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Letter: Development Economics 101 Explains Afghan Failure

By Development economics No Comments

Updates to the letter

So much has been written about the purpose and result of the US intervention in Afghanistan (Big Read, August 21). However, the economics doesn’t get much attention.

I would like to highlight the role of development or reconstruction as reported in the Special Inspector General’s “Lessons Learned Program” for the reconstruction of Afghanistan released last month.

He states that “many institutions and infrastructure projects built by the United States were not sustainable” (Lesson 3); that “American personnel in Afghanistan were often unqualified and poorly trained” (lesson 4) and that “American agencies [were] struggling to measure results effectively while sometimes relying on fragile data to claim success ”(Lesson 7).

In development economics, lack of sustainability effectively means that the cost stream over the economic life of a project exceeds the benefits. This situation is common in parts of the developing world plagued by inefficiency and corruption. The roots of failure in Afghanistan, as documented by Sigar, are no mystery. Who is to blame and why is another story.

Professor Mehdi Al Bazzaz
Former World Bank Economist
Alexandria, Virginia, United States

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The Rovinj school team participates in the International Economics Olympiad

By International economics No Comments

August 21, 2021 – A team from the Rovinj school took part in the International Economics Olympics among 200 other high school students from no less than 44 teams.

As Poslovni Dnevnik / Marta Duic writes, more than 200 high school students from 44 national teams participated in the 2021 International Economics Olympiad (IEO). The host country this year was Latvia, and the competition took place online from July 26 to August. 1st.

Croatia was represented by the Batana team from Lycée Zvana Crnja, a school in Rovinj which includes students Deborah Bozic and Tea Paris and students Luka Domic, Simon Constantin Djekic and Patrik Mocibob. The winning team was supervised by Sandra Kranjcic and Jelena Bulian Petrovic.

“The crowning of our efforts and work, the acquisition of knowledge through four years of teaching in economics, was the winning result at the National Economic Olympiad. Considering that it was the first economic Olympiad organized in Croatia, and at the same time from the first performance of students and mentors to the international competition, we did not know what to expect.

We relied on our acquired education in which we invested a lot of effort and work. Regarding the national competition, it was important for us to get good investment results and to have a good overall result. We achieved this through teamwork, solidarity and faith in all members of the team, ” say mentors Sandra Kranjcic and Jelena Bulian Petrovic.

As they say, the whole competition was held in English, which was a difficult circumstance for them in solving the tasks.

“The tasks were quite demanding for us as the curriculum for training economists differs from country to country. The entire competition included the financial literacy game – a simulation of life and investments through a certain character of a person and the importance of his dreams through which we showcased our financial literacy knowledge, our exam knowledge in economics and the preparation of presentations and case studies on the production of new cars.

The experience was positive for all of us, we made new acquaintances, communicated with students from different places and adopted new knowledge and skills. We have tried something new and different which will certainly help us in our continuing education. We had the opportunity to present our work and demonstrate our communication and presentation skills to mentors and juries from various countries.

Unfortunately, the whole competition took place online due to the situation with the pandemic, so we did not have the opportunity to travel to Latvia and experience the real charm of such a great competition, ” said said the members of the Batana team of the aforementioned Rovinj school.

This year, EMI is being held for the fourth time, and since its launch in 2018, the hosts have been Russia and Kazakhstan.

The Olympiad included individual competitions in the form of a financial literacy simulation game, tests of knowledge of economics and its practical application, as well as team competitions in developing the best strategy to solve a practical business situation. .

“For Latvia and the University of Latvia, the honor of hosting the Olympiad is the greatest recognition of our work on the committee, council and jury. We are determined to do our best to make this year’s competition an unforgettable adventure for young talent around the world, both in terms of gaining new knowledge and making new friendships, ”said Gundars Berzins, Dean from FBME at the University of Latvia.

The Croatian Economic Olympiad, i.e. the Croatian Economic Olympiad, is a project of the Center for Youth Development, the winners of which are the Batana team from the Rovinj school representing Croatia in Latvia . The aim of the project, they say, is to encourage high school students to engage in extracurricular activities and use their knowledge acquired in school on concrete examples and tasks, and to get them more interested in the entrepreneurship and the economy.

According to the association, they are extremely satisfied with the response this year, namely nearly 20 Croatian schools have confirmed their participation, and some have even registered more than one team. It should be mentioned that the Center for Youth Development has been operating since 2012, and under the auspices of the center, more than 500 students and young people have volunteered since its activation.

“The association cooperates with more than 90 student associations and youth associations and supports more than 200 of their projects so that young people contribute to the community, while acquiring knowledge and skills that are not provided by institutions of formal education. “said the center.

To find out more, follow our lifestyle section.

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Farm workers deemed ‘essential’, tourists, not so much – International economy plays out differently for Yuma County

By International economics No Comments

The Yuma, Arizona pandemic experience is a story of two borders, each affecting a different part of the region’s economy.

To the south and west are the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California. Thousands of workers cross the border with Mexico, some seasonally and others every day – even during the pandemic – to help care for billions of dollars in produce grown in Yuma County. The county, known as the “Lettuce Capital of the United States,” produces 90% of the nation’s winter lettuce supply.

A thousand miles north, the Canadian border is the gateway for snowbirds to second homes and tourist attractions in Yuma County. These travelers and part-time residents have been stuck on the Canadian side of the border for 16 months, with money they would have spent in the local economy.

Last year, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said farm workers were essential, which means people living in Mexico who are employed in Yuma County on an H2-A (farm worker temporary) can cross the border for work, even if the border is closed to others. travelers.

Canadian tourists, of course, were not seen as essential workers, and their absence from the local economy piqued Yuma County.

“Everyone thinks the biggest border for us is the Mexican border,” said Kimberly Kahl, executive director of the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce. But for tourism in Yuma County, the Mexican border is less important. “For us, it’s the Canadian border that is important,” Kahl said.

Yuma County, which is a small metropolitan area in southwestern Arizona, saw a large influx of California tourists once the state opened up after the first months of the pandemic. But tourism has not reached the same level that Canadian snowbirds traditionally create, Kahl said.

“I think when the state opened up everyone wanted to travel a lot more,” she said. “I know some of our member hotels have been booked for a while over the weekend.”

Yuma County Courthouse in 2010. (Photo by Ken Lund via Flickr, Creative Commons)

Vaccination and borders

Vaccines were not a factor in this initial increase in domestic travel, as it began before Covid-19 vaccines became available.

But American vaccinations will play a role in opening international borders to tourists. Canada plans to open the border to American travelers on August 9, but only to those who are fully vaccinated.

The United States plans to reopen borders with Canada and Mexico on August 21. A first effort to open the borders this month was pushed back over fears of the growing number of Covid-19 cases in the United States. The increase is being fueled by the more contagious Delta variant of Covid-19, which is spread primarily through people who have not been fully vaccinated.

For its part, Yuma County vaccinated 48.6% of its population, placing the county in the top 15% of the country for vaccinations. More than 60% of the population aged 18 and over is fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kahl said the chamber is working with both the Yuma County health department and its members to coordinate the vaccination of their employees. But most of their members are retail, restaurant and hospitality businesses, she said, not large-scale farm businesses.

Workers pick romaine lettuce in a field near Yuma, Ariz., November 23, 2012. (Photo by Peter Haden via Flickr, Creative Commons)

Reaching out to agricultural workers

Farm workers created a different set of problems for local health officials. Much of the agricultural workforce is migratory, which means it follows seasonal harvests in the United States. Some of this number are also immigrants. More than 9,000 temporary work visas were issued to farm workers in Arizona in 2020, most in Yuma County.

According to the Purdue University Food and Agriculture Vulnerability Index, 7,200 farm workers had tested positive for Covid-19 as of March 10. About 1,000 of them were in Yuma County. The county of about 214,000 residents has recorded more than 74,000 Covid-19 infections in total and more than 850 Covid-related deaths, according to the CDC.

Authorities and health partners have made efforts to immunize migrant workers.

Amanda Aguirre, executive director of the Regional Border Health Center, said her clinic, as well as the health ministry, were working with the largest agricultural companies to get workers vaccinated. This included taking workers to the drive-thru vaccination clinics.

But many have moved on. While many of the larger farms worked with the Yuma County health center and department to get their workers vaccinated, there was a lot of resistance to getting vaccinated from migrant workers, Aguirre said.

In addition, migrant workers in the United States have a harder time accessing vaccines, according to the Migrant Clinicians Network.

As demand for the vaccine dwindles, Aguirre said she still works with companies and others to gain information about vaccines and their importance.

“We’re trying to develop campaigns to reach out… and keep testing and vaccinating,” she said. “We are creating educational campaigns to reach the people who are very hesitant to get vaccinated right now… those families who are still hard to reach but who are also hesitant to get vaccinated among the Hispanic-American families living in the region.

Aguirre said his fear was that one of the variants of the virus would take hold in the region before enough people were vaccinated.

“I don’t want to reflect Europe,” she said. “They opened and then closed again because of the variations. I think the difference is that we have vaccines and we have time. “

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ATII Special Report – How Human Traffickers Exploit the International Economy: Cryptocurrencies, Banks and Credit Cards (part 2 of 4) – CFCS

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Cryptocurrency: Criminals and Buyers Turn to Virtual Value for Muddy Money Trail

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is increasingly coveted by criminals for its pseudo-anonymous and almost untraceable nature.

Examples include Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, Ethereum, and Dogecoin.

Cryptocurrencies are used by traffickers to buy advertisements and by sex buyers to purchase premium subscriptions on review board websites.

These are member-only platforms where users of illicit sex operations – whether individual sex worker or, say, illegal massage parlor – rank will, depth of depravity. and the price of workers.

In a growing number of cases, trafficking groups are combining several laundering techniques to make it as difficult as possible for individual banks, prepaid card operators, virtual money exchanges and law enforcement investigators to bring them all together. elements of the financial network and related money laundering. cycles.

For example, some traffic networks will buy prepaid open-loop cards – like a gift card that acts and looks like a debit or credit card for a payment processor – just below the ID thresholds, essentially making them anonymous.

The group will then use them to buy virtual currencies and move more of their value through exchanges with weak anti-money laundering (AML) controls and in jurisdictions plagued with corruption and historically lax compliance defenses. fight against crime.

To this end, FinCEN has issued warnings regarding traffickers using multiple layers of payment as well as cryptocurrency to protect their identity, as a recent case study shows.

Case Study: Welcome to the Video – The Financial Networks Behind Child Exploitation

Human traffickers and other groups who find and share illicit images of exploited children earn at least hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by selling the acts themselves and enjoying the images and videos – vile media that is even illegal to own in most countries. .

The “Welcome to Video” website, which was a platform for child sexual abuse material (CSAM) on the dark web, managed membership through a cryptocurrency-based points system.

To ensure users had a stake in the effort – and to avoid possible law enforcement infiltration – in order to view more videos, members had to either upload their own new content (earn points for the number of views of other members), or pay for new videos using Bitcoin.

Federal authorities shut down the site in 2018, but many other sites subsequently developed as replacements.

To fight against traffickers, protect children, country FIUs unite

More broadly, banks are trying to come together to better identify transaction patterns related to the exploitation of children, particularly related to online streaming.

This is one of the goals set by the Egmont group of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), which includes many of the world’s largest countries.

The group, in a joint project by Austrac, Australia, UKFIU, UK and AMLC, Philippines, is working with INTERPOL and FIUs around the world to better understand the financial and banking components of online streaming. child sexual abuse and exploitation material (CSAE).

To view the group’s findings which have just been published, click on here.

The Egmont Group report also noted the potential involvement of organized crime in such exploitation networks.

“In disadvantaged communities, online streaming offers a financial incentive to criminal networks, which creates a commercial element for the CSAE,” according to the group.

“The illicit business models associated with this activity, where offenders pay to view CSAE material online, mean there is a trail of money in the form of payments and profits. “

Although it is noted that a lack of significant profits means that the large-scale involvement of organized crime groups (OCGs) is likely to be limited, there is “evidence of criminal business structures in developing countries exploiting business opportunities presented by CSAE’s online broadcast. . “

Case Study: West Side City Crips and Payments Stratification Via Prepaid Crypto

Beyond international organized crime groups, low-level street gangs have also used online advertising, and the added complexities of virtual value, to monetize skin and sin.

In April 2016, federal investigators discovered members of the West Side City Crips gang in Phoenix, Arizona, who trafficked women at a motel in El Paso, Texas.

Homeland Security Investigations found evidence via a gang member’s cell phone and Bitcoin wallet that the group was buying Vanilla Visa prepaid credit cards, using those prepaid cards to buy Bitcoin, and using those bitcoins to buy coins. Sexual ads on the now defunct online classifieds site, Backpage.

Federal agencies seized and shut down Backpage and its affiliated websites in April 2018, with the founders and five others charged with federal charges of facilitating prostitution and using foreign banks to hide income.

The bust roughly coincided with pressure from the US government and the President’s signing of a pair of laws – the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) – which added tougher penalties for sites knowingly supporting prostitution or sex trafficking. .

By some estimates, the specter of the new laws and the exit of dominant player Backpage from the market led to a more than 80% drop in online sex ad revenue – a chasm that was nearly bridged a few months later with revenue rebounding by around 75%, based on law enforcement scans and industry estimates.

Likewise, banks have had to adapt quickly, knowing that when criminals lose one way to sell sex, they quickly find another.

With the fall of Backpage, other sites, such as “Skip the Games” among others, have seen an increase in their use, allegedly by groups of organized criminals, traffickers and sex workers, according to media reports. reports.

The site advertises itself as a dating platform, although it is full of photos of scantily clad women, some cheeky enough to detail the sexual services they are willing to engage in – not to mention the prices.

Prosecutors say the site benefits greatly from sex, while company officials say they cannot always control the infiltration of illicit trafficking groups due to limited resources and, on the contrary, help and respond regularly. requests for information and assistance from the police.

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ATII Exclusive Special Report: How Human Traffickers Exploit the International Economy: Underground Banking and Cash Flow (part 1 of 4) – CFCS

By International economics No Comments

By Mackenzie Martinez
Special contributor, ATII
June 14, 2021

With minor edits by ACFCS VP Content, Brian Monroe

This story was originally published earlier this month by the Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative. Republished with approval and appreciation. To read the original piece, click on here.

The rise of the cyber, digital and virtual worlds as a means of communication, payment and international securities settlement since 2000 has dramatically altered the global financial system, causing a major shift towards the online economy.

Unfortunately, the expansion of the web-based economy has allowed a variety of human trafficking tactics that allow crimes to go virtually unnoticed. New and developing methods of facilitating trafficking have led to growth in profits and criminal networks.

This blogging series delves into the many avenues used by traffickers to hide their crimes and highlights the criminal cases that exemplify such efforts.

Some methods have been in use for a long time, while others are just starting to emerge.

Understanding how human traffickers exploit the international economy will help us determine how we can most effectively track money to fight slavery. Much of the information in this blogging series comes from “Trafficking in Persons and the International Financial System” by Louise Shelley, which can be found here (link).

This report was among the statements prepared by many of the foremost minds in financial crime investigation and compliance discussed in a virtual hearing – “Ending the Exploitation: How the Financial System Can Work for dismantle the activity of trafficking in human beings ”.

The hearing took place on March 25 before the House Committee on Financial Services, a subcommittee on national security, international development and monetary policy.

To read the full list of prepared statements and view a recording of the hearing, click here.

Basically, human trafficking is described as the illegal transport of people from one country or region to another, in many cases for the purpose of forced labor or sexual exploitation, according to analyzes and media. . reports.

According to the UN-backed International Labor Organization (ILO), globally, it is estimated that some 40 million people have been affected by this industry, both intentionally trying to improve their lives and, in other cases, profiting by illicit organized criminal gangs.

The profits from this crime are also huge.

In one ILO Report 2014, human trafficking brings in nearly 150 billion dollars a year, more than half of which comes from sexual exploitation.

According to the ILO and the nonprofit Polaris Project, the sex and labor trafficking industry is only overtaken by drug trafficking, national and international investigative bodies and international banking groups .

Over the past decade, through a multitude of public-private partnerships around the world, law enforcement agencies and banks have shared general and specific red flags to help uncover companies pulling party of forced or sex labor.

A key tactic for uncovering potential links to gangs of traffickers in your institution is to look for accounts with no standard income sources and credit cards, which are frequently canceled, according to several financial compliance professionals. Speaking at a conference for the Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists.

Here are some examples :

Cash deposits

  • Excessive deposits, especially for round amounts like $ 50, $ 150, and $ 200.
  • Deposits at abnormal times, for example between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Large denominations of deposits. If a normal cash intensive business, you will have a mix of denominations. Coins. $ 5 and $ 10. If it is human smuggling, most of you will earn $ 50, $ 20, and $ 100 bills. Illicit groups believe that banks are not looking for this, but cuts in deposits are recorded at the branch level.
  • Depots in multiple cities, especially if they are close to each other, over a period of time. The traffickers will take the victims from town to town and rotate across the country to urban centers across the country. Look for the impossible trip, Halifax and Vancouver in the same day. If you see this as an AML analyst, it means multiple people are using the same account as a funnel account.

Peer to peer payments (EMT, Venmo, etc.)

  • Payments in consistent rounded amounts. An account that takes a lot has telltale signs as well. The fact that the payments are sort of incremental. $ 150, $ 300 and $ 50, that means someone is buying something in hour increments.
  • Multiple authors with some repetitions. Many different parties pay to the same account over time and repeat customers. Look for customer drift in multiple cities. Look for a single email address associated with multiple bank accounts or vice versa, a single bank account associated with multiple email addresses and those related to online advertising or escort sites.
  • Funnel accounts and peer-to-peer transfers. They know it’s a vulnerable area, used accounts to collect the P2P transfer, then immediately hit an ATM and withdraw the money.
  • They know the correct behavior, so when a P2P transfer reaches a bank account, they withdraw it immediately, sometimes in as little as 30 minutes. It’s a smurf account. If this is detected and stopped, they will not lose much value. A key red flag is 5-10 money transfers via email, then 5-10 withdrawals made periodically.


  • Multiple payroll deposits to one account, which could be related to forced labor. It would look like several government benefit checks on the same account. Clearly aimed at more than two or three people, which means that one person controls the work and takes the money and pays for it – but much less to those who actually do the work.
  • Multiple processor repositories for adult online content, such as Fenix, Onlyfans and others.
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Santiago Tijerina: Killam laureate to study international economics in Canada – umaine news

By International economics No Comments

University of Maine undergraduate student Santiago Tijerina from Bangor, Maine is the recipient of a Killam scholarship to study international economics in Canada this fall.

The Killam scholarship program offers undergraduates in Canada and the United States the opportunity to spend a semester or full academic year in the other country as exchange students. Recipients like Tijerina receive $ 5,000 per semester, a stipend to offset health insurance costs and a grant of up to $ 800 for a field trip, according to the program’s website. The Killam Scholarship operates under Fulbright Canada and provides students with academic and cultural connections with the Canadian Fulbright community.

Tijerina, an international affairs student at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Honors College, says he plans to attend the University of Alberta in Edmonton from August to December and take four international economics courses, all taught in French. Taking French lessons will help Tijerina, a first-generation Colombian American, improve his fluency in the language and his ability to apply it to professional and entrepreneurial conversations, he says. It will also help him become trilingual, which will allow him to speak French, Spanish and English fluently.

“In addition, I view this study abroad experience as an opportunity to forge new networking relationships, lasting friendships and memories,” Tijerina said. “I consider that having a language training is an essential asset to pursue a career in international trade. ”

Tijerina’s candidacy was supported by the UMaine Major Scholarship Office. He says he also received advice from Betsy Arntzen, outreach coordinator for the Canada-US Center; Nives Dal Bo-Wheeler, Director of the Major Scholarships Office; John Mascetta, director of the Center for Academic Services and Counseling, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; French associate professors Frederic Rondeau and Kathryn Slott; Jane Smith, Associate Professor Emeritus of French, Melissa Ladenheim, Associate Dean of Honors College, and Robert Klose, Professor of Biological Sciences at Honors College and the University of Maine at Augusta-Bangor.

“It is an honor to be recognized as a Killam Fellow,” Tijerina said. “Receiving this scholarship is an academic achievement that I will always cherish. “

We told him more about his goals and experiences at UMaine:

What made you decide to study abroad?
I have always surrounded myself with the international community from a young age, and I grew up bicultural in the sense that at home I spoke Spanish with my Colombian parents and outside I spoke English. I believe that learning and experiencing different cultures, languages, traditions, foods, perspectives and ideologies of the world can not only bring me fulfillment, but can help me become a more informed and altruistic citizen of the world. I am a very motivated student, able to adapt to new cultural contexts. I have traveled extensively across the continents of North America, South America and Europe. As an English teacher for children ages 4 to 12 at Kids & Us in Barcelona, ​​Spain, I learned how to organize field trips and lesson plans within a team of other English teachers. I have had the chance to study abroad twice in my academic career. I followed an Intensive French program at Barna House L’Escola d’Idioms in Barcelona during the summer of 2016 and another Intensive French program at a MWS camp at McGill University (Maxine W. Sommerville) during the summer 2017. Collectively, my experiences abroad enhanced my knowledge of world cultures, inspired me to take on the role of global citizen within my own community at the University of Maine and motivated me to to study abroad.

Apart from academics, what do you expect from this experience?
I plan to live at the International House of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada from August to December 2021. I am looking for an opportunity to have a life experience that would expose me to different cultures of the world and improve my worldview, and an experience that would help me grow as an individual and as a citizen of the world. I see life at Maison Internationale as an opportunity to promote diversity and develop my communication, leadership and teamwork skills. I intend to share food, cultural experiences and stories about my Colombian heritage as different ways to contribute to the International House community. Most importantly, I will value and respect the different cultures, perspectives and ideologies that I come across. I also intend to apply the skills I have developed in various experiences to promote global learning and building international communities.

Why did you choose to come to UMaine?
The University of Maine gave me the opportunity to be part of Honors College, one of the most competitive colleges on campus. I knew that pursuing a degree program at Honors College would improve my writing skills and allow me to realize my potential in a rigorous academic environment. I believed the University of Maine would be a safe decision to explore my various interests. I also thought it was an opportunity to connect with people from other parts of the US and around the world as well.

Describe the research or internship in which you participated.
One of my current internships is at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. I have devoted my career to international trade. It is with my passion for global studies and international community building, with years of leadership experience in operations, people management, community building and business strategy that I am delighted to pursue the Latin American program internship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Savants. As an intern for the Latin American program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, I hope to improve my skills in leadership, time management, observation, trilingual, communication and networking. I am delighted to continue this internship and bring my passion and a unique blend of skills and experiences to such a dynamic, competitive, growing and educational organization. I also hope to gain valuable experience in organizing conferences, library and internet research, publication assistance and general administrative tasks (data entry, proofreading, website management, event planning. ) which will serve me well at the start of my thesis at Honors College on the topic of international economics and pursue a career in international business. I want to make this internship a rewarding experience by being proactive. I am committed to producing world-class public research and programs with the goal of making real impact, developing myself personally and professionally, and learning from people who are experts in their fields. Another of my current internships is with the Camden Conference, a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization that promotes civil discourse on critical global challenges between policymakers, academics and journalists. I work under the direction of Education Committee Chair Matt Storin and with the Student Education Fund to plan high school and college programs for future conferences.

What other activities on campus take up your time?
I am very involved in various student organizations on campus. I am currently the Head of the International Funds Sector of the University of Maine Student Portfolio Investment Fund (SPIFFY), and as the Head of the International Funds Sector, I manage approximately $ 700,000 of international positions on ETFs. This competitive, engaging and valuable student organization has helped me gain hands-on investment and financial management experience. I am a member of the International Student Association of the University of Maine (ISA). I helped organize various activities and events (Coffee Hour, Culturefest, International Dance Festival, Friday Night Soccer) to involve international and multicultural students in the community. In addition, I made the entities of the campus aware of diversity. I am also a member of the Multicultural Affairs Committee, the African Students Association and the Caribbean & Latinx Student Alliance. I am a student ambassador for the Recruitment Office and Honors College at the University of Maine. I recruit potential students and assist their transition to higher education, I promote valuable academic services and participate in student activities, programs and orientations. This experience allowed me to acquire skills in communication, networking, project management and marketing. I also worked alongside Associate Dean Melissa Ladenheim as Honors College Student Ambassador during the last semester. It has been a rewarding experience reaching out to potential and current students with the goal of building and sustaining an Honors College community.

UMaine students wishing to apply to U.S. Fulbright student programs can contact the Major Scholarships Office at The internal application deadline is August 31 for a scholarship starting in fall 2022.

“Santi’s strengths are his keen intelligence, his winning personality, his mature and genuine concern for others and the esteem he has for everyone he thinks he can learn from,” said Klose.

Contact: Marcus Wolf, 207.581.3721;

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The RIC launches the International Economics Finance diploma

By International economics No Comments

The Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) in International Economics and Finance (IEF) was unveiled by the Royal Colombo Institute (RIC) offering undergraduates a unique opportunity to gain expertise in both finance and economy.

This UGC-approved four-year IEF coursework program is both challenging and offers unparalleled practical depth.

The aim of the IEF BB (Honors) program is to gain an in-depth understanding of the economic, business, financial, political and other forces that have driven the processes of economic globalization and integration, as well as the private and public sectors. and the institutions that shape the international economic environment, its developments and policies.

“By continuously updating and evaluating the IEF BB (Honors) program, we encourage our students to use the current main trends in the global economy and to apply their learning and analysis to practical situations,” said the Dr Nirodha Bandara, Academic Director.

RIC’s IEF BB (Honors) program was created to meet the interests of students seeking a broad scientific understanding of the workings of the global economy and financial markets and institutions.

Coursework in theory, policy, research skills and methods, as well as the interim training experience, are designed to prepare students for careers in government agencies, industry associations, financial institutions, multinational corporations, business consultancies, think tanks, multilateral institutions and non-governmental organizations – whether in Sri Lanka or abroad.

“As a pioneering non-state university (institute of higher education) for University of London degrees and the leading private institution for the University of London LLB degree program, the RIC is recognized for the quality of its graduates, its world-class results, its qualified lecturer. and state-of-the-art learning facilities.

Currently, the RIC has a multicultural and multi-ethnic student body and staff who study and work in harmony.

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IGC-ISI Summer School in Development Economics

By Development economics No Comments

11e – 14e July 2021

The International Growth Center, led by the London School of Economics (LSE) and the University of Oxford, in collaboration with the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), New Delhi is organizing the 7e IGC-ISI Summer School in Development Economics from 11e – 14e July 2021. The workshop will be held virtually and is aimed at advanced doctoral students, students with recent doctorates, university professors with recent doctorates, post-docs and research officials from government departments. . The workshop will consist of lectures on a range of topics, reviewing current exploratory research, with an emphasis on quantitative methods relevant to contemporary political issues in India. Participants will have the opportunity to meet online speakers during allotted office hours to discuss their research.

Structure: The sessions cover relevant technical and political topics. These include an introduction to micro-econometric methods for research using household and business data; the latest research on intra-household allowances, development issues and gender economics.


Gaurav Chiplunkar, University of Virginia

Maitreesh Ghatak, London School of Economics

Pramila Krishnan, University of Oxford

Sonia Bhalotra, University of Essex

Note to applicants: Applications should include an up-to-date CV, research sample, and grade sheet or transcript from their Masters / Masters / PhD program. All applicants must also complete the application form (Connect: for the IGC Summer School. If you have any further questions, please email with the subject line ‘IGC-ISI Summer School 2021’.

Applications must be submitted by 12e May 2021 and acceptance decisions will be made before the 15the June 2021.

Please circulate this notice to your facility / post on the notice board.

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The Missing Voices of Development Economics by Arvind Subramanian & Devesh Kapur

By Development economics No Comments

Development economics focuses on improving the well-being of billions of people in low-income countries, but southern countries are seriously under-represented in this area. A small number of institutions in rich countries dominate, and their increasing use of randomized controlled trials in research reinforces the imbalance.

NEW DELHI – The lack of representation of marginalized groups in the corridors of power – political, financial and cultural – is a growing source of global concern. Knowledge confers power, so who creates it matters. As Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Samuelson said, “I don’t care who drafts a nation’s laws … if I can write its textbooks.”

Development economics focuses on improving the well-being of billions of people in low-income countries, but southern countries are seriously under-represented in this area. Unfortunately, a small number of institutions in rich countries have appropriated it, with serious consequences. And the problem seems to be getting worse.

Take into account Development economics journal, a leading outlet for research articles in the field. Neither the journal’s editor nor any of its ten co-editors are based in a developing country. Only two of its 69 associate editors are, Africa and Asia being totally unrepresented.

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We just lost a giant in the development economy

By Development economics No Comments

With the passing of Thandika Mkandawire on March 27, 2020, the world lost a development giant, a towering economist, a brilliant thinker and a committed fighter for social justice.

Born in 1940, Thandika first experienced the slap of injustice in her early childhood. One night, trucks arrived with soldiers and took Thandika’s family from their farm in Malawi. They relocated to a town on the Copperbelt in Zambia. There he attended school (for blacks only) and was protected by his family from the brutal inequalities of the time, until one day he and a friend walked into an opulent white residential neighborhood to sell vegetables, and white children insulted and made fun of them. .

As a young man, Thandika began writing for newspapers, but in 1965 he was appointed “persona non grata” in his country, the newly independent Malawi, then ruled by pro-apartheid dictator Kamuzu Banda. He managed to study in the United States (Ohio State University), South Africa (Rhodes University) and Sweden (Stockholm University), where he eventually settled as a political refugee – living proof that refugee policies work.

Soon Thandika excelled as a brilliant researcher. He realized that he did not have to spend his years in exile outside Africa, awaiting the liberation of Malawi (he would not return until 1994 after thirty years of exile). In 1982 he moved to Harare, working at the Institute for Development Studies of Zimbabwe, and in 1986 to Senegal, where he became Director of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) based in Dakar.

From 1998 to 2009, he was Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) in Geneva, then professor at the Institute for Future Studies in Stockholm and holder of the African Development Chair at London School of Economics (LSE). It was in Geneva that I first met Thandika who, unlike many academics and UN bureaucrats, was passionate and full of life. His writings are so powerful because he has firsthand experience with issues of development and social injustice.

His work on “Targeting and Universalism in Poverty Reduction” (2005) opened my eyes – and remains relevant today. As developing countries tried to build their universal social protection systems after independence, the debt crisis and adjustment period of the 1980s interrupted the process and pushed governments to abandon universalism for Less expensive, minimal and targeted safety nets for the poor, accompanied by private services for the rich. The inequitable American model has been imported into developing countries. At a time when the world is ideologically tilting towards neoliberalism, blind to its shocking inequalities, Thandika has courageously championed social policies and the developmental state, as shown in her excellent work on Social Policy in a Development Context (2004).

Thandika had a curious and lively mind, attached to difficult truths, as evidenced by her works such as “Disempowering New Democracies” (2006), “Maladjusted African Economies and Globalization” (2004) and “The Spread of Economic Doctrines and Policymaking in Africa. postcolonial ”(2014), among many others. I must also mention his very important book, African intellectuals, political culture and development (2002).

Thandika Mkandawire was a humble human being. He was truly a kind, modest, warm soul, laughing at everything and generous with his time with people. He could go from serious analysis to hilarious observation in a second, and he still had human stories to share. There has been a cascade of sad social media posts since his passing; he was loved by so many people.

The last time we met he was tired (I didn’t know he was sick), but after a few drinks he explained with the same passion as always his research on African industrialization: realizes that all the conditions are there! I asked him his opinion on some things at the UN, and we ended up laughing at the bureaucrats, their ridiculous ideas and the way things are – the same as usual. “Don’t compromise,” he told me, “you start to compromise on a little thing and soon you are one of them.” It was Thandika – he was a mentor and an inspiration to many of us.

The world has indeed lost a giant, an exceptional economist committed to social justice. He was an intellectual hero, fighting against the tide, one of the best directors of all time at the United Nations. Few people on this planet have taken such gigantic strides – from a small village in Malawi to a distinguished professor in some of the best universities in the world. What would the ignorant white children who laughed at Thandika think now, if they knew?

Sincere condolences to his wife Kaarina, his family and his friends. He will be sorely missed. But his thoughts and memories remain with us. Hasta siempre, Thandika.

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