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February 2016

1992: On the magnitude of Mongolia’s challenges and the speed of reforms

Jim Anderson's picture
Использование потенциала информации
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Пять лет назад, 1 июля 2010 года, Всемирный банк вышел на новый этап открытости и ввел в действие политику в отношении доступа к информации, позволяющую получить любую информацию, имеющуюся в распоряжении Банка и не входящую в перечень исключений. Эта политика стала катализатором создания экосистемы инициатив по обеспечению прозрачности, призванных открыть общественности доступ к информации и данным Всемирного банка. С 2010 года Банк применяет принципы, лежащие в основе доступа к информации, для реализации сопутствующих инициатив, в частности, таких, как открытые данные, репозиторий открытого доступа к знаниям, открытые финансы и открытое заключение контрактов. В расширяющемся диапазоне прозрачности и инноваций находятся не только эти инициативы, но и размышления Всемирного банка на тему открытого правительства.
Открытые подходы крайне необходимы для развития. Однако доступ к информации и технологиям, играющий важную роль в процессе развития, – это лишь часть формулы, позволяющей найти решения. Ключевая роль в этом процессе принадлежит гражданам всего мира, которые могут использовать – и используют – информацию и данные для взаимодействия со своими сообществами и улучшения их жизни. 

Can poverty be defined by shelter?

Sangmoo Kim's picture

América Latina, en la encrucijada de la política monetaria/ Banco Mundial 

Cuando asumí el cargo de Economista Jefe para Latinoamérica y el Caribe en el Banco Mundial hace casi un año, una de las tareas que me propuse fue que los estudios de alta calidad que se preparan en mi oficina (soy muy afortunado de contar con un excelente equipo de investigadores) lleguen a la mayor audiencia posible.  Para mí, como economista, es fácil intercambiar puntos de vista con mis colegas o amigos de la academia. ¿Pero qué pasa con el resto de la gente?  Después de todo, nuestro principal propósito es compartir con todo el público -y no sólo economistas- qué está pasando en nuestra región, cuáles son los principales problemas que enfrentamos, y qué debemos hacer para seguir creciendo en forma inclusiva y continuar reduciendo la pobreza y desigualdad social.

Education is the topic for the new World Development Report

Kaushik Basu's picture
Education is central to improving human welfare and to achieving the goals of eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.  Schooling was recognized as vital to achieving the MDGs, and it remains front and center in the SDGs.  Yet there has never been a World Development Report (WDR) on education.  

What will it take for Romania to fully reap the dividends of digital transformation?

Marc Lixi's picture
Policymakers often associate competitiveness with real exchange rates. Not too long ago, firms in Southern European countries attributed their difficulties to compete in global markets with a strong Euro. Worldwide, a lot has been discussed on the implications of an undervalued yuan on the chances of competing with Chinese firms. Also a few years back, Brazil’s finance minister argued that an ‘international currency war’ had broken out, as governments around the globe competed to lower their exchange rates to boost competitiveness.

Amid growing risks, will leaders protect the poor?

Sri Mulyani Indrawati's picture
© Ashraf Saad Allah AL-Saeed / World Bank

There is enough trouble out there to keep any policymaker up at night. Recent volatility has roiled Chinese and global stock markets, commodity prices have slumped, and security concerns are rising. All of this raises serious questions over the health of the global economy. This year could shape up to be risky, full of challenges and concerns for the fight against poverty.  
We ended 2015 with good news: For the first time in history, the number of extremely poor people dropped below 10% of the world’s population. The new Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris climate deal bring momentum to our effort to lift the remaining 700 million extremely poor people out of poverty while generating climate-smart economic growth.

Making development work for peace

Saroj Kumar Jha's picture

Photo: Parched earthThe Copenhagen Accord commits developed countries to collectively “provide new and additional resources, including forestry and investments through international institutions, approaching US$ 30 billion for the period 2010 – 2012”. This fast-start finance is critical to building trust among countries in the global climate regime and to lay the groundwork for the post-2012 climate finance architecture. In the six months  since the December 2009 Copenhagen Climate Conference, a number of developed countries have publicly announced their individual pledges to help meet this target. The World Resources Institute (WRI) tracks and monitors these so-called fast-start pledges.

According to our research, pledges put forward so far total US$ 31.32 billion. However, many questions remain regarding the nature of the pledged funds. Some of the funds have yet to go through national budget appropriations processes.

Getting urbanization right for better jobs in India

Vaidehi Tandel's picture
(Photo: Steve Harris / World Bank)

December 3 is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Every year, on this day, the international community comes together to take stock of the progress that has been made to advance the rights of people with disabilities around the world.

At the World Bank, we commemorate the signing of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and underscore our commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4), to “ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities” by 2030. Yet, despite these international commitments, globally, too many students with disabilities still face significant barriers when it comes to attending school.  

Competitive Cities: Changsha, China – coordination, competition, construction and cars

Z. Joe Kulenovic's picture

Cites are the heartbeat of the global economy. More than half the world’s population now resides in metropolitan areas, making a disproportionate contribution to their respective countries’ prosperity. The opportunities and challenges associated with urbanization are quite evident in the world’s most populous country, whose cities are among the largest and most dynamic on Earth. To better understand what a thriving metropolitan economy looks like in the Chinese context, our Competitive Cities team selected Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, for inclusion among our six case studies of economically successful cities, as the representative of the East Asia Pacific Region.  
As recently as the turn of the millennium, Changsha’s economy was still dominated by low-value-added, non-tradable services (e.g. restaurants and hair salons) – an economic structure commonly seen today in many low- to lower-middle-income cities. Since then, Changsha has achieved consistently high, double-digit annual growth in output and employment, despite its landlocked location and few natural or inherited advantages, such as proximity to trade routes or mineral wealth. With per capita GDP surging from US $3,500 in 2000 to more than US $15,000 in 2012, Changsha has accomplished a feat so many other World Bank clients can only dream of: leapfrogging from lower-middle-income to high-income status in barely a decade, and an economy now comprised of much more sophisticated, capital-intensive industries. 


Photos via Google Maps

We took a closer look at the success factors behind this city’s dramatic growth story, and what lessons its experience may hold for cities elsewhere, especially in terms of (1) how to overcome coordination failures and bureaucrats working in silos and (2) how to ensure a level playing field for all firms in the city (that is to say, competition neutrality), even in industries with a strong SOE presence – something still not commonly seen in China these days.
Changsha’s (and Hunan’s) growth has clearly benefitted from a highly conducive national macroeconomic and policy framework, including a plan entitled The Rise of Central China, aimed at spurring development in areas beyond the country’s booming coastal regions. This and other initiatives provided for the removal of investment restrictions, more favorable tax treatment, and enhanced infrastructure and connectivity to coastal commercial gateways. China’s massive stimulus plan in 2009 (in response to the global financial crisis and recession) jump-started construction activity in the country, providing further impetus to one of Changsha’s principal industries, construction machinery and equipment manufacturing. And national government interventions in earlier decades – especially the establishment of dedicated research institutes – provided a critical contribution to Changsha’s accumulation of expertise in such disciplines as machinery or metallurgy.
Notwithstanding these national initiatives, responsibility for local economic development in China is highly decentralized, with municipal government leaders directly tasked with achieving GDP growth and tax revenue targets. Municipal governments also have rights over almost all land in cities, which can be leased or used as collateral to fund local infrastructure. In Changsha, municipal authorities used these prerogatives to improve their city’s economic competitiveness.

Tame macroeconomic volatility to boost growth and reduce hardship in the Caribbean

Francisco G. Carneiro's picture
Volatility in financial markets gets wide attention in the public eye. Less noticed is what we in the development world call macroeconomic volatility—faster-than-desired swings in the broad forces which shape an economy. Think investment, government spending, interest rates, foreign trade and the like.

There are three key questions to analyze: how do these forces interact, what is their effect on overall growth, and what policies are best to follow? All this is of more than academic interest: macroeconomic volatility can bring substantial hardships to millions of people