Garry Emmons hypothesizes that skyrocketing demand might make water, not oil, the century’s most essential resource – and that the private sector will play a key role in its delivery and treatment.
Steve Radelet blogs about the future of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). One of his conclusions:
It makes little sense for the United States to be considering providing grants to the new lower middle-income country group. These countries are three times richer than the low-income group on average, have access to other sources of financing, and for the most part have already graduated from other aid programs.
What kind of books do people want World Bank staff to write?
We private sector development types are keen on market tests, so it's good to see that the World Bank's list of best sellers is currently dominated by works focusing on the investment climate and the role of the private sector:
[86%] is an estimate of people living in countries with per capita gross national product of less than $10,000. Of the world’s six billion-plus inhabitants, only 14 percent live in countries where this measure is over $10,000. … companies can no longer afford to not pay attention to emerging economies.
Harvard University recently put together an excellent conference on mobilizing the private sector for public education. The relevant papers and presentations, by both donors and academia, are now available online and provide a great summary of current trends and issues.
For example, Harry Patrinos points out that we still don’t know enough about the results of private contracting in developing countries.
This George Mason online database of speech accents tells us that accents are systematic rather than merely mistaken speech. An interesting few minutes for those of you who speak English as a second language, travel extensively or work in an international environment.
One of the most frequent requests we get is for privatization data. Accordingly, we have launched a new privatization database. Building upon the efforts of previous World Bank privatization databases -and with kind collaboration from colleagues at Privatization Barometer, OECD and the EBRD- the database provides information on more than 9,000 developing country privatization transactions from 1988 to 2003.