World Bank Country Studies
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Country Studies are published with approval of the subject government to communicate the results of the Bank's work on the economic and related conditions of member countries to governments and to the development community. This series as been superseded by the World Bank Studies series.
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Afghanistan : State Building, Sustaining Growth, and Reducing Poverty(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2005) World BankAfghanistan has come a long way since emerging from major conflict in late 2001. Important political milestones mandated by the Bonn Agreement (two Loya Jirgas, a new Constitution, recently the Presidential election) have been achieved. The economy has recovered strongly, growing by nearly 50 percent cumulatively in the last two years (not including drugs). Some three million internally- and externally-displaced Afghans have returned to their country/home.More than four million children, a third of them girls, are in school, and immunization campaigns have achieved considerable success. The Government has supported good economic performance by following prudent macroeconomic policies; it has begun to build capacity and has developed the nationally-led budget process and made the budget into its central instrument of reform; and it has made extraordinary efforts to develop key national programs (for example public-works employment programs and community development programs) and to revive social services like education and health.
Financial Accountability in Nepal : A Country Assessment(Washington, DC, 2003-03) World BankThis document assesses the quality of financial accountability and transparency in Nepal and makes recommendations for improvement. The findings and recommendations were widely discussed with various government agencies, non-government agencies, private sector, oversight agencies, and donor partners. The review concluded that the lack of compliance and poor implementation of the regulations is the single most important problem that affects public sector financial accountability of Nepal. With respect to public funds, the report reviews the government's budgeting, financial planning, cash flow management, accounting and financial reporting, at the central and local government level. It assesses what it would take to qualify the country for programmatic lending or budgetary support in replacement of individual project lending. With respect to the private sector, the report examines accounting and auditing standards and practices, the development of the Institute of the Chartered Accountants of Nepal, the demand for, and the supply and training of accountants and auditors. The report also assesses the framework for corporate governance and reviews the activities of the Registrar of Companies, the Securities Exchange Board, and the Stock Exchange. With respect to non-governmental sector, it examines the financial accountability aspect of non-governmental organizations.
Bangladesh : Financial Accountability for Good Governance(Washington, DC, 2002-05) World BankThis document assesses the quality of financial accountability and transparency in Bangladesh, and makes recommendations for improvement. With respect to public funds, it compares the financial management standards, and practices of agencies using such funds against and international, or "best practice" standard, and also the standards, and practices of the external "oversight" agencies - nine Audit Directorates of the Comptroller and Auditor General's Office, parliamentary committees concerned with public expenditure, donor agencies, and the media. It assesses what it would take to qualify the country for programmatic, or sector lending in replacement of all individual project lending. With respect to private funds in the hands of companies, commercial banks, insurance companies, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), it examines the regulatory activities of the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the two Stock Exchanges, Bangladesh Bank, NGO Affairs Bureau, and the accounting and auditing profession that serves both public, and private sectors.
India : Reducing Poverty, Accelerating Development(New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2000) World BankReducing poverty, and providing for minimum needs, is the ultimate yardstick against which to measure development. To this end, the study outlines India's growth rate, improved social indicators, and poverty reduction since the 1970s, but specifies that, despite this progress, poverty is a serious concern, where social indicators remain below comparator countries. Human development is examined, focusing on social indicators, stating the delivery of health and education is fraught with limited accountability for performance and with low management capacity. Governance is critical to development, but the country's inadequate and adverse factors hinder the development of public administration, instead, performance incentives, and accountability within a downsized civil service, effective financial management, and decentralization should be pursued. Infrastructure should attract private investments, but the perverse impact of subsidies preclude the provision of private services. However, regulatory agencies are imperfect alternatives to competition, but corporatization would be an essential step in attracting the private sector. The study further reviews deregulation to increase trade growth and improve labor market flexibility. Conclusions call for reforms, arguing it would lead to higher growth, favorable balance of payments, and further capital inflows, including foreign direct investments.