At its most basic level, Africa’s energy poverty means there is often no electricity to power lights to study or to work at night. It also means no access to safer electric cooking and heating, powered health centers, or electricity to run a business. We wonder: How many people in Africa live without any access to electricity?
Delivering humanitarian aid is dangerous work. Workers are often among the first to enter areas that have been ravaged by conflict or disaster. We wonder: Which country has been the site of the most attacks on aid workers between 2008 and 2012?
There has been a lot of talk in recent years about focusing less on GDP growth as the primary indicator for measuring human progress. The most comprehensive way of looking beyond sheer income trends is the UN’s Human Development Index (HDI). We wonder: Which nation has made the second-biggest gain in human development, as measured by its HDI score, since 1990?
The fight against poverty in the developing world is making progress, although there are concerns about the impact of the global financial crisis. We wonder: What is the share of the population of developing countries that lives in extreme poverty?
While rampant economic growth in developing countries is lifting millions of people out of destitution, much remains to be done to alleviate poverty and improve living conditions for the world’s most vulnerable — particularly the poorest one billion. We wonder: Which of these three afflictions is the only one that does not affect at least a billion people?
Two countries with billion-plus populations. Two countries that, centuries ago, had by far the world's largest economies — and two countries that, for varying reasons, fell into a long economic slumber. So we wonder: A few decades into the process of economic reform, how does China's current standard of living, as measured by per capita income levels, compare to India's?
There is always considerable debate about development aid made available to poor countries. Some find the amounts given too small, others far too large — and still others question the effectiveness of the aid that has been given so far. We wonder: Which country provides the most development aid relative to the size of its national economy?
In the half-century since many of Africa's countries gained independence from colonial rule, it is painfully evident that the continent — and arguably aid donors — has failed to realize its potential. Yet, as symbolized by the continent's successful hosting of the 2010 World Cup, there are strong signs that Africa's economic future may be brighter than most people are aware of. We wonder: Which group of African countries grew the most in 2009?
The November 2009 World Food Summit held in Rome under the auspices of the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization was intended to attract attention to the needs of the world's hungry. With the global recession, the issue has certainly become more pressing than in a long time. We wonder: How many people around the world are considered hungry?
With prices for foodstuffs rising to new levels around the world, the question of whether — or where — agricultural land could be expanded to increase the supply of key staples has become a pressing matter. We wonder: Which of the following regions has the most potential to expand its arable land?