Other ESW Reports

282 items available

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This includes miscellaneous ESW types and pre-2003 ESW type reports that are subsequently completed and released.

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  • Publication
    Bulgaria - Reforming the regime of states fees
    (World Bank, 2009-06-01) World Bank
    The Government of Bulgaria requested the World Bank to analyze the legal, institutional and administrative framework for setting state fees and provide recommendations based on good international practice. How big is the problem compared to the many other issues the government wants to reform in order to improve the business climate in Bulgaria? So far there are no comprehensive studies of the level of administrative fees in the European Union (EU) area. Such studies would be of great value to assess the magnitude of the problem. There are, however, several arguments in support of reforming the regime of state fees in Bulgaria now. Firstly, business associations in Bulgaria agree also confirmed by a recent unpublished government report - that state fees at the central level became an uncontrolled area in which authorities apply their own judgment and interests without considering the impact on businesses often to the disadvantage of the private sector. Secondly, if the Government of Bulgaria (GoB) does not curb the current regime system, then the trend of increasing state fees will continue or might even gain speed. Again, this will have a negative impact on the cost of doing business. Thirdly, a number of identified state fees are so high that they seriously harm competition by functioning as a barrier to firm entry. Fourthly, the EU requires Member States to implement a specific regime for administrative fees in the services sector by the end of 2009 and Bulgaria does not comply with that yet. A recent World Bank report for Bulgaria Investment Climate Assessment (2008) called for overall reduction of the administrative cost for businesses because Bulgaria is not competitive in this area compared to other Central and Eastern European countries. The report recommended that a strategic policy document is prepared to embrace the administration practice and provide an instrument for classification of the tariffs for the central administration service fees targeting universal reduction of the administrative cost. It also proposed that a special methodology for the classification of the tariffs for the central administrative service fees is developed. The present report is intended to support reform of the regime of state fees.
  • Publication
    Technical Assistance and Training in Integrated Provincial Planning : Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
    (Washington, DC, 2008-12) World Bank
    Traditionally both national and regional development planning in Vietnam has been driven by 'top-down' Central Government social and economic targets based on limited analytical investigation. However, with the advent of the free market economy in Vietnam since the late 1980s, vigorous global economic competitiveness and Vietnam's membership to the World Trade Organization (WTO), changes in national policy in Vietnam have now required a more decentralized approach to development planning based on the preparation of integrated regional development strategies. This change in policy direction requires the application of new and innovative approaches to development planning underpinned by 'best practice' tools and techniques. This new way of planning will more effectively manage current and future investment opportunities at the provincial and regional levels in Vietnam. This report is the culmination of the findings and recommendations of the project over this three month period noting that the training program itself involved a total of 45 participants from relevant provincial government and district level authorities in Quang Nam Province (QNP). Appendix two is a list of participants. It is emphasized that the method of training adopted in this technical assistance project was very interactive, it required individual and group tasks to be completed by participants based on the organization of participants into five teams, nomination of a team leader for each team and regular presentations of team activities to the whole group throughout the training program. The program ran for a total of seven days (7-9 October 2008 and 4-6 November 2008) with a 'report back' workshop session of all participants and other provincial government officials on 7 November 2008.
  • Publication
    Lao PDR Economic Monitor : November 2008
    (World Bank, Vientiane, 2008-11) World Bank
    The Lao PDR economy continues to grow, but at a relatively slower pace as the impacts of the global financial turmoil are starting to be felt. Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to slow in 2008 to about 7 percent as result of the impacts of the global financial crisis. GDP growth is also projected to slow to between 5 and 6 percent in 2009. However, growth remains fairly strong and still driven by the ongoing hydropower projects as well as agro processing industries, construction and other services. The resource sector contributes over 2 percent and non-resource sectors another 5 percent to the growth rate in 2008. In addition to domestic consumption, medium-term growth will be sensitive to changes in global commodity prices (mainly metals and agriculture) as well as to demand and investment from neighboring countries (especially Thailand, China and Vietnam). It reports on recent economic performance (Part I), progress in the implementation of the Government's policy reform agenda (Part II), and donor activities in the relevant reform areas (Part III).
  • Publication
    World Bank Youth Centre Mapping
    (Washington, DC, 2008-08-21) World Bank
    The purpose of this mapping is to identify and survey existing and defunct Youth Centers (YC) in both urban and rural Timor Leste in order to understand the needs of YC's, their perspective on community youth needs and their perception on youth development. A youth centre, or 'centre Juventude' and 'Uma Foin Sae sira', is a physical location where young men and women gather to discuss, coordinate and participate in youth related activities. An YC could be a designated house on church grounds; a room in a school, a Sub District office or a building allocated by the community for the purpose of youth related activities. An YC in Timor Leste may be a modestly resourced house, or a derelict building where young people meet to organize national events, sporting competitions, or computer and language training. Sometimes it is simply be a meeting point 'for empowerment' where elected youth leaders from sucos (villages) and aldeias (hamlets) meet to raise awareness on youth related concerns. The idea of an YC has existed in Timor Leste for many years and has evolved with time. From its beginnings when it was used mainly for cultural and traditional practices, to a place to conduct underground clandestine activities, to what they are today. The survival of the YC is determined by economic factors, but more importantly it is determined by the support of which the community provides. Nowadays, YC's seem to all hold one common objective and that is to strive to deliver a range of diverse activities that attempt to improve the social and economic conditions of youth.
  • Publication
    Romania - Poverty Monitoring Analytical and Advisory Assistance Program : Are the Most Vulnerable Protected?
    (Washington, DC, 2008-06) World Bank
    The rapid economic growth since 2000 has been the main driver of poverty reduction in Romania. However, even under the current positive growth scenario, there are still people who live in poverty, and some who are unlikely to benefit from future growth and thus may continue to be left behind. For these people an effective redistributive social policy and targeted interventions are needed. The purpose of this note is to assist the Ministry of Labor, Family and Equal Opportunities (MLFEO) to analyze and monitor the effectiveness of the main social safety net benefits to fight social exclusion and reduce poverty. To determine the extent to which social transfers offer protection to the poorest groups of the population, the paper uses the last available (2004-2006) rounds of the household budget survey data. The analysis presented here uses the consumption aggregate and the absolute poverty definition presented in the 2003 and 2007 poverty assessments. Three main indicators are used to assess the effectiveness of social protection (SP) programs: coverage (share of population covered by the programs), targeting (share of funds directed to each welfare group of population), and adequacy of benefit (share of the benefit in the consumption of beneficiaries). The paper begins with a review of the main findings, followed by an overview of the social protection system and its overall effectiveness. Then it assesses the main social assistance programs, and concludes with a review of key issues.
  • Publication
    Tunisia's Global Integration : Second Generation of Reforms to Boost Growth and Employment
    (Washington, DC, 2008-05) World Bank
    This report addresses the following issues: Chapter one takes stock of the integration policies implemented since the early 1970s and assessed their impact on foreign direct investments (FDI), exports and employment. Chapter two looks at today's major challenges in the manufacturing sector and the specific policies needed to address them. Chapter three assesses the entry, business, and trade restrictions in Tunisia's key backbone services sectors (telecommunication, banking, air transport, accounting, auditing, and legal services) using a well-focused regulatory questionnaire. The restrictiveness indices calculated from the regulatory questionnaire are then used to benchmark Tunisia against Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and some emerging economies and to simulate the impact of various liberalization options on the price of services and the economy via a multi-region general equilibrium model. Finally, chapter four examines the prospect for increasing exports and off shoring of a large number of services for which Tunisia has demonstrated a strong capacity for export in recent years. The significant increase in real incomes in Tunisia is the result of solid gross domestic product (GDP) growth since the mid-1960s (5 percent a year), low inflation and the demographic transition, faster than in neighboring countries. In 1996-2007, economic growth has exhibited greater resilience to moderate exogenous shocks, thanks to prudent macroeconomic management public debt declined from 62.4 percent in 2001 to 50.9 percent of GDP in 2007 thanks to pro-active debt management. The resulting decline in the debt service since 2005 combined with steady GDP growth allowed the government to 'protect' capital expenditures and key social spending within the context of low but structural fiscal deficit. While the current account remained in deficit over the last 10 years, foreign exchange reserves increased steadily thanks to increasing FDI inflows. In 2007, international reserves increased by US$ 1 billion to US$ 7.8 billion, representing 4.6 months of imports of goods and services.
  • Publication
    Workshop on Strengthening Disability Measurement across South Asian Countries
    (Washington, DC, 2008-04) World Bank
    This report comprises of eleven sessions: introduction; definition of disability - questions for discussion; new thinking on disability measurement; from census to surveys; policy dimensions of disability measurement - Brazil; good questions and bad questions; developing a matrix of functioning; experience pperationalizing surveys with a disability module - Vietnam; training needs; cognitive testing; and policy and politics.
  • Publication
    Lao PDR Economic Monitor, April 2008
    (World Bank, Vientiane, 2008-04) World Bank
    Lao PDR's economic outlook remains favorable, with continued strong growth. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth remained at above 7 percent in 2007. Output expanded in mining, newly emerging processing industries, agriculture, and new construction of hydropower projects, tourism and other services. Non-resource sectors contributed over 5 percent to this growth, and the resource sector around 2.5 percent. As Lao PDR is surrounded by some of the fastest growing economies in the world, it has benefited from increased demands for its products and large FDI inflows from neighboring countries, such as China, Vietnam and Thailand. The macroeconomic situation remained fairly stable, but is at risk of rising inflation. After falling to a record low level of 4.5 percent in 2007, overall inflation climbed to 6.4 percent in February 2008. High fuel prices pushed up the costs of transportation for individuals and households, construction (including imported raw materials and other chemical related products), land clearing and agricultural farming (including processing materials). The kip nominal exchange rates appreciated almost by 9 percent against US$ and was steady against the Thai baht during the last six to months from Oct 2007 to Mar 2008. It reports on recent economic performance (Part I), progress in the implementation of the Government's policy reform agenda (Part II), and donor activities in the relevant reform areas (Part III).
  • Publication
    Enabling East Asian Communities to Drive Local Development
    (Washington, DC, 2007-12-01) Worl
    Local development activities have profound impact on poor people's welfare. Communities and local governments interact closest to where people live and where essential public services are delivered, such as local transport, water supply, health and education. Vibrant local development requires productive, balanced interaction between empowered communities and capable and accountable local governments. For this interface to function best, well-organized, well-informed communities demand development results, holding local authorities to account and, through participation in decisions and oversight of public service delivery, ensure that those authorities remain effective and open to citizen input. In tandem, local governments supply the capacity to deliver services, reliable resources and a desire to meet local citizens' needs. As a vision for local development, the supply of and demand for effective and responsive government are well-matched. In section one, this report lays out the scope of CDD operations in East Asia and presents three frameworks for organizing them: according to local government context, sectoral scope, and primary development objectives. Organizing six results hypotheses according to a generic CDD results template; section two presents available evidence from East Asia's CDD experience. And section three summarizes lessons learned from this flagship effort.
  • Publication
    Lao PDR Economic Monitor, November 2007
    (World Bank, Vientiane, 2007-11) World Bank
    The information presented in the Lao Economic Monitor covers economic developments that have occurred in Lao PDR in the last six months (between May and October 2007). It reports on recent economic performance (Part I), progress in the implementation of the Government's policy reform agenda (Part II), and donor activities in the relevant reform areas (Part III). The report points out that Lao PDR macroeconomic performance continues to be strong, and the impact of resource sector is increasing. Real GDP growth continued to be robust at 7.6 percent in 2006 and is expected to remain above 7 percent in 2007. Manufacturing and other non-resource sectors continued to grow moderately, contributing around 5 percentage points of the above growth. However, other significant part of economic growth was contributed by the resource sectors, especially by the expansion of copper extraction and construction of large hydropower projects.