It was only three years ago that a magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit Japan. I still remember vividly the horror of watching in disbelief as live television footage captured the tsunami rapidly moving inland. I was living abroad at the time, and tried frantically to get through to my family in Tokyo, not knowing the extent of the damage there.
Warren Buffet once said “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” A positive international reputation, or the way I like to call it - “iReputation” - is something every person, company, organization, or country is looking for. Considerable amounts of money are being spent on building international reputation, especially by countries. Some are investing their resources in submitting competitive bids for hosting the Olympics, regional or world sports competitions, assuming that the successful organization of these events will strengthening and improve their iReputation and credibility. Others are trying to use costly and innovative marketing tools in order to give visibility to their countries and thus attract more tourists, investors and other categories of visitors. In this post I will address the case of some countries which have managed to gain iReputation because of successful implementation of eGovernment.
Co-authored by: Yvonne Nkrumah and Julia Mensah (WBIHS), and Lyudmila Bujoreanu (TWICT)
How satisfied are Uganda’s citizens with the services they receive in public health facilities? It’s a question that has important implications for Uganda’s efforts to improve service delivery and reform health systems, and one that was recently put directly to Ugandans, via crowdsourcing.
Last summer, the World Bank Group partnered with UNICEF and the Medicines Transparency Alliance (MeTA) to leverage two SMS-based platforms – U-report and mTrac – to generate real-time information from both citizens and health providers, providing critical evidence on health service delivery.
What is the implication of 3D printers on the World Bank’s mission of poverty reduction and boosting of shared prosperity? While figuring out the specifics is likely impossible, we do have a few hints at the possibilities.
3D Printer + Internet = Inclusive Education
The internet search engines we use almost every day have changed our lives, in terms of access to information, knowledge, and much more. But for the visually impaired, this invention has had little impact so far. However, through an innovative application of 3D printers, “search experience” for the visually impaired became possible using a voice-activated, 3D printer-installed, Internet search engine.
The ICT Unit of the World Bank and the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications (MTT) of Chile launched the “Smart City Gran Concepcion” activity the week of January 13, 2014. The activity, which is financed by the Spanish Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean, has five sequential components that are designed to achieve two goals:(A) to improve local and municipal service delivery by introducing open innovation and ICT tools; and (B) to lay the framework for the development of a local and sustainable innovation ecosystem in Gran Concepcion. The Gran Concepcion area is the second largest populated area in Chile with almost a 1 MM inhabitants and it was chosen by MTT to pilot a model of Smart City for Chile.
The children entering school in 2014 will start working in about 2030. One can safely assume that the world then will rely even more on information and communications technologies. After all, technology is already transforming agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and more.
On affordability grounds alone, millions of people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region could be excluded from today’s information revolution. Meeting this challenge has become a top regional priority. Many countries in the Arab world have identified broadband Internet as a critical input to the broader objective of nation building and the transition to a knowledge-based economy. There is growing consensus that broadband Internet is critical in fostering sustainable economic development and job creation, and a key component of strategies for reducing poverty, enhancing job opportunities, and advancing trade integration. Indeed broadband is expected to have a similar impact on the transformation of the economy and of society as a whole as the printing press, steam engines, or electricity had in the past. But for it to have its full impact, people will need access to it.
Because the penetration of high speed internet is strongly correlated with economic growth, governments around the world are eager to promote the diffusion of broadband technologies. The Turkish Government recently set out ambitious roll-out and take up targets for broadband: 60 million subscriptions in 2023 (up from 33.7 in September 2013), at least 100 Mbps connection for every household, with fiber-optic cables deployed to most homes or buildings (in short: FTTH (Fiber to the Home) or FTTB (Fiber to the Building), diffusion of next generation mobile broadband technologies (such as 4G/LTE), and a vision of the country being a regional hub for telecommunications infrastructure.