The Bank’s increased attention to governance since the early 1990s has naturally brought with it calls for robust measures that enable us to specify what exactly we are trying to improve in this area and how well we seem to be doing it. Overall, however, the consensus on the centrality of good governance to development is yet to be matched by agreement on good indicators for it.
There are two types of people in the world. Those with whom mosquitoes fall passionately in love, and those to whom mosquitoes turn only as a last resort. I unfortunately am one of the former, and I was awoken a little before sunrise by a swarm of well-informed mosquitoes in Lak Sao, behaving a little like my 3-year old when he thinks he can persuade me to give him chocolate milk for breakfast.
(But first, take a look at the new villages for the local residents. My colleague Nanda does the talking):
I just returned from the Mekong Delta – Vietnam’s “rice basket” – to look at the results of development projects partly financed by the World Bank. With rice prices going through the roof, I expected to see farmers enjoying a financial boom. But, reality was more nuanced and underscored how difficult it is to grow more rice at the drop of a bamboo hat.
High food prices on the international markets are getting a lot of attention and are leading to different types of policy action in different countries. Discussions on the impact of international commodity prices on domestic prices often look at how much food countries import.
So the last couple of days have been – how should I put it? – intense.
Web reporters were busy last week with news of soaring prices for grains and other agricultural commodities. Economist.com posted an early entry with Food for Thought on March 27. NYT.com ran