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Social Development

Reflections from the field: On the road with communities in Myanmar and Laos (Part 1)

Susan Wong's picture

So I just returned from a terrific mission to Myanmar and Laos, two countries experiencing strong annual growth rates, and both facing challenges of making rapid growth inclusive and just for all its citizens.

Монголын нийгмийн халамжийн хөтөлбөрүүд ядуучуудад тусалж байна уу?

Junko Onishi's picture
Also available in: English

Монголын эдийн засгийн өнөөгийн байдал нь түүхий эдийн үнэ унасан, эдийн засгийн өсөлт буурсан гэдэг хоёр хүчин зүйлийн нийлбэр дээр байна. Энэ байдал нь орлогын бууралтад илүүтэй өртөж байгаа ядуучууд болон эмзэг бүлгийн хүмүүсийг хамгаалах нийгмийн халамжийн тогтолцоог шаардаж байгаа юм.

Нийгмийн халамжийн тогтолцоо хэр сайн ажиллаж байгааг дүгнэхийн тулд нийгмийн халамж юунд зарцуулагдаж байгааг, ядуу, эмзэг гэр бүлд зарцуулагдаж байна уу, үүнээс тэд хангалттай хамгаалалтыг авч чадаж байна уу гэдгийг авч үзэх хэрэгтэй. 

Social welfare programs in Mongolia - are they helping the poor?

Junko Onishi's picture
Also available in: Mongolian

Mongolia’s current economic situation is characterized by a combination of falling commodity prices and slowing growth. This heightens the need for the country’s social welfare system to protect the poor and the vulnerable from the threatened fall in incomes.

To assess how well the system is performing, it is necessary to consider Mongolia’s spending on social welfare - whether it is directed towards poor and vulnerable households, and if the benefits provide effective and adequate protection.

Maintaining momentum in Myanmar

Axel van Trotsenburg's picture

Myanmar is undergoing a historic transition. After decades of armed conflict and economic stagnation, the country is beginning to make important strides toward realizing its potential and the aspirations of its people.

Our engagement in Myanmar started more than 60 years ago when it became a member of the World Bank, soon after gaining independence from British rule.

Back in 1955, the Bank’s first economic report stated: “the lack of security remains a disrupting influence on the economic life of the country” while “the long term economic potentials are bright” on account of its moderate population growth and abundant natural resources. It also noted the importance of “encouraging private sector enterprise to improve the standard of living of the people”— these are topics that continue to resonate in today’s development discourse.

In the early 1950s, Myanmar’s GDP per-capita was comparable to that of Thailand, Korea, and Indonesia.  Like others in the region, Myanmar was coming out from colonial rule and a period of struggle. Sixty years on, Myanmar has a per capita GDP just above $1,100, less than one third the average for ASEAN countries and one of the lowest in East Asia.

The good news is that Myanmar has begun the catch up process. Major political and economic reforms since 2011 have increased civil liberties, reduced armed conflict, and removed constraints to trade and private enterprise that long held back the economy.

Video Blog: World Bank Vice President for East Asia & Pacific on his Visit to Chin State, Myanmar

Axel van Trotsenburg's picture
Video Blog: World Bank Vice President for East Asia & Pacific on his Visit to Chin State, Myanmar

Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Vice President for East Asia & the Pacific, visited Myanmar from May 12-16 to observe some of the initial results of the National Community Driven Development Project, the World Bank’s first project in the country in 25 years.

East Asia and Pacific countries can do better in labor regulation and social protection

Truman Packard's picture

Those unfamiliar with the fast growing emerging economies of East Asia are likely to think that governments in these countries let market forces and capitalism roam free, red in tooth and claw. That was certainly my impression before coming to work in the region, and generally that held at the outset of our work by the group of us that wrote a new World Bank report “East Asia Pacific At Work: Employment, Enterprise and Wellbeing” .

The report shows just how wrong we were. We could be forgiven this impression—many of us had come from assignments in Latin America and the Caribbean or in Europe and Central Asia, where the distortions and rigidities from labor regulation and poorly designed social protection are rife, and where policy makers cast envious looks at the stellar and sustained employment outcomes in East Asia.

Well, it turns out that although they came relatively late to labor regulation and social protection, many governments in the region have entered this arena with gusto. We were surprised to find that, going just by what is written in their labor codes, the average level of employment protection in East Asia is actually higher than the OECD average.

Empowering young people in Timor-Leste

Laura Keenan's picture

Timor-Leste has one of the youngest populations in the world, with more than three quarters under 30. Opening pathways for young people – allowing them to get an education, find employment and engage in public life – will be critical for building lasting peace and development.