Youthink! confession: What with launching our new site and all, we kind of forgot to make a note of International Literacy Day, which was on September 8. Well, our philosophy (one of our philosophies, anyway—we have quite a few), is “better late than never.” So, on that note, we’re taking a belated look at this important day.
Editor’s Note: Lars Johannes is an Infrastructure Specialist in the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Network, working for the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA). He is task team leader and advises projects in health, education, and energy.
Back in 2003, the World Bank and DFID launched the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA). Output-based aid ties payment to service providers to the actual delivery of services in water, education, ICT, etc. The appeal is obvious—this is the kind of mechanism that helps "get the incentives right", thereby transferring risk to the service provider, increasing efficiency, and enhancing targeting of the poor.
As we say goodbye to the “Naughties” I thought it may be interesting to step back and reflect on some of the significant books of the last decade that really did change the way we thought about PSD and its contribution to development. Given the “decade” theme, I’ve limited the selection to ten, although the books don’t map to each year of the decade.
A few months back, Justin Lin, the World Bank's chief economist, and Bill Easterly had a friendly debate about the merits of industrial policy. Lin has been promoting a concept he terms New Structuralist Economics, or what might more plainly be called Industrial Policy 2.0.
The World Bank and IFC are featuring several excellent events this week that are well-worth attending.
Yesterday I attended the World Bank's book launch of Bringing Finance to Pakistan's Poor: Access to Finance for Small Enterprises and the Underserved. The authors, Tatiana Nenova and Ceclie Thioro Niang, interviewed 10,000 households from across Pakistan's geographic and socio-economic landscape, including both men and women.
Back in grade school, I was the kind of kid who got excited about things like fractal geometry. I even went so far as to attend math camp one summer on the Eastern Shore.
Last year Bill Easterly came out with some harsh criticism of the development community after the release of the Growth Commission report. The crux of Easterly's complaint: "this report represents the final collapse of the “development expert” paradigm that has governed the west’s approach to poor countries since the second world war." But the problem of the expert is not one that is limited to development institutions—it is a problem faced by all large organizations.
Think you’ve got better money management skills than the world’s poorest? You might be surprised to find out that you’d be up against stiff competition.