On a recent visit to provincial treasury offices to learn about the Financial Management Information Systems, or FMIS, that members of our Governance teams helped introduce, the conversation turned to cows.
Staff compared switching from manual pen-and-paper to an automated state-of-the-art public finance management system as akin to making a cow watch television. Cows, they explained, are as unfamiliar with television as some treasury staff are with computers, the internet, and FMIS.
Fortunately, the relevance of the analogy was short-lived. Treasury staff have overcome the learning curve and the new system has proven to be helpful. I consistently heard praise about the system’s usefulness because it provides useful financial information, reduces the amount of repetitive work, and generates timely reports. That is a big change.
East Asia and Pacific
Global benchmarking reports are great conversation starters. Here in Singapore, a nation defined by its drive for excellence, these benchmarking reports are held as evidence of the country’s development success. From topping the global education index PISA, the Global Competitiveness Index, and the Leading Maritime Capitals of the World Report, Singapore takes great pride in being first, in Asia if not globally.
An important global ranking for Singapore is the Doing Business survey, a ranking the island nation topped for many years, indicating the ease with which business can be done in the little red dot.
What do you love about the city you live in?
Your answer may be a combination of the following: ease of travel and access to many jobs using high quality and low cost public transit; livability as measured by the availability of green or community space such as parks, schools, cultural or shopping centers; ease of walking and biking encouraging active living and an engaging community; and an idea of what the city would look like ten years from now.
พรุ่งนี้เป็นวันสากลยุติความเกลียดกลัวคนรักเพศเดียวกัน คนข้ามเพศ และคนรักสองเพศ แนวคิดหลักของงานในวันสำคัญปีนี้คือ ครอบครัว ครอบครัวเป็นสิ่งสำคัญสำหรับชีวิตพวกเราทุกคน เป็นสิ่งที่เราใส่ใจเป็นลำดับแรก และเป็นสิ่งสำคัญกว่าสิ่งอื่นใด
Tomorrow is the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. This year, the global theme for this important day is family. Family is vital for all of us, it is what we care about first and foremost.
Places with cold climates need access to a reliable and efficient heat supply for the health of their population. But in developing countries, the majority of rural and peri-urban households do not have access to centralized heating or gas networks. Instead, they use traditional heating stoves that use solid fuels like coal, wood, and dung for heating. These stoves are often inefficient (with thermal efficiency as low as 25%-40% compared to 70% or above for efficient stoves) and emit large amounts of pollutants (e.g., CO and PM2.5), causing indoor and outdoor air pollution with negative health and environmental impacts.
The conference addressed themes related to improving learning outcomes for all students, including how to support effective teaching and early childhood development, balancing school autonomy and accountability, and how education systems can build the skills needed for the 21st century.
For the host country, Indonesia, the forum provided a valuable chance to look more closely at issues facing its education system.
Available in english
Tháng trước tôi có dịp sang công tác tại Việt Nam. Những tiến triển mạnh mẽ tại đây so với 17 năm trước đã gây cho tôi một ấn tượng mạnh.
Năm 2000, kênh Nhiêu Lộc – Thị Nghè chảy qua khu trung tâm Thành Phố Hồ Chí Minh còn ô nhiễm và gây ảnh hưởng xấu lên sức khỏe người dân sống và làm việc trong khu vực. Nhưng hôm nay, dòng kênh đã được cải tạo với dòng nước trong và sạch, mang thêm màu xanh và sức khỏe cho 1,2 triệu người sống tại khu vực này – một khu đô thị đang phát triển nhanh chóng.
เจ้าของธุรกิจไทยในเชียงใหม่อาจเปิดรีสอร์ทเพื่อบริการลูกค้าในประเทศรวมถึงนักท่องเที่ยว เขาอาจจะใช้เวลาสองเดือนเพื่อจัดตั้งธุรกิจหลังจากที่เขาหาสถานที่ พนักงานและจดทะเบียนจัดตั้งธุรกิจได้แล้ว โดยรวมแล้วการดำเนินธุรกิจเป็นไปอย่างราบรื่น
ในขณะเดียวกัน ชาวต่างชาติที่อาศัยอยู่ในเวียดนามและสนใจที่จะมาลงทุนเปิดร้านอาหารโดยมีงบลงทุน 3 ล้านบาทในไทยก็มีประสบการณ์ที่ต่างออกไป เธอพบว่าการจัดตั้งธุรกิจทำได้ไม่ง่ายนัก เว็บไซต์ข้อมูลส่วนใหญ่เป็นภาษาไทย และมีเรื่องเอกสารประกอบการจัดตั้งธุรกิจที่ทำให้เธอกังวลใจ การได้ใบอนุญาตทำงานและการได้ใบอนุญาตประกอบธุรกิจก็ใช้เวลานานกว่าที่คาดไว้
A Thai business owner in Chiang Mai might open a small resort serving local people as well as tourists. It would probably take him about two months to set up his business after finding the location, staff and getting the company registered. He would find it reasonably easy to start his business.
At the same time, a foreign investor living in Vietnam and considering whether to invest 3 million baht in Thailand to start a restaurant might have a different experience. She would likely find the process a bit complex and challenging. Most websites with the relevant information are written in Thai, the paperwork involved in registering a company can be pretty daunting for foreigners, and getting work permits and a business license can take longer than expected.