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January 2013

A Snapshot of Youth Training Programs in Brazil and the Dominican Republic

Claudia Sepúlveda's picture

Day workers unload bananas in an open air market in Manaus, Brazil. Photo: © Julio Pantoja / World Bank

If you are at the prime working age of 35-55 years old and watching the 2013 South American Youth Championship (Campeonato Sudamericano Sub-20) — which is taking place in Argentina and will qualify the four South American teams to the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup — then you may be forgiven for thinking of trading places with a 20-year-old. Young people are healthier and stronger, and they don't worry about waistlines and other signs of age. But one thing would worsen as a result of the trade: your labor market prospects. Young workers almost invariably have lower wages and higher rates of unemployment than older workers.

Bloomberg, Kim on Need for Greener, More Efficient Transport in Cities

Donna Barne's picture

Read this post in Español, Français

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speak outside the Transforming Transportation 2013 conference.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg weighed in January 18 on what it will take to shape the future of cities — and cut pollution, road deaths, commute times, and poverty.

A large part of the answer: greener, more efficient and cost-effective urban transportation that is designed to move people, not cars.

“We have to start looking at other ways to move people. Traffic does hurt your economy,” Mayor Bloomberg said at the 10th Annual Transforming Transportation conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by the World Bank and EMBARQ.

With 90 percent of city air pollution caused by vehicles, finding transportation solutions also will help confront emissions that drive climate change, Dr. Kim added.

Friday Roundup: Migration and Development, Global Economy and Innovation, and WDR App

LTD Editors's picture

About 3% of the world's people live outside the country of their birth. What does this mean for the migrants, and their countries – most of which are developing? The Guardian is inviting comments and questions on the topic of migration and its impact on development for its monthly podcast. To learn more, read “Talk point: what is the impact of migration on development?,” which also quotes the latest remittances figures from the World Bank.

According to the latest edition of Global Economic Prospects, (GEP), the global GDP  is estimated to grow by  2.4 percent in 2013, marked by weaker growth in  developed countries. With the global economy remaining fragile, a return to the “good times” seems farther now. The Economist argues that the economic stagnation of the rich countries is also hurting innovation, which has direct links to economic growth. Read the post from to know more. While on this topic, according to figures from the GEP, the value of exports from developing countries to other developing countries (“South-South” trade) now exceeds exports from poor countries to rich ones (“South-North” trade). Read the full article on The Economist here.

Prospects Daily: Global stock markets rallied on Friday

Global Macroeconomics Team's picture

Financial MarketsGlobal stock markets rallied on Friday, with the benchmark MSCI world equity index hitting a 20-month high level of 552.16, as positive economic data from the two world’s largest economies boosted market sentiment. Along with robust U.S. labor and housing market reports, China’s better-than-expected fourth-quarter GDP growth (y/y), buoyant industrial production and retail sales figures added to signs that the global economic recovery is gaining traction.

Snakes and Dragons in the Year of the Mayor

Dan Hoornweg's picture

Year of the Snake graphicFirst the good news: Earlier this month, Mayor Iñaki Azkuna of Bilbao, Spain was awarded the prestigious World Mayor Prize for 2012. Mayor Azkuna was in good company. Other finalists included the mayors of: Perth, Australia; Surakarta, Indonesia; El Paso, USA; Changwon City, Korea; Auckland, NZ; Angeles City, Philippines; Zeralda, Algeria; Matamoras, Mexico; and somewhat surprisingly, Mayor Regis Lebeaume of Quebec City, Canada.

The bad news for 2012 and mayors was best seen in Canada. The World Mayor Prize shortlisting of Mayor Lebeaume came amidst a spate of problems for other mayors in the Province of Quebec. At least four mayors resigned over corruption allegations in Quebec, including Montreal’s Mayor Gerald Tremblay.

Book Review: Knowledge, Policy and Power in International Development: A Practical Guide

Duncan Green's picture

This review appears in the Evidence and Policy journal, where it is now available free online (after I protested about the scandalous, rip-off $30 they were charging). Or you can just read it here. Note to self: in future, I will not write anything for journals that are not open access (thanks to Owen Barder for that suggestion).

In recent years, the public and policy debate over climate change, ‘climategate’, and the debacle of the Copenhagen Summit (and seemingly the wider UN negotiations) has brought home the tenuousness of the links between knowledge and public policy-making. ‘Do the research and they will come’ is clearly not a credible doctrine. Knowledge, Policy and Power, written by a group of researchers from the Overseas Development Institute, tackles some important aspects of these links, building on ODI’s strong track record on the interface between research and policy-making.

The book has good instincts – sceptical of all things linear, of researchers claiming to know more than they do, stressing the importance of values, beliefs, assumptions, taboos and other group pressures, hidden power  and in/exclusion in what are often portrayed as neutral processes of research and debate. There is ample discussion of the relative strengths and weakneses of different kinds of knowledge, whether derived from practice, ‘pure’ research or the people themselves.

IRENA puts renewable energy on the map

Vivien Foster's picture

Global Wind Map - Screenshot from Global Atlas of Renewable Energy PotentialIt’s been clear here at the World Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi that the International Renewable Energy Agency, or IRENA, is fast emerging as a leader in forging a more sustainable energy future. With 159 countries—plus the EU— having joined it, a staff of 70 and a $28-million annual budget, IRENA held its third Executive Assembly here, making an impressive show on the sidelines of the summit. One example is its Renewable Energy Roadmap, which attracted lively interest among delegates.

Beware the macroeconomic iceberg hiding in unchartered political waters

Caroline Freund's picture
        World Bank | Arne Hoel

As Arab countries mark the two-year anniversaries of their revolutions, economic challenges remain sharp, and the current political and policy uncertainty make it difficult to forecast how growth will evolve over the longer run. One way to reduce some of the guesswork is to look at what has typically happened in other transitions. In a recent paper, we identified and examined 90 attempts at transition from autocracy to democracy that took place over the last half century.

Integrated Water Management in Cities: Can we get it right this time?

While on its path to becoming the largest city in the Americas, Sao Paulo used its natural capital - water - to generate electricity, fuel industry, and satiate its ever-growing population. Natural infrastructure was traded for the concrete form and the city’s great rivers paid a high price for industrialization.

The result? Tremendous growth (averaging 5% per annum) that stimulated rapid and unplanned migration to the city and environmental pollution.  Urban sprawl generated little to no infrastructure for managing water, sanitation and wastewater, or solid waste.  Clearing the land for houses caused erosion and compacted soils, and the resulting increase in runoff has made an already wet city even more prone to floods.  


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