In Malaysia, over half of all HIV infections are transmitted through sharing contaminated needles and syringes. To combat the spread of the epidemic, the government in 2006 spearheaded 'harm reduction' interventions (pdf) which included a program where people who inject drugs are provided unused needles and syringes in exchange for used injecting equipment. Those who are addicted to opioids such as heroin, the most commonly used illicit substance in Malaysia, can also enroll in rehabilitation for synthetic opioid replacement therapy. Synthetic opioids, taken orally, help stabilize the opioid cravings of patients, thus enabling them to work. The move to introduce harm reduction in Malaysia revealed something that caught people by surprise—many of the fishermen from port city on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia use drugs.
It’s difficult to do a background check of a company based in a foreign country with operations overseas.
It’s difficult to check to see whether a document is falsified or not.
It’s difficult to …
I heard a lot of that from the audience of the workshop on World Bank’s Anti-Corruption Framework & Common Integrity Risks in World Bank-Funded Projects in Hanoi recently. Majority of the participants were project managers and procurement staff from Project Management Units managing World Bank-funded projects.
Presentations from the Bank’s Integrity Unit show that corruption increases costs, reduces quality, delays impacts on poverty, creates public disgrace and even generates social instability. For a person who often has to look at results of development projects like me, corruption eats into the meager meal of the ethnic minority people in the northern mountainous areas of Vietnam, takes education away from girls in learning age, and lower the quality of hospitals for old people in Mekong river delta.
Photo: IDA16 Mid-Term Review, right to left, President Alassane Ouattara, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Republic of Liberia, and Axel van Trotsenburg, Vice President of the World Bank, Concessional Finance & Global Partnerships. Credit: Abidjan.net
Two weeks ago, a consortium of donor and borrower countries met to take stock of progress on meeting commitments made by IDA, the World Bank's fund for the poorest countries. (Not sure what IDA is? Click here.) This meeting was an important check-in at the half-way point in what is known as IDA16—a three-year period running from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2014, during which special grant and soft loan financing is made available for life-changing works in the world's 81 poorest countries.
The meeting was hosted by Côte d'Ivoire, our first mid-term meeting held in a client country. The talks were attended by IDA Deputies and Borrower Representatives, individuals appointed to represent their governments on IDA.
Thank you to all who attended yesterday’s live seminar/webinar on the ‘Latest Trends in Migration and Remittance Flows Worldwide’. The session focused on the continued resilience of remittance flows to the developing world, and globally, despite the continued fallout from the global financial crisis. In my presentation, I reported on the latest trends in remittances and migration flows and discuss a new World Bank initiative on migration and development, the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD).
Many of you have requested a copy of my powerpoint presentation from the session, so here it is.
My job market paper brings some good news to the impact evaluation community. First, it shows that causal inference in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) relies on weaker assumptions than was previously thought. Second, it shows that RCTs capture local treatment effects that are less local than we previously believed.
During our research for a report on climate change in the Arab world which will be released in Doha next week, I travelled the region extensively. I met a number of people struggling bravely against higher temperatures and sporadic rainfall, but it is really the children who tell the most eloquent stories about the negative impacts of climate, now and in the future.
Unprecedented progress, promise and challenge mark World AIDS Day 2012. Science has given us the tools to defeat the deadliest epidemic of our age, and we dare envision – with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – an AIDS-free generation.
We all have the currency of a country or two in our wallets; maybe a passport too. We can be brought to tears when we see ‘our’ flag unfurled at the Olympics or a World Cup. Sure there are great sporting rivalries between cities like Milan and Barcelona, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and (in that other football) Dallas vs. Washington. But it’s countries that need flags and currencies, languages and laws, to inspire passion and fidelity. Running a country is about protecting an idea, an ideal, and a dream. Psychologically and physically countries have borders – barriers to entry and exit; people, ideas, money – it all needs to be controlled by a national authority.
Cities are different. Cities are anchored to a specific place. A sheltered port, the mouth of a river, a fertile valley, or a strategic vantage point: cities emerge where geography and opportunity combine. Much has been written on the creative class – that fickle, mobile group of professionals wandering the planet looking for their next engagement. City officials may actively seek them, but far more important are those people willing to stay and fight for their city. With links and roots like children, mortgages, and history, people who feel they belong are the foundation of every city.
Web 2.0 is improving governance, with or without the help of the government in question, and irrespective of whether the country is developed or not.
Throwing traditional wisdom to the winds, the Web 2.0 story is continuing to unfold in a way that was not predicted by researchers and experts of the development community and outside. Recently there have been more than a few examples related to the citizen-fueled proliferation of news, occurring independently of the Government, (and in some countries, even inspite of the opposition of the Government).
From Egypt to Syria, with the very start of the situation, social networks played a role in disseminating news across the world. Twitter, Facebook and blogs providing fascinating live coverage of the various uprisings across the world. Citizens are managing to circumvent any attempts to block Twitter, and often flood the site with their versions of the breaking stories. All major social networking tools are in full use, with Twitter leading the attack. Facebook (status updates and groups), Flickr (photographs), YouTube (videos), Blogger.com, and others communicating the ongoing events. (Of course, this is if you accept that democracy and good governance are highly correlated)
BEIJING -- On his first trip to China as World Bank Group president, Jim Yong Kim met with several senior leaders in the government, including Vice Premier Li Keqiang. In the meeting with the vice premier, the two, at Li Keqiang's suggestion, agreed to embark on a joint China-World Bank study on how developing countries can best prepare for the continuing massive movement of people into cities.
Details around the urbanization study have yet to be finalized, but the two leaders said it could be part of the new China-World Bank delivery knowledge hub, which was officially established Tuesday, Nov. 27 to initially examine issues around urban transportation.
In the video below, Kim talks about his first round of meetings with Chinese leaders.