Other ESW Reports

293 items available

Permanent URI for this collection

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

Items in this collection

Now showing 1 - 10 of 12
  • 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
    Indonesia : Selected Fiscal Issues in a New Era
    (Washington, DC, 2003-02-14) World Bank
    Despite the substantial progress in managing its fiscal challenges post-1997 financial crisis, Indonesia's risks to the budget have not disappeared, though the Government continues to be committed to fiscal consolidation. While debt sustainability is improving, the budget remains vulnerable to shocks, and, large non-discretionary spending (interest payments, transfers to the regions, personnel spending) still constrain the use of fiscal policy for macroeconomic stabilization, and social risk protection, and, as the fiscal situation improves, and decentralization proceeds, a rethinking of resource allocation becomes necessary. This report assesses Indonesia's progress in dealing with challenges that have altered the fiscal system since the crisis, and reviews options for fiscal consolidation, as well as sectoral issues in the new decentralized environment, including public expenditure management reforms. Suggestions include an increased revenue mobilization to make the budget more risk proof, and an improved tax administration, rather than streamlining the tax structure alone, while the Government's decision to eliminate the fuel subsidy remains critical for fiscal consolidation (which has little social implications). Moreover, the large interest payments burden incurred during the crisis, is crowding out development spending, and similarly, increased transfers to local governments are limiting discretionary spending (which could be accompanied by a decrease in central development spending in areas of regional responsibilities). A refinement of the budget management system is necessary, where the Finance Law would be instrumental in establishing accountability between the Executive, and Parliament.
  • Publication
    India's Transport Sector : The Challenges Ahead, Volume 2. Background papers
    (Washington, DC, 2002-05-10) World Bank
    India's transport system--especially surface transport--is seriously deficient, and its services are highly inefficient by international standards. The economic losses from congestion and poor roads are estimated at 120 to 300 billion rupees a year. This report takes a critical assessment of the key policy and institutional issues that continue to contribute to the poor performance of the transport sector in India. After an introduction, Chapter 2 provides an overview of rapid demand change and poor supply response, and the resulting adverse impacts on the Indian economy and society. Chapter 3 examines the causes of poor supply response by focusing on four major problems: unclear responsibilities, inadequate resource mobilization, poor asset management, and inadequate imposition of accountability. Chapter 4 reviews recent reforms and lessons learned. Chapter 5 proposes short to medium term actions for each of the main transport subsectors. Three factors make it particularly opportune time for India to expedite transport reform: 1) Initial reform momentum has been built up. 2) There is a growing consensus within India that transport should be managed as an economic sector. 3) There are many successful models for transport reform from around the world. The resistance to reform should be overcome considering the high cost of slow or inadequate action to the Indian economy and society.
  • Publication
    Romania : Local Social Services Delivery Study, Volume 1. Summary Report
    (Washington, DC, 2002-01-16) World Bank
    The study seeks to identify institutional, and procedural factors which may facilitate, or hamper the effectiveness of social services, and inter-governmental fiscal arrangements. Based on existing research on decentralization, the success of decentralized service delivery depends on factors, that include the quality of intergovernmental institutions, a stable fiscal framework, and a well established civil society, and social structure. The study focuses on public social services, where local governments play the greatest role, and, throughout the report, the greatest emphasis is on social assistance benefits, and services, addressing those cash benefits which are delivered, and financed by local governments, including national programs such as birth grants, emergency assistance, and the main poverty alleviation program. In education, the study focuses on compulsory, and secondary education, though it does not address specialized secondary education, which is under the purview of central ministries. The study comprises two volumes: volume 1 provides an overview of the issues, summarizes major findings, and presents policy options; volume 2 includes the detailed discussion, and analysis, and presents the empirical underpinnings of the report. The study finds that fiscal decentralization of poverty alleviation benefits, has undermined its effectiveness, and eroded social safety nets; thus the government is preparing the Minimum Income Guarantee Program Law to centralize financing of social assistance cash benefits. And, education seems to be the policy area with greatest potential for further decentralization, suggesting a careful capacity evaluation to decide whether to attain complete autonomy.
  • Publication
    Romania : Local Social Services Delivery Study, Volume 2. Main Report
    (Washington, DC, 2002-01-16) World Bank
    The study seeks to identify institutional, and procedural factors which may facilitate, or hamper the effectiveness of social services, and inter-governmental fiscal arrangements. Based on existing research on decentralization, the success of decentralized service delivery depends on factors, that include the quality of intergovernmental institutions, a stable fiscal framework, and a well established civil society, and social structure. The study focuses on public social services, where local governments play the greatest role, and, throughout the report, the greatest emphasis is on social assistance benefits, and services, addressing those cash benefits which are delivered, and financed by local governments, including national programs such as birth grants, emergency assistance, and the main poverty alleviation program. In education, the study focuses on compulsory, and secondary education, though it does not address specialized secondary education, which is under the purview of central ministries. The study comprises two volumes: volume 1 provides an overview of the issues, summarizes major findings, and presents policy options; volume 2 includes the detailed discussion, and analysis, and presents the empirical underpinnings of the report. The study finds that fiscal decentralization of poverty alleviation benefits, has undermined its effectiveness, and eroded social safety nets; thus the government is preparing the Minimum Income Guarantee Program Law to centralize financing of social assistance cash benefits. And, education seems to be the policy area with greatest potential for further decentralization, suggesting a careful capacity evaluation to decide whether to attain complete autonomy.
  • Publication
    Armenia : Growth Challenges and Government Policies, Volume 1. Main Conclusions and Recommendations
    (Washington, DC, 2001-11-30) World Bank
    This report reviews growth trends in Armenia for the period 1994-2000, outlines major weaknesses of existing development patterns, and suggests a package of policy recommendations designed to accelerate enterprise restructuring, attract investment, and encourage the creation of new businesses in the medium term (three to five years). Such steps are needed to systain (and preferably to increase) the current growth rates, to stop emigration among the young and skilled, and to reduce poverty. The government needs to focus much more clearly on generating the environment for private sector led growth by removing bottlenecks in policies, infrastructure, and institutions that prevent new private businesses from flourishing. International aid donors can help by supporting the removal of administrative barriers for investments, the rehabilitation of infrastructure, and the creation of "restructuring agencies" that will enable firms in key sectors to overcome or avoid common constraints to business growth in Armenia. Successful restructuring by such firms should have a demonstration effect on the country's economy and help consolidate public support for moving forward the program of reform begun a decade ago.
  • Publication
    Indonesia : The Imperative for Reform
    (Washington, DC, 2001-11) World Bank
    In the one hundred days since assuming office, the new administration of Megawati Soekarnoputri has made little progress on structural and governance reforms. The events of September 11 and the slowdown in the global economy worsened the investment climate in Indonesia, adding to the government's already formidable array of challenges. Indonesia's recovery has lagged behind its neighbors and over half its population vulnerable to poverty, more than any other crisis country. Moreover, its fragile banking and corporate sectors, and the precarious state of its government finances, make the country highly vulnerable to risks--with immediate implications for fiscal sustainability. Donors need to be realistic about what is feasible, given strong vested interests, severe institutional weaknesses, the uncertainties arising from decentralization, and a turbulent transition to democracy. Progress is most needed in the key areas of structural reforms, good governance, and empowering and investing in the poor. Together with fiscal sustainability, they are consistent with the premise that stability, growth, and effective government are the key ingredients for long-lasting and sustainable poverty reduction.
  • Publication
    Thailand : Country Development Partnership for Competitiveness
    (Washington, DC, 2001-06-13) World Bank
    Competitiveness has emerged as a key issue confronting policymakers in Thailand. The Government's reform program will be extended by explicitly incorporating into the competitiveness framework measures that address the remaining constraints on competitiveness. The three critical areas that could constrain Thailand's medium term competitiveness include: 1) The need to strengthen the knowledge base--addressing the skills gap, and improving quality and coverage of education; mainstreaming information technology; and enhancing science and technological capability. 2) The need to modernize the infrastructure regulatory framework to improve the efficiency and delivery of public services. A modern and efficient physical infrastructure will help to reduce the cost associated with infrastructure bottlenecks faced by Thai firms. 3) The need to further improve the business environment and enhance competition--corporate governance, trade and investment regimes, competition policy--so that scarce labor and capital can be utilized in the most productive sectors. In addition, an appropriate macroeconomic environment, by signaling the right relative prices (domestic interest rates and exchange rates), will enable Thai firms to respond to emerging market trends.
  • Publication
    Czech Republic : Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in the Transition
    (Washington, DC, 2001-05) World Bank
    The study presents an overview of the most relevant, current intergovernmental fiscal issues in the Czech Republic, centered on the options available to prod policy planning. The fragmentation at the lowest tier of government is the most striking feature of the administrative structure, thus suggesting a strategic direction for further administrative reforms to sustain fiscal decentralization, by empowering territorial self-governing units, through meaningful autonomy, through the establishment of a multilevel government coordinating body, for the definition of autonomous functions on expenditures, and revenues, and, by creating financial, and legal incentives, to facilitate an asymmetric assignment of revenue, and expenditure. Specific policy actions to clarify responsibilities of the strategic direction for expenditure assignments should include institutional inter-governmental cooperation, and dialogue, through a broad based commission to recommend regional expenditures, and, the Budget Rules Law should be amended to preempt unfounded mandates to local governments. Revenue autonomy should be boosted by increasing predictability of local budgets, through structural policy parameters, restoring tax-effort incentives, and, reviewing the adopted adjustment coefficient for tax-sharing distribution; while a rationalized transfer system, should focus on decreasing the number of specific subsidies, prioritizing programs to stabilize transfers within a medium-term expenditure framework, including the evaluation of a separate Fiscal Equalization Fund to reduce regional fiscal disparities. Institutional framework, and prudential rules would ensure fiscally responsible borrowing, and encourage a competitive financial market.
  • Publication
    Kosovo, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia : Economic and Social Reforms for Peace and Reconciliation
    (Washington, DC, 2001-02-01) World Bank
    The report discusses the principal economic, and social reform policy tasks, Kosovo is facing, following the decade-long losses due to civic exclusion of a major part of its ethnic population, the absence of investments, and the neglect of physical, and human capital, a period which culminated in the 1999 conflict. It intends to inform on the framework of the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo, i.e., the consolidation of peace, by fostering social reconciliation, towards achieving sustainable economic growth in the province. The key challenges to the political economy address: 1) the formulation of a sustainable budget, increasingly financed through local taxation, hence, with reduced reliance on external donor support. Fiscal institutions need to be developed to ensure efficient public spending; 2) the establishment of trade liberalization, and a customs regime, to increase the potential for growth, and exports, allowing as well to benefit from the arrangements fostered by the Stability Pact, and the European Union; 3) the use of hard currency for internal transactions, and savings, and, the development of a strategy for banking sector development; and, 4) the creation of a reformed framework to encourage growth, by stimulating private enterprise development. Moreover, three aspects of social policy call for: an education policy at par with competitor countries; health policy that strengthens health care delivery, and addresses the effects of recent social traumas; and, social protection regarding a highly vulnerable population.