Syndicate content

South Asia

Towards a clean India

Guangzhe CHEN's picture

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Mission in 2014, it marked the beginning of the world’s largest ever sanitation drive. Now, a 2017 survey by the Quality Council of India finds that access to toilets by rural households has increased to 62.45 per cent, and that 91 per cent of those who have a toilet, use it. Given India’s size and diversity, it is no surprise that implementation varies widely across states. Even so, the fact that almost every Indian now has sanitation on the mind is a victory by itself.

 Guy Stubbs

Achieving a task of this magnitude will not be easy. Bangladesh took 15 years to become open defecation free (ODF), while Thailand took 40 years to do so. Meeting sanitation targets is not a one-off event. Changing centuries-old habits of open defecation is a complex and long-term undertaking.

Securing a prosperous future for Afghanistan amidst challenges

Christina Wieser's picture
Also available in: دری | پښتو
 Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank
According to a recent report, just over half of Afghan children attend primary school and most of them were boys. Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank


Fueled by unprecedented levels of aid, literacy, school enrollment, and access to basic services, Afghanistan made tremendous progress between 2007–08 and 2011–12. However, declining aid and increasing conflict during the period between 2011–12 and 2013–14 slowed progress, especially on education and maternal health outcomes, as documented by our recent World Bank report, the “Afghanistan Poverty Status Update: Progress at Risk.”

In this blog, we look at how Afghanistan has performed across several important development indicators in the last few years.

د شته ستونزو سربېره؛ آیا په افغانستان کې د سوکاله راتلونکي رامنځته کېدل امکان لري؟

Christina Wieser's picture
Also available in: English | دری
 Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank
د وروستۍ رپوټ پر بنسټ، یوازې څه باندې نیمایي په شرایطو برابر ماشومان لومړني ښوونځي ته ځي، چې البته ډیرۍ شمیر یی هلکان دي.  انځور: د رومي مشورتي شرکت/ نړیوال بانک

په بې ساري ډول افغانستان سره د نړیوالو مرستو کولو ته په کتو، د ۲۰۰۷ – ۲۰۰۸ کلونو او بیا په ۲۰۱۱- ۲۰۱۲ زیږدیز کلونو پر مهال د سواد کچه، په ښوونځیو کې د زدکوونکو شمولیت یا نوم لیکنه او بنسټیزو خدمتونو ته لاسرسی په هر اړخیز او پراخ ډول بدلون موندلی. خو د پرمختګونو سره سره، د نړیوال بانک وروستی راپور، چې  د "په افغانستان کې د فقر او بیوزلۍ د حالت تحلیلي رپوټ: له خطر سره مخامخ پرمختګ"، تر سرلیک لاندې بشپړ شو؛ د دې ښکارندوي کوي، چې په ۲۰۱۱ – ۲۰۱۲ او ۲۰۱۳-۲۰۱۴ کلونو ترمنځ د مرستو کمښت او د نا امنیو زیاتېدل، په افغانستان کې د پرمختګ او ودې مسیر یې پڅ کړی دی، څرنګه، چې د پوهنې او د مور او ماشوم د مړینې کچې په اړه، د اندیښنې وړ راپور وړاندې شوی دی.

په دې ځای کې هڅه کیږي، څو په افغانستان کې په څو وروستیو کلونو کې د یو شمېر ځانګړتیاوو ته په کتو د پرمختګ څرنګوالی وڅیړو.
 

علی الرغم چالشهای موجود، ایا تحکیم اینده مرفع در افغانستان ممکن است؟

Christina Wieser's picture
Also available in: English | پښتو
 Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank
براساس اخرین گزارش، فقط بیشتراز نصف اطفال واجد شرایط به مکتب ابتدایه میروند که البته اکثر انها را بچه ها تشکیل میدهد. عکس: شرکت مشورتی رومی/بانک جهانی


با توجه به سرازیر شدن میزان بی سابقه کمک های مالی بین المللی، میزان سطح سواد، شمولیت در مکاتب و دسترسی به خدمات اساسی در افغانستان در جریان سالهای ۲۰۰۷ - ۲۰۰۸ و سپس ۲۰۱۱ - ۲۰۱۲  به طور همه جانبه و گسترده متحول گردیده است. اما وجود پیشرفتها، یافته های آخرین گزارش بانک جهانی، "وضعیت فقر در افغانستان، پیشرفت در معرض تهدید"، حاکی از آنست که کاهش کمک ها و افزایش میزان نا امنی ها در سالهای ۲۰۱۱ - ۲۰۱۲ و ۲۰۱۳ – ۲۰۱۴ میلادی، سیر رشد و پیشرفت در افغانستان را به شدت بطی ساخته، طوریکه در بخش های معارف و همچنان میزان مرگ و میر مادران وضعیت خیلی ها ناگوار گزارش داده شده است.

در این جا سعی مینمایم، تا چگونگی پیشرفت ها در افغانستان را پیرامون چندین شاخص های عمده انکشافی در جریان چند سال اخیر مورد مطالعه قرار دهم.
 

Six reasons why Sri Lanka needs to boost its ailing private sector

Tatiana Nenova's picture
 Joe Qian / World Bank
A view of the business district in Colombo. Credit: Joe Qian / World Bank

Sri Lanka experienced strong growth at the end of its 26-year conflict. This was to be expected as post-war reconstruction tends to bring new hope and energy to a country.
 
And Sri Lanka has done well—5 percent growth is nothing to scoff at.  
 
However, Sri Lanka needs to create an environment that fosters private-sector growth and creates more and better jobs. To that end, the country should address these 6 pressing challenges:

1. The easy economic wins are almost exhausted

For a long time, the public-sector has been pouring funds into everything from infrastructure to healthcare. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka’s public sector is facing serious budget constraints. The island’s tax to growth domestic product (GDP) ratio is one of the lowest in the world, falling from 24.2% in 1978 to 10.1% in 2014. Sri Lanka should look for more sustainable sources of growth. As in many other countries, the answer lies with the private sector.
 
2. Sri Lanka has isolated itself from global and regional value chains 

Over the past decades, Sri Lanka has lost its trade competitiveness. As illustrated in the graph below, Sri Lanka outperformed Vietnam in the early 1990s on how much of its trade contributed to its growth domestic product. Vietnam has now overtaken Sri Lanka where trade has been harmed by high tariffs and para-tariffs and trade interventions on agriculture.


Sri Lanka dropped down by 14 notches to the 85th position out of 137 in the recent  Global Competitiveness Index.
           
3. The system inhibits private sector growth

Sri Lanka’s private sector is ailing. Sri Lankan companies are entrepreneurial and the country’s young people are smart, inquisitive, and dynamic. Yet, this does not translate into a vibrant private sector. Instead, public enterprises are the ones carrying the whole weight of development in this country.
 
The question is, why is the private sector not shouldering its burden of growth?


From the chart above, you can see how difficult it is to set up and operate a business in Sri Lanka. From paying taxes to enforcing contracts to registering property, entrepreneurs have the deck stacked against them.
 
Trading across borders is particularly challenging for Sri Lankan businesses. Trade facilitation is inadequate to the point of stunting growth and linkages to regional value chains. The chart explains just why Sri Lanka is considered one of the hardest countries in the world to run a trading business. Compare it to Singapore–you could even import a live tiger there without a problem.

Joining forces to maximize resources for Bhutan’s citizens

Savinay Grover's picture
Public financial management signing
The Multi-Donor fund for Bhutan's Public Financial Management was launched September 21st in Thimphu

Several years ago, a newspaper cartoon in a neighboring country caught everyone’s attention when it depicted the government machinery as a big pipe in which lots of water was being poured from one side as taxpayer’s money and only a drop reached the poor on the other end. The water, representing the funds were being lost due to holes in the pipe. The holes were depicted as inefficiency, wastage, corruption etc. Globally, governments lose trillions of dollars due to various inefficiencies, and lack of proper controls and oversight. Citizens suffer as they do not receive the services that they are promised.

Bhutan provides lots of attention to good governance, which is also one of the pillars of Gross National Happiness. Public Financial Management (PFM) is an important element of good governance and delivering high quality of services to citizens as it’s comprised of budgeting, revenue, procurement, accounting and reporting, internal controls and institutional oversight. Sound PFM systems play an important role in strengthening the efficiency, accountability and transparency of the Government systems. Every dollar, every Ngultrum saved through sound PFM systems mean that more resources are available for better schools, hospitals, roads, and other services.

Bangladesh corridor vital to India’s ‘Act East’ policy

Sanjay Kathuria's picture
India-Bangladesh land border crossing, Photo by Sanjay Kathuria
India-Bangladesh land border crossing. Credit: Sanjay Kathuria

Deepening connectivity and economic linkages between India and Bangladesh will be critical for the success of India’s ‘Act East’ policy.

Here are five priority areas that have the potential to change the economy of Northeast India:

1. Transport Connectivity

After 1947, Northeast (NE) India has had to access the rest of India largely via the “Chicken’s Neck” near Siliguri, greatly increasing travel times. Traders travel 1600 km from Agartala (Tripura) to Kolkata (West Bengal) via Siliguri to access Kolkata port. Instead, they can travel less than 600 kms to reach the same destination via Bangladesh, or even better, travel only 200 km to access the nearby port of Chittagong in Bangladesh.

This is set to change as close cooperation between Bangladesh and India (including various ongoing initiatives such as the transshipment of Indian goods through Bangladesh’s Ashuganj port to Northeast India, expanding of rail links within Northeast India and between the two countries, the BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement) can dramatically reduce the cost of transport between Northeast India and the rest of India.

The resultant decline in prices of goods and services can have a strong impact on consumer welfare and poverty reduction in the Northeast. Such cooperation also opens up several additional possibilities of linking India with ASEAN via Myanmar.

Moving forward, expanding direct connectivity between NE India and the rest of India via Bangladesh, while giving Bangladesh similar access to Nepal and Bhutan via India, is critical.

2. Digital Connectivity

Broadband connectivity of 10 gbps is now being provided from Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar to Tripura and beyond, to help improve the speed and reliability of internet access in NE India. Bangladesh has the capacity to provide more.

Sri Lanka, you have a right to know!

Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough's picture
Sri Lanka's Right to Information act (RTI) can help citizens hold governments accountable and encourage citizens to participate actively in their democracy.
Sri Lanka's Right to Information act (RTI) can help citizens hold governments accountable and encourage citizens to participate actively in their democracy.


Today, the world marks the International Day for the Universal Access to Information. Fittingly, we in Sri Lanka, celebrate 7 months since the Right to Information (RTI) Bill was enacted.  

The product of a slow and steady reform process, RTI is a milestone in Sri Lanka’s history.

Yet how many citizens know about its benefits?

As open access to information takes international center stage today, I’m hoping Sri Lanka’s Right to Information Bill, one of the world’s most comprehensive, will get the attention it deserves.

There is indeed much to celebrate.

Civil society organizations and private citizens are putting Sri Lanka’s RTI to the test. Diverse requests have been filed, from questions relating to how investments are made for the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) to how soil and sand mining permits have been allotted in districts like Gampaha.

Interestingly, people living in rural areas are more aware -- and vocal -- of their rights to know than people in urban areas.

The government is making steady progress. In the last six months, more than 3,000 information officers have been recruited. An independent RTI Commission enforces compliance and acts on those who do not follow the law. If, for example, an information officer refuses to release information pertaining to a citizen’s life, they must provide a valid reason or face legal penalties.

In the next few years, the Sri Lankan bureaucracy faces the huge task of revamping its record management, including its land registration system. This reform is an opportunity to live up to RTI’s ambitions of open governance and help citizens access land title information and records that give them a legal title to their property.

په افغانستان کې د ښوونې کړکیچ: آیا په رښتیا هم په دې هېواد کې د پوهنې وضعیت کړکیچن دی؟

Anahita Hosseini Matin's picture
Also available in: English | دری
Anahita Matin/ World Bank
د عبدالهادي داوي د لیسې د زده کوونکو انځور په داسې حال کې چې خپلو درسي خونو ته چمتو والۍ نیسي. انځور: اناهیتا متین / نړیوال بانک

د کابل ښار په زړه په دریم مکروریان کې د عبدالهادي داوي د هلکانو لیسه کړکیچن وضعیت لري. که څه هم په دې لیسه کې څه باندې ۳۰۰۰ هلکان په زده کړو بوخت دي، خو دا لیسه مناسب تشنابونه نه لري او یوازې په دې لیسه کې یو شمېر ګرځنده کانتینرونه شته، څو زده کونکي د اړتیا پر مهال ورنه ګټه واخلي. همدارنګه دې لیسې ته څيرمه د افغانستان د سترې محکمې ودانۍ ده، چې دا اداره  له امنیتي ګواښونو سره هم مخ ده، له دې ادارې ګاونډیتوب د زده کوونکو ښوونیزو ټولګیو ته زیات ګواښونه رامنځته کړي دي.

د نړیوال بانک د یوې سروي موندنې ښيي، چې د عبدالهادي داوي لیسه له ګڼ شمېر ستونزو لکه د ګټور ښوونیز سیستم له نشتون سره مخ ده. د دې لیسې په ښوونیزو ټولګیو کې د ګټور او اغیزمن ښوونیز سیستم نښې نښانې ډیر لږ لیدل کیږي. سربېره پر دې د دې لیسې د ښوونکو ښوونیزې کړنلارې او تخنیکي وړتیاوې هیڅ ډول نه دي ارزول شوي.

د تنکیو او ځوانانو لپاره د ښوونیزو آسانتیاوو پراختیا د افغانستان دولت له مهمو لومړیتوبونو ګڼل کیږي. له همدې امله، د افغانستان دولت زموږ نه وغوښتل، څو د پوهنې له زده کوونکو څخه د لومړنیو ښوونو له څرنګوالي او همدارنګه هغه ټول خنډونه او ستونزې، چې د با کیفیته ښوونیزې او پوهنیزې آسانتیاوو ته د لاسرسي په موخه ورسره مخ دي، وپیژنو او د هغه راپور چمتو کړو.

په پایله کې موږ وتوانیدو، چې د ۲۰۱۷ زیږدیز کال د اپریل په میاشت کې، د کابل ښار د ۳۲ لیسو او لومړنیو ښوونځيو څخه د سروي او ارزونې بهیر پلي کړو. زموږ د سروي  موندنې د خدمتونو د وړاندې کولو «SABER» په میتود ولاړې دي، چې دا ارزونې میکانیزم د افریقايي هېوادونو کې د خدمتونو وړاندې کولو نوښت له لارې پلي شوي.

زموږ د سروي د موندنو پر بنسټ به یو شمېر برخو کي ځانګړتیاوې رامنځته شي، چې پر بنسټ یې د زدکوونکو لپاره د ښوونیزو آسانتیاوو د پرمختګ څرنګوالی مشخص کیږي او پایله کې د پوهنې پالیسي جوړونکي له دې معلوماتو څخه په ګټې اخیستنې، کولای شي، څو د زده کوونکو او ښوونکو لپاره یو با کیفیته ښوونیز او پوهنیز چاپیریال رامنځته کړي او له دې برخه ډاډ ترلاسه کړي. دا ځانګړتیاوې یو شمېر معیارونه لري، چې پر بنسټ به یې په بیلابیلو سیمو او ښارونو کې د په پرتلیز ډول د زده کوونکو ښوونیزه کچه تحلیل او ارزونه وکړي.
 

Afghanistan’s learning crisis: How bad is it really?

Anahita Hosseini Matin's picture
Also available in: دری | پښتو
Anahita Matin/ World Bank
Students at the Abdul Hadi Dawi school getting ready for class. Photo Credit: Anahita Matin/ World Bank

At the heart of Kabul City in Makroyan 3, lies the all-boys ‘Abdul Hadi Dawi’ school. Despite having 3,000 students, there are no latrines, only a remote plot of land dotted with containers for the students to use. The school is also located near the Supreme Court, an area with potential security risks.The Abdul Hadi Dawi School encapsulates many of the problems with the education system in Afghanistan.

There is little evidence of high-quality instruction or learning happening in the classroom. And neither were teachers being assessed on their performance nor the quality of their teaching.

Improving learning is a priority for Afghanistan. Therefore, the government of Afghanistan sought our support to document the reality of primary education in Afghanistan and identify bottlenecks in schools that impede the delivery of high-quality education.

Thirty-two schools participated in our pilot study in Kabul city in April 2017. Our findings break new ground and are based on SABER Service Delivery methodology already tested in the Africa region through the Service Delivery Initiative.

Our survey provides indicators necessary to track progress in student learning and inform education policies to provide high-quality learning environments for both students and teachers. The indicators are standardized, allowing comparisons between and within nations over time.

Pages