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Drivers of Corruption : A Brief Review

November 13, 2014 Comments off

Drivers of Corruption : A Brief Review
Source: World Bank

Corruption is motivated by the possibility of securing something of value for oneself and one’s allies. The desire to secure benefits is a human trait and generally positive for development; various forms of rewards drive humans to get up in the morning, do a good job, and act responsibly. The discussion now turns to the opportunity to secure more benefits than are entitled to within the existing rules of the game ; specifically, the opportunity to grab at the expense of society. A decision maker has the authority to influence an outcome that matters to the briber. For steering a decision in the briber s direction, the decision maker is compensated with a bribe. The steered decision and the bribe now become assets that usually exceed what at least one of the players would have obtained without the corrupt act. The opportunity to seize assets through some form of power misuse differs across sectors, organizations, and decision-making situations. This chapter describes the circumstances in which the risk of corruption is particularly high in other words, where the drivers of corruption can be found.

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Categories: ethics, governance, World Bank

World Bank: End of Boom Doesn’t Have to Mean a Bust for the Poor in Latin America

November 5, 2014 Comments off

World Bank: End of Boom Doesn’t Have to Mean a Bust for the Poor in Latin America
Source: World Bank

During the recent commodity boom, Latin America and the Caribbean proved that growth could be pro-poor and help fuel tremendous social progress. Now as growth slows regionally and beyond, it is critical to consider what will shore up economic activity while ensuring the poor won’t stay behind.

In its latest semiannual report, Inequality in a Lower Growth Latin America, the World Bank´s Office of the Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean forecasts an average 1.2 percent rate of growth for 2014 with a rebound to 2.2 percent in 2015. This deceleration comes with a difference.

“In terms of equity, the simple fact that Latin America today is not the Latin America of the 1980s or 1990s, is already a good news story,” said Augusto de la Torre, World Bank Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean. “For the first time in recent history, the region is no longer following a boom-bust cycle of the type that used to set the economy back for many years, hurting the poor the most.”

Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency

October 30, 2014 Comments off

Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency
Source: World Bank

Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency, a World Bank Group flagship publication, is the 12th in a series of annual reports measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 189 economies—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe—and over time.

Doing Business measures regulations affecting 11 areas of the life of a business. Ten of these areas are included in this year’s ranking on the ease of doing business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. Doing Business also measures labor market regulation, which is not included in this year’s ranking.

Data in Doing Business 2015 are current as of June 1, 2014. The indicators are used to analyze economic outcomes and identify what reforms of business regulation have worked, where and why. This year’s report introduces a notable expansion of several indicator sets and a change in the calculation of rankings.

Russia Economic Report 32: Policy Uncertainty Clouds Medium-Term Prospects

October 29, 2014 Comments off

Russia Economic Report 32: Policy Uncertainty Clouds Medium-Term Prospects
Source: World Bank

Russia’s economy is stagnating. Increasing uncertainty has impacted investor and consumer decisions. There are substantial risks to Russia’s medium-term outlook. Economic recovery will need a predictable policy environment and a new model of diversified development. Prospects for further poverty reduction and shared prosperity are limited.

Global Monitoring Report 2014/2015 : Ending Poverty and Sharing Prosperity

October 11, 2014 Comments off

Global Monitoring Report 2014/2015 : Ending Poverty and Sharing Prosperity
Source: World Bank

The Global Monitoring Report 2014/2015 will, for the first time, monitor and report on the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity, while continuing to track progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

This Global Monitoring Report examines how a select set of policies in the areas of human capital and the environment can create jobs and make development more inclusive and sustainable, while highlighting how social assistance policies can help end poverty and improve growth prospects. It discusses most of these issues across a full spectrum of countries. This means the Report not only addresses low- and middle-income countries but also, for the first time, includes a discussion of high-income countries as well.

The Report will contain quantitative information about the World Bank Group’s twin goals: It will provide an assessment on how far the world has to go to end extreme poverty by 2030 and how much of prosperity has been shared with the bottom 40 percent of a country’s population.

The report is prepared in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The World Bank Group A to Z

October 7, 2014 Comments off

The World Bank Group A to Z
Source: World Bank

The World Bank Group (also known as the “Bank Group”) is the largest anti-poverty institution in the world, offering loans, advice, knowledge, and an array of customized resources to more than 100 developing countries and countries in transition. Established in 1944 and headquartered in Washington DC, the Bank Group is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is made up of 188 member countries. It works with country governments, the private sector, civil society organizations (CSOs), regional development banks, think tanks, and other international institutions on a range of issues—from climate change, conflict, and food crises to education, agriculture, finance, and trade—with the sole purpose of meeting two goals: ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity of the bottom 40 percent of the population in all developing countries.

The World Bank Group A to Z provides ready-reference insight into the history, mission, organization, policies, financial services, and knowledge products of the institution’s five agencies. Each of the more than 200 entries are arranged in encyclopedic A-to-Z format and are extensively cross-referenced to related information in the book. This volume also has a detailed index, reference materials on World Bank Group country membership, organizational charts of the five agencies, and information about how to connect with or work for the institution.

Building on previous editions of A Guide to the World Bank, The World Bank Group A to Z has been completely revised and updated to reflect the wide ranging reforms of recent years, including the new World Bank Group Strategy; new approaches to development assistance; the establishment of new Global Practice Groups and Cross Cutting Solutions Areas; and the goal of becoming a “Solutions Bank”, one that will marshal the vast reserves of evidence and experiential knowledge across the five World Bank Group agencies and apply them to local problems.

An indispensable guide for anyone interested in understanding what the World Bank Group does and how it does it, this book shows readers who want to learn more where to begin.

Categories: World Bank

Technology-enabled Public Libraries Can Help Improve the Quality of Life of the Rural Elderly

September 29, 2014 Comments off

Technology-enabled Public Libraries Can Help Improve the Quality of Life of the Rural Elderly
Source: World Bank

Over the past 40 years, China’s population has been aging at a rate that took more than 100 years in developed countries. In 2010, the number of people over 60 years old reached 178 million in China, accounting for almost a quarter of the world’s total. Many older citizens in China’s rural areas have found themselves increasingly isolated as their younger relatives migrated to the cities. Few older citizens in rural areas use the Internet. But advances in connectivity, including rapidly improving Internet services in rural areas, offer opportunities for greater development and participation in society of the rural elderly.

The World Bank in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been supporting Chinese government’s efforts to improve access to information and communication technologies (ICT) and related services for enhancing the lives of rural residents. As a part of the initiative, a study was recently undertaken to assess the potential of enhancing ICT usage among older people in China and examine the feasibility of leveraging public libraries and library-like institutions to serve as venues to foster digital and social inclusion of senior citizens and improve their well-being. Findings from the report were compiled into a report entitled Fostering a digitally inclusive aging society in China: the potential of public libraries.

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