suggests that many more are willing to engage in risky practices in their often desperate search for employment abroad,” says IOM Ukraine’s Chief of Mission Manfred Profazi. “This risk taking behaviour is often fuelled by migrants who have successfully escaped exploitation and have returned home with earnings.”
Another disturbing finding of the survey is that Ukrainians tend to accept mistreatment and even rights violations in order to keep their jobs. According to the poll, 24 per cent of all respondents said they were willing to accept penalties from their employer for making mistakes at work. Further 11 per cent would accept withholding of their salaries, a method regularly used by traffickers to coerce migrants into exploitation.
More than 110,000 Ukrainians are believed to have fallen prey to traffickers since 1991 and Ukraine remains one of the main countries of origin of exploited labour in Europe.
As part of efforts to reduce the vulnerability of migrants to trafficking and exploitation, IOM Ukraine recently launched a website ( aiming to raise general public awareness of the irregular migration dangers and foster further cooperation among all partners fighting traffickers who increasingly use the internet to lure their victims into situations of exploitation.
“This is why IOM and its partners are increasingly going online to combat human trafficking,” says IOM’s Profazi. “This means getting our awareness message across job searching sites and employment portals, which regularly contain false promises of easy work abroad.”
Since the start of its counter-trafficking activities in Ukraine in 1998, IOM Ukraine assisted almost 8,000 victims of trafficking, both women and men who suffered from sexual and labour exploitation mainly in the Russian Federation and Poland.
For more information please contact:
Varvara Zhluktenko
IOM Ukraine
Tel: +38-044-568-50-15


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November 21, 2011


Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Overall budget appropriation pattern in the US Congress has shown an increasing cuts of aid to other countries. The US $4 Billions given each to Egypt and Israel were squeezed down a mere $3 Billions for both countries.

The rationale given by the mentally bankrupt US legislators is that priority for allocations should be domestic needs rather than those that fit foreign relations matters. Isolationism is creeping inside legislators more so the House of Representatives or ‘lower house’. In US institutional history, the term ‘lower house’ was used to label the House of Representatives to signify the low level of wisdom and competence of its members relative to the Senate.

Signs of the times, isn’t it? US hegemonism on the global terrain is now crashing down in a context that is increasingly moving toward multipolar power arrangement. Domestic demands for larger money inputs is ever rising at exponential rates while the debt levels are sucking down financial resources intended for more productive uses (pump priming) and social welfare.

Below is an analytical piece about the subject culled from the New York Times.

[Philippines, 16 November 2011]

No Time to Get Stingy
Published: October 8, 2011
Spending for diplomacy and foreign aid has long been a favorite target of Congressional budget cutters. That’s truer than ever this year with the supercommittee looking for a $1.5 trillion reduction in the federal deficit. Why spend precious tax dollars overseas when the need at home is so great?
For the sake of national security, this country cannot afford to retreat from the world. Its investment in the State Department and foreign aid helps advance peace and stability by feeding starving people, providing access to doctors and medicines, opening new markets, promoting democracy, curbing nuclear arms and strengthening allies with military and economic assistance. It also gives Washington leverage.
There is a lot of public misunderstanding about foreign aid, which accounts for less than 2 percent of the federal budget. And the truth is, much of that money — too much — goes to American producers of food, medicine and weapons that are delivered abroad.
International affairs spending — on diplomats and embassies, aid to more than 100 countries and funding for the World Bank, the United Nations and others — declined after the cold war. It rose after 9/11, from about $32 billion in 2002 to $57 billion in 2010, largely because of obligations connected to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, aid to Pakistan and a greater investment in global health.
The trend is shifting again. As chart A shows, the budget was cut by $6 billion, or roughly 11 percent, in 2011, with a $2 billion reduction possible in 2012 if the Republican-led House prevails. The largest category of spending is direct economic aid, which supports global health programs, as well as efforts to reform economies, expand education and respond to disasters in Haiti, Japan and elsewhere. That type of spending was cut to $21 billion in 2011 from $25 billion in 2010.
Military and security aid to fight terrorism abroad, combat drug trafficking and underwrite foreign arms purchases and military training amounted to $8 billion in 2011. Israel gets about $3 billion annually, with money also going to Egypt, Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. This is one category the House would increase. The State Department’s salaries, embassy construction and security, and contributions to international institutions make up most of the rest of the budget.
At least four critical areas would suffer disproportionately from cuts proposed by the House. The Obama administration opposes those cuts and is seeking limited increases. As chart B shows, food aid, which was $1.7 billion in 2011, would fall 28 percent to $1.2 billion in the House plan. A global health initiative, which is reducing malaria in Africa and preventing the spread of H.I.V./AIDS, under that plan would lose $700 million from its $7.8 billion budget. The United States Agency for International Development (Usaid), which oversees aid programs and ensures that funds are properly spent, faces a $400 million cut — and likely staff layoffs. Money for development projects like water filtration plants would be sliced by 18 percent by the House.
Savings squeezed from the State Department and foreign aid — which together are less than a tenth of the basic Pentagon budget — would be a tiny share of the $3.8 trillion federal budget. Yet the effects would be hugely damaging to American foreign policy. Washington needs resources to support new democracy movements in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. This is also a critical time in Iraq and Afghanistan, where demands for diplomatic resources are growing. National security has always depended on more than military strength. We need diplomats to anticipate problems and find nonmilitary solutions. The drive to cut diplomatic resources and foreign aid seriously harms our ability to do just that.

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November 17, 2011


Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Beware! Other countries might pollute your own country’s waters and ecosystems!

This is the thematic message being highlighted to the global community by West Africa where transnational pollution is wreaking havoc on marine ecosystem. Industrial wastes are of particular concern in the region as they have magnified social dilemmas arising from their unregulated disposal into the seas and coastal areas.

Below is a special report from the UNIDO about the subject.

[Philippines, 14 Nobember 2011]
Working to prevent transnational pollution in the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem
The location is Kpémé. It can easily be found in Google Maps. All that needs to be done is to enter the name and click on the image to enlarge. And there it is – Kpémé, in Togo, West Africa.
Now, click once more… and once again … and you will see what is supposed to be the sparkling blue waters of a part of the Guinea Current – a warm ocean current that flows easterly along the coast of West Africa. These waters, however, are brown. The reason? A phosphate factory in the nearby Kpémé which has been releasing its waste waters into the sea for years. “What looks like environmental fraud at first glance, is in fact a complex socio-economic dilemma,” says Christian Susan of UNIDO’s Water Management Unit.
The coastal region of Togo hosts more than 90 per cent of the industrial units of the country. Among these is the International Fertilizer Group (IFG) industry, which processes phosphates at Kpémé.
“The revenues from IFG contribute significantly to Togo’s Gross National Income USD. So far Togo has not yet enacted any standards for industrial waste water and phosphate accounts for some 20 per cent of export earnings and IFG is one of Togo’s largest employers,” explains Susan. Yet the effluents discharged in the coastal waters without any further treatment provoke enormous pollution problems along the coast of Togo as well as beyond the country’s territorial waters, including in Benin and all the way to Nigeria.
Since 2005, UNIDO has been supporting Togo helping– deal with the polluted coastal waters through the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem (GCLME) project.
The GCLME is one of the world’s 64 large marine ecosystems that together produce 95 per cent of the annual world fish catch. The physical extent of the Guinea Current encompasses coastal waters from Guinea-Bissau on the north to Angola on the south, with 16 West-African countries sharing the resources of the GCLME.
The waters of the GCLME are among the world’s most productive and are characterized by abundant biodiversity. They support large populations of sardines, tunas, mackerel and other species important to the economies and livelihood of the more than 300 million people in the coastal zone as sources of food and export products.
The waters are not only rich in fisheries, but also support large-scale gas and oil production, coastal and mangroves that provide important nursery grounds for various fish stocks. Present and future generations in West Africa are largely dependant on these resources – enough reason for UNIDO to harness know-how and expertise and seek ways to clean-up the coastal region.
“The phosphate mine in Kpémé constitutes one of the most serious but by far not the only source of transboundary industrial pollution in this ecosystem,” says Christian Susan.
Under the umbrella of the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem project, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) supports the sixteen countries sharing the ecosystem in their efforts to restore and sustain depleted fisheries, reduce pollution, restore degraded habitats and institutionalize eco-system wide cooperation.
The project is to be completed by April 2012. It is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and executed by UNIDO. It also benefits from substantial support provided by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (US-NOAA).
To strengthen regional cooperation the riparian countries have established the Interim Guinea Current Commission (IGCC). The GCLME project’s Regional Coordination Unit which is hosted by the Government of Ghana serves as the Commission’s executive secretariat.
“In line with UNIDO’s Green Industry concept, we make sure that industrial production is maintained while resource efficiency is increased and detrimental environmental impacts resulting from industrial production processes are reduced,” says Christian Susan.
“In 2006 we conducted in-depth research that led to the recommendation of low-cost, low-technology measures to control the pollution of GCLME waters by drastically reducing the particulate content of effluents from the phosphate processing plant. Then, in 2009, we helped prepare detailed engineering designs, bills of quantities and cost estimates. Today, UNIDO experts are assessing the environmental, social and financial feasibility to recycle and re-utilize the sludge resulting from the proposed waste water treatment plant for industrial purposes as well as for income generating activities.”
UNIDO, helped identify the best technology to deal with the industrial pollution and developed a forward-looking strategy. The Organization has also helped train experts in all 16 countries of the GCLME. They will continue the cleaning of the ecosystem.
By Eva Manasieva
Posted October 2011
To download a fact sheet on the programme, go here
For more information about the programme, please email:
Christian Susan
UNIDO Project Manager

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November 16, 2011


Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Where points the policy compass of the USA? This seems to be indicated somehow by the latest survey poll in the states that showed incumbent president Obama leading his GOP rivals by huge margins.

Simpletons across the ideological spectrum, notably the conservatives or Right, have been demonizing Obama as going socialist. Lacking analytical sophistication, the simpletons tend to associate to policy initiatives that fail as ‘socialist’. The fundamentalist Evangelicals, neo-Nazis and Tea Party demagogues equate ‘socialist’ with the Devil, a nauseating contention that only mars the reality as it is.

Obama has shown a populist bent, from his domestic to foreign policy initiatives, and so the unsophisticated voters better do their homework to know what populism is. Populism as of late has tended to blend well with liberalism to which the Democrat Party has leaned on.

In its original sense, populism’s visionaries were inclined to highlight the oppressive living conditions of the marginal farmers, urban poor and petty artisans. Those classes are referred to as the ‘people down there’, people who supposedly were forgotten by policy agenda that favored the wealthy gentry class (oligarchs), middle class and workingmen (skilled).

In its more recent form as neo-populism, there has been the stress on concern for ‘marginal sectors’ at large. Popular Democracy or PopDem is among the recent morphs in PH, which jibed well with former president Estrada’s urban poor populist bias. The hard-line Maoists do have their variant of populism, which was demonstrated during the Gang of Four’s ‘great proletarian cultural revolution’.

Below is a report from the Time concerning the poll survey.

[Philippines, 13 November 2011]

TIME Poll: Obama Still Ahead of GOP Rivals, Voters Side With Dems on Taxes
By ALEX ALTMAN | – Fri, Oct 14, 2011
Despite sweeping pessimism about the nation’s fortunes and his own sliding approval ratings, President Obama leads potential Republican rivals Mitt Romney and Rick Perry in hypothetical general-election match-ups, according to a new TIME poll.
Obama leads Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who sits atop the GOP presidential field, 46% to 43% among likely voters. The President has opened a double-digit lead over Perry, 50% to 38%, highlighting concerns percolating through the GOP that the Texas governor would face a steep uphill climb should he capture the nomination. Obama also boasts a 49% to 37% edge over businessman Herman Cain, whose strong Tea Party support has propelled him toward the top of Republican ranks in recent weeks. In each case, the President was buoyed by his performance among female voters. Women prefer Obama over Romney by eight percentage points (49% to 41%), by 17 points over Perry (53% to 36%) and by 21 points over Cain (53% to 32%). (See photos of Republicans taking over New Hampshire.)
Obama’s strength in head-to-head match-ups with potential Republican rivals belies his own shaky footing with a weary electorate. Just 44% of voters approve of the President’s performance, a slip of four points since a similar poll was conducted in June. Four out of five respondents say the U.S. has veered off track, and 71% think the country’s clout in the world is waning. A scant 5% report feeling positive or unconcerned about the state of the nation.
The President’s positive personal qualities have cushioned voters’ frustration with the sagging U.S. economy, the exodus of capital to overseas markets and the declining value of the dollar. Most voters see Obama as tough enough to shepherd the U.S. through this rough patch (50% to 44%), and empathetic (59% to 37%) to the concerns of Americans like themselves. By a 48% to 37% margin, respondents consider him a better President than his predecessor, George W. Bush, who won a hard-fought battle for a second term amid falling approval ratings and an opposition galvanized by the war in Iraq.
For Democrats, the silver lining in a gloomy series of electoral rebukes and legislative setbacks is that voters remain partial to their chief economic principles, at least compared to the alternatives. Forty-two percent of respondents say they place greater trust in the Democratic Party to deal with the nation’s problems, compared to the 31% who side with Republicans. In particular, some two-thirds of those surveyed say they prefer the Democrats’ blueprint for trimming the federal deficit — a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes — to the GOP prescription, which would solely slash spending. At the same time, more voters think reducing spending is a better way to juice the moribund economy than an additional round of stimulus, the approach advocated by liberal economists. (See “Obama’s Tax Plan: ‘Fair Share’ vs. ‘Class Warfare.'”)
The survey also revealed that respondents have a better impression of the left-leaning protest movement known as Occupy Wall Street than they do of the Tea Party movement. Fifty-four percent of respondents harbor a positive view of the burgeoning protest movement, well above the 23% with a negative opinion. By contrast, just 27% of those surveyed have favorable views of the Tea Party, while 65% say its impact on U.S. politics since its inception in 2009 has been negative or negligible.
Those results reflect a strain of economic populism common to the new movement’s backers. Among those respondents familiar with Occupy Wall Street, nearly 80% argue the wealth disparity in the U.S. has grown too large and 68% say the rich should pay more taxes. Even so, this cohort is aware of the challenges facing the movement. Fifty-six percent predict Occupy Wall Street will have little impact on American politics, and another 9% say its effect will be negative.
The poll, conducted for TIME by Abt SRBI, surveyed 1,001 adults — 83% of whom described themselves as likely voters — between Oct. 9-10.

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November 16, 2011


Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Cookstove-related deaths now quantify to 2 millions of dead victims every year. It seems the figure is still rising inspite of the cookstove revolution going on, a revolution led by wiz kids and eager problem solvers.

Supposedly clean-air inducing stoves have been mass produced and disseminated to developing countries over the past few decades. Yet it now turns out that the same stoves have become sources of air pollution and couples of toxins right inside domiciles.

How impactful has cookstove revolution been? A special report on the subject is attached below.

[Philippines, 11 November 2011]


Cookstove revolutionaries failing to measure their impact
Gozde Zorlu
14 October 2011 | EN
Millions of clean cookstoves have been deployed in the developing world, but there is very little research measuring the effectiveness of this intervention — and how it could be improved, say researchers.
Burning biomass such as charcoal, crop residues and wood for cooking and heating causes indoor air pollution, which affects three billion people worldwide. Air pollution is a leading environmental cause of death, with an estimated two million deaths occurring every year — most of them from acute lower respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer — according to the WHO.
But, although the health risks associated with indoor air pollution are clear, the amount by which emissions need to be reduced to cut those risks and improve health is still unknown, researchers said in an article published in Science today (14 October).
To date, there has been just one study into the impact of reduced exposure to indoor air pollution, said the researchers. This considered child pneumonia in Guatemala and found that as much as 90 per cent emissions reduction is required to decrease risk. It remains unclear whether other health risks required an equally drastic reduction, the authors said.
“We need to measure the levels of exposure to smoke in the homes when these new stoves are used. It is not good enough to rely on what works in the laboratory setting,” William Martin, co-author of the article and associate director for disease prevention and health promotion at the US National Institutes of Health, told SciDev.Net.
“We need to be certain that the stoves really reduce smoke to such a degree that health is improved, we need to assess a large enough population and measure the health impacts directly.”
He added: “There is no shortcut to research. We need to verify that similar results occur in different settings and using different health outcomes.”
The authors say that around US$150–200 million would be required for research into health risks associated with indoor air pollution.
Initiatives to roll out new improved and efficient cooking stoves provide a “great opportunity” to determine whether this intervention works, said the researchers, citing the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, launched by the UN Foundation, which aims to distribute clean and efficient stoves and fuels to 100 million homes by 2020.
Indoor air pollution is also linked to low birth weight, burn injuries, eye cataracts, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and tuberculosis. And burning biomass contributes to environmental degradation and deforestation. Improved and efficient stoves could help reduce fuel use and decrease black carbon (a key component of soot) emissions.

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November 14, 2011


Erle Frayne D. Argonza

UK’s Department for International Development or DfID should improve the monitoring of its aid offers to developing countries, particularly those aid involving infrastructures. This is the assessment of evaluators both inside and outside the UK.

UK’s aid comes from taxpayers’ money, the same taxpayers who are up in revolt over diminishing social services funds for education, health, and related welfare purposes. There are howls raised from partisan quarters concerning the propriety of UK providing further aid to other countries at a time when Britain’s own economy is on fire.

Below is a special report on the subject from the

[Philippines, 11 November 2011]


DfID Urged to Improve Monitoring of Multilateral Aid for Infrastructure
Ivy Mungcal
10 October 2011
The U.K. Department for International Development needs a more “systematic approach” for monitoring the funding it provides to multilateral development banks for infrastructure projects to avoid corruption and ensure value for U.K. taxpayers’ money, the development committee of the U.K. House of Commons said in a new report.
The report lauds DfID’s innovative approach to supporting infrastructure development in the developing world, including through mechanisms such as the Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility, the Guardian reports. But members of the committee that drafted the report said the department needs to improve the way it tracks and monitor its contributions to multilateral bank-financed infrastructure projects, the news agency adds.
“We believe that assessing the comparative cost of infrastructure projects financed by the various multilaterals should be an ongoing process for DfID,” the committee members said. “We ask DfID to look at how it could undertake a more systematic approach to assessing the value for money provided by different multilaterals for the infrastructure projects they finance.”
The report expresses particular concern over U.K. contributions to infrastructure projects managed by the African Development Bank, which the report said DfID itself has cited for project delays, poor quality staffing and lack of poverty focus in the department’s recent multilateral aid review.
Members of the Common’s development committee also raised concern over the rigid rules of the World Bank and other multilateral development banks which they said hamper the development of local jobs and capacity.
“We recommend that DfID use its leverage at the World Bank and the other MDBs to ensure that they build capacity within developing country government procurement processes, for example by specifying in large infrastructure projects funded by MDBs a certain level of local procurement, or the use of, or training of, local professionals.,” the members of parliament wrote in the report, as quoted by the Guardian.
Further, the report urges DfID to draft and implement an infrastructure strategy that lays out the department’s priorities within the sector such as local capacity development, focus on road safety measures and use of technologies suited for the needs of aid recipient countries.
Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.
Ivy Mungcal
Ivy covers international development breaking news for The Development Newswire, Global Development Briefing and other Devex publications, focusing in particular on U.S. aid reform as well as the Americas and Caribbean.

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November 12, 2011


Erle Frayne D. Argonza

“Mirror mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?” desperately asked a development worker unto a magic mirror, confronted as she is with the question of transparency in donor funding and utilization. The magical mirror then gently responded,”search it in your heart, dearest one, for you might not believe me if I tell you.”

I wish I could say this: transparency in aid offering is a non-existent thing, a chimerical stuff that is only fit for the most ridiculous soap operas. From the source of funds down to the recipients, there are grey transactions, kickbacks or whatever. For instance, a water utilities project that would cost merely US $100 Millions can be inflated 10X as much to total US $1 Billions, as cost estimates are padded with a collusion from the donor agency and the recipients (consultants who do the feasibility study are then bribed to maintain “silence of the lambs.”)

I wasn’t born yesterday, and I am deeply aware of the non-transparent transactions in the aids business. I know of technical consultants who can testify in any appropriate body (legislative, judicial) concerning the dirty transactions if given the opportunities to squeal information.

Below is a relevant discussion concerning the subject.

[Philippines, 09 November 2011]


Global Initiative Alarmed Over ‘Pushback’ on Aid Transparency Commitments as Busan Forum Nears
Posted by Che de los Reyes on 10 October 2011 07:02:00 AM
A global aid transparency group has expressed alarm over the “pushback” in aid transparency commitments among donor countries while the text for the final document to be approved in the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan next month is being negotiated.
According to the campaign group Publish What You Fund, a number of donors seem to be ”attempting to dilute or undermine” commitments to aid transparency “by removing all references to the International Aid Transparency Initiative” and implementation deadlines during the “Working Party on Aid Effectiveness” meeting in Paris this week.
The IATI provides a common format and agreed standard for donors’ reporting on aid.
In the meeting hosted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — the last before the Nov 29 to Dec. 1 Busan forum — donor countries, particularly Japan, the United States and Germany, are disagreeing on deadlines for reducing tied aid, Publish What You Fund said.
Other countries such as Ireland and Norway, despite being founding members of IATI, are silent on the matter. China, meanwhile, is proposing to delete the whole transparency section from the text, the group said.
This “evasiveness” on actual commitments, however, comes despite the fact that donors are “seriously off track to meet their aid effectiveness targets” that were agreed upon six years ago.
But the co-chairs of the working party have stressed the importance of IATI and the need for donors to agree on implementation dates. They also stressed there are more commitments from partner countries than donors.
Despite the perceived turning back by some donors on their commitments, Publish What You Fund noted that a number of large donors have expressed support for IATI. These include the World Bank, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands and the European Commission.
The global initiative is thus urging the international community to prevent “a handful of countries from undermining the hopes of a successful meeting in Busan.”
“At a time when aid budgets are under huge pressure,” the campaign group said, “failure to deliver on transparency and accountability could have serious implications for the funding of life-saving poverty reduction efforts around the world.”
Read more:
• What Happens When Donors Fail to Meet Their Commitments?
• Commonwealth Ministers Urge for Greater Aid Transparency
• Ahead of Busan Meeting, African Leaders Discuss Aid Reforms
• European Commission Outlines Priorities for Upcoming Aid Effectiveness Summit
• In Busan, Civil Society to Push for Human Rights-based Development
Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.
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November 10, 2011


Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Does agriculture still promise Glad Tidings for the youth of today in developing countries more so the poor ones?

Urbanization has been rapidly spreading across the developing world. The rising cities present themselves as lands of vast opportunities for the youth, an enchanting experience that has lured even the sons and daughters of small planters to seek jobs in the cities right after high school. Those who take up college degrees never return to their rural communities.

With new opportunities for agriculture setting in today, created by global markets, does agriculture promise a career to the youth in parallel manner as industries and services offer to them? Jamaica seems to show the way to such a positive track in farming for the youth as shown in the report below.

[Philippines, 08 November 2011]


Agriculture opens new doors for young Jamaicans
Kingston – Some 650 young and jobless women and men in four impoverished areas of Jamaica have received training in cultivation and food production skills to boost their job opportunities in local farming and agro-industries.

Through a three-year programme started in January 2010 by the Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the young people have learned how to process fruit and vegetable juice, herbs and ginger powder to produce dried fruit, jams, sorrel, meat and honey.

“This project provides not only technical knowledge and training, but facilities and equipment that would have been difficult or impossible for them to do otherwise,” said Machel Stewart, UNDP Poverty Programme Advisor.

The Rural Youth Employment Project also involves workshops and career days with presentations by farmers and agribusiness professionals from around the country where nearly one third of Jamaicans aged 15-29 are unemployed.

“Agriculture is beneficial to my family and to the whole world,” said a 15 year-old high school student who dreams to own a farm in Saint Thomas, one of the most underdeveloped parishes in the island, with high levels of unemployment, poverty and early pregnancy cases.

“It helps us spend less money because we grow what we eat,” she added.

More than 360 high-school students – 60 percent of them women – have been involved in agriculture career days. In addition, 114 young community leaders attended workshops on leadership, team building and management, fund-raising and event planning, community safety and security.

The project – a US$1,000,000 partnership with the National Centre for Youth Development, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority and national youth organizations – is implemented by Jamaica’s Scientific Research Council and funded by UNDP and the United States Agency for International Development.

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November 9, 2011


Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Gracious day from the Philippines!

For those who are in pedagogy and capacity-building, here is a recently released manual on improving teachers’ and educational quality. Released by the UNESCO, the manual is titled: Teachers and Educational Quality: Monitoring Global Needs for 2015.

This well researched material, which took 25 countries as country cases to accomplish, could just be the one we need to search for fresh ideas on how to address the problem of declining quality of education world-wide. Declining teachers’ quality redounds to declining instructional quality, thus resulting to low aptitude levels as measured by math, sciences and language abilities.

Below is an apt briefer about the said manual coming from the UNESCO site.

[Philippines, 07 November 2011]


Teachers and Educational Quality: Monitoring Global Needs for 2015

Albert Motivans, Thomas Smith and Michael Bruneforth

UNESCO Reference Works series

Ce titre est disponible.

25,00 € €

Livre, 216 pages, 48 figures, 9 tables, 21 boxes

Format: 28 × 21,5 cm

2006, 978-92-9189-033-0


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Teachers and Educational Quality: Monitoring Global Needs for 2015 provides global and regional assessments on the state of teachers and education quality. By highlighting trends in the numbers and quality of teachers, especially in developing countries, it explores the policy implications that come into play when attempts are made to bridge any gaps between the two. It also compares the strengths and shortcomings of recruitment and deployment policies, as well as looking at working conditions around the world.
Data on less-developed countries, in particular, are presented from a wide range of sources. These include administrative data, student assessment studies and special data collection on primary and secondary teachers in 25 countries. Aiming to inform policy-making, the report employs international benchmarks for monitoring change.
This publication also features a unique methodology for simulating teacher demand by 2015. It not merely projects demand, but defines fixed targets described in terms of indicators, also applying a model to quantify the minimum required to reach stated goals.
Also available in the UNESCO Reference Works series

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November 8, 2011


Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Afghanistan is the favorite guinea pig of the British oligarchy to mass produce opium through the operations of their drug dealers. Such dealers in turn negotiate with the opium farmers who are paid their wages in gold, thus showing the link of the drug trade to gold hoarding on global scale.

A laboratory for corrupt deals of crocodile contractors and big business from the West, Afghanistan is typical failed state which is only a nation-state on paper. Corruption is the general trend in the country, from the Western biz corps to Afghan politicians who pocket aid intended for the country.

Destroyed by the Droid armies of the global oligarchy (droid armies = herds of US troops), Afghanistan is as vulnerable as ever to every monstrosity of warlords, drug dealers, mafia businesses, and crocodile politicians. Below is the case of an Australian contractor that has pocketed kickbacks to close deals within the host country.

[Philippines, 06 November 2011]

Australian Contractor Admits Accepting Payment for Steering Deals in Afghan Reconstruction Projects
Posted by Ivy Mungcal on 14 October 2011 06:06:04 AM
Local men work at a construction site for new shops in Helmand, Afghanistan. A former construction manager in the country has pleaded guilty to seeking and receiving payments for steering U.S.-financed projects in favor of local firms and contractors. Photo by: isafmedia / CC BY
A former construction manager who worked as an agent for the International Organization for Migration in Afghanistan has pleaded guilty to seeking and receiving payments for steering U.S.-financed projects in favor of local Afghan firms and contractors.
Neil Campbell, who is originally from Australia, admitted before a U.S. district court that he solicited a one-time payment of $190,000 from an Afghan subcontractor as reward for channeling more than $15 million worth of IOM reconstruction projects, including the construction of a school and a hospital, to the said local company.
The projects were funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, which has provided some $260 million to the IOM since 2002 for the construction of schools, hospitals and other facilities in Afghanistan.
Campbell is set to be sentenced on Dec. 14, 2011. He was initially facing up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine but his plea deal with the U.S. government guarantees he would only serve a maximum sentence of 27 months and pay only up to $50,000 in fines, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Campbell has also agreed to repay the $10,000 he received from an undercover USAID investigator who posed as representative of the Afghan subcontractor as part of the sting operation that eventually led to Campbell’s arrest.

U.S. officials have touted Campbell’s arrest and his admission as a display of the U.S. government’s “seriousness” in protecting the money it spends on overseas projects.
“We will continue to deploy investigative resources around the world to ensure that criminals who exploit our generosity are held accountable in an American courtroom,” U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen Jr. of the District of Columbia said in a statement.
Federal Bureau of Investigation Assistant Director James McJunkin added: “Today’s plea is a reminder that taking fraudulent payments and misrepresenting U.S. interests has its consequences.”
Read more on U.S. aid reform online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.

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