Monthly Archives: March 2013

Human Development Report 2013

The 2013 Human Development Report – "The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World" – examines the profound shift in global dynamics driven by the fast-rising new powers of the developing world and its long-term implications for human development. The Report identifies more than 40 countries in the developing world that have done better than had been expected in human development terms in recent decades, with their progress accelerating markedly over the past ten years. The Report analyzes the causes and consequences of these countries' achievements and the challenges that they face today and in the coming decades. Each of these countries has its own unique history and has chosen its own distinct development pathway. Yet they share important characteristics and face many of the same challenges. They are also increasingly interconnected and interdependent.

The Human Development Report series is published by the United Nations Development Programme, which also publishes human development reports for specific areas of the world and even individual countries. The UNDP also provides access to the data for the individual human development indicators, via the Public Data Explorer, a tool developed in conjunction with Google Labs.

UTC/National Journal Survey Data Now Available

Data from United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection survey series are now available from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research.  The surveys track the public's priorities on the policies at the center of Congressional debate. Included in this new data collection are 22 studies conducted from January, 2012 to January, 2013. 

 The data can be accessed either through Roper's iPoll interface or the RoperExpress interface. iPoll searches at the question-level and returns the tabulated responses as percentages and in a bar chart.  RoperExpress searches survey-level descriptions and returns the description with links for downloading the data files and accompanying documentation. 

 
At the Roper site you can navigate between the two interfaces using icons for each: a stylized i for iPoll and a stylized x for RoperExpress.  

For more information go to the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research website or refer to the Library guide on Opinion Poll Data.  For help with this or any data product visit the  Digital Social Science Data Service at contact us dssc.data@columbia.edu.

Iraq in the Rearview Mirror — and Special Inspectors

Today the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction issued his final report, Learning from Iraq. "The body of this report reveals countless details about the use of more than $60 billion in taxpayer dollars to support programs and projects in Iraq. It articulates numerous lessons derived from SIGIR's 220 audits and 170 inspections, and it lists the varying consequences meted out from the 82 convictions achieved through our investigations." It serves as a follow-up to the previous comprehensive review of the rebuilding effort, Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience. The SIG has, in fact, issued quarterly and semiannual reports since since 2004.

In case you're wondering, there is a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), which provides the same oversight and reporting function for U.S. activities in Afghanistan. What other Special Inspectors are out there, making sure that the taxpayers dollars are well spent? There is also a Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), which is "a sophisticated, white-collar law enforcement agency, … established by Congress in 2008 to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse linked to the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)." The remainder of the Federal government has to be satisfied with oversight of their activities by the (non-Special) Inspectors General which are present in each Cabinet department and many subsidiary agencies.