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East Asia and Pacific

Ideas for Thailand’s digital transformation

Ulrich Zachau's picture
Also available in: ภาษาไทย

The world is witnessing the greatest information and communications revolution in human history. Digital technologies provide access to huge amounts of information at all times, allow us to stay in touch with friends and relatives much more easily, and offer new opportunities for business and leisure. The sky is the limit!

The information revolution has reached billions of people around the world, and more people get connected every day.  However, many others are not yet sharing in the benefits of modern digital technologies.  There are the digital “haves” and digital “have nots”.   

Today, 95% of the global population have access to a digital signal, but 5% do not; 73% have mobile phones, but 27% do not; slightly less than half of all people (46%) have internet, but the majority do not; and only 19% of the world’s population has broadband. There also are persistent digital divides across gender, geography, age, and income dimensions within each country.

Why should we care about overcoming this digital divide, and what can we do?

Closing the gap in Myanmar: Expanding access to social services

Hnin Hnin Pyne's picture

Myanmar’s people are its greatest resource. Its current young population and growing number of productive workers hold the promise of a demographic dividend and inclusive growth. With a steady pace of economic growth, Myanmar has the potential to get rich before it gets old.
For Myanmar to deliver on this potential it can prioritize investing in its people, by strengthening the country's health, education, and social protection systems. Education and health directly improve chances of employment. Individuals who complete more years of schooling earn a higher income.  Improving health, education and social protections – closing the gap – is not a mere by-product of economic development, but is essential to shared prosperity.
Myanmar in the early 1960s, poised to be the economic engine of the region, prided itself for having the highest literacy rate in Asia. After decades of underspending and neglect of social services and programs, human development outcomes deteriorated, ranking among the lowest in the region.  Rural and poorer households bore a greater burden of ill health, low educational attainment and vulnerability. 
In 2009, a major share of the total education and health spending came from households, 63% and 82% respectively.  This direct out-of-pocket spending, which was one of the highest in the world, prevented people from seeking care and attending school, because they could not afford it. In the case of health, families were made even poorer, as they had to sell their belongings to pay for the care they needed.  And there was no system to protect them. 
Even today, social assistance programs only reach 0.1% of the population, compared to 39% among East Asian and the Pacific countries.  This is in part due to extremely low level of social assistance spending, which is only 0.02% of GDP, compared to an average of 1.1% of GDP among low-income countries.

Transforming state-owned enterprises: What other countries can learn from Malaysia

José de Luna-Martínez's picture

As Tunisia embarks on an ambitious reform agenda to strengthen corporate governance and modernize its state-owned enterprises, senior representatives from the Ministry of Finance visited Malaysia in December last year to learn about the country’s best practices on restructuring and managing government-linked companies (GLCs).
These companies, where the Malaysian government has a controlling stake, underwent major transformations since 2004 to turn weak operational and financial performances into high performing entities critical for the country’s future prosperity. The program was successfully executed and has enabled these companies to become profitable, dynamic, performance-oriented, and well-governed institutions.
This visit is one of the first activities of the new World Bank Group Research and Knowledge Hub in Kuala Lumpur, which is helping Malaysia share its successful development experience globally. Here are a few lessons that Tunisia, and other countries, can learn from Malaysia’s experience on reforming government-linked companies.

2003: Understanding the environment, and strengthening public financial management

Jim Anderson's picture
Also available in: Mongolian

We are reviewing the 25 year partnership between Mongolia and the World Bank, one year at a time, and today we examine 2003.  GDP grew 7.0% that year, the highest growth rate since the transition began. Nevertheless, agricultural production was still well below its historical levels:  agriculture’s share of GDP had fallen from 35% in 1998-1999, prior to the dzud, to only 21% in 2003. 

After several years of difficult winters, the World Bank program had begun to focus more on rural livelihoods. This shift found further support in the Government of Mongolia’s first full poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP) which drew on a broad range of quantitative and qualitative data sources to understand the nature of poverty in Mongolia.  And that nature was one of vulnerability.  The difficult winters, and the migration to the cities they sparked, had heightened attention to environmental problems—the ongoing rewriting of land management institutions raised even more concern.  Programs aiming to make livelihoods sustainable needed to be matched with programs to make land use sustainable.

2002: Тогтвортой амьжиргааны төлөө

Jim Anderson's picture
Also available in: English
Монгол улс 1991 онд Дэлхийн Банкны гишүүн орон болсон. Сайн сайхны төлөөх өнгөрсөн 25 жилийн түншлэлийн түүхээ бид бичиж байгаа юм.

Хахир өвлийн байгалийн гамшиг болсон зудын дараа хөдөөгийн хүн амын ядуурлын асуудал илүү тодоор мэдрэгдэж байх үед буюу 2002 онд Тогтвортой амьжиргаа төсөл (SLP) батлагдсан юм. Монгол улсын Засгийн газар болон хандивлагч орнуудын хамт боловсруулсан Ядуурлыг арилгах үндэсний хөтөлбөрт (NPAP) “энэ хөтөлбөр нь орон нутгийн засаг захиргаанд эдийн засаг, нийгмийн дэд бүтцийг дахин сэргээн босгоход бүхий л талаар дэмжлэг үзүүлнэ, гэвч бага орлоготой өрхийн 20 хүртэлх хувьд л шууд дэмжлэг үзүүлнэ. Хөдөөгийн ядуурлыг бууруулахад гарсан ахиц чамлалттай” гэж дүгнэсэн байдаг. Гэтэл тал нутагт амьжиргаагаа залгуулж явна гэдэг их эмзэг асуудал байдаг, бид юу хийж болох вэ?

2002: Toward sustainable livelihoods

Jim Anderson's picture
Also available in: Mongolian
Mongolia became a member of the World Bank in 1991 and we are blogging about the 25 year partnership on the path toward prosperity , one year at a time….

After back-to-back dzud’s (winter disasters), and to address the increasingly visible problem of rural poverty, the Sustainable Livelihoods Project (SLP) was approved in 2002.  The rationale drew on a joint Government-donor evaluation of National Poverty Alleviation Program (NPAP) which concluded that “NPAP had provided valuable support to local governments for the rehabilitation of social and economic infrastructure, but the direct income-generation support to poor households was much smaller than ought to have been realized, and benefited perhaps not more than 20% of poor households. Achievements in reducing rural poverty were particularly limited.”  With livelihoods on the steppe so fragile, what could be done?

2001: Ядуурлын талаар хамтдаа мэдэцгээе

Jim Anderson's picture
Also available in: English
Монгол Улс Дэлхийн Банкны гишүүн болсноос хойших 25 жилийн түүхээ бид эргэн харж байгаа, өнөөдөр бид 2001 оны авч үзье.

Өмнөх 2000 оны өвөл тохиолдсон зуд 2001-2002 онд дахин тохиож, олон тооны мал, хөрөнгөө  алдах магадлал байлаа. Энэ нь ойлгомжтой байлаа, учир нь, өмнөх зудны дараа малжуулах үйл явц явсан ч энэ нь хангалтгүй байсан юм. Дэлхийн Банк хөдөөгийн хүн амын амьжиргааг тогтворжуулахад чиглэсэн төслийг бэлтгэж эхэллээ. Тогтвортой амьжиргааг дэмжих төсөл нь дараагийн жилүүдэд нь дэмжигдэн батлагдаж, Дэлхийн Банк болон Монгол улсын хамтын ажиллагааны цөм хэсэг болон өнөөг хүрлээ.

2001 оны зургадугаар сард Монгол Улсын Засгийн газар Ядуурлыг бууруулах стратегийн баримт бичгээ (I-PRSP) боловсруулсан. Энэ баримт бичигт Засгийн газрын өмнө тулгараад байгаа тулгамдсан асуудлуудыг хэрхэн шийдвэрлэхээ тусгасан. Тухайлбал, зудын хор хохиролтой тэмцэх, Азийн хямралын улмаас унаад байсан уул уурхайн бүтээгдэхүүний уналтын үед хэрхэн ажиллах, социализмаас шилжих зэрэг. I-PRSP баримт бичигт Засгийн газрын баримтлах тэргүүлэх бодлогыг “ажилгүйдлийг бууруулах, төрийн албаны менежмэнт, үндсэн үйлчилгээний хүртээмж, түгээлтийг сайжруулах, хүн амын амьжиргааны түвшинг дээшлүүлэх” хэмээн тодорхойлсон. Олон улсын хөгжлийн ассоциац болон Олон улсын валютын сангийн баг I-PRSP-ийг шинжилж үзээд Засгийн газрын бодлого нь макро эдийн засгийн тогтворжилтийг хангах, ядуурлыг бууруулах, иргэний нийгмийн болон бусад оролцогч нарыг шийдвэр гаргахад оролцуулах зэрэг асуудлыг тусгасныг өндрөөр үнэлсэн.

2001: Participatory learning about poverty

Jim Anderson's picture
Also available in: Mongolian
Continuing with our series looking at each of the 25 years since Mongolia joined the World Bank, today we look at 2001.  Following a devastating winter the year before, Mongolia would experience another dzud in the winter of 2001-2002, with further loss of animals and livelihoods for many.  It was increasingly clear that restocking after the disasters, while needed, was not sufficient.  The World Bank began preparation of a project focusing squarely on sustainable livelihoods for those in rural areas.  The Sustainable Livelihoods Project would be approved the next year and remain a core part of the World Bank’s partnership with Mongolia to the present

In June of 2001, the Government of Mongolia produced its Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (I-PRSP), outlining the challenges faced by the dzud, by the fall in commodity prices and trade as a result of the Asian financial crisis, and by the transition from socialism. The I-PRSP outlined the “main priority policy issues of the government: reduction of unemployment, public sector management, improvement of access and delivery of basic services, and increase of living standards of the population.”  An assessment by the staff of IDA and the IMF lauded the I-PRSP’s strong analysis of government policies, designed to ensure macroeconomic stability; solid assessment of poverty; early involvement of civil society and other major stakeholders in the preparation process; and a satisfactory agenda for stakeholder analysis. 

‘I matter’: giving unemployed young Papua New Guineans a second chance

Tom Perry's picture

Young people account for almost half of Papua New Guinea’s population and comprise a large part of the urban poor. In the capital, Port Moresby, an increasing number of young people are leaving school without the necessary skills for entry-level jobs.

The Urban Youth Employment Project (UYEP) provides disadvantaged young people (aged between 16 and 35) in Port Moresby with life skills and employment training to increase their chances of finding long-term employment, also the motivation to make a fresh start in life. To help meet immediate economic needs, the project is also providing temporary employment opportunities.

2000: Зудын дараах малжуулах явц

Jim Adams's picture
Also available in: English
1999-2000 оны өвөл аймшигт зуд боллоо. Зуд гэдэг бол Монголын өвөрмөц үг хэллэг бөгөөд хатуу хахир өвөл болж мал сүргийн тоо толгой ихээхэн хэмжээгээр хорогдохыг хэлдэг. НҮБ-ын Хөгжлийн хөтөлбөр болон Монгол улсын Засгийн газрын тайлангаар энэ жилийн зуд нь Монголын таван аймгийн хувьд сүүлийн 50 жилд тохиолдоогүй их хохиролтой байжээ. Өвөл оройтож унасан цас Монголын нийт газар нутгийн 70 хувийг нэлэнхүйд нь бүрхсэн бөгөөд 2000 оны зургадугаар сарын 1-ний тооцоогоор 2.4 сая толгой мал хорогдсон. Үүний улмаас ДНБ 1.1 хувьд хүрч унасан бөгөөд ДНБ-д эзлэх хөдөө аж ахуйн салбарын эзлэх хувь дөрвөн хувиар буурсан.

Хөдөөгийн хүн ам илүүтэй хохирсон нь ойлгомжтой, учир нь, малаа алдана гэдэг бол амь амьжиргаагаа алдана гэсэн үг. Дэлхийн Банкнаас хэрэгжүүлж байсан Эмзэг давхаргын ядуурлыг бууруулах төслийн хөрөнгийн зарим хэсгийг зудын хохирлыг даван туулахад зориулахыг Монгол Улсын Засгийн газар хүссэн. 1.3 сая гаруй ам.долларыг зудад нэрвэгдсэн малчдыг дахин малжуулах, амьжиргааг нь дээшлүүлэхэд зориулсан юм. Малтай өрхийн гуравны нэг нь малжуулах хөтөлбөрөөс дэмжлэг авсан. Дараа дараагийн жилд ч Дэлхийн Банк малчдад тулгарсан асуудлыг шийдэхэд зориулан хөтөлбөрөө шилжүүлж болно.