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East Asia and Pacific

Aceh Diary: Dining out

Food in Banda Aceh is GREAT (especially the seafood)! That is, if you can bear going to the same 5 or 6 restaurants day in and out. Many people eventually opt for their own cooking, at least for dinner, since many organizations provide a simple lunch catered or cooked on the premises. Others like us without a kitchen (which we’re renovating), tend to alternate between the few Chinese-style seafood restaurants and venues offering western cuisine frequented by the expat community.

Nonprofit healthcare in Cambodia

If childbirth is a miracle of nature, then the thriving, honestly run network of clinics and hospitals here is a human marvel, managed not by the government but by one of the nonprofit groups it has hired to run entire public health districts.

…These contracted services have allowed international donors and concerned governments to cut through dysfunctional bureaucracies - or work around them, and to improve health care and efficiency at modest cost.

Chinese corruption portal launched

China's discipline watchdog announced… the opening of a website facilitating the public reporting of corruption.

Thanks to CIPE Blog for the pointer. Here is the site (I think?).

Aceh Diary: Price distortions

There are two prices in Banda Aceh—the price charged to locals, and that reserved for foreigners. Or as some around here put it the “blue-eyed price” and the “brown-eyed price."

I had heard before coming out that Banda is something of a bubble economy these days from all the local and international organizations and NGOs falling over each other in a rush to spend the big bucks. I didn’t realize then to what extent that’s true, and how much it’s distorting the local economy and perceptions of the people as to the budget limitations some organizations, including IFC, have.

Index of Economic Freedom

The Heritage Foundation’s 2006 Index of Economic Freedom is out. Hong Kong and Singapore lead the way. Estonia comes in at seven, Chile at fourteen. These are the top 10 ‘worsened'.

In the Wall Street Journal Mary Anastasia O’Grady, one of the reports' editors, uses the contrasts between Estonia and Chile to claim that:

A new measure of economic development?

Tokyo had Godzilla; New York had King Kong. But will Beijing ever be taken seriously as a great world city before it is destroyed by a giant monster?

Imagethief's post is a lot of fun, and we discover that, among others:

Benjamin Friedman at AEI-Brookings

Friedman will be at the AEI-Brookings Joint Center on Jan. 9 to discuss 'The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth.' On the menu: the positive connections between growth and morality and recommend policies that could enhance the moral benefits created by rising standards of living. (via GovernanceFocus)


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