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Improving Funding of Impact Evaluations – end the fiscal year and other rules that have outlived their usefulness

David McKenzie's picture

June 30 marks the end of the fiscal year at the World Bank, and an annual reminder of the stark irony of working in a bank that does not let you save – money is allocated to a particular fiscal year, and if not spent during this time, disappears into a vortex where it is reallocated elsewhere in the institution. This is a problem that is not unique to the World Bank - last week’s Science news had an article reporting on the findings of a blue-ribbon panel of business leaders, u

How a Week in Rio Leads to an Active Monday Morning

Rachel Kyte's picture

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What will you do Monday morning to start making a difference? UN Photo/Maria Elisa Franco

We came to Rio+20 determined that one outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development must be a plan for what ministers of finance, development and environment and ourselves need to do differently Monday morning, June 25th  – if we are to achieve sustainable development for all. 

We have our plan.

We came to Rio+20 knowing that inclusive green growth is the pathway to sustainable development, and the evidence here is that this international community agrees. 

The analysis behind the World Bank’s report Inclusive Green Growth: The Pathway to Sustainable Development framed many of the conference debates and helped facilitate a new focus on natural capital accounting – a fundamental component of inclusive green growth.

According to the 59 countries, 86 companies, and 17 civil society organizations that supported the World Bank Group-facilitated 50:50 campaign – as well as many others – natural capital accounting is an idea whose time has come.   

In fact, natural capital accounting events filled the Rio Convention Center, and government and civil society groups alike highlighted the importance of moving beyond GDP.

This new energy and emphasis around this issue may be the most important outcome of Rio+ 20. 

Integrating the Bank's Open Data

Tim Herzog's picture

One of our goals in the next year is to make World Bank open data easier to find and use. As a start, we recently redesigned the country pages on data.worldbank.org to showcase other open data resources, such as Projects, Finances, Mapping For Results, Microdata, and the Climate Change Knowledge Portal. From any country page, you can now preview the data and navigate to the corresponding country page on any of these other sites.

Gender Equality: Smart Economics & Smart Business

Rachel Kyte's picture

Gro Harlem Brundtland speaks with Michele Bachelet at Rio+20. UN Photo/Maria Elisa Franco
Gro Harlem Brundtland, former prime minister of Norway and special envoy of the UN secretary-general on climate change, speaks with Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile and executive director of UN Women, during a press conference at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. UN Photo/Maria Elisa Franco

Twenty years ago, evenings in the Planeta Femea - the women’s tent in the alternative forum, the Global Forum - changed my life. I started connecting health, rights, environment, and development through the vision of the women there. Now, 20 years later, a new generation of young women is angry and frustrated that their rights and their health always seem to get traded away at the last moment.

Absent here in Rio are some of the pioneers on whose shoulders we stand - Wangari Maathai and Bella Abzug to name just two. We should remember that in the run-up to Rio the first time around, delegates and officialdom thought them troublesome -  they “needed to be managed.” Wangari, of course, faced much worse before she was embraced as a radical reformer for peace and sustainable development and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In Rio this time around, gender equality is understood as smart economics, and judging by the energy and programming in the private sector summits, smart business, too. This is a real advance in implementing Agenda 21.

The Importance of Implementation Gaps

Duncan Green's picture

I’ve been reading the set of papers Oxfam recently published on local governance and community action (see previous blog) and was struck by how central the issue of ‘implementation gaps’ is in our work.

An implementation gap is where a set of institutions (often created via decentralization), policies or budgets (or all three) exist on paper, but are absent on the ground. Such a situation provides a particularly good entry point for an INGO like Oxfam because it reduces political risk (you are supporting the implementation of what the state has already agreed) and the benefits are likely to be easier to achieve and can have a galvanizing effect – plucking low-hanging fruit is great for morale and motivation. In terms of power analysis, this is about making the most of ‘invited spaces’ rather than creating new ones.

Chart: Poverty rates fell sharply in the new millennium

LTD Editors's picture

Excerpt from “Tracking the MDGs,” GMR 2012.

Poverty and hunger remain, but fewer people live in extreme poverty. The proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day fell from 43.1 percent in 1990 to 22.2 percent in 2008. While the food, fuel, and financial crises over the past four years have worsened the situations of vulnerable populations and slowed the rate of poverty reduction in some countries, global poverty rates kept falling. Between 2005 and 2008 both the poverty rate and the number of people living in extreme poverty fell in all six developing regions, the first time that has happened. Preliminary estimates for 2010 show that the extreme poverty rate fell further, reaching the global target of the MDGs of halving world poverty five years early. Three regions—East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Central Asia,and the Middle East and North Africa—met or exceeded the target by 2008. More

The Girl Effect

Matthew De Galan's picture

The gender gap in school enrollment may be narrowing, but the gender gap in labor force participation is on the rise. In fact, slightly more than a third of young women in developing countries are jobless. We spoke with Matthew De Galan, a Senior Fellow at the Nike Foundation, which partners with the World Bank on the Adolescent Girls Initiative (AGI) – aimed at helping adolescent girls and young women make a successful transition from school to work.

Friday links (part 2): The OLPC discussion continues, paying kids to perform in schools, impact of moving back home, and more...

David McKenzie's picture

·         In case you missed, the IDB authors of the one laptop per child evaluation post a response to Berk’s post on the IDB Development that works blog. They discuss the context in which their evaluation was done, and the possible government rationale for investing in OLPC in Peru.

Rio's Buzzing About Natural Capital Accounting

Rachel Kyte's picture

Only a very short time ago, we were drawing blank looks when we mentioned "natural capital accounting." This week at Rio, everyone is talking about it. Walls are plastered with flyers about it.  And our event on it yesterday drew such a crowd it was standing-room only.

With three presidents, two prime ministers, one deputy prime minister, a host of ministers, top corporate leaders and civil society groups in the room, we announced that the 50:50 campaign to get at least 50 countries and 50 companies to commit to acting on natural capital accounting was a success. The latest tally: 59 countries, 88 private companies, 1 region, and 16 civil society groups signing on to the Gaborone Declaration, recommitting to other natural capital initiatives, or agreeing to join forces with this movement.


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