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Public Sector and Governance

ASEAN meeting explores ways of professionalizing public procurement to meet development challenges

Adu-Gyamfi Abunyewa's picture
Construction of a sky train in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: Seksan Pipattanatikanunt/World Bank
In the past, procurement (purchasing) was not considered to be a specialist function but one of the numerous duties that administrators performed in their respective government departments. However, today it is acknowledged that procurement has become an extremely complex and crucial undertaking coupled with the need to ensure value for money in the use of public resources to enhance the living conditions of its citizens.

The responsibilities have radically changed from that of an administrative service function to a proactive and strategic one. Unfortunately, in most jurisdictions the procurement function is still not considered a specific profession and consequently, building procurement professional expertise to meet development challenges remains an unfinished agenda.

How do we achieve sustained growth? Through human capital, and East Asia and the Pacific proves it

Michael Crawford's picture
Students at Beijing Bayi High School in China. Photo: World Bank


In 1950, the average working-age person in the world had  almost three years of education, but in East Asia and Pacific (EAP), the  average person had less than half that amount. Around this time, countries in  the EAP  region put themselves on a path that focused on growth  driven by human capital. They made significant and steady investments in  schooling to close the educational attainment gap with the rest of the world. While  improving their school systems, they also put their human capital to work in  labor markets. As a result, economic growth has been stellar: for four decades  EAP has grown at roughly twice the pace of the global average. What is more, no  slowdown is in sight for rising prosperity.

High economic growth and strong human capital accumulation  are deeply intertwined. In a recent paper, Daron Acemoglu and David Autor explore  the way skills and labor markets interact: Human capital is the central  determinant of economic growth and is the main—and very likely the only—means  to achieve shared growth when technology is changing quickly and raising the  demand for skills. Skills promote productivity and growth, but if there are not  enough skilled workers, growth soon chokes off. If, by contrast, skills are abundant and  average skill-levels keep rising, technological change can drive productivity  and growth without stoking inequality.

Making social accountability part of Mongolia’s DNA

Marcela Rozo's picture
Mongolia has made good progress in its economic and political transitions during the last two decades, but this growth has not been fully translated into improved quality of public services, particularly for the poor and vulnerable. Despite the government’s legal and regulatory reforms to improve transparency and citizen participation in the management of public funds, the pace of implementation is still lagging.  

As Mongolia suffers with economic instability due to external and internal circumstances, how can we improve performance of basic public services in a way that works well in the Mongolian context but also brings sustained outcomes?
Local champions for social accountability are building their vision for the project.
© SDC and World Bank Mongolia

Myanmar - Participating in change: Promoting public sector accountability to all

Shabih Ali Mohib's picture

Available in Myanmar





Successful development is about making a reality of aspirations and ambitious ideas through effective implementation – Myanmar can achieve just that for its people by instilling the values of transparency, accountability and public participation in its public sector.

 
Ideas and policies matter. They have the power to be transformative.  A strong and efficient, transparent and accountable public sector is crucial for translating inspiring ideas and policies into real development outcomes. If we liken Myanmar to a car, then the public sector – a collection of institutions, processes and people which together function as the machinery of government – has an important role to play. The people of Myanmar sit in the driver’s seat, the private sector is the engine which moves the economy forward – and the public sector acts as the car’s transmission and gearbox. If it’s running well, the car moves forward smoothly – but if it’s poorly maintained, people may be in for a bumpy ride. 
 

Transformasi struktural Indonesia beri petunjuk di mana lapangan kerja yang bagus

Maria Monica Wihardja's picture
Also available in: English



Pepatah mengatakan “Hidup bagaikan roda – kadang di atas, kadang di bawah”.

Era ‘booming komoditas’ ketika harga minyak mentah, kelapa sawit dan batu bara melambung tinggi sudah berakhir. Sudah seyogyanya hal ini ini menjadi lampu kuning bagi Indonesia, karena peralihan ekonomi ini telah mempengaruhi pertumbuhan lapangan kerja dalam beberapa tahun terakhir. Lalu, bagaimana Indonesia bisa terus menciptakan lapangan kerja baru untuk pencari tenaga kerjanya yang terus bertambah?

Jawabannya ada di sektor manufaktur dan jasa, seperti yang sudah terindikasi oleh pola sejarah yang ada.

Dalam waktu 20 tahun terakhir (di luar era krisis ekonomi di tahun 1997-1999), sektor manufaktur dan jasa menjadi sumber penting lapangan kerja baru di tengah menurunnya jumlah pekerjaan di sektor pertanian. Dari tahun 1999-2015, proporsi pekerjaan di bidang pertanian turun menjadi 34% dari 56%, dari total lapangan kerja, sedangkan sektor jasa mengalami kenaikan menjadi 54% dari 34% dan sektor manufaktur naik dari 10% menjadi 13%. 

Indonesia’s structural transformation offers clues on where to find good jobs

Maria Monica Wihardja's picture
Also available in: Bahasa Indonesia



What goes up must come down.

The end of the commodities boom is a wake-up call for Indonesia, as the reversal in economic transformation has adversely impacted employment growth in recent years. How can Indonesia continue to create jobs for its growing labor force?

Jobs in manufacturing and services offer a solution, as historical patterns of job creation have shown.

In the past 20 years (excluding the economic crisis of 1997-1999), manufacturing and services have been important sources of job creation, while employment in agriculture continues to decline. From 1990 to 2015, jobs in agriculture fell to 34% from 56% of all employment, while service sector work has surged to 53% from 34%, and manufacturing jobs have increased from 10% to 13%.

中国城市可以从新加坡借鉴哪些经验?

Wanli Fang's picture
Also available in: English
新加坡Marina海湾的再开发项目将河道的一部分改造成水库。摄影: 10 FACE/Shutterstock

上周,我有幸参加了新加坡城市周活动。一同参加本次活动的还有世行驻华代表处的其他同事以及来自中国政府和参与世行项目的城市代表。对我们参会者而言,此行可以说是开阔眼界,使我们更清晰地了解到综合性的城市规划方法对构建可持续城市所起的重要作用,并为我们提供了诸多可推广的经验。这些经验稍加调整后即可为实现不同城市自身发展的目标提供实用的解决方案。以下几点经验供大家参考:
 
发展战略以人为本
 
要做到这一点,需要城市规划人员时刻关注市民对城市空间的日常体验,并通过公众参与请市民在决策过程发挥作用。譬如,在许多城市,公共交通被视为一种低端且不具备吸引力的出行方式,即便在交通拥堵严重情况下,公交载客量增长也停滞不前。但在新加坡,2014年公共交通在各种出行方式中的占比高达三分之二。在该市,乘坐地铁出行不仅舒适而且高效,因为各种公交工具和线路之间的换乘很方便,有明确的标识指引系统,换乘站点之间建有配备空调的连接走廊,并且为老年乘客和行动不便的乘客配置了考虑周到的空间设计和服务设施。此外,地铁站与主要零售和商业设施以及其它公共服务设施融合在一起,从而大大减少了最后一公里的连接问题。
 

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.

What can Laos teach us about organizational learning?

Naazneen Barma's picture
A collection of photos in the Champassak provincial office of Électricité du Laos shows the blue-shirted employees in action. Photo: Naazneen Barma/The World Bank
The hallways of the Électricité du Laos (EDL) provincial offices in Champassak Province are filled with posters bearing bar charts and diagrams illustrating the public utility’s remarkable success in delivering electricity to the country’s still heavily rural population.

It is easy to see that data is crucial to the agency’s operations. Sitting down with EDL’s employees and managers—all wearing the agency’s signature blue-shirt uniform with pride—it also becomes apparent that the science of numbers and the art of managing people have gone hand in hand at this agency. This combination has enabled EDL to make organizational learning a central pillar of the agency’s success.

Institutions Taking Root, a recent report of which I’m a co-author,  looked at nine successful institutions in fragile and conflict-affected states that share a core set of internal operational strategies. 

中国增长减速会使改革步伐放慢吗?

Bingjie Hu's picture
Also available in: English
中国国家统计局(NBS)发布的最新宏观经济数据显示,中国的经济增长在2014年一季度出现放缓,GDP增长从2013年四季度的7.7%(同比)降低到2014年一季度的7.4%(同比)。经过季节性调整后的季度环比增长从2013年四季度的1.7%放缓至2014年一季度的1.4%。

一季度的减速符合我们的预期(参见最新一期《东亚经济半年报》)。官方的需求增长数据呈现出口增长乏力和投资增长放缓。一季度消费主导的增长为经济增长贡献了5.7个百分点,其次是投资贡献了3.1个百分点。净出口拖累增长1.4个百分点(图1)。
图1:中国一季度GDP增长减速


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