Students at Beijing Bayi High School in China. Photo: World Bank In 1950, the average working-age person in the world had  almost three years of education, but in East Asia and Pacific (EAP), the…

Michael Crawford |

On her daily walk down the muddy road that connects her home with school, Beatriz would sing a cumbia and dream of becoming a professional dancer. However, she would soon find out that her…

Rafael de Hoyos, Natalie O'Connor |

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 |

Geographically, the capital of Solomon Islands, Honiara, is a hilly city, a maze of ridges and valleys. In front of me, concrete steps descend 30 meters down the face of a ridge, winding their way…

Evan Wasuka |

 Photo: Curt Carnemark / World Bank Crises in access to water are making headlines around the world. Among difficult policy pathways to respond, convincing people to change their behavior and…

Laura De Castro Zoratto, Courtney Price Ivins |

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 |

In many countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and in fact around the world, teachers—who play a pivotal role in any effort to improve education quality—have not been officially…

Kamel Braham |

I see it every time I come back to Honiara, Solomon Island’s bustling capital, soon after I arrive.  Young people on the streets, wandering around in groups or by themselves with nothing to do. …

Stephen Close |

A former hotel owner in one of the region’s major cities, who wants to remain anonymous, tells a story that should have had a happy ending. Her 40-room hotel was doing well. It had built a…

Marc Schiffbauer |

What makes smart politicians?  Jeffrey Frankel has an idea.   His recent blog examines the allure, and trap, of universal subsidies.   For one thing, they know that pulling the plug on bad…

Heba Elgazzar |