Development Policy Review

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  • Publication
    Vietnam Development Report 2010 : Modern Institutions
    (World Bank, 2009-12-04) World Bank
    Institutions are not buildings or organizations, they are the rules by which citizens, firms, and the state interact. The photographs that grace the cover of this Vietnam Development Report (VDR) 2010 epitomize modern institutions. The settings may not appear modern, but the activities they represent are cutting edge, and are transforming Vietnam. Local level planning with the active engagement of citizens. Monitoring of public works by citizens groups. Efficient administrative services with the citizen as the client. Legal advice being provided to citizens. Professional media coverage of important events. These are the roots which feed the growth of a modern, open, and high-performing society. This VDR focuses on devolution and accountability, two aspects of modern institutions that are the essence of Vietnam's experience in the past two decades. At the risk of over-simplifying, this VDR distinguishes between two types of accountability, upward accountability focusing on compliance with rules, dictates, and instructions coming from within the hierarchy, and downward accountability focusing on the results that the person or body is entrusted to deliver. A person or body concerned with upward accountability emphasizes adherence to rules. Those concerned with downward accountability serve their clients. Both forms of accountability are needed. Vietnam's devolution has shown many positive results. Competition among the provinces is driving them to improve their business environments. Eased entry for non-state providers of services and greater autonomy for the management of state facilities are supporting innovation and increasing the variety of services.
  • Publication
    China : Mid-Term Evaluation of China's Eleventh Five-Year
    (World Bank, 2009-01-01) World Bank
    This mid-term review has been undertaken to assess progress in the implementation of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan (11th 5YP) during its first two years and a half, draw preliminary lessons, and make recommendations for policy adjustments. The review examines the following strategic objectives: ensuring the stable operation of the macro economy and improving living standards; optimizing and upgrading of industrial structure; increasing energy efficiency; coordinating urban and rural development; improving basic public services; and enhancing sustainable development. Domestically, natural disasters-the severe storms, winter and the massive earthquake in Sichuan-took a heavy toll. Externally, global demand has slowed owing to the slump in the United States (U.S.) housing market and the related credit crisis and increased risk aversion. International oil, food, and other commodity prices have soared. These developments pose new challenges. But they also reinforce the appropriateness of the policy priorities of the 11th 5YP to increase the economy's resilience and ensure sustainable growth. The objectives and tasks set out in the 5YP are consistent with China's development challenges and government priorities Moreover, the quantitative indicators generally accord well with the overall guiding principles, orientations, and objectives, suggesting that these have been successfully put into operation.
  • Publication
    Guinea : Development Policy Review
    (Washington, DC, 2008-10) World Bank
    Following a decade of relatively strong growth, Guinea's economic performance weakened beginning in 2000. During 1992-1999, growth averaged 4.4 percent a year as the Government implemented a program of economic reforms aimed at liberalizing its economy and improving the environment for private sector investment. With a tightening of financial policies over the 1990s, inflation reached single digits by the late 1990s and the fiscal deficit averaged just over 3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second half of the 1990s. However, since 2000 growth slowed to an average of 2.8 percent a year and inflation increased to 39 by 2006. Guinea's worsening economic performance since 2000 reflects a weaker policy framework and exogenous shocks. Macroeconomic policies were relaxed, as fiscal policy was loosened and monetary policy became highly accommodative. Government revenues from the mining sector dropped, despite a recovery in the price of bauxite-Guinea's most important export. Also, a heightened level of regional insecurity and a resulting considerable influx of refugees in Guinea put pressure on government expenditures. As a result, the fiscal deficit rose to an average of 5 percent of GDP in 2000-2004. An accommodative monetary policy led to double digit inflation and a crowding out of credit to the private sector. A concomitant slowdown in the implementation of economic reforms, coupled with increased uncertainty in the political climate and deteriorating quality of public institutions, contributed to the slowdown in economic activity.
  • Publication
    Egypt - Development Policy Review
    (Washington, DC, 2008-05) World Bank
    This development policy review finds ample evidence that Egypt has prospered as a consequence of giving the economy a greater market orientation. While favorable global conditions have helped, the structural changes over the last two decades have been an essential ingredient for Egypt's success. Productivity has risen more in segments of the economy where the private sector s share in investment and output grew most. Empirical estimates done for this report suggest that each dollar of private investment contributed four times more to output than a dollar of public investment, reflecting in part the poor choice and maintenance of public investment. Consequently, further increases in output, incomes and productivity may be expected from the recently rising share of private investment in the total. Public sector productivity has also increased in recent years, reflecting in part the increased importance of state owned firms in petroleum and natural gas. Egypt's economic growth is also now more closely correlated with that of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries magnified by a factor of 1.25, and volatility has declined. This results from many links, not just the direct effect of oil and gas.
  • Publication
    Yemen - Development Policy Review
    (Washington, DC, 2008-04) World Bank
    Yemen is the second poorest country in the Middle East and North Africa region, with 42 percent of its population counted as poor in 1998. GDP has stagnated at around US$530 per capita in real terms since 2002. Unemployment, estimated at 11.5 percent in 1999, is expected to have worsened as the population has climbed at 3 percent a year and the labor force has burgeoned. Extreme gender inequalities persist. Malnutrition is so severe that Yemeni children suffer the world's second worst stunting in growth. And natural resources are increasingly constrained. Two-thirds of Yemen's known oil reserves were depleted by 2003, and production has already begun to decline and will plummet by 2012 if no new reserves are discovered. Freshwater is also increasingly scarce: per capita availability in Yemen is about 2 percent of the world average and projected to diminish by a third in the next 20 years because of the expected increase in population. Compounding these economic, social, and resource problems are Yemen's policy and institutional failings, which have prompted donors to cut aid. Yemen received a meager US$13 in development assistance per capita in 2004. In 2005, the Development Assistance Committee cut International Development Association (IDA) 14 (2006-08) allocations to Yemen by nearly a third, and the U.S. government's Millennium Challenge Corporation suspended Yemen's eligibility for assistance because of its worsening corruption, regulatory quality, and fiscal policies. The main challenges to Yemen's growth are the impending rapid decline in oil revenues, the weak capacity of governance institutions, the pressures of high population growth, and the worsening scarcity of freshwater. The country has yet to come to grips with the imminent oil decline and its consequences. The Government is concerned about governance problems and is recently attempting to speed up reforms. The last two challenges-high population growth and water crisis- are long recognized by the government, but reforms have been slow.
  • Publication
    Development and Climate Change: A Strategic Framework for the World Bank Group - Technical Report
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008) World Bank; International Finance Corporation; Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
    This strategic framework serves to guide and support the operational response of the World Bank Group (WBG) to new development challenges posed by global climate change. Unabated, climate change threatens to reverse hard-earned development gains. The poorest countries and communities will suffer the earliest and the most. Yet they depend on actions by other nations, developed and developing. While climate change is an added cost and risk to development, a well-designed and implemented global climate policy can also bring new economic opportunities to developing countries. Climate change demands unprecedented global cooperation involving a concerted action by countries at different development stages supported by "measurable, reportable, and verifiable" transfer of finance and technology to developing countries. Trust of developing countries in equity and fairness of a global climate policy and neutrality of the supporting institutions is critical for such cooperation to succeed. Difficulties with mobilizing resources for achieving the millennium development goals and with agreeing on global agricultural trade underscore the political challenges. The framework will help the WBG maintain the effectiveness of its core mission of supporting growth and poverty reduction. While recognizing added costs and risks of climate change and an evolving global climate policy. The WBG top priority will be to build collaborative relations with developing country partners and provide them customized demand-driven support through its various instruments from financing to technical assistance to constructive advocacy. It will give considerable attention to strengthening resilience of economies and communities to increasing climate risks and adaptation. The operational focus will be on improving knowledge and capacity, including learning by doing. The framework will guide operational programs of WBG entities to support actions whose benefits to developing countries are robust under significant uncertainties about future climate policies and impacts-actions that have "no regrets."
  • Publication
    Development and Climate Change: A Strategic Framework for the World Bank Group
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008) World Bank; International Finance Corporation; Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
    This strategic framework serves to guide and support the operational response of the World Bank Group (WBG) to new development challenges posed by global climate change. Unabated, climate change threatens to reverse hard-earned development gains. The poorest countries and communities will suffer the earliest and the most. Yet they depend on actions by other nations, developed and developing. While climate change is an added cost and risk to development, a well-designed and implemented global climate policy can also bring new economic opportunities to developing countries. Climate change demands unprecedented global cooperation involving a concerted action by countries at different development stages supported by "measurable, reportable, and verifiable" transfer of finance and technology to developing countries. Trust of developing countries in equity and fairness of a global climate policy and neutrality of the supporting institutions is critical for such cooperation to succeed. Difficulties with mobilizing resources for achieving the millennium development goals and with agreeing on global agricultural trade underscore the political challenges. The framework will help the WBG maintain the effectiveness of its core mission of supporting growth and poverty reduction. While recognizing added costs and risks of climate change and an evolving global climate policy. The WBG top priority will be to build collaborative relations with developing country partners and provide them customized demand-driven support through its various instruments from financing to technical assistance to constructive advocacy. It will give considerable attention to strengthening resilience of economies and communities to increasing climate risks and adaptation. The operational focus will be on improving knowledge and capacity, including learning by doing. The framework will guide operational programs of WBG entities to support actions whose benefits to developing countries are robust under significant uncertainties about future climate policies and impacts-actions that have "no regrets."
  • Publication
    Assessing the Environmental, Forest, and Other Natural Resource Aspects of Development Policy Lending: A World Bank Toolkit
    (Washington, DC, 2008) World Bank
    The operations policy on Development Policy Lending (DPL), approved by the Board in August 2004, requires that the Bank systematically analyze whether specific country policies supported by an operation are likely to have "significant effects" on the country's environment, forests, and other natural resources. The implicit objective behind this requirement is to ensure that there is adequate capacity in the country to deal with adverse effects on the environment, forests, and other natural resources that the policies could trigger, even at the program design stage. DPL operations are associated with a whole array of policies such as macro policy reforms, fiscal policies, and specific sectoral policies, particularly in key sectors such as agriculture, health and education, energy, etc. In some cases, the operation may deal directly with reforms in certain environmentally sensitive sectors such as energy, transport, water and sanitation, agriculture, and forestry. In these cases, there is an obvious need for careful analysis of environmental, natural resource, and forestry impacts. In other cases, such as public sector reform and governance, there is less potential for likely significant impacts on the natural environment and natural resources. The toolkit is designed to be concise and user-friendly. It consists of three specific modules. The first module identifies relevant transmission channels through which the proposed reform would have a likely effect on the identified environmental, forest, and other natural resource priorities. The second module provides assistance in identifying key environmental issues in the country, regions, or sectors likely to be influenced by the DPL program. The third module presents different tools and methodologies for rapid assessment of the likely significant effects of each reform.
  • Publication
    Our Commitment : The World Bank's Africa Region HIV/AIDS Agenda for Action 2007-2011
    (Washington, DC, 2007-11) World Bank
    The World Bank is committed to support sub-Sahara Africa in responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This Agenda for Action is a road map for Bank management and staff over the next five years to fulfill that commitment. It focuses on mainstreaming HIV/AIDS activities into broader national development agendas as a critical aspect of economic growth and human capacity development. In preparing the Agenda for Action, consultations have been carried out over several months with a broad constituency, including countries, donors, communities and nonprofit organizations.
  • Publication
    Our commitment : The World Bank's Africa Region HIV/AIDS Agenda for Action 2007-2011
    (Washington, DC, 2007-06-24) World Bank
    The World Bank is committed to support sub-Sahara Africa in responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This Agenda for Action is a road map for Bank management and staff over the next five years to fulfill that commitment. It focuses on mainstreaming HIV/AIDS activities into broader national development agendas as a critical aspect of economic growth and human capacity development. In preparing the Agenda for Action, consultations have been carried out over several months with a broad constituency, including countries, donors, communities and nonprofit organizations.