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May 2008

Does decentralization improve accountability and service delivery?

Deborah Perlman's picture

Decentralization has been a buzz word in the development world for a while, but disagreements remain about when and how different types of decentralization are successful in improving accountability and service delivery.  Although decentralization is often used as a monolithic concept, the term can include political, fiscal, administrative or market decentralization, and can involve var

Number 1 essential to fighting corruption: political will

Deborah Perlman's picture

Former Hong Kong anti-corruption administrator Bertrand de Speville was at the Bank recently, speaking about political will on anticorruption.  According to de Speville, there are seven essentials to fighting corruption:

World's most competitive countries report - Asia "looks like an unstoppable force"

Claudia Gabarain's picture

BusinessWeek reports that an annual study by one of Europe's top business schools indicates that Asian economies are overtaking the U.S. and Northern Europe to become the most competitive in the world.

The World Bank will provide relief to victims of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar through ASEAN

Claudia Gabarain's picture

I had the chance today to attend a speech by ASEAN's (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Secretary General, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, right after he had met with the Bank's President Bob Zoellick. He told us they discussed ways to increase the cooperation between the two organizations, but the most interesting and pressing aspect of it all is that they talked about specific ways in which the Bank will be helping out the victims of Cyclone Nargis through ASEAN.

World Bank ready to help China earthquake victims, Zoellick says

Claudia Gabarain's picture

World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick said the institution was ready to help the victims of China’s earthquake as he expressed his condolences following the disaster that hit the central province of Sichuan on May 12, killing about 15,000 people.

Donate online to help victims of cyclone Nargis in Myanmar - Some suggestions

Claudia Gabarain's picture

As advanced in an earlier post, here's a short list to the webpages for online donations of international NGOs that have a large presence in the country and so are likely to be most effective under the difficult circumstances:

Is China overwhelmed by capital inflows?

Louis Kuijs's picture

The question of whether China is overwhelmed by capital inflows has been asked for quite a while now. If a question continues to be asked, there is probably a good reason for it. Whether the answer is yes or no depends on how you look at it.

Rising food prices and East Asia: trends and options

Milan Brahmbhatt's picture

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

Myanmar: Cyclone deaths could reach 10,000

Michael Figueroa's picture

With winds clocked at over 190 kilometers per hour Cyclone Nargis made landfall in Myanmar on Friday, May 2, about 250 kilometers southwest of the capital Yangon.  On Monday United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said he was “very much alarmed” over estimates from Myanmar’s Foreign Ministry that over 10,000 people may have died.  The New York Times is reporting on the devastation, which comes before a constitutional