When the Bank did its first social assistance public expenditure review in Indonesia in 2012, the diagnosis was clear. Despite spending significant amount of resources in “welfare”, most of them were through expensive subsidies (fuel, electricity, rice) that were not necessarily benefiting the most vulnerable segments of the society. General subsidies represented 20 percent of total national budget, but household targeted social assistance programs were already making their way, increasing from 0.3 to 0.5 percent of GDP between 2004 and 2010. Still, there was an overall dissatisfaction on what had been achieved, with the Gini coefficient rose by about 6 percentage points in the period of 2005 to 2012.
With more than 27 million people still considered poor and as one of the countries in the East Asia and the Pacific region that has one of the highest income inequality levels, the coverage expansion and social assistance system strengthening is a must. Fortunately, the situation in the social assistance sector has changed dramatically.
Ketika Bank Dunia melakukan kajian pertama terkait pengeluaran bantuan sosial di Indonesia di tahun 2012, diagnosisnya sudah jelas. Meskipun telah banyak sumber daya yang dihabiskan untuk "kesejahteraan", sebagian besar dari upaya ini dilakukan melalui subsidi yang mahal (bahan bakar, listrik, beras) yang belum tentu bermanfaat untuk segmen masyarakat yang paling rentan. Subsidi umum mewakili 20 persen dari total anggaran nasional, namun program bantuan sosial yang ditargetkan untuk rumah tangga telah berjalan, meningkat dari 0,3 persen PDB menjadi 0,5 persen antara tahun 2004 dan 2010. Namun, dengan koefisien Gini yang meningkat sekitar 6 poin persentase pada periode 2005-2012, masih ada ketidakpuasan dalam pencapaian selama ini.
Dengan adanya lebih dari 27 juta orang yang termasuk golongan miskin dan sebagai salah satu negara di kawasan Asia Timur dan Pasifik yang memiliki tingkat ketimpangan pendapatan tertinggi, maka perluasan cakupan dan penguatan sistem bantuan sosial adalah suatu keharusan. Untungnya, situasi di sektor bantuan sosial telah berubah secara dramatis.
ประเทศไทยเพิ่งประกาศโครงการช่วยเหลือทางสังคมเพื่อครัวเรือนที่ยากจน โครงการนี้จะสามารถลดความยากจนอย่างมีนัยสำคัญ ซึ่งจะช่วยให้ประเทศไทยเข้าไปอยู่ในกลุ่มประเทศที่รายได้ปานกลางซึ่งมีโครงการ “ตาข่ายความปลอดภัยทางสังคม” ให้กับคนยากจนเช่นเดียวกับประเทศจีน มาเลเซีย บราซิล ตุรกี และฟิลิปปินส์.
Thailand recently announced that it will put into action a national social assistance program for poor families. Such a program can help reduce poverty significantly. It would also move Thailand into the growing ranks of middle-income countries, such as China, Malaysia, Brazil, Turkey and the Philippines, that provide the poor with a ‘safety net’.
In 1950, the average working-age person in the world had almost three years of education, but in East Asia and Pacific (EAP), the average person had less than half that amount. Around this time, countries in the EAP region put themselves on a path that focused on growth driven by human capital. They made significant and steady investments in schooling to close the educational attainment gap with the rest of the world. While improving their school systems, they also put their human capital to work in labor markets. As a result, economic growth has been stellar: for four decades EAP has grown at roughly twice the pace of the global average. What is more, no slowdown is in sight for rising prosperity.
High economic growth and strong human capital accumulation are deeply intertwined. In a recent paper, Daron Acemoglu and David Autor explore the way skills and labor markets interact: Human capital is the central determinant of economic growth and is the main—and very likely the only—means to achieve shared growth when technology is changing quickly and raising the demand for skills. Skills promote productivity and growth, but if there are not enough skilled workers, growth soon chokes off. If, by contrast, skills are abundant and average skill-levels keep rising, technological change can drive productivity and growth without stoking inequality.
- boost prosperity
- Knowledge and Skills
- job market
- job creation
- Social Development
- Public Sector and Governance
- East Asia and Pacific
- Solomon Islands
- Papua New Guinea
- Micronesia, Federated States of
- Marshall Islands
- Lao People's Democratic Republic
- Korea, Republic of
Also available in: Myanmar (.pdf)
Struggles over land in Myanmar have been a defining characteristic of the country’s six decades of armed conflict.
In the past, government acquired lands for extracting natural resources, commercialized farming, and ambitious infrastructure projects, such as building of the new capital city of Nay Pyi Taw. Today, claims over land acquisition injustices dominate public discourse and the new government’s agenda. In parallel, infrastructure and institutions for land administration and property markets are grossly outdated and weak.
The World Bank Group’s Open Learning Campus (OLC) launched a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) today — Policy Lessons from South Korea’s Development — through the edX platform, with approximately 7,000 global learners already registered. In this MOOC, prominent representatives of academic and research institutions in South Korea and the United States narrate a multi-faceted story of Korea’s economic growth.
Why focus on South Korea? South Korea's transformation from poverty to prosperity in just three decades was virtually miraculous. Indeed, by almost any measure, South Korea is one of the greatest development success stories. South Korea’s income per capita rose nearly 250 times, from a mere $110 in 1962 to $27,440 in 2015. This rapid growth was achieved despite geopolitical uncertainties and a lack of natural resources. Today, South Korea is a major exporter of products such as semiconductors, automobiles, telecommunications equipment, and ships.
My visit to Lao PDR this week has convinced me that this nation is moving toward the right path to sustained economic growth, which could lead to less poverty and better lives for all of its people.
Over the past two decades, Lao PDR has made significant development progress. It is one of the fastest growing economies in East Asia, with GDP growth averaging 8 percent a year since 2000. Lao PDR also successfully met the Millennium Development Goal of reducing extreme poverty, based on its national poverty line, to below 24 percent by 2015 from 33.5 percent in 2002.
As I have witnessed during my trip, people are enjoying better living conditions, with improved access to water supply, sanitation, roads, and power. Indeed, Lao PDR’s electrification program is one of the most successful in the world, and more than 90 percent of households now have access to electricity. Lao PDR also has built 50 percent more road surfaces in the last decade, and two-thirds of all Lao villages are now connected by all-season roads.