World Bank sees Philippine economy to grow 6.6% in 2014

The World Bank (WB) forecasts the Philippine economy would slow down to 6.6 percent this year but accelerating reconstruction spending would offset the drag on consumption from the effects of natural disasters in 2013.
The WB’s latest East Asia Pacific economic update revealed that larger Southeast Asian economies such as Indonesia and Thailand will face tougher global financial conditions and higher levels of  household debt.
Malaysia’s growth will accelerate modestly to 4.9 percent in 2014. Its exports will increase, but higher debt servicing costs and ongoing fiscal consolidation will weigh on domestic demand.
The WB report said that developing countries in the East Asia Pacific region will see stable economic growth this year, bolstered by a recovery in high-income economies and the market’s modest response so far to the Federal Reserve’s tapering of its quantitative easing.

Developing East Asia will grow by 7.1 percent this year, largely unchanged from 2013, the report said.
As a result, East Asia remains the fastest growing region in the world, despite a slowdown from the average growth rate of 8.0 percent from 2009 to 2013.
In China, growth will ease slightly to 7.6 percent this year from 7.7 percent in 2013. Excluding China, the developing countries in the region will grow by 5 percent, slightly down from 5.2 percent last year.

“East Asia Pacific has served as the world’s main growth engine since the global financial crisis,” said Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank East Asia and Pacific Regional Vice President.
“Stronger global growth this year will help the region expand at a relatively steady pace while adjusting to tighter global financial conditions,” said Trotsenburg.

Philippines cites crucial role of evaluation in development outcomes

Philippine Socio-economic Planning Sec. Arsenio Balisacan has stressed the crucial role of evaluation in decision-making, updating priorities, and improving government ownership of development outcomes.

 “Good evaluation generates useful evidence. In turn, good evidence enlightens judgment and provides sound basis for decision-making,” said Balicasan during a recent fourth biennial high-level meeting of the Development Cooperation Forum at the United Nations in New York City.
“When spending priorities of government are evaluated, with results widely-disseminated and discussed in the public domain, the agencies or the individuals mandated to allocate or spend public resources are placed under public scrutiny. Consequently, the decisions they make are guided by evidence generated from evaluation,” Balisacan said.
He emphasized the need to mobilize and allocate resources that will support the whole infrastructure of evaluation – from the design, to the systematic generation of relevant data with the required data integrity, to the actual conduct of evaluation, and to the dissemination and use of evaluation results.

“In many developing countries, there’s a major challenge of allocating from government’s own budget resources needed to even generate good baseline data, much more for evaluation itself,” he said.
 Balisacan explained however, that certain elements must be in place before evaluation leads to sound decision-making, transparency, accountability, and ownership.
“First, demand for evaluation must be created within a country. Second, as demand for evaluation increases, the capacity to meet such demand needs to be stepped up.”
“Lastly, the role of joint evaluation between the development partner and the country must be seen and organized as an instrument of mutual accountability,” added Balisacan.
The government has already adopted a performance management, results-oriented system where the demand for good evaluation naturally grows.
“I take this opportunity to draw the development partners’ attention to help build the capacity of governments for evaluation.”
“The return on this investment will be tangible and high and will likely go a long way in enabling us all to achieve not only a country’s development agenda but the global agenda as well,” Balisacan added.