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Europe and Central Asia

Backhaul to the future – Can digital technology make Central Asia’s agriculture competitive?

Julian Lampietti's picture
Shutterstock Photo

Whether matching drivers with riders or landlords with lodgers, digital platforms like Uber and AirBnB push the marginal cost of matching supply and demand to an unprecedented low. Large infrastructure projects like China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative - which aims at more closely linking the two ends of Eurasia, as well as Africa and Oceania - could create an opportunity to alter the future of Central Asia’s agriculture, if food supply and demand can be matched more efficiently.

Shijimi i plazhit të pastër, pikënisje e re për Durrësin

David Michaud's picture
Also available in: English
Foto: Agjencia Kombetare e Turizmit
Çdo verë, qindra mijëra banorë shkojnë nga Tirana, kryeqyteti i Shqipërisë, dhe më tej, drejt qytetit fqinj të Durrësit, në bregdetin e Adriatikut, për të shijuar plazhet dhe atmosferën e tij të relaksuar.

Me kalimin e viteve, ishin të shumtë ata që shqetësoheshin gjithnjë e më tepër nga era e kanalizimeve të papërpunuara, e cila përhapej gjithnjë e më fort, ndërsa plazhi kategorizohej si pikë e nxehtë mjedisore. Megjithatë, verën e kaluar, era u zhduk dhe cilësia e plazhit të Durrësit u përmirësua duke u kalifikuar në vlerësimin "gjendje e mirë", duke kënaqur kështu si plazhistët edhe banorët vendas. Një fund i lumtur për një histori të gjatë dhe komplekse, siç do të lexoni më poshtë.

Celebrating a clean beach, clean sheet in Durres

David Michaud's picture
Also available in: Shqip
Credit: Albanian National Tourism Agency
Summer after summer, hundreds of thousands of urban dwellers flock from Tirana, Albania’s capital, and beyond to the nearby city of Durres, on the Adriatic coast, to enjoy its beaches and laid-back atmosphere.

Over the years though, many grew increasingly concerned as the smell of raw sewer became more and more prevalent, and the beach was listed as an environmental hotspot. Last summer though, the smell was gone, and the Durres beach quality was upgraded to “good” status, to the delight of both beachgoers and local residents. A happy end to a long and complex story, as you’ll see.

Higher education institutions as drivers of innovation and growth in Azerbaijan

Igor Kheyfets's picture
Azerbaijan Education

It’s a cold spring day in Baku, and several students from Azerbaijan State Oil and Industry University (ASOIU) are huddled around a laptop trying to project an image onto their classroom wall.
 
Once the image is projected, one of the students “writes” on the surface of the classroom wall – as he would on the computer screen – using customized software called CamTouch, which allows the user to turn any surface into an interactive “smartboard”. The student also selects an icon and virtually opens a document with the help of a special stylus.

What will Croatia’s soccer players do next?

Maciej Drozd's picture
Photo: Drusany/Shutterstock
The 2018 World Cup brought fame to the Croatian team, with many fans around the world – including the author of this blog - rooting for the team in white-and-red checkerboard jerseys. For the players on the Croatian national team, the success they found on the field should also pay off financially, thanks to prize money, higher pay, and advertising revenues.
 
But the stories of the top-earning soccer stars living a glamorous life of wealth tend to make us forget that most athletes are not wealthy enough to retire when their careers end and find themselves facing the same challenges as everyone else looking to change professions.
 

I believe Belarus will benefit greatly from the Human Capital Index – Here’s why

Alex Kremer's picture
Also available in: Русский


On 11 October 2018, the World Bank launched its Human Capital Index, which quantifies the contribution of health and education to the productivity of the next generation of workers. The Index is part of the Human Capital Project, a global effort to accelerate more and better investments in people. Belarus didn’t participate in the Index this year.

Back in 1440, King Henry VI of England founded a college for poor scholars, providing a free education for boys whose families couldn’t afford to pay. At that time, the young students learned to read and write so that they could later work as administrators in the royal court.

A few centuries later, in 1977, I became one of “King Henry’s scholars”. I’m not working for a king, of course, but I recognize how lucky I am to have benefited from Henry’s medieval investment in human capital. One could perhaps call him a “very early adopter”.

These days, investing in people makes more economic sense than ever. Human capital – the knowledge, skills, and health that people accumulate throughout their lives – accounts for up to 68% of a country’s overall wealth, on average. In the case of Belarus, where I now live, the share of human capital in the country’s total wealth is somewhat lower, at 49.2%.

After three decades of transformation in Georgia – what’s next for the jobs market?

Florentin Kerschbaumer's picture
Georgia Job Market
Celebrating his 60th birthday recently, my father chatted with me about his career and getting his first job. He graduated as an engineer in the 1970s in Austria and faced very different employment opportunities to those I faced some decades later. There were five construction firms, all just around the corner from his home, to which he could apply for a job at that time.

When I finished graduate school in 2016, I applied for work with organizations in five different countries around the world. Suffice to say, the labor market in which my generation is competing is vastly different and far more globalized than the one my dad faced.

Improving public procurement in Georgia – what’s the magic recipe?

Sandro Nozadze's picture
Procurement Georgia

What exactly is procurement, you may ask? If you google the word, you’ll likely find several different definitions.
 
Essentially, procurement is about buying things. That sounds quite simple, of course, but it becomes much more complicated at the level of government buying, especially when complex risks and variables must also be considered. So, is there a way to simplify government procurement?

Jeta në margjina: përvoja e personave LGBTI në Evropën Juglindore

Linda Van Gelder's picture
Also available in: English | Bosanski | Русский


Në Bankën Botërore, e dimë se përfshirja sociale nuk është vetëm gjëja e duhur, por edhe ekonomikisht gjëja më e mençur për ta bërë. Shoqëritë më përfshirëse kanë më shumë gjasa që ta shfrytëzojnë më së miri kapitalin njerëzor. Qytetet më të hapura dhe më përfshirëse kanë më shumë gjasa për ta tërhequr kapitalin dhe talentin ndërkombëtar. Shtetet më të hapura dhe më përfshirëse janë destinacione më tërheqëse për turistët ndërkombëtarë.

2,300 persona LGBTI nga Shqipëria, Bosnja dhe Hercegovina, Kroacia, Kosova, Ish Republika Jugosllave e Maqedonisë, Mali i Zi dhe Sllovenia i ndanë përvojat e tyre në anketën më të madh ndonjëherë të pakicave seksuale dhe gjinore në rajon. Raporti i hulumtimit “Jeta në margjina: Rezultatet e anketës lidhur me përvojat e personave LGBTI në Evropën Juglindore” ofron një përshkrim të hollësishëm të përgjigjeve dhe tregon një histori të diskriminimit, të përjashtimit dhe të dhunës.

Može li zapošljavanje putem privatnih agencija pomoći na rješavanju izazova nezaposlenosti u Bosni i Hercegovini?

Josefina Posadas's picture
Also available in: English
Employment in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosna i Hercegovina: usluge privatnih agencija za posredovanje u zapošljavanju i javnih službi za zapošljavanje
Uprkos stabilnom ekonomskom rastu u posljednje vrijeme u Bosni i Hercegovini, kao i predviđenom rastu od 3,2 procenta za 2018., BiH se i dalje suočava sa povećanim nivoom nezaposlenosti, naročito među mladima.

Vlasti u BiH ulažu značajna sredstva u promociju prilika za zapošljavanje kako bi odgovorile izazovu ovih alarmantnih statistika. Te se usluge uglavnom sastoje od posredovanja pri zapošljavanju kao što su savjetovanje ili povezivanje nezaposlenih sa poslodavcima, te finansijskih poticaja poslodavcima kada zaposle osobu sa evidencije nezaposlenih. Ali obzirom na veličinu i istrajnost problema nezaposlenosti, moraju se koristiti i drugi, efektivniji pristupi, kao nadopuna postojećih praksi. Jedan takav pristup je podugovaranje dijela usluga zapošljavanja sa privatnim agencijama za zapošljavanje.

 

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