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Romanian migrants can make a difference back home

Donato De Rosa's picture


Beautiful, newly-erected houses in an otherwise deserted place. There couldn’t be a better image for the effects of Romanian emigration, which the World Bank has analyzed in a recently published report.

If you are wondering who owns the ghost houses, you only have to look at the sheer number of Romanians living and working abroad - between 3 and 5 million according to some estimates or 3.6 million, according to the UN (2017). Of these, 2.7 million are of working age, equivalent to a staggering 20.6 percent of Romania’s working age population!

Why it’s important to look beyond averages when it comes to Malaysia’s development

Richard Record's picture
As Malaysia moves closer towards achieving high-income country status, it is important to be aware of the broader aspects of development that are not captured by GDP growth. 
(Photo: Getty Images/Anadolu Agency)

Malaysia is a remarkable country by many metrics, highlighted by the Growth Commission as one of the world’s fastest growing economies. It has transformed itself from a low-income, agriculture-oriented economy, to a modern, trade-oriented one that is on the cusp of reaching high-income status within the next few years. To most economists, especially those looking from the outside, Malaysia appears to be doing very well. Growth is strong, at 5.9% last year and projected at 5.4% this year. Inflation is low, at just 1.8% in May 2018, and incomes are high, approaching the magic US$12,055 threshold that marks an exit from the middle-income status that so many see as a trap.

How Can MENA Escape the Middle-Income Trap?

Ferid Belhaj's picture

 
For developing countries, achieving middle-income status is both a blessing and a curse. While extreme poverty and deprivation have been overcome, what typically follows is a growth slowdown that, historically, has made further progress toward high-income levels exceedingly rare. That has certainly been the case for the largely middle-income countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). But is there a way out?

Disability inclusion? Or disability as a market in aging cities?

Maitreyi Bordia Das's picture
 

This last May in Tokyo, we talked about demographic transitions and aging cities, in a week-long discussion with city leaders from around the world.  Although we saw the opportunities that arise from having large numbers of elderly persons in cities, we also focused on the numerous challenges, many of which are grounded in age-related disability – both physical and cognitive.  We had expected that the conversation would be as our flagship report on social inclusion, Inclusion Matters: The Foundation for Shared Prosperity, puts it – about “including” the elderly into markets, services, and spaces following our framework.

Enter Rich Donovan, with a riveting talk that stood our assumptions on their heads.  Rich argued that persons with disability are a market.  They are an opportunity. And that there is an economic “return on disability.”  If we build and design having persons with disabilities in mind, we are in fact creating public goods.  In short, and as Rich has said elsewhere - this new vision of disability “transforms efforts of charity into the world’s largest emerging market”.

I got a chance to talk to Rich in Tokyo. Among other things, I asked him whether “social inclusion” is too arcane, or even too limiting an idea for the revolutionary take that he has on disability.

Rich’s book “Unleash Different” will be out in September 2018. We look forward to continuing the conversation with Rich about the return on disability. Meanwhile, watch this video in full, and leave a comment to share your thoughts, as world leaders gather in London for the Global Disability Summit.

Reconciling quality and scale—Online education’s big challenge

Juliana Guaqueta Ospina's picture
Higher education students in Bogota, Colombia.

Guest blog by: Juliana Guaqueta Ospina, an Education Specialist at the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group.

Watching my two-year-old daughter progress from baby words to full sentences, I am already wondering who she will want to be as an adult and what kind of higher education she will need. From my role at IFC, part of the World Bank Group, I see a fast-changing education landscape. Online learning, a $165 billion industry that is growing by 5 percent a year, as reported at IFC’s Global Private Education conference in Cape Town in April, has the potential to be a big disruptor and gamechanger.

When the moment comes, will she choose a traditional, campus-based university, one with a ‘stage on the stage’ imparting words of wisdom to an array of students in a large lecture hall? Or will this model have been made obsolete by the Digital Revolution? Based on trends I observe, I am willing to wager that the campus-based university will still be around. Teachers are too important to go without. However, course curricula are rapidly integrating more online learning elements.

Unveiling new paths to create more Jobs for the Poor

Maria Laura Sanchez Puerta's picture
Onion field in Northern Côte d’Ivoire - Photo by Raphaela Karlen / World Bank
One out of ten people in the world —around 766 million people— still lived below the extreme poverty line in 2013. Most of them, 80 percent, live in rural areas and have very low productivity jobs. Improving jobs and earnings opportunities for these poor and vulnerable workers is at the core of the World Bank Group agenda and it requires holistic economic inclusion initiatives to move them into sustainable livelihoods. Could we get the best of both the poverty-targeted and the growth-oriented programs and create a new generation of economic inclusion programs?
 

The future of public procurement in the era of digitalization

Yolanda Tayler's picture
Photo: World Bank

Why digitize public procurement?

Many countries have an opportunity to digitally transform public procurement systems to achieve enhanced efficiency, accountability, transparency, and participation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Digitally transforming public procurement would also accelerate national development objectives, such as enhancing public service delivery, developing human capital and the private sector, and gender empowerment.

Development of Kosovo’s digital economy

Natalija Gelvanovska-Garcia's picture



















Perhaps no one has formulated the importance of high-speed, reliable, and affordable broadband better than Matt Dunn, from the Hill, who noted that broadband is a village or small town’s lifeline out of geographic isolation, its connection to business software and services, and its conduit for exporting homegrown ideas and products.

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