Jordan has been looking for ways to transition to a low carbon economy. It recently took a novel approach toward identifying strategies relevant to its unique circumstances. To determine what would be compatible with the country’s current development context, an extensive consultation with all national stakeholders was undertaken. This bottom-up approach to designing and establishing low emission growth paths not only delivered concrete results, but could serve as an effective example for both the region and developing countries.
It is an article of common sense that effective solutions can only be achieved once problems have been clearly defined. While this is a sound rule-of-thumb, it can seem like a distant goal in an environment where facts are presented through a filtered lens, and no universally accepted method for measuring exists. For decades Tunisians were confronted with facts at odds with their perceptions. To the outside world, there was little statistical evidence to support domestic frustration over the lack of economic opportunities.
Universities are like gardens, where knowledge blooms like flowers. So says Dr. Hatem Elaydi, whose many years of teaching have not dulled his fascination with the growth and transformation he witnesses and participates in daily. The rewards are never ending. “You see your students winning prizes, finishing their graduate studies, or landing a good job, “ he says, “and wherever you go, you are always stopped by either current or former students, their parents or relatives, thanking you for your help.”
It was an immense spark of light – a flame – that engulfed desperation and oppression in Sidi Bouzid. Making its way through the alleyways of Sousse, through the olive trees and along the ports of Sfax, and traversing through the streets of Meknassy, the light took hold of Tunisian cities in the same hot-blooded and fiery spirit as the Arabian horses that have roamed its land for centuries before. The light continued on its way along the coast of Monastir, and illuminated the alleyways of Sbikhi, and Chebba, until it cast its radiance on the heart of Tunis.
In early April 2012, the Jenin Joint Services Council for Solid Waste Management established a Facebook Page called “Flower Cup” from the Arabic Zahrat Al-Finjan, a flower commonly found around the sanitary landfill area in Jenin, West Bank. The goal of this Facebook Page was for the Jenin Council to reach out to the Northern West Bank community members to raise awareness about the Zahrat Al-Finjan sanitary landfill, in operation since 2007 and constructed with support from the World Bank and the European Union.
How much do you remember (really remember) your early years? And how important do you think those years were in preparing you for the rest of your life? Not sure? Well, evidence reveals that the pre-school years actually have a great impact on the rest of a person’s life and that it is the best, and most cost–effective time to invest in life. So, then why don’t we see or hear more of just that – development agencies, governments, civil society – investing in building this foundation?
I recently heard a comment that greater female labor force participation will hike up the already high unemployment rate in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The figure from Scarpetta and Pierre‘s 2003 presentation (see chart below), which I have updated, plots female participation rates against unemployment rates across OECD and MENA countries. It indicates that some countries with low female participation are also those with high unemployment rates.
It is not often that we at the World Bank are approached by school children to address a specific development topic. But a recent experience at school in Beirut suggests that talking to the youngsters is an effective communications tool, which could and should be part of our work. On a recent working visit to Lebanon, my colleague Mona el-Chami was asked by the Wellspring Learning Community if water experts from the Bank would make a presentation to students on water scarcity and management.
Egypt’s campaigning for the Presidential election is in full swing. More than anything else, Egypt needs a visionary President. A President that will bring order back to a country clearly on the verge of chaos. Egypt’s new leader will need to unite the Egyptian people and purge the country of the corruption that loomed large in the previous administration. But, history has shown us that such visionaries are rare and hard to find. This is most definitely Egypt’s biggest quandary. It’s as if Egypt needs a Kamal Ataturk who transformed Turkey into a modern economy, an industrial giant, and a progressive Islamic state.
It is difficult to imagine a book more timely and relevant to the Arab revolutions than Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson's "Why Nations Fail."Indeed they focus on Egypt in their preface. As they sum it up "To Egyptians, the things that have held them back include an ineffective and corrupt state and a society where they cannot use their talent, ambition, ingenuity, and what education they can get. But they also recognize that the roots of these problems are political. All the economic impediments they face stem from the way political power in Egypt is exercised and monopolized by a narrow elite.