Thirty African officials visited China for 12 days in May on a pilot South-South knowledge exchange organized by the Chinese government with assistance from the World Bank. My colleague, Phil Karp, has written about the program, including the study tour around China that he accompanied. I met the officials in Beiji
A post from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), somewhere in the heart of the medieval section of this deeply multicultural city. I’m here with a team organized by the World Bank Institute (WBI), working with local partners on preparing a capacity building program for low income municipalities on increasing citizens’ participation in local governance. Colleagues from the WBI facilitated sessions on participatory budgeting and citizens’ feedback mechanisms. Two of us from the World Bank’s Development Communication Division contributed a few modules on participatory communication as a cross-cutting issue in enabling and sustaining citizen participation in local governance.
I recently had the pleasure of accompanying a group of 15 senior officials from East and Southern Africa on a field visit to Guangxi Autonomous Region and Guangdong Province. Prior to the field visit, the officials had spent three days in Beijing at a workshop on China’s development experience.
Using data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the OECD, BBC News online created some interesting graphics showing the impact of and factors in the current food crisis. They include a 30-year look at food commodity prices, US ethanol production, world population growth, changing eating habits, and demand for biofuels among others. Worth a look.
|Kids in rural Laos are now exposed to a world their parents didn't imagine at their age. How does this change their expectations for the future?
Greetings from Cambridge, Massachusetts! The first day of the 2 ½ day workshop on the Roles of the News Media in the Governance Reform Agenda is wrapping up. We are thrilled to report that we’ve had a series of rich and engaging discussions among some of the world’s best scholars and most seasoned practitioners. So far, we have had debates, at times heated, but mostly civil, among practitioners, pol
Will investments in agricultural technology by themselves be sufficient to ensure long-term productivity growth in the farm sector and, more importantly, for rural poverty reduction? As rapidly rising food prices threaten food security and the poverty gains made by developing countries, many have blamed declining funding for agricultural technology development for this state of affairs (for example, the New York Times).
This question is highly relevant for South Asia. Shanta Devarajan has commented on the recent rice export ban by India and its implication for its neighbor, Bangladesh, which has become a net rice importer this year due to floods and cyclone impacts. But Bangladesh also provides evidence that agricultural technology by itself is unlikely to lead to adequate growth in agricultural output if factors such as physical and economic geography and infrastructure needs are not considered.
In a recent study, we examine these issues for Bangladesh. During the early 1990s, Bangladesh experienced widespread diffusion of green revolution technology in rice, its main crop. As a result, rice production has more than doubled since the early 1970s. The spread of green revolution technology is usually expected to boost wages for farm workers. But we found regional differences in rural wages that run counter to the traditional argument.
Soaring food prices have suddenly become a major concern for policy makers in East Asia. The price of rice - which provides one third of the region's caloric intake - is a particular worry. Rice prices have been moving higher since around 2004, although this was from very depressed levels in the early years of the decade. Prices surpassed $300 a ton in early 2006 for the first time since the late 1990s, kept moving higher, and then took off at an accelerating pace from late 2007: up 11 percent in the the fourth quarter, then 56 percent in the first quarter of 2008 an
There's been much talk in recent months about the revision of the International Comparison Program and the PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) figures derived from it.