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East Asia and Pacific

Five lessons in infrastructure pricing from East Asia and Pacific

Melania Lotti's picture
Photo: © Dini Sari Djalal/World Bank

In the infrastructure domain, “price” is a prism with many façades.
 
An infrastructure economist sees price in graphic terms: the coordinates of a point where demand and supply curves intersect.
 
For governments, price relates to budget lines, as part of public spending to develop infrastructure networks.
 
Utility managers view price as a decision: the amount to charge for each unit of service in order to recover the costs of production and (possibly) earn a profit.
 
But for most people, price comes with simple question: how much is the tariff I have to pay for the service, and can I afford it?

The World Bank as hummingbird: Leveraging knowledge for development finance

Otaviano Canuto's picture



My admiration for hummingbirds began in my native Brazil.   The hummingbird’s flight patterns may seem a mystery as they shift from one flower to the next.  But hummingbirds are immensely purposeful, agile, and proficient pollinators – among the most hard-working members of many thriving ecosystems.  And they can be found from Alaska to the southernmost regions of South America.  
 
The Bank’s efforts to transfer knowledge, germinate ideas, and catalyze change sometimes put me in mind of the hard-working hummingbird.  My visit to the World Bank’s Global Knowledge and Research Hub in Malaysia last year is a case in point.  As I learned about the Bank’s partnership with Malaysia and the origins of the Hub, I was struck by the broader relevance for our work with upper middle-income countries, and our efforts to share global lessons and leverage knowledge to maximize financing for development.  The visit sparked three main observations.  

One small step for me, one giant leap for girls in Papua New Guinea

Ruth Moiam's picture



In most rural communities in Papua New Guinea (PNG), a daily routine for women and girls involves collecting clean drinking water for their families. Whether it means a strenuous walk down a steep hill in the highlands or walking for hours during the dry season to the nearest water source, this daily task is familiar to a lot of us.

A few months ago, I travelled to Bialla, a small district town in West New Britain Province, in the north-eastern end of PNG after the launch of the new Water & Sanitation Development Project.

Driving into the township, it’s obvious why access to clean tapped water is so important: the main road was filled with women, and children of school age, carrying huge water containers heading to the nearest river.
I met 13-year-old Rendela, who told me about Tiraua river that it was about an hour out of town. Like most young girls in Bialla, Rendela is responsible for collecting water for her family.

Untuk menggali potensi siswa, tuntut dan dukunglah guru

Michael Crawford's picture
Also available in: English

Di antara 29 negara dan ekonomi kawasan Asia Timur dan Pasifik, kita bisa menemukan beberapa sistem pendidikan paling sukses di dunia. Tujuh dari sepuluh pencetak rata-rata nilai tertinggi pada tes yang dapat dibandingkan secara internasional seperti PISA dan TIMSS berasal dari kawasan tersebut, di mana Jepang, Korea Selatan, Singapura, dan Hong Kong, Tiongkok secara konsisten selalu berada di antara yang terbaik.
 
Namun, yang lebih penting, kita juga menemukan bahwa kinerja yang hebat tidak terbatas pada sistem sekolah di negara-negara berpenghasilan tinggi kawasan ini. Sistem sekolah di negara berpenghasilan menengah seperti Vietnam dan Tiongkok (khususnya provinsi di Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, dan Guangdong), meskipun memiliki PDB per kapita yang jauh lebih rendah, memiliki nilai lebih baik daripada rata-rata negara OECD. Terlebih lagi, nilai dari Tiongkok dan Vietnam menunjukkan bahwa kinerja siswa miskin tidak tertinggal. Siswa dari kuintil berpenghasilan terendah kedua memiliki skor lebih baik daripada rata-rata siswa OECD, bahkan peserta tes paling miskin pun mengungguli siswa dari beberapa negara makmur. Namun demikian, seperti ditunjukkan grafik di bawah, negara-negara lain di kawasan ini belum mencapai hasil yang sama.

To unlock student potential in East Asia Pacific, be demanding and supportive of teachers

Michael Crawford's picture
Also available in: Bahasa Indonesia

Among the 29 countries and economies of the East Asia and Pacific region, one finds some of the world’s most successful education systems. Seven out of the top 10 highest average scorers on internationally comparable tests such as PISA and TIMSS are from the region, with Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong (China) consistently among the best. 

But, more significantly, one also finds that great performance is not limited to school systems in the region’s high-income countries. School systems in middle-income Vietnam and China (specifically the provinces of Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Guangdong) score better than the average OECD country, despite having much lower GDP per capita. What is more, scores from both China and Vietnam show that poor students are not being left behind. Students from the second-lowest income quintile score better than the average OECD student, and even the very poorest test takers outscore students from some wealthy countries. As the graph below shows, however, other countries in the region have yet to achieve similar results.

Diperlukan banyak orang untuk mengatasi tantangan perkembangan anak usia dini Indonesia

Thomas Brown's picture
Also available in: English



“Masa depan Indonesia dipertaruhkan”, demikian dikatakan oleh Camilla Holmemo dalam sambutan pembukaannya pada Konferensi Kebijakan Perkembangan Anak Usia Dini yang diselenggarakan pada bulan Juli 2017 di Jakarta. Ucapan tersebut dikatakan oleh Program leader for human development, poverty and social development Bank Dunia di Indonesia kepada peserta kegiatan dengan menyoroti kurangnya akses layanan pendidikan dan perkembangan anak usia dini (ECED / Early Childhood Education and Development) dan tingginya masalah stunting di Indonesia.
 
Walaupun Indonesia telah menjadi negara berpendapatan menengah, satu dari tiga anak di bawah usia lima tahun mengalami stunting, dan menempati posisi kelima tertinggi di dunia. Bagi anak-anak ini, kemungkinan untuk menjadi warganegara yang produktif sangat sulit untuk dicapai – kecuali bila kita melakukan sesuatu tentang hal itu sekarang.

It takes a village to tackle Indonesia’s early childhood development challenges

Thomas Brown's picture
Also available in: Bahasa Indonesia



“Indonesia’s future is at stake”, states Camilla Holmemo in her opening address at the Early Childhood Development Policy Conference, held in July 2017 in Jakarta. The program leader for human development, poverty and social development of the World Bank in Indonesia rallies the audience by highlighting the lack of access to early childhood education and development (ECED) services and the high incidence of child stunting in Indonesia.
 
Despite the country’s middle-income status, one in three children under five are stunted, the fifth highest rate in the world. For these children, the likelihood of becoming productive citizens is significantly hampered  – unless we do something about it now. 

Getting to equal in Mongolia’s labor market (and leadership market)

Jim Anderson's picture
Also available in: Mongolian
Photo: © World Bank

Yesterday morning I participated in the “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” event at the opening of the Mongolian Stock Exchange. A global event sponsored by the IFC and other partners*, the event highlights how economies and individual companies benefit from efforts to close gender gaps in their operations and governing structures.

Earlier I had dug out my notes from a survey of listed companies conducted in 1996.  Only 25 of the 249 companies we surveyed counted women as general directors. Today, women lead around six percent of the top 100 listed firms – that is, fewer than 20 years ago.  This does not mean that there has not been progress. The last time the World Bank Group enterprises surveys were done, Mongolia had a similar or larger share of firms with women in top management. This number is higher than the region’s average, but such leadership roles were more heavily weighted to smaller firms.  Whereas 31 percent of medium-sized firms – that is, those with 20-99 employees – had female top managers, only 17 percent of firms with over 100 employees had women in senior management.

Getting to equal at the top requires more systematic scrutiny of the factors that support or hinder women’s economic empowerment throughout their lives. No one is born a CEO.

So, where are the gender gaps?

Монгол улсын хөдөлмөрийн зах зээлд (мөн манлайллын зах зээлд) тэгш байдлыг бий болгох нь

Jim Anderson's picture
Also available in: English
Photo: © World Bank

Өчигдөр би Монголын Хөрөнгийн Биржийн нээлтийн үеэр ОУСК санхүүжүүлж, бусад түншүүдийн* хамт зохион байгуулсан "Жендэрийн тэгш байдлын төлөө хонх цохих" олон улсын арга хэмжээнд оролцлоо. Тус арга хэмжээ нь үйл ажиллагаа болон засаглалын бүтцэд жендерийн ялгаатай байдлыг арилгаснаар аливаа бизнес, аж ахуйн нэгж, компаниудад ямар үр өгөөжтэй болохыг онцлон тэмдэглэж, аж ахуйн нэгж, олон нийтийг тэгш байдалд уриалан дууддаг.

Энэ арга хэмжээнээс өмнө би 1996 онд хийгдсэн бүртгэлтэй компаниудын судалгаанаас өөрийн хийсэн тэмдэглэлээ гаргаж үзсэн юм. Судалгаанд хамрагдсан 249 компанийн зөвхөн 25 нь л эмэгтэй ерөнхий захиралтай байжээ. Өнөөдөр эмэгтэйчүүд дэлхийн шилдэг 100 бүртгэлтэй компаний 6 орчим хувийг эмэгтэйчүүд удирдаж байгаа нь 20 жилийн өмнөх үзүүлэлттээс бага байна.  Гэвч энэ нь ахиц дэвшил гараагүй гэсэн үг биш юм. Хамгийн сүүлд хийгдсэн Дэлхийн Банк Группын аж ахуйн нэгжүүдийн судалгаанаас харахад Монгол улс нь эмэгтэй удирдлагатай аж ахуйн нэгжийн тоо хэмжээгээр ижил эсвэл илүү байгаа нь ажиглагдсан юм. Хэдийгээр энэ үзүүлэлт бүс нутгийн дунджаас өндөр байгаа боловч эмэгтэйчүүд манлайллын үүрэг гүйцэтгэж байгаа аж ахуйн нэгжүүд нь гол төлөв жижиг компаниуд байна. Дунд хэмжээний аж ахуйн нэгж буюу 20-99 ажилтантай компаниудын 31 хувь эмэгтэй менежертэй, 100-с дээш ажилтантай компаниудын 17 хувь л эмэгтэй удирдлагатай байна.  

Компаний дээд удирдлагад жендерийн тэгш байдлыг хангахын тулд эмэгтэйчүүдийн эдийн засгийн чадавхийг дэмжиж эсвэл сааруулж буй хvчин зvйлсийг илүү системтэйгээр судалж нягтлахыг шаардлагатай. Хэн ч төрөхдөө гүйцэтгэх захирал болоод төрдөггүй шүү дээ.

Тэгвэл, жендерийн тэгш бус байдал хаана байна вэ?

Big challenges for big cats: Supporting wildlife law enforcement in Lao PDR

George Stirrett's picture
A clouded leopard in the Nam-Et Phou Louey National Protected Area, taken with a camera trap.
Photo: ©Wildlife Conservation Society

Lao PDR is rich with biodiversity. The country is home to emblematic animals such as Asian Elephants, Gaur, Green Peafowls, Asiatic Black Bears, and northern White-Cheeked Gibbons. Mountainous topography and low human density have allowed the country to preserve its endemic flora and fauna for centuries, to the extent that some species are still being identified like the Saola, one of the world’s rarest large mammals, only discovered in Laos in 1992.

But recent economic growth coupled with an exploding demand for wildlife and wildlife products have fueled increased pressure on Lao PDR’s native species. Forest encroachment, illegal logging and wildlife poaching have eroded biodiversity. Forest cover has declined dramatically since 1992, the number of wildlife species listed as endangered has increased, and some iconic species like tigers have not been sighted for years. At the same time, Lao PDR has become a gateway for international wildlife trafficking: illegal trafficking of ivory, pangolins and other CITES-listed items have transited through the country due to limited enforcement capacity.

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