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East Asia and Pacific

Working together to understand climate change risks in Fiji

Katherine Baker's picture



People read about climate change every day and we are all familiar with it as a concept.  While we understand that steps need to be taken to address the risks; its impact often feels harder to imagine. We assume that the impacts are something we will experience in the future. 

But in the Pacific, the impacts are already being felt by communities. This came across clearly in our work on the Climate Vulnerability Assessment – Making Fiji Climate Resilient report, which the Fijian Government produced with the support of our team and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), and which was launched at COP23.

The innovation imperative: How Asia can leverage exponential technologies to improve lives and promote growth

Amira Karim's picture
Singapore: Global Innovation Forum

Robots will take over our jobs, disrupt our industries and erode our competitiveness.
 
Such were commonly expressed fears about advances in automation, artificial intelligence, and 3D printing – key representations of exponential technologies – during the inaugural Global Innovation Forum that took place in Singapore.
 
While robots continue to bear the brunt of public skepticism, participants at the Forum also expressed optimism about the emergence of innovations that could dramatically transform the quality of life for the poorest people in society, particularly in Asia, the region that was acknowledged by many participants as leading the pace of innovation around the globe.

Việt Nam nghiên cứu kinh nghiệm Ma-lai-xi-a về xây dựng nhà nước kiến tạo

Jana Kunicova's picture
Also available in: English
Photo: Sasin Tipchai/bigstock


Khát vọng của Việt Nam là trở thành một quốc gia thịnh vượng, sáng tạo, công bằng, và dân chủ vào năm 2035. Muốn đạt được mục tiêu đầy tham vọng này thì Việt Nam cần chuyển đổi nhiều lĩnh vực cả về kinh tế, xã hội, và chính trị.

Cốt lõi của quá trình chuyển đổi này là việc xác định lại vai trò của nhà nước trong quản lý kinh tế. Trong quá trình thích nghi với vai trò quản trị kinh tế, nhà nước phải trở thành một nhà kiến tạo khôn khéo nhằm phát triển ba mối quan hệ: giữa các cơ quan nhà nước với nhau, giữa nhà nước với thị trường, và giữa nhà nước với người dân.

Cách đây chưa lâu, Ma-lai-xi-a cũng trải qua quá trình tương tự như Việt Nam hiện nay, với việc thực hiện một quá trình chuyển đổi trên nhiều lĩnh vực. Năm 2009 Ma-lai-xi-a bắt đầu thực hiện Chương trình cải cách quốc gia (National Transformation Program – NTP) tập trung vào hai lĩnh vực cải cách chính phủ và cải cách kinh tế. Ma-lai-xi-a đã áp dụng nhiều thực tiễn tốt nhằm đơn giản hoá quản lý nhà nước, giúp các doanh nghiệp tương tác dễ dàng hơn với nhà nước.

Philippines: Keeping in step with what employers want

Pablo Acosta's picture
Step up to the Jobs Challenge

It is said that some employees are hired because of their technical skills, but fired due to their behaviors or attitudes, such as arriving late or showing a lack of commitment to achieve the firms’ goals. This complaint seems to be frequently mentioned during our many discussions with Filipino employers.
 
But what does the hard evidence show, beyond anecdotal remarks? Do Filipino employers have difficulty finding workers with the right “soft skills” (socio-emotional skills, right attitudes and behaviors)? And if so, do we have evidence that it leads to better pay? And how are employers, employees and government responding to these labor market signals?
 

Lessons From Mapping Geeks: How Aerial Technology is Helping Pacific Island Countries Recover From Natural Disasters.

Michael Bonte-Grapentin's picture

For many Pacific Island countries, natural disasters such as cyclones and tsunamis, are an all-too common occurrence. Out of the top 15 most at-risk countries for natural disasters globally, four are Pacific Island countries, and Vanuatu is consistently at the top.

In 2015, Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu, and knowing the extent of damage was vital for the government to identify and plan reconstruction needs. A team of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) experts were sent out to quickly establish credible estimates of the damages and losses. Many damage reports were already available from the field, but with varying quality, and the challenge was to consolidate and verify them, within a very tight timeframe. Cloud cover also prevented us from getting satellite images, so we mobilized two UAV teams to fly below the clouds and capture high-resolution footage showing the impacts on the ground in the worst affected islands in Tafea and Shefa province.

Challenges continued throughout, from needing to coordinate airspace with those flying relief goods into affected areas, to transferring massive datasets over low internet bandwidths. But with team-effort and ingenuity, solutions were found; the UAV teams were able to capture valuable damage footage within sampled areas during the day, which were analysed overnight by volunteers of the Humanitarian Open Street Map (HOT) and the Digital Humanitarian Network; new workflows were developed to collate the data and to feed the outputs into the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment.   
 

Interpreted damage information post-Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, 2014: red – destroyed houses, orange – partially damaged houses, blue – no obvious damage to house.

Thay đổi bộ mặt bến nước đô thị

Fen Wei's picture
 ELBE&FLUT / Thomas Hampel at http://www.hafencity.com
HafenCity, Hamburg.
Photo Credit: ELBE&FLUT / Thomas Hampel at http://www.hafencity.com

Bà Jane Jacobs, một chuyên gia đô thị nổi tiếng, từng nói: “Bến nước không phải là một thực thể biệt lập, luôn có sự gắn kết với mọi vật.”
 
Đây là sự gắn kết hai chiều, thể hiện mối quan hệ giữa đô thị và các bến nước trong đô thị, vốn luôn có sự thay đổi cũng như bản thân đô thị vậy.
 
Phát triển từ quan niệm cũ trong thời đại công nghiệp hóa với vai trò là những bến cảng, cầu tàu đô thị, trong mấy chục năm qua, bến nước trong đô thị đã mang những ý nghĩa mới.

Một mặt, bến nước đô thị đóng vai trò đáng kể hơn trong việc thay đổi bộ mặt của đô thị hay thậm chí tái định hình bản sắc của đô thị.
 
Mặt khác, những dự án cải tạo bến nước đô thị thành công cũng cho thấy các nguồn lực của đô thị, như quỹ đất, nguồn nước sạch, di tích lịch sử, sự hồi sinh của đô thị, có thể được khai thác, tận dụng như thế nào, cũng như làm thế nào để lồng ghép những thực thể này vào cuộc sống của đô thị và người dân.

Indonesia’s Social Assistance System: Praising Reforms But More Work Ahead

Pablo Acosta's picture
Also available in: Bahasa Indonesia



When the Bank did its first social assistance public expenditure review in Indonesia in 2012, the diagnosis was clear. Despite spending significant amount of resources in “welfare”, most of them were through expensive subsidies (fuel, electricity, rice) that were not necessarily benefiting the most vulnerable segments of the society. General subsidies represented 20 percent of total national budget, but household targeted social assistance programs were already making their way, increasing from 0.3 to 0.5 percent of GDP between 2004 and 2010. Still, there was an overall dissatisfaction on what had been achieved, with the Gini coefficient rose by about 6 percentage points in the period of 2005 to 2012.

With more than 27 million people still considered poor and as one of the countries in the East Asia and the Pacific region that has one of the highest income inequality levels, the coverage expansion and social assistance system strengthening is a must. Fortunately, the situation in the social assistance sector has changed dramatically.

Sistem Bantuan Sosial Indonesia: Reformasi Berjalan Baik, Namun Masih Banyak Pekerjaan Lain

Pablo Acosta's picture
Also available in: English



Ketika Bank Dunia melakukan kajian pertama terkait pengeluaran bantuan sosial di Indonesia di tahun 2012, diagnosisnya sudah jelas. Meskipun telah banyak sumber daya yang dihabiskan untuk  "kesejahteraan", sebagian besar dari upaya ini dilakukan melalui subsidi yang mahal (bahan bakar, listrik, beras) yang belum tentu bermanfaat untuk segmen masyarakat yang paling rentan. Subsidi umum mewakili 20 persen dari total anggaran nasional, namun program bantuan sosial yang ditargetkan untuk rumah tangga telah berjalan, meningkat dari 0,3 persen PDB menjadi 0,5 persen antara tahun 2004 dan 2010. Namun, dengan koefisien Gini yang meningkat sekitar 6 poin persentase pada periode 2005-2012, masih ada ketidakpuasan dalam pencapaian selama ini.  

Dengan adanya lebih dari 27 juta orang yang termasuk golongan miskin dan sebagai salah satu negara di kawasan Asia Timur dan Pasifik yang memiliki tingkat ketimpangan pendapatan tertinggi, maka perluasan cakupan dan penguatan sistem bantuan sosial adalah suatu keharusan. Untungnya, situasi di sektor bantuan sosial telah berubah secara dramatis.

Lima pembelajaran dari Indonesia tentang penyediaan perumahan yang terjangkau

Dao Harrison's picture
Available in english

Berkat program subsidi pemerintah, Dewi baru saja menjadi pemilik rumah untuk pertama kalinya. Tahun lalu, Dewi pindah ke rumah barunya di Yogyakarta. Ia saat itu berpikir: semuanya sempurna.

Ternyata kenyataannya tidak demikian. Rumah Dewi berjarak satu jam dari pusat kota, jauh dari daerah perkantoran,  pusat perbelanjaan, dan sekolah untuk kedua anaknya. Dua tahun setelah perumahan selesai dibangun, lebih dari setengah rumah di sana masih kosong. Karena rumah tidak terhubung dengan sistem air setempat, dua kali seminggu Dewi harus membeli air. Saat musim banjir, Dewi mengalami kesulitan untuk mencapai rumahnya.




Penyediaan perumahan yang terjangkau dan memadai telah menjadi prioritas kebijakan utama pemerintah Indonesia dengan diluncurkannya program Satu Juta Rumah (One Million Homes). Berbagai upaya sebelumnya untuk memenuhi permintaan perumahan yang terjangkau – gabungan dari adanya  permintaan  baru secara tahunan dan pemenuhan kekurangan perumahan yang belum terlaksana - belum secara efektif membawa dampak pada skala yang diperlukan.
 
 
Sumber:  Kementerian Pekerjaan Umum, Indonesia

Tapi haruskah jumlah kepemilikan rumah menjadi indikator tunggal program subsidi perumahan yang sukses? Mungkinkah ada program yang memenuhi kebutuhan Pemerintah untuk tetap efektif biaya secara fiksal maupun ekonomi, dan sekaligus dapat merespons pasar swasta dan juga kebutuhan warga?

Saat ini berbagai pilihan sedang dieksplorasi. National Affordable Housing Program Project (NAHP) yang baru disetujui misalnya, bertujuan untuk berinovasi dalam pasar perumahan yang terjangkau dengan mengatasi kemacetan dan secara aktif melibatkan sektor swasta dalam melayani berbagai segmen yang belum tersentuh. Sejauh ini, upaya dari Indonesia ini memberikan pelajaran berharga, yaitu:

Transit-Oriented Development with Chinese Characteristics: localization as the rule rather than the exception

Jasmine Susanna Tillu's picture
Also available in: 中文
China: More Mobility with Fewer Cars through a GEF Grant

Since our days in school, we have often been told to first define our terms before doing anything else. China is a country that does not shy away from acronyms, and “TOD,” or transit-oriented development—a concept that merges land use and transport planning—is one such acronym that has become wildly popular within the field of urban development.
 
So, recently, when government officials from seven Chinese cities and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development gathered to launch the China Sustainable Cities Integrated Approach Pilot Project on the topic of TOD, it was clear that they all had the same definition of this three-letter acronym.
 
Or did they?
 

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