The World Bank Group has responded to the global economic crisis with a strong countercyclical expansion of financing. Its disbursements of $80 billion in the past two fiscal years were the largest among the Multilateral Development Banks. There was notable variation across the WBG, with vastly increased IBRD lending, moderately higher IDA financing, and overall responses from IFC and MIGA that were not counter-cyclical. The differences reflected the interplay of financial capacities, business models, and available instruments. While the level of financial flows is one aspect of crisis response, the crucial aspect is the results achieved with such financing and the related knowledge work of the WBG. The question going forward concerns the effectiveness and sustainability of the crisis response. Effective and efficient use of funds to sustain growth and ensure macroeconomic stability is more important than ever in view of emerging fiscal deficits and financial stress in client countries. It is vital that the WBG support help clients keep focused on structural reforms for inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth. The WBG needs mechanisms to ensure early warning and preparedness in the face of an increasingly uncertain global environment. Skills and institutional capabilities in key thematic areas, such as the financial sector, need to be maintained. Attention is also needed to ensure that knowledge activities are not crowded out in the face of tight budgets and resource demands resulting from increased lending.
The evaluation finds that the content of the World Bank's Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) is largely relevant for growth and poverty reduction in the sense that it maps well with the determinants of growth and poverty reduction identified in the economics literature. However, some CPIA criteria need to be revised (in particular trade and finance), and one needs to be added (assessment of disadvantaged socio-economic groups). Second, the evaluation finds that the CPIA ratings are in general reliable and correlate well with similar indicators. The World Bank's internal review process helps guard against potential biases in having Bank staff rate countries on which their work programs depend. The CPIA ratings are found to correlate better with similar indicators for middle income countries than for low income countries. This could be because there is more information available on middle income countries, which increases the likelihood of different institutions having similar assessments on them. This could also be because the CPIA rating exercise takes into account the stage of development, which is more pertinent for low income countries, and which also subject the ratings of those countries to more judgment in an exercise that is already centered on staff judgment.
Looking for accurate, up-to-date data on development issues? 'World Development Indicators' is the World Bank's premier annual compilation of data about development. This indispensable statistical reference allows you to consult over 800 indicators for more than 150 economies and 14 country groups in more than 90 tables. It provides a current overview of the most recent data available as well as important regional data and income group analysis in six thematic sections: World View, People, Environment, Economy, States and Markets, and Global Links. 'World Development Indicators 2011' presents the most current and accurate development data on both a national level and aggregated globally. It allows you to monitor the progress made toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals endorsed by the United Nations and its member countries, the World Bank, and a host of partner organizations. These goals, which focus on development and the elimination of poverty, serve as the agenda for international development efforts.
Which should come first in the development process--creating jobs or building skills? Adopting a cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary approach, this report looks at why some jobs do more for development than others. Introductory chapters explore development through jobs and changes in demographics and job markets. Part 1 considers the transformative power of jobs to improve living standards, increase productivity, and foster social cohesion. Part 2 looks at the diverse job agendas in agrarian economies, conflict-affected countries, urbanizing countries, resource-rich countries, small island nations, and countries with high youth unemployment. Part 3 examines labor policies and active labor market programs and gives recommendations for setting policy priorities for job creation. Numerous case boxes in each chapter address topics such as the garment industry boom in Bangladesh and new forms of collective bargaining in China. The report is designed to be readable, with boxes defining basic concepts such as drivers of economic growth, plus chapter discussion questions, a glossary, and a wealth of color photos, charts, tables, and maps. The companion web site for the complete set of World Development reports offers translations, background papers, and data files, plus a free iPad app that aids in navigating the report. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
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