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Making My Perfect Country


Behind the scenes of the BBC World Service Programme 

My Perfect Country

Brought to you by the Institute for Global Prosperity and Whistledown Productions

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Making My Perfect Country


Behind the scenes of the BBC World Service Programme 

My Perfect Country

Brought to you by the Institute for Global Prosperity and Whistledown Productions

 

 BBC World Service's My Perfect Country examines policies from around the world that contribute to people's prosperity.

Every episode, Fi Glover, Martha Lane Fox and Henrietta Moore of the Institute for Global Prosperity join together to discuss the smart, forward-thinking policies that would make it in My Perfect Country. From the very first episode about Estonia's digital policy to our most recent about Australia's smoking-reduction policy, the My Perfect Country team have been across the globe, exploring the smartest ways people are coming together and solving problems.

What was your favourite episode? Click to explore the locations we have looked at, or scroll down to find out more about how people are making a difference in their countries.
 

 
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Making Sustainability Happen


Making Sustainability Happen


Recent years have shown some positive signs in the shift towards a sustainable world for all, but challenges lie ahead.

China and the USA both ratified the Paris Climate Deal, aspiring to limit global warming levels to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures. Renewable energy made huge strides forward. Solar is the cheapest form of new energy, and renewables are only going to get cheaper with solar predicted to fall in price by another 25%. On-shore wind is predicted to fall by another 15% by 2021. 

It this section, we take a closer look at Costa Rica, the shining example of sustainable energy transition, as well as the ways Bermuda tackled their environmental disadvantages to manage an effective water system. We also look at other ways people are making sustainability happen.

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Making an Impact on Poverty


Making an Impact on Poverty


In the past 20 years, about one billion people have been lifted out of poverty, with over three quarters of this progress in China. However, there is growing doubt about the idea that by prioritising economic growth, we can continue making progress on poverty. 

Inequality is now as much of a concern as poverty. The world's eight richest now have as much wealth as the bottom half. Long-held beliefs that the wealth of the super-rich would 'trickle down' are now widely dismissed. This means that an underlying assumption of conventional economic - that making conditions optimal for the wealthiest few will benefit everyone else - is no longer accepted as true. The continued emphasis that many countries place on making things easy for the richest is an obstacle to prosperity.

When economic gain comes at the expense of our natural resources, they can never be truly long-term. For permanent prosperity, the foundations need to be sustainable. The fact that climate change could drive 122 million more people into extreme poverty by 2030 underlines this. 

Despite these huge structural obstacles to overcoming poverty and delivering a more prosperous world, we take a look at ways people are coming together to make poverty history. 

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Making Healthy Lives


Making Healthy Lives


One in seven people will never see a healthcare worker. Wealthier countries are developing different kinds of health problems brought on by sedentary lifestyles and poor diet. 

Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals is to "Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages." It addresses all major health priorities, from "reproductive, maternal and child health; communicable, non-communicable and environmental diseases; universal health coverage; and access for all to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and vaccines". It also promises to challenge an emerging health problem in the 21st century which is often shunned - mental health. 

Take a closer look at how change-makers are overcoming obstacles to health, from drugs, tobacco, guns to mental health.

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Making Human Rights Possible


Making Human Rights Possible


The emergence of human rights has been one of the progressive forces of the 20th century, providing a framework and motivation for many people fighting for change. The concept was a major part of the UN's ruling - in 1945, the world needed a way to ensure that such unfathomable abuses of human rights seen in the Holocaust would not happen again. The theme of human rights runs through all the Sustainable Development Goals.

The idea that humans are equal, and that every life has value, is a powerful tool. It inspires oppressed people to campaign for change, from the Civil Rights movement in the USA during the 1960s, community leaders in the Niger Delta in the 1990s, to the post-genocide truth commissions in Guatemala, human rights are a key tool for people struggling for social justice.

We take a closer look at two human rights issues in Uganda and Tunisia, and how top-down and bottom-up initiatives have improved human rights.

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Making Opportunities


Making Opportunities


Billions of people never get the chance to exercise their intellect. In every generation, great thinkers, entrepreneurs, artists, and leaders are undoubtedly missed out on. Providing as many people as possible with opportunity would be a priority of any perfect country. 

Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals aims to "ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all". In this section we explore what Shanghai's ambitious experiment with education".

Goal 9 of the Sustainable Development Goals aims to "Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation". Here we take a closer look at how Estonia made this happen with their e-residency programme. 

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Making it Count - the Data


Making it Count - the Data


What are the best ways of measuring how well a country is doing? (Hint - it's not GDP anymore).

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Love Our Photos?


This one's by Anik Kumalasari from East Malang, Indonesia. She's one of the hundreds of women empowered by Lensational

Love Our Photos?


This one's by Anik Kumalasari from East Malang, Indonesia. She's one of the hundreds of women empowered by Lensational

Our photos are from our partner organisation Lensational - a charity which empowers women through photography. Check out their wonderful work at http://www.lensational.org/.