Views from Silicon Valley: Helping client countries keep up with changing technology

It is time to tell you a secret my friends. I am a girl who codes. Before joining the Worldsilicon_valley Bank, I was fluent in ASCII, developing systems and applications to make it easier to get things done.

Nearly 20 years after writing my first lines of code, I stepped onto the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, Washington, representing the World Bank Governance Global Practice and the GovTech Global Partnership task team. Along with a delegation representing leadership across the Bank, we visited Redmond and Silicon Valley to meet with some of the top players in Big Tech.

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Competition and the rise of the machines: Should the AI industry be regulated?

A multinational conglomerate uses artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to gather untitled.pngintelligence about the news you peruse, social media activity, and shopping preferences. They choose the ads you passively consume on your newsfeed and throughout your social media accounts, your internet searches, and even the music you hear, creating an incrementally increasingly customized version of reality specifically for you. Your days are subtly influenced by marketers, behavioral scientists, and mathematicians armed with cloud supercomputers. All of this is done in the name of maximizing profit to influence what you’re thinking, buying, and whom you will be electing…

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Storm Clouds Are Brewing for the Global Economy

The outlook for the global economy in 2019 has darkened. GEP-2019a-Front-Cover.jpg

International trade and investment have softened. Trade tensions remain elevated. Several large emerging markets underwent substantial financial pressures last year.

Against this challenging backdrop, growth in emerging market and developing economies is expected to remain flat in 2019. The pickup in economies that rely heavily on commodity exports is likely to be much slower than hoped for. Growth in many other economies is anticipated to decelerate.

In addition, risks are growing that growth could be even weaker than anticipated, the World Bank’s January 2019 Global Economic Prospects reports.


 

Selection of the President of the World Bank Group

WASHINGTON, January 10, 2019—The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank World Bank buildingmet January 9 under the Chairmanship of its Dean, Dr. Merza Hasan, to discuss the selection process for the next President of the World Bank Group, following the announcement of the current President, Jim Yong Kim, that he will be stepping down from his position on February 1.

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Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy 2018

STORY HIGHLIGHTS untitled

  • RISE 2018 charts global progress on sustainable energy policies and shows that policies matter – they are a leading indicator and building block of the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
  • The report finds that the world has seen a huge uptake in sustainable energy policies. However, progress is still far from where it needs to be for the world to reach global climate goals and the Sustainable Development Goal on Energy (SDG7).
  • RISE 2018 rates 133 countries from 2010-17 on electricity access, renewable energy, energy efficiency and access to clean cooking to provide useful data to policymakers and help the private sector make informed decisions about investing in energy projects

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Wastewater treatment: A critical component of a circular economy

Repost of most read water World Bank blog post of 2018 infographic_crop

The 8th World Water Forum was held in Brazil a few days ago. What’s ironic is that the more than nine thousand of us attending this Forum were discussing water-related issues in a city of three million grappling with a severe water shortage. After checking in at my hotel, the first thing I found in my room was a notice from the Government informing guests of this crisis and recommending ways to reduce water use. We recently learned of the predicament in Cape Town, South Africa, which was on the verge of running out of this essential liquid—a plight facing many cities around the world.

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Teachers and trust: cornerstones of the Finnish education system

Public school teachers in Brazil, Indonesia or Peru have stable jobs, enjoy high level of kids_in_finland3legal protection, and are part of teacher unions that shield them politically. Public school teachers in Finland also have stable jobs and are rarely fired. They are represented by a powerful teacher union, which is very influential among other stakeholders in policy discussions. Why do student learning outcomes among these countries vary dramatically?1. Teachers’ prestige, selection and training

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DRIVE co-finances the installation of water connections in northeastern Mozambique

Under the DRIVE scheme, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) will co-finance theDRIVE-schenkingsarrangement-Mozambique-header.jpg construction of a water treatment plant, water pipelines, water reservoirs and pumping stations near Nacala in northeastern Mozambique together with the World Bank. The drinking water company FIPAG is responsible for implementing the project.

On 30 November 2018, the Mozambique Minister of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources João Osvaldo Machatine and the Dutch deputy ambassador Michiel van der Pompe signed a DRIVE grant arrangement amounting to €21,605,000. The World Bank will contribute the same of amount of financing to the project, which will be completed in approximately three years.

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Entrepreneurs in fragile, conflict and violence-affected countries face unique mental health challenges

Fragility, conflict and violence (FCV) have become some of the most pressing threats to 8120307280_4f83939c5f_k_1economic development. Over 2 billion people live in FCV countries, and it is expected that by 2030 nearly 50 to 60 percent of the world’s poorest people will live in areas affected by conflict. This can pose major socioeconomic challenges, including a reduction of gross domestic product growth by 2 percentage points per year and driving youth to join rebellions due to conflict-driven unemployment.

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Across Africa, disaster risk finance is putting a resilient future within reach

Sub-Saharan Africa knows more than its fair share of disasters induced by natural across-africa-disaster-risk-finance-is-putting-a-resilient-future-within-reach-780x439.jpghazards. The past few months alone have seen drought in the Horn of Africa, floods in Mali and Rwanda, and landslides in Ethiopia and Uganda. Between 2005 and 2015, the region experienced an average of 157 disasters per year, claiming the lives of roughly 10,000 people annually.

Disasters can have a debilitating impact on countries’ growth and development prospects. Losses from disasters are only expected to rise as the impacts of climate change intensify across the region. Given these challenges, governments have often been reliant on external aid and budget reallocation to pay for disaster recovery. However, this financing strategy comes at a cost. Uncertainty and delays in aid flows tend to complicate planning for relief and recovery efforts, and budget reallocations can divert funding from vital development programs.

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