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June 2016

Globally, periods are causing girls to be absent from school

Oni Lusk-Stover's picture

Almost all the necessary facilities for investors are in place in the region, including the Sea Port Aktau economic zone.

Although Kazakhstan is the 9th largest country in the world, whenever we come to the country we tend to land in just one of two places: Astana (the capital) or Almaty (the former capital). We hear a lot about the oil-rich west, but few of us go there to explore business opportunities – a big mistake in my view. From what I’ve seen, I would claim that Aktau – in the western Mangystau region - is a gateway to Kazakhstan.

Reducing inequality by promoting shared prosperity

Nobuo Yoshida's picture
Photo: Mohammad Al-Arief/The World Bank.

Editor’s note: The findings, interpretations and conclusions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the World Bank Group, its Board of Directors or the governments they represent.

Even as domestic tax reform is in the political limelight, there is growing attention to taxation in the developing world and the role of citizens in shaping tax policy.

Quote of the week: Novak Djokovic

Sina Odugbemi's picture

Novak Djokovic“If you can channel it in the right way, fear will turn to strength.”

- Novak Djokovic, a Serbian professional tennis player who is currently ranked world No. 1 in men's singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals.  He is generally considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time and a top 5 player in the Open Era (since 1968). Djokovic has won 10 Grand Slam singles titles and has held the No. 1 spot in the ATP rankings for a total of 172 weeks.

‘Neoliberalism’ and its excesses: After a sudden cloudburst of controversy, clear IMF insights on the 'disquieting' drawbacks of free-market dogma

Christopher Colford's picture

Hot off the presses, this month’s edition of the journal “Finance and Development” has been generating both heat and light – and is helping propel a welcome reconsideration of some central elements of the long-dominant but now-disputed Washington Consensus.

The always-thought-provoking journal from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank’s Bretton Woods sibling, sparked some unusually intense debate recently by publishing a well-documented analysis that poses a succinct and straightforward question — “Neoliberalism: Oversold?

That line of inquiry is surely familiar to all those who have been following the debate — supported by meticulous data from such scholars as Thomas Piketty (“Capital in the 21st Century”), Chrystia Freeland (“Plutocrats”) and Branko Milanovic (“Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization”) — over the intensifying economic inequality that is now corroding many societies, in both the developed and developing worlds. Yet the very invocation of the inflammatory term “neoliberalism” seems to have triggered an intense, if brief, summer storm.

Granted, the word “neoliberalism” is somewhat ill-defined, and, as the article’s authors point out, it is “a label used more by critics than by the architects of the policies.” And, true, it’s unusual to see such a freighted question being asked by the IMF, which has often been seen as a main driver of the Washington Consensus. Yet, no doubt about it, putting “neoliberalism” in the headline makes for a mighty arresting article.

The Older Refugee and Community Resilience

Omer Karasapan's picture

Unos 5000 millones de personas —dos tercios de la población mundial— carecen de acceso seguro y asequible a servicios de cirugía, anestesia y obstetricia, aunque en un tercio de la carga mundial de morbilidad se necesita tomar decisiones o aplicar tratamiento quirúrgico o anestésico. Los servicios de cirugía y anestesia son un elemento importante en los tratamientos de los enfermos. A pesar de la enorme carga de morbilidad, se suele pasar por alto la atención quirúrgica, anestésica y obstétrica segura y asequible. (i)
¿Por qué ocurre esto? Puede ser porque la cirugía y la anestesia no son servicios patológicos. (i) Son modalidades de tratamiento que abordan una amplia gama de enfermedades humanas, tales como infecciones y afecciones y lesiones no transmisibles, maternas, infantiles, geriátricas y traumáticas, y los organismos de desarrollo internacional han puesto énfasis en programas verticales centrados en una sola enfermedad.
Antes de 2015, prácticamente no existían datos mundiales sobre procedimientos quirúrgicos, anestésicos y obstétricos. Sobre la base de la noción que “no  se puede gestionar lo que no se mide”, la Comisión Lancet sobre la Cirugía Global (i) desarrolló seis indicadores sobre cirugía, obstetricia y anestesia (abordados en este blog) (i) y recopiló información sobre ellos. El análisis de estos datos muestra grandes brechas en estas áreas en los países de acuerdo con el grupo de ingreso.

En los países de ingreso alto hay 70 veces más trabajadores quirúrgicos por cada 100 000 personas que en los países de ingreso bajo.

La fuerza laboral de “especialistas quirúrgicos” (cirugía, anestesia y obstetricia) es extremadamente pequeña en los países de ingreso bajo (1 especialista por cada 100 000 habitantes) y en los países de ingreso mediano bajo (10 por cada 100 000 habitantes), mientras que hay 69 por cada 100 000 habitantes en los países de ingreso alto. Las diferencias existentes entre los países de ingreso alto y los países de ingreso bajo y de ingreso mediano son aún mayores en la densidad de especialistas quirúrgicos que en la densidad de médicos. (i)

More than a short-term escape: Sustainable empowerment solutions for girls and women in Zambia

Sarah Haddock's picture

Née en Tunisie, Selma Turki quitte son pays pour la France à l’âge de deux ans. Elle y revient pour faire son lycée et passer son bac. Elle étudie ensuite l’architecture pendant deux ans à l’École des Beaux-Arts de Paris, avant de partir au Canada pour étudier l’informatique. Elle suivra aussi un cursus en gestion et en direction d’entreprise à la Henley Business School (Royaume-Uni) et à Berkeley (États-Unis).

Success when we deemed it failure? Revisiting sites and services 20 years later

Sumila Gulyani's picture
Between 1977 and 1997, the World Bank supported “sites and services” projects in 27 cities across India
A freshly-minted architect stood staring at a sea of toilets. Row after row of them, on small “housing plots” meant for low-income families who would build their house incrementally as their incomes and savings grew. The neighborhood was “planned” and provided with services—under a World Bank-supported “sites and services” project—to serve as the anti-thesis of and an antidote to the slums that were, at the time, increasingly becoming the only housing option for low-income families.

It was 1980 and the architect, Barjor Mehta, was deeply disappointed. There were no houses, no people and no chance that they would ever come, given the seemingly god-forsaken location—in an area called Arrumbakkam—so far from the city center in Madras (now Chennai). Having just completed his thesis on housing, he wrote a scathing news article in the Times of India denouncing the sites and services approach. Barjor wasn’t alone in his critique, and by the mid-1990s the World Bank had almost entirely abandoned such projects.

In October 2015, Barjor, now Lead Urban Specialist at the Bank, invited me to revisit Arumbakkam and other neighborhoods developed, between 1977 and 1997, under four Bank-supported sites and services projects: With my colleagues Kate Owens and Andrea Rizvi, I visited 15 of the 28 sites developed in Chennai and Mumbai. We also reviewed archival material, analyzed satellite images, and recently presented our preliminary findings (download a peer-reviewed journal article here). Now, Barjor and I agree that previous assessments of failure may have been both premature and erroneous.


When progress can’t wait, mediate

Jeff Delmon's picture

Join an online discussion with Ismail on Tuesday, April 2nd at 8-11AM on the World Bank's South Asia Facebook page to ask questions and learn more about his experiences.

The Dalai Lama once said - that if you ever feel you are too small to make a difference then try sleeping in a room with a mosquito. And the same goes for business. Every big business starts as a small business. General Electric was at one time the world's biggest company and it started with a simple but revolutionary idea - the invention of the incandescent light bulb in 1878 and the vision of just one person Thomas Edison.

Walmart started with a single store in 1945 and is now the largest private employer in the world. Starting with one store and the idea of making lots of cheap goods available all over the US, Walmart has created more than 2 million jobs. And of course more recently we have lots of examples in the technology and innovation space Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Ebay, Dell and Facebook. All are multi-billion dollar companies that started out in a single room, a basement or garage with a simple idea shared at first by a one or two people.