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April 2010

No toilets, but they have Bluetooth

Aleem Walji'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.

Making Educational Investments Grow: Lessons Learned from Korea and Mexico

Christine Horansky's picture

Like plants in a garden, investments in education need certain environmental conditions in order to flourish.Investments in education and human capital have long been recognized as precipitators of future economic growth. Rapid development in Korea in the second half of the 20th century, for instance, has been traced by scholars back to high levels of investments in schooling and training, creating the enabling environment for industrialization and further specialization.

There is no doubt that commitment to education for economic development requires both long-term funding and the multiplying effects of time.

But what causes countries with similar levels of sustained spending to achieve vastly different outcomes? It's a question that burns in the minds and wallets of governments and development efforts around the world.

Worst practice in ICT use in education

Michael Trucano's picture

The World Bank's 2011 Transport Forum was held from March 28th to 31st, 2011.  It  focused on 50 Years of Innovation in Transport - Achievements and Future Challenges.

Here is what some World Bank Transport Staff think about transport innovations and the World Bank's contribution so far and its future role. 

Weekly News Roundup: April 30, 2010

Ani Silwal's picture

Esta publicación forma parte de una serie de blogs (i) relativo a  los objetivos de desarrollo sostenible y los datos de la edición 2016 de los Indicadores del desarrollo mundial . Chris Sall también contribuyó en este blog.


Cerca del 60 % de las personas vivirá en áreas urbanas en 2030, según la ONU. Gran parte del aumento de la población urbana entre el presente y 2030, y que se traducirá en 1000 millones de habitantes más, se registrará en Asia y África, regiones que atraviesan por transformaciones que cambiarán de manera permanente sus trayectorias económicas, ambientales, sociales y políticas.

El Objetivo de Desarrollo Sostenible 11 procura garantizar que las ciudades y otros asentamientos humanos sean seguros, inclusivos, resilientes y sostenibles, concentrándose en la vivienda y los barrios de tugurios, el transporte, los procesos de planificación participativa, el patrimonio cultural, el manejo de los desechos, la calidad del aire, la gestión del riesgo de desastres y otras cuestiones.

The Logic - and the Illogic - of Discipline

Sina Odugbemi's picture

An important new book tells the story of a  tradition of governance reform. The book is The Logic of Discipline: Global Capitalism and the Structure of Government. The author is Alasdair Roberts, the Jerome L. Rappaport Professor of Law and Public Policy at Suffolk University Law School.

According to Roberts:

"The logic of discipline is a reform philosophy built on the criticism that standard democratic processes for producing policies are myopic, unstable, and skewed towards  special interests and not the public good. It attempts to make improvements in governance through changes in law that impose constraints on elected officials and citizens, often by shifting power to technocrat-guardians who are shielded from political influence." (p. 135).

Thoughts on the Financial Crisis and Improving Financial Regulation

I just returned from São Paulo, perhaps the third biggest metropolitan area in the world with a population of 18 million and an endless vista of apartment towers and commercial buildings in almost any direction from the center.  The traffic problems are large and reported in the daily newspapers as the peak number of kilometers of the main road network in congested conditions (equivalent to LOS F).  This indicator tends to range between 100 and 200 km for any given day.  The resources that

Does the chance to access information carry a duty from those who ask?

Victoria Minoian's picture
Accessing information is a right that comes associated with—at least—the homework of reading, studying and understanding such information. (February 2010, World Bank booth at Library Week in Vientiane, WB photo)

When More Roads Mean More Congestion

Zahid Hussain's picture
World Water Week 2013Most of the planet is covered in water, yet less than one percent of it is available for human use. Access to water and sanitation is a key component of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the emerging Post-2015 agenda. Water also directly contributes to goals of health, food security, biodiversity, energy, and peace and security.
Today at least 780 million people lack access to safe drinking water. Feeding a planet of nine billion people by 2050 will require approximately 50 percent more water in 2050.  These challenges are exacerbated by increasing scarcity of water, extreme weather due to climate change, and a rapidly growing population.
Responding to the global crisis in water requires a more deliberate approach to managing trans-boundary water. Forty percent of the world's population lives in international river basins, which account for 80% of global river flow.  Despite this and the proven benefits of cooperation, such as reduced chances of conflict, improved river sustainability, and access to external markets, 166 of the world’s 276 international basins have no treaty provisions covering them.  Moreover, many multilateral basins are subject to bilateral treaties that preclude participation by other riparian countries.

Segregated, Ghettoized, Polarized and Insular? Who, Me?

Naniette Coleman's picture
J’accepte volontiers les critiques et les commentaires à propos du rapport Doing Business — et, au demeurant, au sujet de tout autre produit de données ou de recherche de la Banque mondiale. Les récents billets de Justin Sandefur et Divyanshi Wadhwa sur les travaux de Doing Business consacrés au Chili et à l’Inde ne me paraissent toutefois ni instructifs ni utiles. En 2013, les auteurs d’une évaluation externe de Doing Business avaient recommandé, entre autres, d’élargir la gamme d’indicateurs pour mieux faire apparaître les obstacles entravant l’activité des entrepreneurs et accroître l’exhaustivité de Doing Business comme outil de comparaison au profit de la réglementation des entreprises. En conséquence, des indicateurs portant sur les différences entre les sexes, la fiabilité de l’approvisionnement en électricité et le « commerce transfrontalier » ont été soit ajoutés à la série d’indicateurs existants, soit sensiblement remaniés. Ces modifications ont été adoptées à l’issue de vastes consultations avec des universitaires et des représentants des autorités nationale ainsi qu’avec des membres du personnel, de la direction et du Conseil des administrateurs de la Banque mondiale. En raison de ces importants changements de méthodologie, nous avons déconseillé de comparer les classements au cours de l’année de la révision : un tel exercice serait revenu à comparer des pommes et des oranges. En outre, il aurait été impossible de comparer la même batterie d’indicateurs sur une période de deux ans, car les données nécessaires n’existaient tout simplement pas. Avant 2015, par exemple, la série d’indicateurs de Doing Business portant sur le commerce transfrontalier évaluait entre autres la quantité de pièces justificatives nécessaires pour satisfaire aux contrôles douaniers. Ce type d’information n’étant plus inclus dans la série d’indicateurs, les données correspondantes ne sont plus recueillies.