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East Asia and Pacific

What can Chinese cities learn from Singapore?

Wanli Fang's picture
Also available in: 中文
One of Singapore’s latest redevelopment projects included the construction of a freshwater reservoir. Photo: 10 FACE/Shutterstock

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Singapore Urban Week along with other colleagues from the World Bank Beijing office, as well as delegates from China’s national government and participating cities. For all of us, this trip to Singapore was an eye-opening experience that highlighted the essential role of integrated urban planning in building sustainable cities, and provided practical solutions that can be readily adapted to help achieve each city’s own development vision. A couple of key lessons learned:

Putting people at the center of development strategies

This is only possible when planners always keep in mind people’s daily experience of urban space and invite them as part of decision-making process through citizen engagement.

For instance, in many cities, public transit has been perceived as a low-end, unattractive option of travel, causing ridership to stagnate despite severe traffic congestion. But in Singapore, public transit accounts for 2/3 of the total travel modal share in 2014. Moving around the city by metro is comfortable and efficient because transfers between different modes and lines are easy, with clear signage of directions, air-conditioned connecting corridors, and considerate spatial designs and facilities for the elderly and physically-challenged users. In addition, metro stations are co-located with major retail and commercial activities and other urban amenities, significantly reducing last-mile connectivity issues.

2007: Sunshine works: Solar gers and transparency

Jim Anderson's picture

In 2007, Mongolia’s economy grew at a double digit pace with modest inflation. The slump of the 1990s must have seemed a distant memory in the last full year before the elections in 2008.

The previous year saw several iconic projects approved, and 2007, the next year in our 25 years in 25 days reflection, did likewise.  The Renewable Energy for Rural Access Project (REAP) became effective in 2007 and was ultimately expanded.  The project brought a modern solution to a century old problem:  how can the benefits of electricity be harnessed to benefit the quarter of Mongolia’s people who are nomadic herders living in gers?  Connecting them to the grid was not a solution both because distances are vast and because nomadic people move around.  The modern solution was to give the herders access to solar power through a program launched by the Mongolian Government supported by the World Bank and the Government of the Netherlands. “Thanks to the National 100,000 Solar Ger Electrification Program, over half a million men, women and children, covering half the rural population of Mongolia and 70 percent of herders, now have access to modern electricity.” For these 100,000 herder families, the off-grid solar home systems generate enough power for lights, televisions, radios, mobile phone charging and small appliances. (Video here.) 

Indonesia: Mencoba pendekatan baru untuk memperbaiki manajemen publik agar layanan umum membaik

Zaki Fahmi's picture
Also available in: English
Kabupaten Bojonegoro di Jawa Timur berencana memperbaiki manajemen publik agar layanan umum membaik, termasuk kesehatan ibu.

Di Indonesia masa pasca desentralisasi, sebagian besar tanggung jawab untuk menyediakan layanan publik berada di tangan pemerintah daerah. Begitu juga dengan pengelolaan uang pemerintah. Saat ini pemerintah daerah mengelola hampir setengah dari total keuangan negara. Transfer ke daerah sudah naik tiga kali lipat dalam nilai riil dibanding sejak desentralisasi dimulai.
Namun, perbaikan dalam indikator kesehatan dan pendidikan belum bergerak banyak, sehingga hasil dari bertambahnya transfer uang ke daerah tampaknya masih kurang memuaskan.

Indonesia: Testing a new approach to improve public management for better service delivery

Zaki Fahmi's picture
Also available in: Bahasa Indonesia
The district of Bojonegoro in East Java is planning to improve public management for better services, such as maternal health care.

In post decentralization Indonesia, the responsibility to deliver services falls largely at the hands of the local government. So, too, does the management of public money. Local governments currently manage about half of Indonesia’s public finances. Transfers to the regions increased by more than threefold in real terms since the onset of decentralization.
However, with few improvements in health and education indicators, the results of these increased transfers are not encouraging.

2006: Сургууль болгоныг номын сантай, Монголын хөдөөгийн хот, суурин болгоныг гар утас, интернэттэй болгоё

Jim Anderson's picture
Also available in: English

Монгол улс, Дэлхийн Банкны хамтын түншлэлийн 25 жилийн 16 дахь он болох 2006 оны тухай өнөөдөр авч үзье. Эдийн засаг өссөөр, жилийн өсөлтийн хурд 8.6 хувьд хүрч, ДНБ-д эзлэх аж үйлдвэрлэлийн хэмжээ 43 хувьд хүрлээ.

2006 он бол Дэлхийн Банкны хувьд гялалзсан он байсан бөгөөд энэ жил хэд хэдэн төсөл хэрэгжиж эхэлсэний нэг нь хөдөөгийн боловсролд чиглэгдсэн байсан юм.

Төсвийн зарцуулалтад хийсэн институтын болон засаглалын үнэлгээгээр хотод нэг багшид ногдох сурагчийн тоо хавьгүй өндөр байгаа нь харагдсан. Төсвийн зарцуулалтын судалгаагаар (PETS) өөр зүйлүүд ч бас ажиглагдсан. Тухайлбал, хөдөө орон нутгийн сурагчид хотын сурагчдыг бодвол шалгалтад хамаагүй бага оноо авч байгаа нь харагдсан. Энэ нь хаана сурах орчин таагүй байна, тэнд сурагчдын үзүүлэх амжилт муу байгаа уялдааг харуулсан хэрэг. Хөдөөгийн хүүхдүүдийн сургууль завсардалт өндөр байж, эрт сургуулиа орхиж байлаа. Хөдөөгийн хүүхдүүдэд сурах боломжийг илүүтэй олгох шаардлага байгаа нь дараа дараагийн жилүүдийн сэдэв байх нь тодорхой байлаа.

2006: Bringing libraries to every classroom, and mobile telephones and internet to every town, in rural Mongolia

Jim Anderson's picture
Also available in: Mongolian

Today we look at 2006, the 16th year of the 25 year partnership between Mongolia and the World Bank. The economy continued to grow, checking in at 8.6% for the year, as did industry’s share of GDP which peaked that year at 43%. 

The year 2006 was a banner year for the World Bank’s program in Mongolia, with several iconic projects approved that year, starting with one in rural education. 

An institutional and governance review of budget expenditure for education found that the pupil-per-teacher ratio is higher in urban schools. Among other findings, the Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS), on which the report was based, illustrated that students in rural schools obtained significantly lower test scores than those from urban schools, consistent with “a pattern where the more disadvantaged — and therefore lower-performing students — systematically fail to advance their schooling and drop out at a younger age in the rural areas.”  The need to provide rural children better education opportunities, which had been a theme for years, had further evidence.

2005: Байгаль орчныг хамгаалах дэмжлэгээ өргөжүүлье (бас динозаврийг)

Jim Anderson's picture
Also available in: English

Дэлхийн Банк болон Монгол улсын хоорондын хамтын ажиллагааны 25 жилийн ойг жил жилээр нь эргэн дурсаж байгаа. Энэ удаад бид 2005 оныг дурсана. Эдийн засгийн өсөлт 7.3 хувийн түвшинд байж, аж үйлдвэрийн салбар, тэр дундаа уул уурхай Монголын ДНБ-д том байр суурь эзэлсээр байлаа.

2005: Broadening support for the environment (and dinosaurs)

Jim Anderson's picture
Also available in: Mongolian

In our one-year-at-a-time celebration of the 25 year partnership between Mongolia and the World Bank, today we look at 2005.  Growth remained a robust 7.3% and industry, which includes mining, continued to produce a larger proportion of Mongolia’s GDP.

2004: Digging deep on mining

Jim Anderson's picture
Also available in: Mongolian

Continuing our series of blogs looking at the 25 year partnership between Mongolia and the World Bank, today we examine 2004, the year Mongolia’s growth rate accelerated to 10.4%.  After 15 years, real GDP per capita had finally passed the level of 1989. The country was in the midst of a mining boom, and that sector took center stage in 2004. 

Mongolia Mining Sector: Managing the Future assessed the “medium-term growth potential of Mongolia's non-fuel minerals industry, and its potential contribution to economic growth, poverty reduction, and regional development.”  The study, based on field work undertaken in 2003, took a broad approach, examining potential constraints and investor perceptions, and then recommended options to improve industry management and the investment climate. Recommendations urged mining companies to support social programs that benefit the surrounding communities, and the government to establish and maintain adequate infrastructure to meet the mining sector’s growth. “The government should address the challenges associated with mining for growth, namely, preventing the development of unsustainable fiscal policy and mounting debt; avoiding rent-seeking behavior, and, overcoming absorptive capacity constraints and adverse impacts on non-mineral exports.”

2004: Уул уурхай илүү гүн нэвтэрье

Jim Anderson's picture
Also available in: English

Монгол улс болон Дэлхийн Банкны 25 жилийн хамтын ажиллагааны түүхийг эргэн харж байгаа цувралынхаа энэ удаагийн дугаараар бид 2004 оныг авч үзнэ. 2004 онд Монголын эдийн засгийн өсөлт 10.4 хувьд хүрсэн юм. 15 жилийн дараа нэг хүнд ногдох орлого 1989 оны түвшинд очлоо. Монгол уул уурхай ид цэцэглэж, 2004 оны гол салбар уул уурхай байлаа.

“Монголын Уул уурхайн салбар” судалгаанд өгүүлснээр улс орны ирээдүйг удирдах чиглэл нь “олборлох аж үйлдвэрийг хөгжүүлж Монголын дунд хугацааны өсөлтийг бий болгох, ингэснээр эдийн засгийн өсөлтөд түлхэц болж, улмаар ядуурлыг бууруулах, бүс нутгийн хөгжлийг хангах” гэсэн байдаг. Энэ судалгаа нь 2003 онд хийгдсэн бөгөөд хөрөнгө оруулагчдын боломжит бүх хандлагыг дүгнэн үзэж, уул уурхайн салбарын менежмэнтийг сайжруулах болон хөрөнгө оруулалтын орчинг бүрдүүлэх зөвлөмж өгсөн. Мөн уул уурхайн компаниуд орон нутгийн иргэдэд  хүртээмжтэй байж нийгэмд чиглэсэн хөтөлбөрүүдийг дэмжих, төр засгийн зүгээс уул уурхайн салбарын өсөлтийг хангахуйц дэд бүтцийг бий болгохыг бас зөвлөсөн. "Уул уурхайн салбарын өсөлтийг хангахад шаардлагатай асуудлуудыг Засгийн газар шийдэх ёстой, тухайлбал, санхүүгийн тогтворгүй бодлого баримтлахаа больж, нэмж өр тавихгүй байх, байгалийн баялгийг хэт хянахгүй  байх, хилээр нэвтрэх явцад байгаа хязгаарлалт, эрдсийн бус экспортод үзүүлж байгаа сөрөг нөлөө харж үзэх”-ийг дурдсан байдаг.