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June 2018

Rewarding high-performing courts: an ongoing success in Serbia

Elaine R.E. Panter's picture


In September 2016, the Supreme Court of Cassation in Serbia launched the Courts Rewards Program, an innovative plan aimed at increasing the efficiency of the courts, promoting collective leadership and reducing the case backlog that is stalemating the judiciary. The initiative was unprecedented and no one knew how effective it would be. Much to the satisfaction of the Supreme Court of Cassation and the World Bank Multi-Donor Trust Fund for Justice Sector Support in Serbia - who partnered in developing the initiative - the project yielded positive results.

In Armenia, a blink of hope spurred by popular demand

Vigen Sargsyan's picture
 
 
Armenia protests 2018
Photo: Photolure News Agency
Armenia experienced strong annual GDP growth in the period before the fall of the government this year. Throughout April and May, the country’s “velvet revolution” saw the people call for a leader’s resignation, and get a new election – all under the gaze of worldwide attention. But what, you may ask, was the connection between economic growth and mass protests?

Romania needs to continue to reform and perform

Tatiana Proskuryakova's picture
Also available in: Română

When I visited Iasi, in October 2017, the World Bank had just started preparing its Systematic Country Diagnostic for Romania (SCD) – a comprehensive economic analysis we produce every 4-5 years, designed to give us a better understanding of both the main challenges faced by a country and the pathways towards more sustainable growth.

In Iasi, as in many other Romanian cities, I heard firsthand what I had been experiencing since first coming to the country four months earlier: Romania has a diverse set of challenges and a unique pathway towards development – from better roads, to stronger institutions, and an improved business climate.

Why PISA is an important milestone for education in Belarus

Tigran Shmis's picture
Also available in: Русский


When students’ skills and knowledge are measured internationally, some countries get a big surprise – especially countries considered to have top-quality education. Take Germany, for example.

Germany’s first PISA results, in 2000, revealed low performance among students compared to their peers in other countries – this was called the “PISA shock”. Fortunately, this outcome triggered large-scale education reforms in Germany, leading to greatly improved PISA performance.

On the other hand, PISA results are sometimes a pleasant surprise. Take for example the high performance in 2012 of Vietnam – a country with low per capita income but, apparently, a very efficient education system.

Around the world, interest in measuring the real learning outcomes of school students has been on the increase. The number of countries participating in the PISA study, managed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), grew from 32 in 2000 to 79 in 2018.

This year, Belarus participated in the PISA assessment for the first time, with support from the Belarus Education Modernization Project, which is financed by the World Bank.

Building-up cyber resilience in the Kyrgyz Republic

Natalija Gelvanovska-Garcia's picture
Also available in: Русский
In my previous career at Lithuania’s Communications Regulatory Authority (RRT), I had the opportunity to observe how EU member states began to acknowledge and embrace the importance of cybersecurity. For many of them, though, it would begin with a major shock – a serious national-level cybersecurity incident.
 
Since joining the World Bank, I have observed a similar trend across the developing countries. For instance, the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic has begun to place stronger emphasis on cyber resilience after a series of incidents, including digital vandalism of organizations’ websites. Among other considerations, also these cyber events led to the inclusion of cybersecurity financing in a World Bank $50 million Digital CASA (Central Asia-South Asia) – Kyrgyz Republic Project while, at the same time, the Bank catalyzed complementary grants for technical assistance to the government.

One of these grants is the “Global Cyber Security Capacity Building Program”. We chose the Kyrgyz Republic as the first beneficiary country for the Program, and then others followed suit: Ghana, FYR Macedonia, and Myanmar. The financing came from Korea’s Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MoSF), through the Korea-World Bank Group Partnership Facility (KWPF), which is administered by the World Bank.

New evidence shows the true extent of LGBTI exclusion in Serbia

Dominik Koehler's picture


We know that LGBTI discrimination is not just a personal problem, it is an economic development challenge. Discrimination is not only inherently unjust, but “there are substantial costs—social, political, and economic—to not addressing the exclusion of entire groups of people.” LGBTI inclusion is therefore, not only the right thing to do, it also makes economic sense.

So, understanding the barriers that LGBTI people face in accessing markets, services, and spaces is important for designing more inclusive policies and programs that reduce poverty and promote inclusive growth.

Towards a more prosperous and inclusive Romania

Donato De Rosa's picture
Also available in: Română



















Driving around Romania, one sees two countries: one urban, dynamic, and integrated with the EU; the other rural, poor and isolated. Bucharest is a bustling metropolis with thriving modern services and a higher income per capita than the average for the European Union.