It's not what you know
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CTA. 1999. It's not what you know. Spore 79. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/48312
Internet URL: http://sporearchive.cta.int/spore79/SP3_79A.html
Knowledge for Development World Development Report 1998-1999 World Bank, 1818 H St NW, Washington, DC 20433. Fax: +1 202 477 6391. Email: email@example.com http://www.worldbank.org
The annual World Development Report by the World Bank has developed a reputation for its selected 'development indicators'. These are a sort of league table, to help countries to see how they, and other countries, are performing. In the 1998-1999 edition, the data on land and agricultural productivity are revealing, containing grains of hope as well as despair. In the period 1979-1996 several ACP countries, such as Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Nigeria, doubled their food production, ahead of population growth. At the same time, the area of arable land available per person in each country shrunk by about one-quarter. Other countries faced with similar pressure, such as Rwanda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe have seen their production fall over the last seven years. The report discusses the theme 'Knowledge for Development', and warns against so-called 'knowledge gaps' and 'information failures', and about how having too much unrealiable information is just as bad as having none at all. Nothing new there, but perhaps the greatest news is in the new, non-proscriptive attitude of the World Bank. Its President, James Wolfensohn, writes: 'We shall sometimes discover unexpected solutions to seemingly intractable problems'. And: 'As we attempt to share what we have learned, we know that there is much we do not know.' Well, well, the Bank is bending. 'Knowledge for Development', World Bank, 1818 H St NW, Washington, DC 20433. Fax: +1 202 477 6391. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.worldbank.org