The Philippines is at a fork in the road. Despite good results on the growth front, trends observed in trade competitiveness, Global Value Chain (GVC) integration and product space evolution, send worrisome signals. The country has solid fundamentals and remarkable human assets to leapfrog into the 4th Industrial Revolution – where the distinction between goods and services have become obsolete. Yet it does not get the most out of this growth, especially with regards to long-term development prospects. In order to do so, the government will have to make the right policy choices.
Global experience shows that growing first and cleaning up later rarely works. Rather, it is in countries’ interest to prioritize green and clean growth. This also holds true for Thailand, a country with rich natural resources contributing significantly to its wealth.
According to World Bank data, annual natural resource depletion in Thailand accounted for 4.4 percent of Gross National Income in 2012, and it has been rising rapidly since 2002. The rate of depletion is comparable to other countries in the East Asia and Pacific region, but it is almost three times faster than the rate in the 1980s.
Rapid natural resource depletion in Thailand is increasingly visible in reduced forest areas. Illegal logging and smuggling have led to a decline from 171 million rai of forested area in 1961 to 107.6 million rai in 2009. Coastal communities face erosion, ocean waste, and illegal, destructive fishing. The coasts are also increasingly vulnerable to storm surges and sea level rise, due to continued destruction of mangroves and coral reefs.
ประสบการณ์จากประเทศทั่วโลก แสดงให้เห็นว่าการให้ความสำคัญ กับการเติบโตทางเศรษฐกิจก่อน แล้วค่อยแก้ไขเรื่องสิ่งแวดล้อมภายหลังนั้นอาจไม่สำเร็จ เมื่อเทียบกับประเทศที่ใส่ใจและให้ความสำคัญ กับเรื่องการเติบโตที่สะอาดและเป็นมิตรกับสิ่งแวดล้อม เช่นเดียวกับประเทศไทยซึ่งมีทรัพยากรธรรมชาติอุดมสมบูรณ์ ซึ่งเป็นฐานเศรษฐกิจและความมั่งคั่งของประเทศ
จากข้อมูลของธนาคารโลกพบว่าเมื่อปี 2555 อัตราการลดลงของทรัพยากรธรรมชาติต่อปีของไทยนั้นอยู่ 4.4% จากรายได้ประชาชาติรวมของประเทศ และสูงกว่าปี 2545 อย่างมาก แม้ว่าอัตรานี้จะไม่แตกต่างจากประเทศอื่นๆ ในภูมิภาคเอเชียตะวันออกและแปซิฟิก แต่สำหรับประเทศไทยนั้นนับว่าเพิ่มขึ้นถึง 3 เท่าจากช่วงปี 2523-2533
การสูญเสียพื้นที่ป่าเป็นตัวอย่างที่ทำให้เราเห็นการลดลงของทรัพยากรธรรมชาติไทยที่สูงขึ้นได้อย่างชัดเจน การตัดไม้เถื่อนและการลักลอบตัดไม้ส่งผลให้พื้นที่ป่าของไทยลดลงจาก 171 ล้านไร่ในปีพ.ศ. 2504 เหลือเพียง 107.6 ล้านไร่ในปี 2552 ชุมชนที่อาศัยอยู่ตามแนวชายฝั่งทะเลกำลังเผชิญกับภาวะกัดเซาะชายฝั่ง ขยะในทะเล และการลักลอบจับปลาแบบผิดกฎหมาย ชายฝั่งทะเลไทยเผชิญกับความเสี่ยงอันเกิดจากคลื่นพายุซัดชายฝั่งและน้ำทะเลสูงขึ้นอันเป็นผลจากการทำลายพื้นที่ป่าโกงกางและแนวปะการังอย่างต่อเนื่อง
Last August, I visited Quang Ngai, a central coastal province in Vietnam, to collect data for a survey on women’s participation in resettlement activities. I expected our first meeting with the local community to be short and uncontroversial. It wasn’t.
“We, women? Our participation? It doesn’t matter. We all stay at home. We don’t care about you coming here and asking about our participation,” said one female participant. “What we do care is to know the extent to which the recommendations we make today will be addressed. We need a resettlement site with community house, trees and kindergarten as promised during the project preparation.”
That comment brought to light an important perspective, highlighting the tension between what we might expect women to want, and their actual needs.
The impacts of development-induced resettlement disproportionately affect women, as they are faced with more difficulties than men to cope with disruption to their families. And this is particularly the case if there is no mechanism to enable meaningful participation and consultation with women throughout the project cycle in general and in the resettlement process in particular.
Trời đã về đêm nhưng đường phố tại các thành phố và thị xã tại Việt Nam vẫn nhộn nhịp. Nền kinh tế tăng trưởng mạnh mẽ trong nhiều năm đã làm xuất hiện một tầng lớp trung lưu mới với khả năng chi tiêu nhiều hơn cho các hàng quán mở cửa tới thâu đêm, các cửa hàng bán lẻ lúc nào cũng đông khách và tỉ lệ sở hữu điện thoại di động ở mức cao—trung bình mỗi người có trên một máy điện thoại di động. Tuy nhiên, nền kinh tế vẫn dựa trên giao dịch bằng tiền mặt, phần đông người trong độ tuổi trưởng thành vẫn không sử dụng dịch vụ tài chính chính thức, ví dụ sử dụng tài khoản giao dịch. Chuyển sang hệ thống không dùng tiền mặt chính là một ưu tiên trong quá trình nâng cao hiệu quả, thúc đẩy phát triển kinh doanh và kinh tế, giảm nghèo tại những vùng nông thôn hẻo lánh nơi các nhà cung cấp dịch vụ tài chính truyền thống khó vươn tới.
Kể từ năm 2016 Ngân hàng Nhà nước Việt Nam đã hợp tác cùng Nhóm Ngân hàng Thế giới hướng tới xây dựng một chiến lược quốc gia về tài chính toàn diện trên cơ sở một cách tiếp cận tổng thể. Mặc dù chiến lược này hiện vẫn đang còn trong quá trình xây dựng nhưng một số điểm chính đã được xác định rõ: chú trọng tài chính trên nền tảng công nghệ số bao gồm chuyển các chương trình thanh toán của chính phủ sang sử dụng các dịch vụ và nền tảng công nghệ số ; cung cấp dịch vụ tài chính tới các vùng nông thôn và dân tộc thiểu số còn lạc hậu và tỉ lệ nghèo còn cao hơn tỷ lệ nghèo bình quân cả nước; và tăng cường bảo vệ người tiêu dùng và phổ biến kiến thức tài chính giúp thế hệ người tiêu dùng mới được trang bị tốt hơn với dịch vụ tài chính hiện đại.
Di Indonesia, malnutrisi kronis meluas dengan lebih dari sepertiga anak-anak mengalami stunting atau pertumbuhan yang terhambat. Meskipun tingkat kemiskinan menurun dari 16,6% menjadi 11,4% dari tahun 2007 hingga 2013, tingkat stunting pada anak-anak di bawah usia lima tahun tetap sangat tinggi, di atas 37% pada tahun 2013, meskipun angka tersebut telah menurun dalam dua tahun terakhir. Stunting memiliki konsekuensi seumur hidup yang penting bagi kesehatan, juga untuk pengembangan kognitif, pendidikan, akumulasi sumberdaya manusia, dan pada akhirnya juga produktivitas ekonomi.
Namun, untuk mengurangi stunting, tidak cukup hanya memberi fokus pada sektor kesehatan. Perlu juga perbaikan di sektor lain seperti pertanian, pendidikan, perlindungan sosial, air, sanitasi, dan kebersihan. Seperti yang semula ditekankan dalam kerangka konseptual UNICEF, untuk memastikan bahwa seorang anak menerima nutrisi yang cukup bergantung pada empat faktor penting: asuh, kesehatan, lingkungan, dan ketahanan pangan, bidang-bidang yang mencakup beberapa sektor.
Migrants represent 15% of Malaysia’s workforce, making the country home to the fourth largest number of migrants in the East Asia Pacific region. The migrant population is diverse, made up of workers from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Vietnam, China and India, among many other countries.
In Indonesia, chronic malnutrition is widespread with more than one-third of young children being stunted. Despite the reduction of the poverty rate from 16.6% to 11.4% from 2007 to 2013, the rate of stunting amongst children under the age of five has remained alarmingly high, exceeding 37% in 2013, although that figure has declined in the last two years. Stunting has important lifelong consequences for health, as well as for cognitive development, education, human capital accumulation, and ultimately for economic productivity.
However, to reduce stunting it’s not only important to focus on the health sector. It also requires improvements in other sectors such as agriculture, education, social protection, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). As originally emphasized by the UNICEF conceptual framework, to ensure that a child receives adequate nutrition depends on four critical factors: care, health, environment, and food security, areas that straddle multiple sectors.
On a recent visit to provincial treasury offices to learn about the Financial Management Information Systems, or FMIS, that members of our Governance teams helped introduce, the conversation turned to cows.
Staff compared switching from manual pen-and-paper to an automated state-of-the-art public finance management system as akin to making a cow watch television. Cows, they explained, are as unfamiliar with television as some treasury staff are with computers, the internet, and FMIS.
Fortunately, the relevance of the analogy was short-lived. Treasury staff have overcome the learning curve and the new system has proven to be helpful. I consistently heard praise about the system’s usefulness because it provides useful financial information, reduces the amount of repetitive work, and generates timely reports. That is a big change.
Global benchmarking reports are great conversation starters. Here in Singapore, a nation defined by its drive for excellence, these benchmarking reports are held as evidence of the country’s development success. From topping the global education index PISA, the Global Competitiveness Index, and the Leading Maritime Capitals of the World Report, Singapore takes great pride in being first, in Asia if not globally.
An important global ranking for Singapore is the Doing Business survey, a ranking the island nation topped for many years, indicating the ease with which business can be done in the little red dot.