Population biobanks offer new opportunities for public health, are rudimentary for the development of its new branch called Public Health Genomics, and are important for translational research. This article presents organizational models of population biobanks in selected European countries. Review of bibliography and websites of European population biobanks (UK, Spain, Estonia). Some countries establish national genomic biobanks (DNA banks) in order to conduct research on new methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the genetic and lifestyle diseases and on pharmacogenetic research. Individual countries have developed different organizational models of these institutions and specific legal regulations regarding various ways of obtaining genetic data from the inhabitants, donors’ rights, organizational and legal aspects. Population biobanks in European countries were funded in different manners. In light of these solutions, the authors discuss prospects of establishing a Polish national genomic biobank for research purpose. They propose the creation of such an institution based on the existing network of blood-donation centres and clinical biobanks in Poland.
Soil nutrients, dormant axillary meristem availability, and competition can influence plant tolerance to damage. However, the role of potential bud banks (adventitious meristems initiated only after injury) is not known. Examining Central European field populations of 22 species of short-lived monocarpic herbs exposed to various sources of damage, we hypothesized that: (1) with increasing injury severity, the number of axillary branches would decrease, due to axillary meristem limitation, whereas the number of adventitious shoots (typically induced by severe injury) would increase; (2) favorable environmental conditions would allow intact plants to branch more, resulting in stronger axillary meristem limitation than in unfavorable conditions; and (3) consequently, adventitious sprouting would be better enabled in favorable than unfavorable conditions. We found strong support for the first hypothesis, only limited support for the second, and none for the third. Our results imply that whereas soil nutrients and competition marginally influence plant tolerance to damage, potential bud banks enable plants to overcome meristem limitation from severe damage, and therefore better tolerate it. All the significant effects were found in intraspecific comparisons...
Control charts are effective tools for signal detection in both manufacturing processes and service processes. Much of the data in service industries comes from processes having nonnormal or unknown distributions. The commonly used Shewhart variable control charts, which depend heavily on the normality assumption, are not appropriately used here. In this paper, we propose a new asymmetric EWMA variance chart (EWMA-AV chart) and an asymmetric EWMA mean chart (EWMA-AM chart) based on two simple statistics to monitor process variance and mean shifts simultaneously. Further, we explore the sampling properties of the new monitoring statistics and calculate the average run lengths when using both the EWMA-AV chart and the EWMA-AM chart. The performance of the EWMA-AV and EWMA-AM charts and that of some existing variance and mean charts are compared. A numerical example involving nonnormal service times from the service system of a bank branch in Taiwan is used to illustrate the applications of the EWMA-AV and EWMA-AM charts and to compare them with the existing variance (or standard deviation) and mean charts. The proposed EWMA-AV chart and EWMA-AM charts show superior detection performance compared to the existing variance and mean charts. The EWMA-AV chart and EWMA-AM chart are thus recommended.
Includes bibliography; The services sector has grown significantly in most countries and in the world economy as a whole. This has been observed in the progression from primary to secondary and/or tertiary sector-led economic growth and development. Services contribute significantly to output, employment and exports. They account for about 80% of the United States output (GDP) and about 65% of GDP of the European Union. Developed countries are the largest service exporters accounting for over 70% of services traded in the late 1990s. Although developing countries account for a relatively small proportion of internationally traded services their exports of services grew more significantly than those of developed countries during the 1990s. Travel and tourism are the most significant service exports of developing countries. Export of financial services became increasingly significant since the 1990s. Most Caribbean countries have moved directly from primary-sector-led development to tertiary-sector-led development. Despite this, data collection and accounting methods remained largely biased towards measurement of the goods producing sectors of the economy. This is no doubt due to the fact that the output of services sectors is more difficult to measure than that of goods sectors. Part of the problem of measurement has to do with the treatment of services within goods producing sectors. One can determine the contribution of services to output if...
Over the past 30 years there has been
considerable research on the political economy of reform.
Yet despite this, little is known about strategies for
managing the politics of change-moving from a bad to a
better equilibrium. Part of the challenge of studying this
issue stems from the difficulty of obtaining detailed,
so-called "blow-by-blow" information on actual
reform processes. From this type of information, one can
discern and cull practical lessons on strategy, which by its
very nature is about dealing with political barriers or
problems as they crop up during the implementation process.
This study looks at the sequence of events that ultimately
led to the passage of legislation that markedly altered the
rules that govern public procurement in the Philippines. The
study attempts to distill operationally useful lessons for
managing the politics of a reform process.
This paper examines the conceptual and empirical basis of corruption and governance and concludes that decentralized local governance is conducive to reduced corruption in the long run. This is because localization helps to break the monopoly of power at the national level by bringing decisionmaking closer to people. Localization strengthens government accountability to citizens by involving citizens in monitoring government performance and demanding corrective actions. Localization as a means to making government responsive and accountable to people can help reduce corruption and improve service delivery. Efforts to improve service delivery usually force the authorities to address corruption and its causes. However, one must pay attention to the institutional environment and the risk of local capture by elites. In the institutional environments typical of some developing countries, when in a geographical area, feudal or industrial interests dominate and institutions of participation and accountability are weak or ineffective and political interference in local affairs is rampant, localization may increase opportunities for corruption. This suggests a pecking order of anticorruption policies and programs where the rule of law and citizen empowerment should be the first priority in any reform efforts. Localization in the absence of rule of law may not prove to be a potent remedy for combating corruption.
This paper identifies systematic performance differences between younger and older democracies: younger democracies are more corrupt; exhibit less rule of law, lower levels of bureaucratic quality, and lower secondary school enrollments; and spend more on public investment and government workers. Only one theory explains the effects of democratic age on the wide range of policy outcomes examined here-the inability of political competitors in younger democracies to make credible promises to citizens. This explanation, first advanced in Keefer and Vlaicu (2004), offers a concrete interpretation of what political institutionalization might mean, and why it is that young democracies frequently fail to become older and well-performing democracies. A variety of tests support this explanation against alternatives. The effect of democratic age remains large even after controlling for the possibilities that voters are less well-informed in young democracies, that young democracies have systematically different political and electoral institutions, or that young democracies exhibit more polarized societies.
National, regional, or global networks
of parliamentarians are proving important vehicles for
enhancing their capacity and the effectiveness of
parliaments and parliamentarians in developing countries.
The networks have been particularly active in fighting
corruption and mitigating its negative impacts on economic
and human development. This Capacity Development (CD) Brief
reviews the activities of several such networks worldwide at
the individual, regional, and global levels that are making
a difference in the ability of parliamentarians to address
corruption in their countries.
In an increasingly congested market for
financial institutions in the major cities of Bangladesh,
United Leasing Company (ULC), an International Finance
Corporation (IFC) partner financial institution, decided to
go where other such institutions were not yet focusing,
rural Bangladesh. The smart lesson describes how IFC South
Asia Enterprise Development Facility (SEDF) was able to
leverage internal expertise and help ULC take a first-mover
position and access viable businesses in rural Bangladesh.
The Russian Far East faces severe
development challenges. Its remoteness and harsh winter
conditions, particularly in the case of Magadan Oblast,
limit economic development opportunities to mining and
fishing. The weak investment climate, combined with
geographic isolation, contribute to a poor standard of
living. And the most vulnerable group is the indigenous
community, where unemployment is four to five times that of
the general population. The smart lesson summarizes the
experience of the Russian Far East Business Development
Project in working to develop new economic opportunities for
entrepreneurs among the native population.
The note examines regional planning, and
future participatory methods for economic development in
West Africa, based on the work carried out by the Club du
Sahel - a branch of the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) - responsible for
coordinating northern donor agencies, in support of food
security, and natural resource management in the desert-edge
portions of West Africa, in cooperation with the Interstate
Committee for Struggle Against Drought in the Sahel. The
results prompted controversy, because of disagreements
between Europeans - favoring urban-oriented scenarios - and
North Americans - more inclined toward rural-oriented ones -
including the views of Northerners who provided the
analysis, in contrast to that of African researchers who
felt somehow shortchanged. However, collaboration on a
participatory study of decentralization, and capacity
building, involving case studies of local communities,
assumed a major new development, and management
responsibilities on their own. Through a trial methodology...
Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
has become an established part of the global landscape, with
companies throughout the world abiding by the United Nations
global compact and many governments starting CSR
initiatives. Michel Doucin explains the history behind the
phenomenon, identifying the pioneers, including those in
emerging markets, and the different interpretations of CSR.
He argues for the recently adopted genuine international
rules to shape a universal CSR framework.
Agriculture sector growth has made a
powerful contribution to post-war economic recovery in
Tajikistan, accounting for approximately one third of
overall economic growth from 1998 to 2004. Sector output
increased by 65 percent in real terms during this period,
and has now returned to the level extant at independence in
1990. Total Factor Productivity (TFP) has also increased, by
3 percent per year. Despite this progress, there is
legitimate concern that this growth is unsustainable.
Evidence suggests that it has been driven largely by the
external factors noted above, rather than substantive
changes to resources, incentives and the behavior of factor
and commodity markets. First, an extensive program of policy
reform, particularly in the area of land ownership, has yet
to make a substantial impact on the incentive structure for
agricultural workers cultivating the majority of arable
land. Second, sustainable growth requires positive net
investment. Third, commodity markets remain weak, with a
limited capacity to translate increased demand into improved
production incentives. And fourth...
Syria made promotion of non-oil exports
one of the main objectives of its development strategy to
counter the emerging twin balance of payments and fiscal
deficits resulting from secular decline of oil production
and exports. To realize this objective, the Government has
implemented a number of trade policy reforms and took
complementary measures in other policy areas during the 10th
five-year plan to improve competitiveness of Syrian products
in international markets. Non-oil exports responded strongly
to the policy improvements. There is now a wide recognition
of the need for further reforms to maintain this momentum.
This paper tried to assess the achievement so far, identify
the remaining gaps in the trade regime, and recommend follow
up measures for broadening and deepening the trade reforms.
The principal recommendations are presented in the attached
policy matrix. The objective of export incentives is to
reduce the costs of exported products with policy
instruments consistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.
This paper studies the effect of
political regime transitions on public policy using a new
data set on global agricultural and food policies over a
50-year period (including data from 74 developing and
developed countries over the 1955 2005 period). The authors
find evidence that democratization leads to a reduction of
agricultural taxation, an increase in agricultural
subsidization, or both. The empirical findings are
consistent with the predictions of the median voter model
because political transitions occurred primarily in
countries with a majority of farmers. The results are robust
to different specifications, estimation approaches, and
The author reviews how three pillars of
political economy-collective action, institutions, and
political market imperfections-help us answer the question:
Why do some countries develop and others do not? Each makes
tremendous advances in our understanding of who wins and who
loses in government decision making, generally, but only a
subset of this literature helps us answer the question. The
study of political market imperfections strongly suggests
that the lack of credibility of pre-electoral political
promises and incomplete voter information are especially
robust in explaining development outcomes. From the
institutional literature, the most powerful explanation of
contrasting development outcomes links political checks and
balances to the credibility of government commitments.
This article introduces a large new
cross-country database, the database of political
institutions. It covers 177 countries over 21 years,
1975-95. The article presents the intuition, construction,
and definitions of the different variables. Among the novel
variables introduced are several measures of checks and
balances, tenure and stability, identification of party
affiliation with government or opposition, and fragmentation
of opposition and government parties in the legislature.
The civil service management model in
the Demorcatic Republic of Congo (DRC) still conforms to the
old institutional order. The legislation governing
employment in the public sector is unchanged and still
responds to centralized administration. The public
administration categorizes public employees in two main
groups: civil servants and local public employees. Civil
servants are governed by legislation that is neither merit
based nor performance and result oriented. Local public
employees are governed by labor legislation.
Decentralization also requires the definition of a salary
system for the new provincial administrations. For the first
six months of the establishment of the provincial Civil
Service, the same salary paid to the State civil servants
should be ensured and paid to the provincial civil servants
by the State administration. The provinces would not have
yet established adequate financial coverage and mechanisms
to ensure regular payments. While the provincial
administrations are being consolidated (maximum 2 years)...
The Ombudsman Bureau in Jordan was
established in 2008. It was created to provide an avenue for
redress by citizens for complaints against public sector
bodies - part of the Government s drive to improve the
public sector. Such a body is important in providing checks
and balances in a government dominated by a strong executive
branch. It also provides an alternative process of dispute
resolution to filing cases in courts, thus relieving
pressure on the court system and providing a means of
redress that may prove more accessible than the courts for
certain categories of disputes.