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BBC World Service launching six-part series to build the ‘perfect country’

MUMBAI: BBC World Service has teamed up with the UCL Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP) to launch a six-part series to build the ‘perfect country’.

Presented by writer Fi Glover, the series will start on 4 February.

‘My Perfect Country’ will track down ideas which have helped solve common problems in countries around the world. It will look at whether they can be adopted elsewhere. As the series develops, it will build up a blueprint of what the perfect country might be.

“We know that our audiences are interested in what has been called ‘solutions-based journalism’ and this series is in that new spirit,” BBC said.

Digital evangelist and business leader Martha Lane Fox and Professor Henrietta Moore, Director of UCL Institute for Global Prosperity, will join Fi and use their expertise to bring the people and ideas behind successful policies to the BBC World Service audience.

BBC World Service English controller Mary Hockaday said, “The news agenda is full of trials and tribulations, but all over the world people are tackling challenges with energy and creativity and coming up with imaginative ideas to solve problems. My Perfect Country brings a fresh outlook focused on sharing solutions. This series will harness the global reach of BBC World Service journalism and engage our audiences in how to make the world a better place.”

With the help of data analysis and research from the Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP), each week the series will focus on a political, economic or social problem and work through it by finding somewhere on the globe where it has been addressed successfully.

In collaboration with reporters, academics and analysts, Fi, Martha and Henrietta will break the policies apart and ask how and why they worked, and crucially whether they could be applied elsewhere.

Featuring in this series are Estonia’s digital state, Costa Rica’s clean energy policy, a grassroots approach to law and order in Uganda, a ‘zero-suicide model’ in America, innovative sanitation solutions for women in India and Portugal’s radical drug reform.

Fi Glover says: “My Perfect Country’ is a bit of a journalist’s dream – the one that you are usually shaken awake from in order to report on the daily diet of things that have gone wrong in the world. In this series we get a chance to meet just some of the people who have made their bits of the world go right – I cannot wait to get started.”

Martha Lane Fox said, “Sometimes I lie awake wondering what it would be like to start a country from scratch. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to have a go!”

Professor Henrietta Moore said, “It is wonderful to be working with the World Service on this forward-thinking project that celebrates innovations from around the world. As we work to achieve sustainable and inclusive prosperity, this series gives us a chance to examine what works for prosperity, and why.”

To run alongside the series BBC World Service will produce online resources, also informed by data provided by IGP, which will allow audiences to work out their own perfect country, based on their own needs and preferences.