Syndicate content

Naazneen Barma's blog

What can Laos teach us about organizational learning?

Naazneen Barma's picture
A collection of photos in the Champassak provincial office of Électricité du Laos shows the blue-shirted employees in action. Photo: Naazneen Barma/The World Bank
The hallways of the Électricité du Laos (EDL) provincial offices in Champassak Province are filled with posters bearing bar charts and diagrams illustrating the public utility’s remarkable success in delivering electricity to the country’s still heavily rural population.

It is easy to see that data is crucial to the agency’s operations. Sitting down with EDL’s employees and managers—all wearing the agency’s signature blue-shirt uniform with pride—it also becomes apparent that the science of numbers and the art of managing people have gone hand in hand at this agency. This combination has enabled EDL to make organizational learning a central pillar of the agency’s success.

Institutions Taking Root, a recent report of which I’m a co-author,  looked at nine successful institutions in fragile and conflict-affected states that share a core set of internal operational strategies. 

Good indicators for good governance?

Naazneen Barma's picture

The Bank’s increased attention to governance since the early 1990s has naturally brought with it calls for robust measures that enable us to specify what exactly we are trying to improve in this area and how well we seem to be doing it.  Overall, however, the consensus on the centrality of good governance to development is yet to be matched by agreement on good indicators for it.

Matching governance demand and supply

Naazneen Barma's picture

For over a decade, the World Bank has emphasized the centrality of good public sector governance and anticorruption efforts in achieving sustainable development impact in low- and middle-income countries.  But more recently the Bank has widened its analytic and operational lens on governance to include what is being called the “demand-side” of governance.  What does this mean, and what are the implications for Bank work in its client countri