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The Social Progress Index: A holistic measure of progress

May 28, 2015 Comments off

The Social Progress Index: A holistic measure of progress
Source: Deloitte

On 9 April, the 2015 Social Progress Index launched – it measures the social and environmental outcomes for 133 countries, covering 94% of the world’s population.

As a complement to economic measures such as GDP, the Social Progress Index provides a more holistic measure of country performance and helps to drive real and sustainable growth that is important for business and vital for building a prosperous society.

How did your country do?

Managing migration better in all aspects: A European Agenda on Migration

May 28, 2015 Comments off

Managing migration better in all aspects: A European Agenda on Migration
Source: European Commission

Today, the European Commission presented a European Agenda on Migration outlining the immediate measures that will be taken in order to respond to the crisis situation in the Mediterranean as well as the steps to be taken in the coming years to better manage migration in all its aspects.

The plight of thousands of migrants putting their lives in peril to cross the Mediterranean has shocked and it has become clear that no Member State can or should be left alone to address huge migratory pressures. This Agenda sets out a European response, combining internal and external policies, making best use of EU agencies and tools, and involving all actors: Member States, EU institutions, International Organisations, civil society, local authorities and third countries.

Islamic Finance, Consumer Protection, and Financial Stability

May 27, 2015 Comments off

Islamic Finance, Consumer Protection, and Financial Stability
Source: International Monetary Fund

Consumer protection and financial literacy are essential pillars of a well functioning and stable financial system. As the global financial crisis demonstrated, inadequate attention to consumer protection and financial literacy can lead to financial instability. Though Shari’ah principles provide a strong foundation for consumer protection, the principles alone cannot provide adequate protection because not all providers are guided by ethical precepts and the practices have deviated from the principles. To safeguard the stability of the Islamic finance industry, consumer protection frameworks that cater to the specifics of Islamic financial products should be an integral part of regulatory frameworks.

The changing nature of jobs – World Employment and Social Outlook 2015

May 27, 2015 Comments off

The changing nature of jobs – World Employment and Social Outlook 2015
Source: International Labour Organization
From press release:

Only one quarter of workers worldwide is estimated to have a stable employment relationship, according to a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The World Employment and Social Outlook 2015 (WESO) finds that, among countries with available data (covering 84 per cent of the global workforce), three quarters of workers are employed on temporary or short-term contracts, in informal jobs often without any contract, under own-account arrangements or in unpaid family jobs.

Over 60 per cent of all workers lack any kind of employment contract, with most of them engaged in own-account* or contributing family work in the developing world. However, even among wage and salaried workers, less than half (42 per cent) are working on a permanent contract.

The first edition of the new, annual flagship report, entitled The Changing Nature of Jobs, shows that while wage and salaried work is growing worldwide, it still accounts for only half of global employment, with wide variations across regions. For example, in the developed economies and Central and South-Eastern Europe, around eight in ten workers are employees, whereas in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa the figure is closer to two in ten.

Opportunity for All: Fighting Rural Child Poverty

May 26, 2015 Comments off

Opportunity for All: Fighting Rural Child Poverty (PDF)
Source: White House

Small towns and rural communities are home to millions of Americans, are a vibrant part of our nation’s economy, and include some of the most beautiful landmarks in the country. Rural America provides the vast majority of food, energy, and environmental benefits for the rest of the country, is the source of nearly 90 percent of renewable water resources, and is home to important service sector and manufacturing hubs. Despite this critical role in our nation’s economy, too many Americans in rural areas are not sharing in our nation’s economic growth. In 2013, 6.2 million Americans in rural areas lived in poverty, including about 1.5 million children.1 Moreover, in far too many of these communities, high rates of poverty have persisted for generations: over 300 rural counties have had poverty rates of over 20 percent in every Census since 1980.

While the fight to eliminate poverty is far from over, the 2014 Economic Report of the President documented that federal programs designed to reduce poverty and promote opportunity have cut poverty by more than one-third over the past 50 years. This report also shows that poverty in rural areas fell by nearly half between 1967 and 2012, compared to about one-quarter in urban areas.

Immigration and Child Welfare

May 26, 2015 Comments off

Immigration and Child Welfare
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

Immigrant families involved with child welfare may face a number of particular issues, such as legal barriers to accessing services, child trauma resulting from difficult immigration or refugee experiences, a parent’s detention/deportation by immigration authorities, and acculturation and language issues. This issue brief addresses child welfare’s work with immigrant children and families; examines current issues related to immigration and child welfare; provides examples of programs and promising practices; and points to resources for professionals, families, and youth.

Workforce Development in the United States: Lessons Learned for Older Workers

May 22, 2015 Comments off

Workforce Development in the United States: Lessons Learned for Older Workers
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute

This report by workforce experts Stephen A. Wandner, David E. Balducchi, and Christopher J. O’Leary undertakes a selective review of public workforce development programs in the United States over the last eighty years with a special emphasis on their importance to older Americans.

Particular attention is paid to services benefitting dislocated workers—that is, experienced adults permanently separated from their prior employers. The Employment Service and the Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Worker programs serve the greatest number of older workers.

The Senior Community Service Employment Program and the very small Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance program (now called Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance) are the only programs targeted specifically to older workers.

The policy options presented in the paper go beyond changes to the public workforce system embodied in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.

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