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Using country procurement systems in China and Vietnam to improve efficiency, transparency and competition

Ba Liu Nguyen's picture
Variedades nativas de papa, que solían consumirse solo en la sierra, actualmente se sirven en los mejores restaurantes de Lima y se exportan en forma de hojuelas.
Fotografía: Centro Internacional de la Papa (CIP)
La agricultura peruana ha tenido un crecimiento impresionante durante las últimas dos décadas, lo que ha contribuido a una caída sostenida del número de peruanos que viven en la pobreza. Y sin embargo millones de los pequeños agricultores del país no se han beneficiado de dicha prosperidad.  Un nuevo libro sobre el sector agrícola en el Perú ofrece ejemplos de enfoques más equitativos para  impulsar el desarrollo agrícola, a fin de aprovechar plenamente las potencialidades del sector para aliviar la pobreza.

Expect no lines in front of the digital counters

Gina Martinez's picture
A house after a flood in Bolivia. World Bank.

Imagine que vive en una ciudad que se inunda constantemente, e incluso durante semanas en algunas ocasiones, después de lluvias extremas.

Imagine que vive en esa ciudad inundada, donde usted y miles de sus vecinos deben encontrar un lugar donde quedarse hasta que el agua retroceda, y finalmente puede regresar a su hogar con el temor de encontrarlo destruido.

Así es la ciudad de Trinidad, ubicada en las tierras bajas amazónicas de Bolivia, y que sufre con frecuencia los embates de fuertes y prolongadas precipitaciones que provocan el desborde de ríos, lagunas y lagos, afectando a miles de familias.

En Bolivia, el 43% de la población vive en áreas de alto riesgo de inundación. Trinidad y otras ciudades ubicadas en tierras bajas experimentan inundaciones, mientras que, en La Paz, los frecuentes deslizamientos de tierra causan muertes y daños a viviendas e infraestructuras.

Energy analytics for access, efficiency and development

Anna Lerner's picture
Teresa at her home store, where she sells candies amongst her other wares.

en espanol

A few years ago, authors Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio published “Hungry Planet,” a fascinating book with pictures of what families eat around the world.  The picture from Mexico was revealing.  If you take a brief look, it seems a quite healthy diet, varied and containing lots of fruits and vegetables.  But if you look more closely, you will notice a dozen 2-liter bottles of soft drinks and about two dozen beer bottles at the back of the picture. In addition, in front of two children, there’s a table with sweet breads and other high-calorie snacks.

Flexibility, opportunity and inclusion through online outsourcing jobs

Cecilia Paradi-Guilford's picture
A train decorated with a "Via Lilas" awareness campaign leaves Rio's Central Station.
Follow Shomik (@shomik_raj) and Daniel (@danpulido) on Twitter

There was cause for celebration at the State of Rio de Janeiro’s Office of Women’s Affairs last week. The office had just launched a new program that provides support and legal assistance to survivors of gender-based violence, which was covered by a wide range of media and commemorated by a visit from senior World Bank leadership to Brazil.

Our team is currently visiting Rio to help with activities for this new program, called “Via Lilas.” Rio’s government has a lot to cheer about; the program is both innovative and significant.  Its primary component is a system of electronic kiosks, placed at stations along Supervia suburban rail lines, which contain helpful information about how women can seek support for gender-based violence.
Women using a "Via Lilas" kiosk

The placement of these kiosks is strategic; the Supervia provides some of the poorest communities in the region access to jobs and services. 

​The rail service connects downtown Rio de Janeiro to the periphery in this sprawling metropolitan area of more than 4,500 square kilometers and 12 million people. Outlying parts of the metropolitan area, such as the community of Japeri, can be more than two hours by train to Rio’s Central station.

​The “Via Lilas” kiosks will be placed at high-profile locations along the Supervia system, providing easy information access to the approximately 700,000 passengers who use the rail network each day.

A real-time food security information system is a Big Data reality

John Corbett's picture
Ancient cities, like Mohenjodaro in modern-day Pakistan, emerged relatively recently in human history.
Ancient cities, like Mohenjodaro in modern-day Pakistan, emerged relatively recently in human history (photo courtesy of Saqib Qayyum used through a Creative Commons license.)​

The growth of large metropolitan areas around the world has been very recent and very rapid, particularly when measured against the duration of human beings’ existence as a species. For the first 95% of our time on earth, we built no settlements at all. Cities of a million people arose during only the last 1% of homo sapiens’ time on earth, and there are already 500 such cities in the world today.

If we have spent most of our existence as small wandering bands, does that mean we are ill-equipped to manage urban settlements of this vast size? The key to success in our current urban transformation may in fact be the same as the key to mankind’s earliest origins - our ability to cooperate.

Innovating through the 'valley of death'

Kristoffer Welsien's picture
The challenge gets underway at Nairobi's
iHub. Photo: Anna Lerner/World Bank
The Negawatt Challenge is is an open-innovation competition that will leverage a variety of cities’ rich ecosystems of innovative entrepreneurs and technology hubs to surface software, hardware and new business solutions. Together, these components – and the innovators themselves – are capable of transforming these cities into more sustainable places.
Nairobi (Kenya), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Accra (Ghana), and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) are participating in this year’s competition.
Cities are the engines of growth
People congregate in cities to share ideas, create businesses and build better lives. Urban centers have always been the hearts of economies, driving growth and creating jobs. But cities also strain under the burden, their transport and utility arteries often overloaded with the pressure of supporting rapid urbanization and development. While only around 30 percent of Kenyans have access to electricity, around 60 percent of all electricity is consumed in the country’s capital, Nairobi.
As a result, access to energy can be both costly and unreliable. In many fast-growing cities, the demand for energy outstrips both total supply and the capacity of the grid to deliver that energy to businesses and households. Blackouts are a typical result and they are costly and dangerous. Energy generation is also often very inefficient. As such, energy efficiency holds a big opportunity for reducing wasted energy resources, freeing up financial resources for private and public actors, and reducing the carbon footprints of the mentioned cities.

​“Smart Mobility”: is it the time to re-think urban mobility?

Ke Fang's picture
As smartphones have gained in popularity, so have such concepts as smart cities and smart mobility. This is not a coincidence – smartphones are changing how we travel in cities, to such an extent that we may need to reconsider the concept of urban mobility in the transport world. 
Traditionally, urban mobility is about moving people from one location to another location within or between urban areas. Policy makers, urban and transport planners, and engineers spend huge amounts of time and money to improve urban mobility, based on two basic assumptions:
  1. People need to move in order to access housing, jobs and urban services, such as education and entertainment.
  2. People prefer motorized mobility to non-motorized mobility, because the former is economically more efficient than the latter, especially as cities grow and the society becomes more affluent.
Those assumptions have already been challenged.

Towards a free, open and secure Internet

Samia Melhem's picture
What will the city of the future look like? How can we unlock the potential of urbanization to create safe, accessible and prosperous societies? At Transforming Transportation 2015 – the annual conference co-organized by the World Resources Institute and the World Bank– we learned about the role of urban mobility in creating smart, sustainable cities and boosting shared prosperity.
Felipe Calderón addresses the 
audience at
Transforming Transportation 2015

With 75 percent of the infrastructure that will exist in 2050 yet to be built, actions taken right now will shape urbanization patterns and quality of life for decades. It is urgent that global leaders concentrate now on ensuring that cities are sustainable, inclusive and prosperous.  
The year 2015 provides three big opportunities to build global momentum around the course for change. These are the potential for a binding international climate agreement coming out of COP21, a new development agenda set forth by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and a platform for prioritizing safe, equitable cities through the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. The coming year raises the stakes, with the 2016 Habitat III conference expected to be one of the most influential gatherings in history focusing on making cities more livable and sustainable.

Reflections on the future of legal identity

Mariana Dahan's picture

مجتمع البيانات المفتوحة زاخر بالمصلحين المبدعين

توجد تطبيقات "تستند إلى البيانات "المفتوحة" تساعد على متابعة التشريعات الحكومية في الولايات المتحدة، وأدوات تساعد على حساب رسوم سيارات الأجرة في بوجوتا بكولومبيا، وتطبيقات ترصد كيف يجري إنفاق أموال دافعي الضرائب في المملكة المتحدة، وحالة الصرف الصحي في المدارس في نيبال، والكثير غيرها.

ومن الواضح أن المبتكرين موجودون وأن عقولهم تزخر بأفكار رائعة بشأن كيفية مساعدة المواطنين الآخرين من خلال الاستفادة من البيانات العامة. والسؤال هو كيف يمكن لمزيد من هذه المشروعات أن تحتذي بأمثلة على غرار تطبيق GovTrack والانتقال من الهواية إلى نماذج أعمال ناجحة ومستدامة؟ وقد توجد مواهب فنية، ولكن ماذا عن مهارات العمل الحر؟ وكم عدد خبراء البيانات "الذين يتمتعون بالشجاعة لإنشاء مشروع أعمال."؟

What does Big Data have to do with an owl?

Nak Moon Sung's picture
Prior to about 2005, for many tourists their Jamaican vacation was ruined at the last minute, by the hot and overcrowded conditions inside Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport. Fast forward 10 years, and waiting for a flight at Sangster is an altogether more pleasant experience. The air conditioning actually works, and the whole environment is infinitely less stress-inducing than before.
A new waiting area at Montego Bay's
Sangster International Airport.
Photo: Milton Correa/flickr

What’s the difference? The private sector.

In 2003, the Government of Jamaica finally succeeded in doing what it had been trying to do for a decade: privatize Montego Bay Airport. A private sector consortium, led by Vancouver International Airport, quickly invested millions of dollars in expanding the terminal building, doubling the airport’s capacity and opening dozens of new retail spaces. Since then, the consortium has invested more than US$200 million on expansions and improvements to the airport, all of which has been entirely off the government’s balance sheet.

Jamaica has gone on to implement several more public-private partnerships (PPPs), with mixed results. The second phase of its ambitious highway construction program — the Mount Rosser Bypass — was recently opened, cutting a swath through miles of virgin territory. However, early indications are that traffic levels are not living up to expectations, probably due to the Bypass’ steep eight percent gradient, which is beyond the means of most Jamaican trucks and buses.

In the energy sector, Jamaica is completing three PPPs with a total of 115 megawatts of renewable energy (RE) capacity, putting the country on track to meet its RE target of 12.5 percent of generating capacity by the end of 2015. Lastly, the government is currently completing formalities for the sale of Kingston Container Terminal (KCT) to a consortium of CMA/CGM and China Merchant Marine, a transaction that is expected to result in a US$600 million capital expenditure program by the port’s new owners.