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Rising divide: why inequality is increasing and what needs to be done

Matthew Wai-Poi's picture
Also available in: Bahasa Indonesia
In 2014, the richest 10 per cent of Indonesian households consumed as much as the poorest 54 per cent. Image by Google Maps.




Since the 1990s, inequality has risen faster in Indonesia than in any other East Asian country apart from China. In 2002, the richest 10 per cent of households consumed as much as the poorest 42 per cent. By 2014, they consumed as much as the poorest 54 per cent. Why should we be worried about this trend? What is causing it, and how is the current administration addressing rising inequality? And what still needs to be done?

Inequality is not always bad; it can provide rewards for those who work hard and take risks. But high inequality is worrying for reasons beyond fairness. High inequality can impact economic growth, exacerbate conflict, and curb the potential of current and future generations. For example, recent research indicates that, on average, when a higher share of national income goes to the richest fifth of households, economic growth slows—whereas countries grow more quickly when the poorest two-fifths receive more.

Steak, fries and air pollution

Garo Batmanian's picture
 Guangqing Liu
Photo © : Guangqing Liu

While most people link air pollution only to burning fossil fuels, other activities such as agriculture and biomass burning also contribute to it. The complexity of air pollution can be explained by analyzing the composition of the PM2.5, one the most important air pollution indicators. 
 

ยุติความรุนแรงทุกรูปแบบที่มีต่อหญิงไทยที่ทำงานบริการทางเพศ

Michele R. Decker's picture
Also available in: English
Photo: vinylmeister,  https://flic.kr/p/niguan

ในที่สุดก็ได้มาถึงประเทศไทยเพื่อฉลองรางวัลความคิดสร้างสรรค์ด้านการพัฒนา (Development Marketplace for Innovation) ด้านการป้องกันการใช้ความรุนแรงทางเพศที่เราได้รับจากกลุ่มธนาคารโลกและศูนย์วิจัยด้านความรุนแรงทางเพศ (Sexual Violence Research Initiative: SVRI) เมื่อเดือนก่อน  ทีมวิจัยของเราประกอบด้วย คุณสุรางค์ จันทร์แย้ม คุณจำรอง แพงหนองยาง ผู้บริหารมูลนิธิเพื่อนพนักงานบริการ (Sex Workers IN Group’s - SWING) และ ดร. ดุสิตา พึ่งสำราญ นักวิจัยจากมหาวิทยาลัยมหิดลซึ่งได้ไปร่วมพิธีรับรางวัล ณ กรุงวอชิงตัน ดีซี  โดยมี ดร. จิม ยอง คิม ประธานกลุ่มธนาคารโลกกล่าวและให้กำลังใจในการทำงานผู้ได้รับรางวัลทุกคน  แม้ว่าวันนี้ที่เราได้มาอยู่ไกลอีกซีกโลก ณ ห้องประชุมของ SWING ที่มีสีสรรสดใสหากแต่ความรู้สึกมุ่งมั่นที่จะทำงานด้านการป้องกันการใช้ความรุนแรงทางเพศที่ได้จากงานรับรางวัลในครั้งนั้นยังคงอยู่กับพวกเรา.
 

Ending the invisible violence against Thai female sex workers

Michele R. Decker's picture
Also available in: ภาษาไทย
Photo: vinylmeister,  https://flic.kr/p/niguan

I’m finally in Thailand celebrating our Development Marketplace for Innovation award from the World Bank Group and the nonprofit Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) to prevent gender-based violence. Just one month ago, our team members, consisting of Sex Workers IN Group’s (SWING) leaders, Surang Janyam and Chamrong Phaengnongyang, and Mahidol University researcher, Dusita Phuengsamran, were at the awards ceremony in Washington DC, humbled by the words and encouragement of World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. Today, half a world away, at SWING’s colorful conference space, the passion for violence prevention that infused the awards ceremony is still with us.
 

Firing up Myanmar’s economy through private sector growth

Sjamsu Rahardja's picture
Workers at a garment factory
Myanmar’s reintegration into the global economy presents it with a unique opportunity to leverage private sector growth to reduce poverty, share prosperity and sustain the nationwide peace process.
 
For much of its post-independence period, Myanmar’s once vibrant entrepreneurialism and private sector was stifled by economic isolation, state control, and a system which promoted crony capitalism in the form of preferential access to markets and goods, especially in the exploitation of natural resources. Reflecting this legacy, private sector firms are still burdened with onerous regulations and high costs, dragging down their competitiveness and reducing growth prospects.
 

Unleashing Myanmar’s agricultural potential

Sergiy Zorya's picture


Myanmar’s unusually fertile soils and abundant water source are legendary in Southeast Asia. It is even said that Myanmar has the most favorable agricultural conditions in all of Asia. Almost anything can be grown in the country, from fruits to vegetables, from rice to pulses. The agriculture sector dominates the economy, contributing 38% of GDP, and employing more than 60% of the workforce. The importance of agriculture in the economy and as an employer will diminish in coming years as a result of structural transformation. However, the sector will continue to play a remarkable role in reducing poverty in Myanmar for many years to come.  

Hear our voice: Young people in the Philippines want more from their leaders

Mark Raygan Garcia's picture
Scroll through social media in the Philippines, and you’ll get the feel of how young people have transformed digital spaces into a microcosm of what the Philippines should or should not be. If only their ideas and fervor in cyberspace could be translated to engaged participation on the ground, the light at the end of the tunnel would be brighter.
 
“So what now after the May 2016 elections?”
 
We asked this question at an event for the Knowledge for Development Community (KDC) network a few months before the May 9 national and local elections. The KDC was formed by the World Bank office in Manila in 2002 to promote knowledge sharing of development issues. It’s a network composed of 19 universities, non-government organizations and think tanks across the country. We turned to the largest segment in our network – students – and asked: “What do you want from your next leaders?”
 
Spearheaded by Silliman University based in the Visayas in Central Philippines, the KDC organized youth discussions in three cities in each of the major island groups: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. St. Paul University Philippines handled the discussions in Tuguegarao in Luzon, Silliman University for Dumaguete, and the Western Mindanao State University for Zamboanga based in Mindanao. The project involved 30 youth representatives in each city: 15 in-school and 15 out-of-school. Its composition was not just sensitive to, but also affirmed, the equal value of the out-of-school youth in development processes.

Ungkapkan suaramu Indonesia! Mengusung akuntabilitas sosial layanan kesehatan

Ali Winoto Subandoro's picture
Also available in: English

 

Untuk mengetahui bagaimana akuntabilitias sosial bisa memperbaiki kualitas layanan kesehatan di Indonesia, silakan kunjungi kawasan perbatasaan di provinsi Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT).

Kejadian ini berlangsung di suatu siang yang panas pada bulan Agustus 2015 di kelurahan Bijaepasu, sekitar enam jam perjalanan darat dari ibukota provinsi NTT, Kupang. Di tengah panasnya udara yang mencapai 40 derajat celcius, antrian manusia melingkari sebuah puskesmas.

Sekelompok ibu dengan bayi mereka juga para manula berdiri sepanjang dinding yang hampir roboh. Antrian panjang bergerak dengan lambat. Petugas kesehatan terlihat kewalahan melayani pasien dan hampir tidak ada peralatan medis yang memadai di puskesmas tersebut.

Speak up and be heard, Indonesia! Championing social accountability in healthcare services

Ali Winoto Subandoro's picture
Also available in: Bahasa Indonesia



To get a full picture of how social accountability can improve the quality of health services in Indonesia, one only has to travel to the border areas in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province.  

On a scorching afternoon in August 2015 in Bijaepasu sub-district, a six hour drive from the provincial capital Kupang, a queue was forming in front of the village health center or puskesmas. The crowd seemed undeterred by the temperature that hovered around 40 degrees Celcius.

Leaning against its deteriorating walls were mothers and babies, elderly women and men. The queue was long and slow moving. The health center workers appeared overwhelmed. There were barely any medical equipment or supplies.

Immigrant labor: Can it help Malaysia’s economic development?

Rafael Munoz Moreno's picture


Malaysia has been able to reach remarkable achievements over the past decades, including extreme poverty eradication and promotion of inclusive growth. It aims to reach a high-income nation status by 2020, which goes beyond merely reaching a per capita GDP threshold. As the 11th Malaysia Plan points out, the goal is to achieve a growth path that is sustainable over time, reflects greater productivity, and is inclusive. High-income status can be achieved if we ensure that future generations have access to all the resources, such as education and productive opportunities, necessary to realize their ambitions and if Malaysia’s economy is globally competitive and resource-sustainable.

Over the years, immigrants have played a crucial role in the economic development of Malaysia, with around 2.1 million immigrants registered and over 1 million undocumented as of 2013. Education levels among the Malaysian population have increased remarkably over the last two decades, and immigrant workers have become one of the primary sources of labor for low-skilled occupations, most commonly in labor-intensive sectors such as construction, agriculture and manufacturing. Economic studies show that a 10% net increase in low-skilled foreign workers could raise Malaysia’s GDP by 1.1% and create employment and increase wages for most Malaysians.

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