The governments of Cameroon and Ghana wanted to use oil and gas revenues more effectively to promote economic growth and reduce poverty. They also wanted to improve transparency and accountability in the sector. However, Cameroon and Ghana, as well as many other African countries, have had difficulty managing and sustaining the windfall wealth and savings from their natural resources.
Poverty and inequality are harsh realities in Bolivia. In spite of targeted social programs, 59 percent of the indigenous and 62 percent of rural populations still live in extreme poverty.1 Looking to improve social programming for these groups, a special unit in Bolivia’s Ministry of Planning—Unidad de Análisis de Políticas Sociales y Económicas (UDAPE)—approached the World Bank for a knowledge exchange.
Obsolete and separated information systems have afflicted planning and public investment in Bolivia. Through an experience exchange, the Chilean Ministry of Social Development and the Peruvian Ministry of Economy and Public Finance shared their knowledge and good practice approaches in the design and implementation of geo-referenced information systems leading Bolivia’s Ministry of Development Planning to assess its own information systems for effectiveness.
The Government of Armenia sought to develop a means of maintaining its roads system to assure sustained access of its rural communities to markets and services. In 2008, it launched the Lifeline Road Network Development Program to stimulate economic growth and contribute to poverty reduction by improving a selected network of lifeline roads. These lifeline roads were mainly rural roads that connected rural communities to a major interstate road.
What was the objective of the South-South exchange? : The Bolivian Government sought to improve the management and regulation of state-owned enterprises (SOE), which provide services in key sectors such as energy, transport, and communication. Bolivian officials approved in 2013 a Public Corporation Law establishing a legal framework for state-owned enterprises.
The Exchange gathered experts from Bhutan, Ecuador, and Mexico to share knowledge with Bolivian government officials on “measuring” the concept of buen vivir (literally, living well) across monetary and nonmonetary dimensions of social development. Approaches used included two conferences in La Paz Bolivia, and videoconferences among participating countries. Representatives from other countries, including Venezuela and Uruguay, also participated though without direct World Bank support.
To increase its limited knowledge, skills, and implementation know-how with regards to science, technology, and innovation (STI) systems, the Government of Bolivia engaged in an exchange with the more experienced Argentina and Uruguay. The Bolivian experts learned the importance of a proper regulatory framework and sectoral collaboration that ultimately helped contribute to the development of a National STI Plan.
To address disproportionately high rates of poverty among ethnic minorities, the Government of Vietnam planned several national assistance projects in the poorest regions of the country. Vietnam sought a knowledge exchange to learn how similar poverty issues have been approached in Brazil and Bolivia based on these countries’ success with community-driven development and rural alliances projects.
Bolivia recognized during the preparation and implementation of the National Population and Housing Census (NPHC) and the National Agricultural Census (NAC), that there was a need to strengthen its statistical and information systems for monitoring and accountability. With help from the World Bank an exchange was organized that focused on strengthening Bolivia’s statistical capacity and informational base for better evidence-based, decision-making practices.