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Improving access to finance for SMEs in Tanzania: Learning from Malaysia’s experience

Djauhari Sitorus's picture
Shops lining Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia’s experience in addressing access to finance for SMEs has been successful, serving as a learning point for countries like Tanzania. Photo: Samuel Goh/World Bank
Tanzania is set towards becoming a middle-income country as the economy grew by an average of 6.5% per year in the past decade. The “Tanzania Development Vision (TDV) 2025” highlighted small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector as one important contributor to the country’s long-term development. It is estimated that Tanzania’s SME sector consists of more than 3 million enterprises which contribute to 27% of overall GDP.  Most of them are in the agricultural sector, and more than half are owned by women.  

Lao PDR’s transition on the path to Universal Health Coverage

Somil Nagpal's picture
A mother brings her baby to Mitthaphap Hospital for a checkup. Photo: World Bank Lao PDR
On this Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day, it is striking to us, working in Lao PDR’s health sector, of the progress the country has made on its journey towards UHC this year.

ASEAN meeting explores ways of professionalizing public procurement to meet development challenges

Adu-Gyamfi Abunyewa's picture
Construction of a sky train in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: Seksan Pipattanatikanunt/World Bank
In the past, procurement (purchasing) was not considered to be a specialist function but one of the numerous duties that administrators performed in their respective government departments. However, today it is acknowledged that procurement has become an extremely complex and crucial undertaking coupled with the need to ensure value for money in the use of public resources to enhance the living conditions of its citizens.

The responsibilities have radically changed from that of an administrative service function to a proactive and strategic one. Unfortunately, in most jurisdictions the procurement function is still not considered a specific profession and consequently, building procurement professional expertise to meet development challenges remains an unfinished agenda.

Working together to understand climate change risks in Fiji

Katherine Baker's picture



People read about climate change every day and we are all familiar with it as a concept.  While we understand that steps need to be taken to address the risks; its impact often feels harder to imagine. We assume that the impacts are something we will experience in the future. 

But in the Pacific, the impacts are already being felt by communities. This came across clearly in our work on the Climate Vulnerability Assessment – Making Fiji Climate Resilient report, which the Fijian Government produced with the support of our team and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), and which was launched at COP23.

The innovation imperative: How Asia can leverage exponential technologies to improve lives and promote growth

Amira Karim's picture
Singapore: Global Innovation Forum

Robots will take over our jobs, disrupt our industries and erode our competitiveness.
 
Such were commonly expressed fears about advances in automation, artificial intelligence, and 3D printing – key representations of exponential technologies – during the inaugural Global Innovation Forum that took place in Singapore.
 
While robots continue to bear the brunt of public skepticism, participants at the Forum also expressed optimism about the emergence of innovations that could dramatically transform the quality of life for the poorest people in society, particularly in Asia, the region that was acknowledged by many participants as leading the pace of innovation around the globe.

Việt Nam nghiên cứu kinh nghiệm Ma-lai-xi-a về xây dựng nhà nước kiến tạo

Jana Kunicova's picture
Also available in: English
Photo: Sasin Tipchai/bigstock


Khát vọng của Việt Nam là trở thành một quốc gia thịnh vượng, sáng tạo, công bằng, và dân chủ vào năm 2035. Muốn đạt được mục tiêu đầy tham vọng này thì Việt Nam cần chuyển đổi nhiều lĩnh vực cả về kinh tế, xã hội, và chính trị.

Cốt lõi của quá trình chuyển đổi này là việc xác định lại vai trò của nhà nước trong quản lý kinh tế. Trong quá trình thích nghi với vai trò quản trị kinh tế, nhà nước phải trở thành một nhà kiến tạo khôn khéo nhằm phát triển ba mối quan hệ: giữa các cơ quan nhà nước với nhau, giữa nhà nước với thị trường, và giữa nhà nước với người dân.

Cách đây chưa lâu, Ma-lai-xi-a cũng trải qua quá trình tương tự như Việt Nam hiện nay, với việc thực hiện một quá trình chuyển đổi trên nhiều lĩnh vực. Năm 2009 Ma-lai-xi-a bắt đầu thực hiện Chương trình cải cách quốc gia (National Transformation Program – NTP) tập trung vào hai lĩnh vực cải cách chính phủ và cải cách kinh tế. Ma-lai-xi-a đã áp dụng nhiều thực tiễn tốt nhằm đơn giản hoá quản lý nhà nước, giúp các doanh nghiệp tương tác dễ dàng hơn với nhà nước.

Philippines: Keeping in step with what employers want

Pablo Acosta's picture
Step up to the Jobs Challenge

It is said that some employees are hired because of their technical skills, but fired due to their behaviors or attitudes, such as arriving late or showing a lack of commitment to achieve the firms’ goals. This complaint seems to be frequently mentioned during our many discussions with Filipino employers.
 
But what does the hard evidence show, beyond anecdotal remarks? Do Filipino employers have difficulty finding workers with the right “soft skills” (socio-emotional skills, right attitudes and behaviors)? And if so, do we have evidence that it leads to better pay? And how are employers, employees and government responding to these labor market signals?
 

Lessons From Mapping Geeks: How Aerial Technology is Helping Pacific Island Countries Recover From Natural Disasters.

Michael Bonte-Grapentin's picture

For many Pacific Island countries, natural disasters such as cyclones and tsunamis, are an all-too common occurrence. Out of the top 15 most at-risk countries for natural disasters globally, four are Pacific Island countries, and Vanuatu is consistently at the top.

In 2015, Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu, and knowing the extent of damage was vital for the government to identify and plan reconstruction needs. A team of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) experts were sent out to quickly establish credible estimates of the damages and losses. Many damage reports were already available from the field, but with varying quality, and the challenge was to consolidate and verify them, within a very tight timeframe. Cloud cover also prevented us from getting satellite images, so we mobilized two UAV teams to fly below the clouds and capture high-resolution footage showing the impacts on the ground in the worst affected islands in Tafea and Shefa province.

Challenges continued throughout, from needing to coordinate airspace with those flying relief goods into affected areas, to transferring massive datasets over low internet bandwidths. But with team-effort and ingenuity, solutions were found; the UAV teams were able to capture valuable damage footage within sampled areas during the day, which were analysed overnight by volunteers of the Humanitarian Open Street Map (HOT) and the Digital Humanitarian Network; new workflows were developed to collate the data and to feed the outputs into the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment.   
 

Interpreted damage information post-Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, 2014: red – destroyed houses, orange – partially damaged houses, blue – no obvious damage to house.

Thay đổi bộ mặt bến nước đô thị

Fen Wei's picture
 ELBE&FLUT / Thomas Hampel at http://www.hafencity.com
HafenCity, Hamburg.
Photo Credit: ELBE&FLUT / Thomas Hampel at http://www.hafencity.com

Bà Jane Jacobs, một chuyên gia đô thị nổi tiếng, từng nói: “Bến nước không phải là một thực thể biệt lập, luôn có sự gắn kết với mọi vật.”
 
Đây là sự gắn kết hai chiều, thể hiện mối quan hệ giữa đô thị và các bến nước trong đô thị, vốn luôn có sự thay đổi cũng như bản thân đô thị vậy.
 
Phát triển từ quan niệm cũ trong thời đại công nghiệp hóa với vai trò là những bến cảng, cầu tàu đô thị, trong mấy chục năm qua, bến nước trong đô thị đã mang những ý nghĩa mới.

Một mặt, bến nước đô thị đóng vai trò đáng kể hơn trong việc thay đổi bộ mặt của đô thị hay thậm chí tái định hình bản sắc của đô thị.
 
Mặt khác, những dự án cải tạo bến nước đô thị thành công cũng cho thấy các nguồn lực của đô thị, như quỹ đất, nguồn nước sạch, di tích lịch sử, sự hồi sinh của đô thị, có thể được khai thác, tận dụng như thế nào, cũng như làm thế nào để lồng ghép những thực thể này vào cuộc sống của đô thị và người dân.

Indonesia’s Social Assistance System: Praising Reforms But More Work Ahead

Pablo Acosta's picture
Also available in: Bahasa Indonesia



When the Bank did its first social assistance public expenditure review in Indonesia in 2012, the diagnosis was clear. Despite spending significant amount of resources in “welfare”, most of them were through expensive subsidies (fuel, electricity, rice) that were not necessarily benefiting the most vulnerable segments of the society. General subsidies represented 20 percent of total national budget, but household targeted social assistance programs were already making their way, increasing from 0.3 to 0.5 percent of GDP between 2004 and 2010. Still, there was an overall dissatisfaction on what had been achieved, with the Gini coefficient rose by about 6 percentage points in the period of 2005 to 2012.

With more than 27 million people still considered poor and as one of the countries in the East Asia and the Pacific region that has one of the highest income inequality levels, the coverage expansion and social assistance system strengthening is a must. Fortunately, the situation in the social assistance sector has changed dramatically.

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