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February 2012

The Future of Education: What Happens to Accreditation Under an Open Education Model?

Tanya Gupta's picture

In our last blog The Future of Education: Amazon or an eBay Model? "Anonymous" posted an excellent question:

"Very insightful, and I agree with most of the premises. The only one that stands out is the accreditation/social validation angle. IIT or Harvard graduate has a validation angle to employers, which will not go away for top institutions".

We had the exact same comment from a colleague on the blog recently and this blog summarizes some views on the subject:

Capital Account Liberalization: Are there Lessons to be Learned?

Otaviano Canuto's picture

Photo: WikiCommons User, CopyLeftAfter the Second World War, advanced economies began an ambitious process toward capital account liberalization, which prioritized the liberalization of trade, the maintenance of fixed exchange rates, and a commitment to current account convertibility.

Beyond transparency: What’s next?

Michael Jarvis's picture

Does transparency lead to development? Not necessarily. At least not when it comes to the oil, gas, and mining sectors. Transparency is important but far from sufficient to improve livelihoods. An ongoing discussion among practitioners on the Governance of Extractive Industries (GOXI) platform reveals a lack of clear answers to this question.

Do Informed Citizens Receive More, or Pay More?

Philip Keefer's picture

One widely-accepted political economy research finding is that informed citizens receive greater benefits from government transfer programs. The evidence for the impact of information comes from particular contexts—disaster relief in India and welfare payments in the USA during the Great Depression.  Do other contexts yield similar results?  New research on the distribution of anti-malaria bed nets in Benin suggests:  “No.”  Instead, local health officials charged more informed households for bed nets that they could have given them for free.

The Benin context differs in three ways.  First, the policy is not the distribution of cash, but of health benefits.  Households’ access to information then influences not only their knowledge of government programs to distribute such benefits, but also the value they place on them. 

Second, the political context also differs.  In younger democracies, like Benin’s, citizens are more likely to confront additional obstacles, besides a lack of information, in their efforts to extract promised benefits from government.

Are the Danes the happiest people in the world? Using vignettes to anchor subjective responses

Jed Friedman's picture

Quite often the popular press carries stories that compare happiness or life satisfaction across nations (for example see last October’s story: Denmark is Happiest Country). Regular readers of this blog will recognize these reports as summaries of research on subjective well-being (SWB) and would be somewhat skeptical of SWB comparisons across populations with very different characteristics and cultures. Why?

New benchmarking tool helps universities grade themselves

Adriana Jaramillo's picture
World Bank | Arne Hoel | 2011Arab World Higher Education Ministers have endorsed a screening card tool to benchmark university governance across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Developed by a higher education program at the World Bank supported  Marseille Center for Mediterranean Integration, it is aimed at benchmarking university governance and identifying different patterns and “fitness for purpose” to help higher education institutions understand how they can improve performance.

How Should the World Bank Support Social Accountability: Share Your Views!

John Garrison's picture

This is a question many World Bank stakeholders – civil society, government, private sector representatives – have been debating in recent years.  The questions is even more timely now that the Bank is considering establishing a new global Partnership for Social Accountability geared to supporting civil society capacity to engage with governments to improve development effectiveness.  It comes in response to a speech Mr. Zoellick gave in April 2011 on the need to scale up relations with civil society in the wake of the Arab Spring and growth of civil society worldwide. 

Shifting Gears: Capitalism and the Logic of 'Competitive Industries'

Christopher Colford's picture

The genius of capitalism is also its peril: Adaptable and self-correcting over time, capitalism’s wealth-generating machinery constantly adjusts to meet the changing demands of the marketplace and the law. Yet society can pay a drastic price for that adaptability: Wrenching change occurs at history’s critical transition-points, as the machinery abruptly shifts gears. Wrenching change occurs when the economy suddenly shifts gears. (Photo Credit: Ralph Bijker, Flickr Creative Commons)

As the economy struggles to recover after its latest trauma, 2008’s bursting of the credit bubble, a timely and incisive new book – “Power Inc.: The Epic Rivalry Between Big Business and Government, and the Reckoning That Lies Ahead” – offers a deep historical perspective on today’s transition toward some new, still-evolving variant of capitalism. Author David Rothkopf, the Editor-at-Large of Foreign Policy magazine, explored capitalism’s dynamism and dangers as a panel of scholars helped launch the book last week at a Washington think tank.

What a political economy perspective can contribute to development effectiveness

Verena Fritz's picture

The term ‘political economy’ has become an increasingly popular part of the vernacular at the World Bank and other development agencies. In parallel, interest in the political economy aspects of development has also seen a resurgence in academia, within both economics and political science departments, and even in leading business programs.

Impact evaluation as leverage

Shanta Devarajan's picture

While banks, homeowners and a few governments in the US and Europe are "de-leveraging," the buzzword in the aid business is "leveraging"--using scarce aid resources to crowd-in other resources, such as tax revenues and private capital flows.  The reason is simple:   aid resources are limited (partly due to the economic slowdown in donor countries from their de-leveraging) but development needs are great, so using aid money to stimulate tax revenues or guarantee private investors' risk could square the circle.

But we don’t just want to increase the amount of resources available:  we want to make sure those resources are spent on activities that reduce poverty.  This suggests a different way of thinking of leveraging. 


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