The world is watching Argentina these days. As the leader of the G20 meetings this year, with visits from countless numbers of VIPs from around the world, Argentina is regaining the role of a regional leader. While expectations fly high for the country’s future potential, one essential input is lagging behind: the necessary infrastructure to facilitate investment and future growth.
According to a World Bank study, the current violence in the Middle East and North Africa Region led to fifteen million people fleeing their homes, giving rise to the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. Many sought refuge in neighboring countries that are economically fragile, further complicating the tragedy. Women and children bear the brunt of war and this is what Helen Zughaib aimed to capture in her paintings.
The World Bank Art Program, in partnership with the Office of the Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Region, organized an exhibition of the works of artist Helen Zughaib, titled: The Arab Spring/Unfinished Journeys, that were on view in the main building of the World Bank’s Washington headquarters from January 18 to February 16. The theme of Helen’s work depicts the sense of hope and dignity that prevailed when the Arab Spring began, only to dissipate soon after with the horrors of war and forced migration.
Whether they take the form of:
- two-country exchanges through Study Tours or Expert Visits,
- or multi-country exchanges in the form of Technical Deep Dives,
- or Workshops,
Technological advances have made it possible to dramatically increase the accountability and transparency of public financing to reduce corruption. For example, if a government decides to construct a road, it can now track how each dollar is being spent, identify all the users of the funds, and ensure that only those authorized to spend money do so on originally intended expenses within the permitted time. Fraud and corruption investigations that now take on average 15 months could be performed at the touch of a button and at a fraction of the cost. More importantly, this type of financial tracking would be a deterrent for bribes in the public sector, which amount to between $1.5 trillion and $2 trillion annually, roughly 2 percent of global GDP. This in turn would increase development impact. All it would take is adopting a cryptocurrency and using blockchain software.
Bangladesh has what it takes to influence this global movement
Bangladesh has made remarkable progress over the past two decades, lifting millions out of poverty and sustaining expanding levels of economic growth.
It has achieved this in spite of major internal and external challenges — global economic downturns, natural disasters, and periods of political uncertainty that have tested the resolve of the Bangladesh economy.
In spite of this and efforts in climate change adaptation, Bangladesh still remains one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2015.
This crisis has sparked an urgent response from the government. The government of Bangladesh is a leader amongst Less Developed Countries (LDCs) in enacting policies to tackle the risks emerging from climate change, as well as in negotiating on behalf of other vulnerable countries to finance both climate change adaptation and mitigation activities.
Bangladesh played a leading role in helping set up the global Green Climate Fund (GCF) with an ambitious agenda to mobilise $100 billion per year from rich countries by 2020 to finance climate change initiatives in developing countries.
Domestically, much more remains to be done towards climate change mitigation. There are multiple sector-specific and cross-cutting policies in place. However, a comprehensive set strategy in support of green growth is yet to be formulated.
The early years are a critical period for development of children’s brains and bodies and the cognitive, linguistic, socio-emotional, and motor skills they need to thrive in school and succeed later in life. Too often, poverty and its associated problems, such as poor health services, weak education systems and lack of parental knowledge, limit the support, care, and stimulation that children require for healthy development.
Early childhood programs are aimed at helping children get what they need to reach their potential. Designing and evaluating the impact of programs requires first understanding how to measure and track children’s development. This is the challenge. Measuring early childhood development in low- and middle-income countries requires trade-offs and choices that can be difficult to manage for even the most experienced researchers. A new toolkit released by the World Bank’s Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund aims to help researchers and development practitioners understand how to assess early childhood development accurately and reliably.
When I was invited to speak at the Real Leaders magazine launch last September, I was asked to share my thoughts on leadership. I wondered what I could say about real leaders that was fresh, inspirational and personal.
I hiked up Hawksbill Mountain in the Blue Ridge the day before the launch so I could clear my head and think about these questions.
The connection I made at the launch was thatTheir success is your success. Leadership is not easy, and the hardest piece of it is compassion. If a member of your team slips and falls on the way, you have to stop, and you may not reach the summit as quickly as you’d like.
Manley Hopkinson, the author of Compassionate Leadership, said thatThe heart of the approach is “understanding yourself.” Once you have a true understanding of yourself, you understand others better and can create more effective businesses and relationships.