History repeats, history rhymes and sometimes history regresses. Wandering through cities and fields in the Middle East and North Africa a thousand years ago, you would have been struck by the…

Torgny Holmgren |

Kazakhstan. Photo: Kubat Sydykov / World Bank How large is the share of public procurement to GDP in middle-income and low-income countries and how it is evolving? If sizable, can public…

Simeon Djankov, Federica Saliola, Asif Islam |

School children in Kingston, Jamaica. Strong public financial management affects all facets of government spending, including education. Photo credit: UN Photo/Milton Grant  Finance ministers,…

Samia Msadek |

We've just launched a new, pilot global subnational population database featuring time series population estimates for 75 countries at the first-level administrative divisions (provinces,…

Dereje Ketema Wolde, Emi Suzuki |

Inequality begins early in life. In the Middle East and North Africa region it begins before birth, as prenatal care is not universal, and continues right through early childhood with different…

Will Stebbins |

The Middle East and North Africa is home to 6% of the world’s population and less than 2% of the world’s renewable water supply. In fact, it is the world’s driest region with 12 of the world’s…

Ghanimah Al-Otaibi |

The most recent data show significant strides in reducing maternal mortality at the national level over the past 20 years.  Improvements in access to maternal health care, especially in skilled…

Haruna Kashiwase |

As countries all across Africa recognize International Day of the African Child today, I thought it would be a timely opportunity to blog about the progress of under-five child mortality rates…

Dereje Ketema Wolde |

New entrants to the working age population in most Middle East and North Africa countries encounter economic structures and policies that have long failed to generate an adequate number of new…

Farrukh Iqbal |

Interview Water is a scarce commodity: we should take care of it. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region there is really very little choice. The region only receives about two percent…

Inger Andersen |