This year, Indonesia celebrates the first decade of its school grant scheme BOS (Bantuan Operasional Sekolah). The program aims to ensure that schools have sufficient funds to operate, reduce the education costs faced by households and improve school based management. The program is huge and covers approximately 43 million primary and secondary school students across Indonesia. Every year, schools receive $50 for each primary and $60 for each junior secondary school student. This translates into an annual grant of about $20,000 for the average junior secondary school.
Since I arrived in Indonesia we have visited schools regularly to check on the progress of BOS. I have talked with poor parents about how the program has helped to lower the education costs they face. School Principals have shared with me the many ways BOS has enabled them to provide the training opportunities their teachers need to improve classroom practice. School visits have also highlighted some of the challenges the program has faced in ensuring funds are used transparently. In one school, the necessary public noticeboard displaying information on the use of BOS funds was pulled out from behind a cupboard and contained information that was a year out of date.
East Asia and Pacific
I recently visited Songdo to open Korea Week and celebrate the 60th year of a successful partnership between Korea and World Bank Group.
Đồng nghiệp thường trêu chọc tôi, một bác sĩ không quản lý bệnh nhân, mà quản lý chất thải y tế. Phải thú nhận rằng đó là công việc lạ. Khi đến bệnh viện, tôi không đi vào cửa trước mà vòng vào phía sau. Ở đó, tôi chẳng đưa ra lời khuyên y khoa nào, mà lại động viên mọi người lao vào chỗ bẩn để làm cho nó sạch hơn.
Thế mà ngày càng nhiều người trong ngành y hào hứng với những công việc lạ như tôi. Bác sĩ Nguyễn Ngọc Dung, giám đốc Bệnh viện Y học cổ truyền Kiên Giang đã truyền lửa cho tất cả cán bộ nhân viên bằng cam kết “không nhìn thấy và không ngửi thấy chất thải” tại bất cứ nơi nào trong bệnh viện.
Colleagues often make fun of me - a physician who does not manage patients, but healthcare waste. I must confess that I have a strange job. When I visit hospitals, I do not walk through the front gate, but go around, behind the buildings. There I do not provide medical advice, but rather I motivate people to clean up a contaminated place.
More and more people in the health sector are enthusiastic about these unusual roles. Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Dzung, Director of Kien Giang Traditional Medicine Hospital, inspired all staff with her commitment that ensures people “do not see and do not smell healthcare waste” at any location in the hospital.
At 44%, the HIV infection rate is high among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Thailand. Despite efforts to promote safe sex, HIV infection rate will rise from 30% now to 59% by 2030 if there is no radical intervention.
Myanmar is undergoing a historic transition. After decades of armed conflict and economic stagnation, the country is beginning to make important strides toward realizing its potential and the aspirations of its people.
Our engagement in Myanmar started more than 60 years ago when it became a member of the World Bank, soon after gaining independence from British rule.
Back in 1955, the Bank’s first economic report stated: “the lack of security remains a disrupting influence on the economic life of the country” while “the long term economic potentials are bright” on account of its moderate population growth and abundant natural resources. It also noted the importance of “encouraging private sector enterprise to improve the standard of living of the people”— these are topics that continue to resonate in today’s development discourse.
In the early 1950s, Myanmar’s GDP per-capita was comparable to that of Thailand, Korea, and Indonesia. Like others in the region, Myanmar was coming out from colonial rule and a period of struggle. Sixty years on, Myanmar has a per capita GDP just above $1,100, less than one third the average for ASEAN countries and one of the lowest in East Asia.
The good news is that Myanmar has begun the catch up process. Major political and economic reforms since 2011 have increased civil liberties, reduced armed conflict, and removed constraints to trade and private enterprise that long held back the economy.
After 13 years of independence, Timor-Leste has achieved tremendous progress since being ravaged by conflict – drawing down money from the Petroleum Fund and channeling it through the budget to meet pressing development needs. The effectiveness of this process is evident in the near-halving of infant and child mortality rates; a doubling of school enrollment and access to electricity; economic growth surpassing regional neighbors; increasing citizen participation and; the gradual strengthening of state institutions– all culminating in better lives for Timorese today.
Thế nào là nghèo ở Việt Nam? Khi tôi lớn lên ở Hà Nội trong những năm cuối thập kỷ 1980, có thể thấy cái nghèo ở khắp mọi nơi. Hầu hết người dân Việt Nam khi đó hẳn là sống ở mức dưới chuẩn nghèo quốc tế (1,25 đô-la một ngày). Bởi lẽ vào thời gian đó chưa có các cuộc khảo sát mức sống để đo lường nghèo nên cũng không có một cách thức rõ ràng để xác định như thế nào là nghèo. Người giàu thời đó là người nào trong nhà có xe máy hay TV, còn người nghèo là những người ăn xin ngoài đường hay người nào không có đủ gạo để ăn. Trong cuộc khảo sát sớm nhất được thực hiện vào năm 1992 và 1993, có khoảng 64% dân số được coi là nghèo theo chuẩn nghèo quốc tế. Sau hai thập kỷ thì chỉ có khoảng dưới 3% dân số là nghèo theo chuẩn nghèo này trong khi tình trạng đói ăn đã được xóa bỏ.
What does it mean to be poor in Vietnam? When I grew up in Hanoi in the late 80s, poverty was all around. Most of the population then was living under the international poverty line ($1.25 per day). Because there were no living standard surveys to measure poverty, there was no clear indication of what it meant to be poor. A rich person at that time was someone with either a motorbike or a television set, while a poor one was a street beggar or someone who did not have enough rice to eat. In the earliest survey conducted in 1992 and 1993, about 64% of the population was poor by the international poverty line. Twenty years later, less than 3% were considered poor by the same standard while hunger was successfully eradicated.
“Танайд талх байна уу”
“Будаа байна уу”
“Ус /эсвэл цахилгаан, халаалт/ яагаад байхгүй байгаа юм бол”