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  • Blog post

    Six insights for engaging community activists in rural development

    You can’t overstate the importance of local organisations in providing services for their communities. Pakistan’s flash flood of 2012 washed away the water supply scheme and 1.5 kilometres of a road in the remote village of Kiyar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Karimabad valley. After a week, the local community restored these services itself. In the hilly areas of northern...

    9 Aug 2017 | Hamna Ahmed, Asha Gul, Saheem Khizar, Simon Quinn, Katherine Vyborny

  • Blog post

    Public-private pacts in poultry and cotton for economic transformation in Mozambique

    Promoting structural transformation and economic growth through public-private collaboration is key for development. While there is no shortage of economic transformation strategies, many have not been effectively implemented. Most strategies are general and multisectoral, and thus fail to address important sector-specific constraints. Additionally, failure to effectively...

    1 Aug 2017 | Jorrit Oppewal

  • Blog post

    The economic and political consequences of India’s demonetisation

    The ruling party at the centre won the Uttar Pradesh state election despite its demonetisation policy having some negative economic impacts on the Indian economy. By combining primary data from surveys of wholesale and retail traders, with secondary data on wholesale markets, this column seeks to analyse why this was so. Experiments in macroeconomic policy are rare. One...

    31 Jul 2017 | Abhijit Banerjee, Namrata Kala

  • Blog post

    Building capacity in fragility: Key lessons from Fragility Commission’s 3rd evidence session

    Generating effective government capacity is key to growth and development in fragile situations. However, many obstacles prevent governments from building up this capacity including an overwhelming list of problems to solve, weak leadership, corruption within institutions, and pressure from donors. In fragile and conflict situations, governments often have little...

    24 Jul 2017 | Emilie Yam

  • Blog post

    Star power: Maharashtra starts rating industries by emissions

    An Indian state programme is aiming to curb air pollution by facilitating transparency in industry emissions, using ratings and targets that the public can view online. Measuring industry emissions The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) launched a new Star Rating Programme for air pollution on June 5, 2017–World Environment Day. The programme uses smoke-stack...

    10 Jul 2017 | Michael Greenstone, Rohini Pande, Nicholas Ryan, Anant Sudarshan

  • Blog post

    Credit bureaus in microfinance: A baseline study

    Credit bureaus consolidate borrowers’ creditworthiness records and share them with microfinance institutions, thereby addressing adverse selection and moral hazard problems. Such changes give safe borrowers lower interest rates but can lock those with poor or non-existent credit histories out of the market. Ongoing research in Pakistan investigates this trade-off. For at...

    3 Jul 2017 | Jonathan de Quidt

  • Blog post

    Bad practices hold back small firms in developing countries

    Survey of more than 20,000 small firms suggests better business practices are correlated with higher productivity, firm profits, and rates of survival. Management practices in large firms around the world have been systematically measured and reported in a series of papers by Bloom and Van Reenen (2007, 2010) and Bloom et al. (2012). These papers show that better...

    30 Jun 2017 | David McKenzie, Christopher Woodruff

  • Blog post

    Five key challenges facing Liberia’s transport industry: Paving the way to market integration

    Improving transport connectivity and increasing market integration could improve competition, trade, and potential for growth in small Liberian firms. Transport costs are a key factor in determining market integration. Consequently, keeping transport costs low is critical to economic development, particularly for small firms situated in isolated local economies. In Liberia...

    29 Jun 2017 | Golvine de Rochambeau

  • Blog post

    Waste management in Asia: 1 goal, 5 cities, 5 lessons

    Asia’s cities are the engines of incredible economic growth. For many countries, they generate over 80% of GDP and improve the lives of millions of people. But this prosperity comes with a price. Take for example the more than one million tons of solid waste that cities generate every day as they grow. Without proper management, the deluge of solid waste causes severe...

    27 Jun 2017 | Andrew McIntyre

  • Blog post

    Has GSP plus status improved Pakistan's garments exports?

    In December of 2013, Pakistan acquired the GSP plus status from the European Union, granting member states duty-free access to 96 percent of Pakistani exports to the EU. Pakistan was the second country in all of South and Southeast Asia to receive the trade advantage, giving it a 10 to 14 percent duty advantage over major regional competitors including China, India,...

    23 Jun 2017 | Zara Salman