Early insights into ADB’s priority sectors for 2018-2020

Monitoring operations in Lahendong Geothermal Plant, which provides clean and sustainable energy to the residents of Manado, North Sulawesi Province, Indonesia. Photo by: Asian Development Bank / CC BY-NC-ND

MANILA — In 2017, the Asian Development Bank merged its lending windows so as to allow it to increase and expand its lending portfolio amid growing resource needs of its member countries and in the face of competition from emerging sources of infrastructure funding in the region. But where might the bank allocate those resources?

The data isn’t complete yet, but available information from the bank’s 2018-2020 country operations business plans for 37 developing member countries — which Devex examined over the past few weeks — provides early indications on priority sectors and how much money is expected to flow to countries. It also provides insights on some of ADB’s biggest projects for climate financing, which plays a central role in the bank’s upcoming strategy.

The data reveal that indicative ADB commitments — which can change in the course of discussing or negotiating projects — to the 37 member countries will reach more than $75 billion over the next three years. The bulk of the money is likely to come from the bank’s lending windows, with less than 5 percent forming grants and technical assistance.

Click here to see a larger version of the chart.

A large part of that funding is projected to cover projects in the transportation sector, followed by projects related to energy, and governance and institutional development.

[“Source-devex”]

Facebook Lite for Android Review: Made for India

Facebook Lite for Android Review: Made for India

While phone makers are now launching 4G handsets and companies like Airtel and Reliance working towards bringing the networks in India, you might think that there’s no need for apps that minimise data use. The fact of the matter though is that even in a metro like Delhi, 3G access depends greatly on which part of the city you’re in at the time.

That’s where Facebook Lite for Android comes into the picture. The app was launched in Asia earlier this month, and on Monday, Facebook Lite became available in India.

Facebook Lite is available on Google Play and it is just 435KB in size, runs on Android 2.2 and above, so even if you’re using an older phone, you can probably take advantage of the application. According to Shankar, Facebook Lite was designed to solve two challenges – 2G Internet and low-end smartphones – and based on our experience with the app, it seems to have accomplished those goals.

What is Facebook Lite?
As the name suggests, Facebook Lite is a light version of Facebook. It looks like an old version of the Facebook app, with blocky looks and limited features. The full-fledged Facebook app has large cards with neat gutters, expands all pictures and fills up your screen, supports gestures to move between the different Facebook functions.

Facebook Lite on the other hand shows all these previews at a much smaller size, and when we were using it on a 2G network, images took forever to show up. The difference between how posts are displayed between the two versions of Facebook is dramatic, and it’s definitely much more appealing to use Facebook on the full application.

facebook_lite_example.jpg

One other thing we noticed as soon as we started the application is that the Facebook logo is absolutely tiny, and this continued as we used the app too – images attached to posts are tiny thumbnails, filling the width of the screen, and they load after you tap on them. On the full Facebook application, images are much bigger, and they’re likely being preloaded, because they popped up in full size as soon as we tapped on the thumbs. The catch is that you’re pre-loading a lot of images you might not want to click on, using a lot of your mobile data along the way.

facebook_example.jpg

Shankar also points out that in the Facebook Lite settings, you can also choose the image quality, between low, medium and high. Facebook uses proprietary compression algorithms to deliver the images at the desired size, without losing too much visible quality.

Overall, the experience of using Facebook Lite is a lot less refined than the full version, but you’re able to see posts and links more quickly while on the road, and you’re using less mobile data to do so as well. All the features you’d expect – the news feed, friend requests, messages, notifications, and search, all show up. You can easily post status updates, or photos, just like you can on the full application. Messenger is built right into Facebook Lite, so you don’t need to have Facebook Messenger installed to chat anymore.

How well did it perform on 2G?
While it’s less refined, Facebook Lite loaded up posts much more quickly than the full version of the app when we switched to Edge connectivity. Usually, when we’re on the road in remote areas, we give up on Facebook because it’s almost certainly not going to load more posts.

The experience with Facebook Lite was a lot closer to using that other social network – Twitter. There are still problems, and posts still take some time to load. Images don’t pop up right away, and take even more time to load. But it does show you new posts and you can at least read what people are saying while you wait for a picture to load, which is a step forward.

Doing all this required some sacrifices. For one thing, the app does not support videos yet, though that is on the roadmap, according to Shankar. It also doesn’t support advanced location features – basically anything that requires the GPS. And while you can post comments on updates and pictures, you can’t reply to comments for now. And while the main Facebook app allows you to work offline, and make post updates when it connects to a network, Facebook Lite does not have this feature.

facebook_lite_settings.jpg

Who should use this?
If you’re using an older Android phone, or if you bought a budget Android device, then the amount of storage available will can often be quite limited.

In such a case, the small size of Facebook Lite might actually be a big plus point, and you might be willing to sacrifice a little bit of the polish of Facebook, but an app that actually works smoothly and loads quickly on your phone which also frees up a lot of space. While Facebook Lite takes less than 1MB, Facebook can be a lot bigger – a few random checks all turned up usage of over 150MB. Smaller footprint also means that app updates take less data.

But the most important thing was that Facebook Lite uses less data. Facebook says that the app gives a reliable experience, even when bandwidth is at a minimum.

That means that if you’ve already started using an LTE connection on your flagship Android phone with a quad-HD screen, then you should will probably find this app boring and pointless. If you spend most of your time at home or in office, with a steady Wi-Fi connection, then you can probably give this app a miss.

On the other hand, if you’re on the move a lot and travel in areas where getting a 3G signal is still a rare thing, or if you’re trying to reduce the data usage you see for Facebook, then this app will be appealing.

On a smaller, lower resolution screen, the difference between the two versions of Facebook wasn’t so pronounced, so you might prefer it if you have an older device, or if you bought a budget phone. And as we mentioned, it will probably be a good idea if you’re using a phone with limited storage space as well.

The app isn’t for everybody, but frankly, the number of people with good connectivity and high-end devices is definitely smaller than people with spotty Internet access and entry-level devices. Based on that, launching Facebook Lite seems like a great move, and will likely find plenty of takers in India.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

AkzoNobel names creative partner for professional paints business

Pic

AkzoNobel has appointed MullenLowe Group as the new creative agency partner for its paints global marketing organisation.  Effective immediately, the new partnership aims to deliver on the growth objectives and business opportunities of AkzoNobel’s professional paints activities.

It follows last year’s appointment of MullenLowe Group as the global creative partner for AkzoNobel consumer paints.

“AkzoNobel has been providing painters with the highest quality paints for more than 200 years,” said David Menko, CMO of the company’s paints business.

“We have a clear requirement for a strong creative partner in order to leverage our global presence and further build our professional brands. We feel MullenLowe Group is the right partner to deliver against our growth ambition for these brands as we continue to lead the way globally via our innovation, disruptive communication, and our passion to make people’s lives more liveable and inspiring with our products, services and tools,” Menko said.

Nuno Pena, global marketing director for AkzoNobel’s professional and pre-deco activities, added: “We are thrilled with the appointment of MullenLowe Group as our global agency partner for the paints business. The agency is a great partner for our consumer colleagues and we have already achieved some outstanding results on those brands. I am looking forward to their team bringing to bear their experience with our organisation, and their creativity to drive business success for our professional brands – such as Sikkens and Dulux Trade – and for audiences around the world.”

Jose Miguel Sokoloff, global president of the MullenLowe group creative council, said: “We are very proud of our relationship with AkzoNobel and the work that we have produced for the consumer paints organization. We’re excited to put the power of our challenger thinking and creativity to drive an unfair share of attention for the professional side of the business.”

[“Source-marketing-interactive”]

JWT wins creative mandate for Sintex

Sintex has appointed J Walter Thompson to handle its creative duties. The agency’s Mumbai office will handle the account that was won post a multi-agency pitch.

Samir Joshipura

“Sintex is a brand driven by innovation. We are now expanding our presence in new categories to drive growth and in JWT India, with its in-depth experience and expertise in building winning brands, we have found a perfect partner for the task at hand,” said Samir Joshipura, Group CEO, Sintex.

Sintex appointed the agency based on their strategic thinking, consumer mapping and innovative creative solutions. The agency’s mandate is to provide strategic and creative inputs across its plastic business, which includes water storage, interiors, electrical, environmental and industrial solutions portfolio.

Rajesh Gangwani

Commenting on the win, Rajesh Gangwani, Managing Partner, JWT Mumbai, said, “We look forward to partnering Sintex. Sintex is a household name and a brand that is synonymous with the category of water storage solutions. There are exciting plans ahead and our team is all geared up to create memorable communication that connects with the audience and creates more growth opportunities for the brand.”

[“Source-bestmediainfo”]