The growing adoption of fast innovation in public services has become increasingly prevalent since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first half of 2020. This is indicative of a potential shift in the public service model from being reactive to being proactive. The following trends related to the public sector that can help decision-makers craft national strategies and navigate an uncertain future toward achieving global sustainable development goals.
|Post-COVID Fiscal Rules: A Central Bank Perspective
Source: European Central Bank
This paper provides a simulation analysis for the euro area and individual countries to assess the short- and longer-term budgetary and macroeconomic implications of a move to a two-tier system with an expenditure growth rule as single operational indicator linked to a debt anchor. In particular, providing additional fiscal accommodation in a low inflation environment would enable monetary policy to operate more effectively, especially in the vicinity of the effective lower bound, thereby improving the synchronization of fiscal and monetary policies.
Governments Need Agile Fiscal Policies as Food and Fuel Prices Spike
Source: International Monetary Fund
Just as increasing vaccinations offered hope, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted the global economic recovery. One of the most visible global effects has been the acceleration of energy and food prices, triggering concerns about episodes of food shortages and increasing the risks of malnutrition and social unrest. Economies worldwide have accumulated layer upon layer of legacies from past shocks since the global financial crisis. In response to the pandemic, extraordinary fiscal actions led to a surge in fiscal deficits and public debt in 2020.
South Asia Sees Slower Growth as War in Ukraine Impedes Recovery, Worsens Existing Challenges
Source: World Bank
South Asia has faced multiple shocks in the past two years, including the scarring effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. High oil and food prices caused by the war in Ukraine will have a strong negative impact on peoples’ real incomes. Given these challenges, governments need to carefully plan monetary and fiscal policies to counter external shocks and protect the vulnerable while laying the foundation for green, resilient and inclusive growth.
6 Ways Indonesia Can Green Its Infrastructure Pipeline
Source: Southeast Asia Development Solutions
With 65% of Asia’s infrastructure projects not considered bankable and with the clock ticking to deliver on their net-zero goals, countries like Indonesia are under pressure to line up green projects that would attract investments from the private sector. A new report from Climate Bonds Initiative, an investor-focused not-for-profit that promotes large-scale investment in the low-carbon economy, said greening Indonesia’s infrastructure pipeline could be accelerated by key policy and institutional changes.
Malaysia launched its Roadmap Towards Zero Single-use Plastics
Source: Asian Productivity Organization
The APO recognizes the diverse, unique strengths of its members and offers opportunities for mutual collective benefit through the Individual-country Observational Study Mission (IOSM) Program to tap each other’s strengths to inspire and guide the development of strategies, policies, and action plans for new initiatives and evolving ideas that are critical for development. Malaysia launched its Roadmap Towards Zero Single-use Plastics, 2018–2030, to create a cleaner, healthier environment by 2030. The government is seeking to address plastic pollution through a holistic approach in an environmentally sound manner, taking into account the public interest, readiness of the industry, and sustainability.
Measuring Costs and Benefits of Citizen Science
Today, citizen science is on the rise with bigger projects that are more ambitious and better networked than ever before. And while collecting seawater samples and photographing wild birds are two well-known examples of citizen science, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Thanks to new data collection techniques enabled by the internet, smartphones, and social media, citizen science is evolving. Increased connectivity encourages a wide range of observations that can be easily recorded and shared. The reams of crowd-sourced data from members of the public are a boon for researchers working on large-scale and geographically diverse projects. Often it would be too difficult and expensive to obtain this data otherwise.
|AI in Education: Lessons for Schools in a New Era
The UK government turned to AI to predict students’ grades during the pandemic when students couldn’t complete exams in person. But the algorithm was scrapped after it disproportionately marked down students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Creating strong regulations and ensuring teachers are on-board are two steps that schools can take to ensure classrooms in adopting AI smoothly. Addressing these concerns will help schools realize AI’s potential for personalizing learning. At the recent AI x GOV summit, public sector officials and education experts gathered to discuss the responsible and ethical adoption of AI in schools, and what this technology can bring to the learning environment.
Solar-Powered Radios, Tablets, Wi-Fi Sets to Enable Distance Learning in Remote Schools in Philippines
Source: Asian Development Bank
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) turned over to the Philippines’ Department of Education (DepEd) the last batch of tablets, solar-powered transistor radios, and other information technology (IT) equipment as part of its $2.4 million in grant support for distance learning among secondary school students from poor and disadvantaged families in remote areas during and beyond the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The support is financed by technical assistance grants from ADB and the Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific under the EdTech Solutions for Last Mile Schools in COVID-19 program.
US-ASEAN Business Council, USAID, ASEAN launch SME Academy 2.0 to support ASEAN Economic Recovery
Source: Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Aiming to reach more micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and help accelerate their businesses recoveries, SME Academy 2.0 introduces many new features including courses available in local languages (Bahasa Indonesia, Thai, and Vietnamese), new attractive visual design features, and top-quality resources including specific modules for COVID-19 recovery. ASEAN SME Academy 2.0 also offers MSMEs self-certification opportunities, provides access to the SME Community and Academy Facilitators and integrates a seamless interface across both desktop and mobile platforms. The COVID-19 recovery tab focusing on contents specific to support MSMEs’ recovery from the pandemic will be launched in Q3 2022. Overall, the primary goal of the Academy is to provide a platform for ASEAN MSMEs to develop their digital skills.
IMO’s Work to Cut GHG Emissions from Ships
Source: International Maritime Organization
IMO adopted the first set of international mandatory measures to improve ships’ energy efficiency on 15 July 2011. In the past decade, IMO has taken further action, including further regulatory measures and adopting the Initial IMO GHG strategy. To support their implementation IMO has been executing a comprehensive capacity building and technical assistance program, including a range of global projects. The Initial GHG Strategy includes a series of candidate short-, mid- and long-term measures, building on already-adopted mandatory energy-efficiency requirements for ships.
Police Surveillance and Facial Recognition: Why Data Privacy is Imperative for Communities of Color
Source: The Brookings Institution
Governments and private companies have a long history of collecting data from civilians, often justifying the resulting loss of privacy in the name of national security, economic stability, or other societal benefits. But it is important to note that these trade-offs do not affect all individuals equally. Surveillance and data collection have disproportionately affected communities of color under past and current circumstances and political regimes. In this paper, we present the case for stronger federal privacy protections with proscriptive guardrails for the public and private sectors to mitigate the high risks associated with the development and procurement of surveillance technologies.