Celebrated in its heyday as the world’s fourth-largest lake, the Aral Sea shrunk dramatically after the two major rivers that fed its waters were diverted in the 1960s to irrigate cotton and rice…

Benoît Bosquet |

Two recently released World Bank reports — one on commodities and the other on remittances — lend insight into an unfolding dynamic in the world today. As oil prices dropped from more than $100…

Donna Barne |

If you think about it, snow is a pretty amazing thing. It is nature’s way of storing water in the winter, and then using it in the summer when it is needed, namely during the growing season. If it…

Kulsum Ahmed |

It’s hard to get a break in the Europe and Central Asia region, it seems – even a short one. Hit hard by the troubles in the Eurozone at the beginning of the decade, emerging and developing…

Aurora Ferrari, Ilias Skamnelos |

When we first set out to answer some basic questions facing policymakers in Uzbekistan, we were unsure what exactly to expect. Little was known about worker skills in Uzbekistan until last year,…

Mohamed Ihsan Ajwad, Igor Kheyfets |

Citizen participation in any issue is most often thought of in the context of formal procedures. Sometimes, civil society representatives, like me, are invited to events, commissions or programs…

Ilya Domashov |

Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic – Laura Tuck, the vice president for the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia unit, talks about her trip to Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and…

Laura Tuck |

Cities have always been the driving forces of world civilizations. What Niniveh was to the Assyrian civilization, Babylon was to the Babylonian civilization.  When Peter the Great, third in the…

Souleymane Coulibaly |

Emerging Europe and Central Asia (ECA) is an interesting region because what you expect is not always what exists. Since this is written in honor of International Women's Day, discussing…

Sarosh Sattar |