WBI Development Studies
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These studies, sponsored by the World Bank Institute (WBI), seek to improve the understanding and capacity for reform of policymakers and practitioners in developing countries in the main economic and social areas.
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Mexico's Transition to a Knowledge-Based Economy : Challenges and Opportunities(Washington, DC : World Bank, 2008) Kuznetsov, Yevgeny ; Dahlman, Carl J.This book is about how Mexico can transform itself into a knowledge based economy by tapping into a number of existing socioeconomic advantages: macroeconomic stability, emerging regional enterprise clusters that combine local talent with a dynamic private sector, geographical proximity to the world's knowledge economy powerhouse-the United States, as well as a rich cultural base that generates a wealth of ideas. Mexico's transition to a knowledge-based economy provides a broad assessment of the country's readiness to join the global knowledge economy, highlighting the importance of education and institutional reform, and of creating an environment that is conducive to innovation. This transformation, however, is not only about shaping the reform agenda from the top down. It also means trial-and-error experimentation to test what works and what doesn't in the Mexican context, and then taking successful bottom-up initiatives to scale. The book takes a dual approach in its analysis and recommendations. It tackles both the strategic long-term agenda, which entails many difficult changes and choices, while also proposing a diversity of pragmatic, short-and medium-term entry points to initiate and promote the transition within the current institutional structure.
Knowledge and Innovation for Competitiveness in Brazil(Washington, DC : World Bank, 2008) Rodríguez, Alberto ; Dahlman, Carl ; Salmi, JamilBrazil has made considerable progress toward macroeconomic stability since reform measures began to take hold in the early 1990s, and its economy has produced stronger growth as a result an average of 2.5 percent annually over the past decade. This study provides a broad, cross-sectoral analysis of Brazil's capacity for producing knowledge and innovation. As such, it moves beyond the traditional recommendation that is, builds a stable macroeconomic environment and business-friendly physical and policy infrastructure and instead seeks a more comprehensive approach. The fact is that Brazil has delivered some important successes with efforts to develop innovation in agriculture, aerospace and energy. But like other middle-income nations, it is discovering that it must re-evaluate its education system, its information technology infrastructure, and its policy framework for encouraging innovation to ensure that its economy as a whole is growing fast enough to keep up with the global competition while also guaranteeing progress in its fight against poverty. This study was developed in close consultation with Brazilian government and civil society leaders, who are deeply engaged with the question of how to foster innovation and greater economic competitiveness. Indeed, the breadth of the support for this study is a testament to Brazil's pragmatism and perseverance in pursuing more robust growth. It is also a welcome reflection of its continually evolving relationship with the World Bank. Today, Brazil has emerged as a leader of efforts to build South-South cooperation. In this role, it can set an important example for other middle-income nations and act as a bridge between the northern and southern hemispheres.
Leadership and Innovation in Subnational Government : Case Studies from Latin America(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004) Campbell, Tim ; Fuhr, Harald ; Campbell, Tim ; Fuhr, HaraldThis book is about inventing successes and good practices of governments that are "closer to the people." Numerous examples throughout Latin America indicate-often despite macroeconomic instability, high inflation, and strong top-down regulation-that subnational actors have repeatedly achieved what their central counterparts preached: sound policymaking, better administration, better services, more participation, and sustained economic development. But what makes some governments change course and move toward innovation? What triggers experimentation and, eventually, turns ordinary practice into good practice? The book answers some of these questions. It goes beyond a mere documentation of good and best practice, which is increasingly provided through international networks and Internet sites. Instead, it seeks a better understanding of the origins and fates of such successes at the micro level. The case studies and analytical chapters seek to explain: How good practice is born at the local level; Where innovative ideas come from; How such ideas are introduced in a new context, successfully implemented, and propagated locally and beyond; What donors can do to effectively assist processes of self-induced and bottom-up change.