Louise M. Fox and Melissa Sekkel Gaal. Working Out of Poverty: Job Creation and the Quality of Growth inAfrica. (Shorter Notices-2010-3)

Publication Year : 2010

Louise M. Fox and Melissa Sekkel Gaal. Working Out of Poverty: Job Creation and the Quality of Growth inAfrica. The World Bank:. 2008. Paperback. 81pages. $10. 00. This is a collection of papers on Africa ‘s economic performance and job creation over the decades, especially since 1995. The papers included in the book argue for policies to improve the growth performance in Africa through more stable and high income-earning activities. The papers argue that to improve growth performance, the focus of policy should be on improving the investment climate rather than on regulation of the labour market. The papers emphasise that besides sound macroeconomic environment and congenial investment climate, the quality of available labour is also an important determinant of job creation and the growth performance of Africa. Studies focused on Sub-Saharan Africa indicate that insufficient skill base and the poor health and education of the workers constrains investment and job creation in the manufacturing sector. The authors also highlight the importance of the readily expanding informal sector for the labour market in particular and the growth performance in general. The papers suggest that all across the Sub-Saharan Africa, job opportunities in the formal sector have not grown proportionate to the growth of the labour force. Accordingly, those who could not fmd a paid job have moved into non-agricultural, small-scale entrepreneurial activities. The informal sector is, thus, a major source of employment in both rural and urban areas all across the continent. Given its importance, the authors recommend policies and programmes designed to enhance the productivity oflabour in the informal sector. They stress upon undertaking steps that would ensure that the informal sector continues to be a way out of poverty rather than a low-skill trap. The trade-off between growth and equity is discouraged in favour of growths that help the poor. (Neelum Nigar Beyg)

Asian Development Bank. Governance and Anti-corruption in Project Design.Philippines. Report/Manual. 2010. 263 pages.This book is a guide meant to ensure good governance and non-corrupt practices in the projects funded by the Asian Development Bank: (ADB). It is based on the actual experience of ADB in undertaking relief and development projects mainly in countries affected by the tsunami in 2004 and the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. The guide aims to help member countries and the ADB’s project teams in the introducing sound governance features and corruption prevention measures in project design. It identifies possible project- specific governance and anti-corruption risks. Though the volume aims to serve as a general reference and operational guide for the ADB staff working on projects, It also serves as a useful general introduction to good governance and anti-corruption. Apart from professional usc, it can also be used as a suppI~ment in teaching governance-related subjects as it contains rich practical knowledge and special references to the international conventions on governance. The material is arranged in a logical sequence. First, the strategy and policy documents required to ensure good governance and prevent corruption have been discussed. Then it offers an overview of international and multilateral initiatives regarding governance, which include international conventions, policies of multilateral development banks, OBeD’s work, and regional initiatives in Asia and Pacific. The volume discusses the tools a project team may access in designing project-specific good governance and in introducing measures to prevent corruption. It sets out some governance and corruption risk indicators, lays down integrity strategies, which can be implemented after identifying the risks, and builds sample covenants for key performance areas. The volume also provides an overview of the issues arising out of past projects implemented in the fields of corporate governance, regulation of public utilities, health and education, decentralisation, and disaster management. (Wajid Khan)