The world continues to be shaped by profound forces – conflict, climate change, economic recession, pandemic recovery, and a declining fight against poverty. The value of knowledge and capacity-building has been elevated in the midst of global uncertainty from overlapping crises. Against this backdrop, the World Bank Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC) in collaboration with the Korea Development Institute (KDI) organized a day-long workshop on how cities and better utilize data to enhance human capital, governance, and to promote lessons for development.
On November 16, 2023, TDLC brought together officials of ministries and local governments from Indonesia, Samoa, Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, and Sri Lanka to the seminar “Pathways to Sustainable Development on the Foundation of Knowledge.” During the program, the KDI made presentations on use of country-level trade data as tool to diagnose areas of need for development countries. It also presented the Korea’s experience in designing smart cities and implementing smart city solutions, including sensors to monitor environmental indicators, transportation, and public safety. The World Bank on the other hand presented on-going preparation of the Country Climate Diagnostic Reports around the world, and the use of nature-based solutions to make cities “climate-smart” and resilient.
The presentations were followed by a panel discussion on the topic of “how cities respond to the needs of the citizens and the role of knowledge.” Chaired by Dr. Youngsun Koh, the Vice President of the Korea Development Institute, the panel consisted of Megumi Muto, the Vice President of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Shahina Mysan, the Head of Waste Management in Colombo Municipal Council, and Neil Ravena, the Head of Iloilo City’s Environment and Natural Resources Office. The panelist shared visions for their respective cities in creating a sustainable future and advocated for the importance of financing and partnerships in building these visions into reality.