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Glossary

The glossary in this Portal provides definitions of core terms closely related to the medium-term expenditure framework; and links to other online glossaries.

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Word

Definition

ICT

Information Technology (IT) is: "the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware." In short, IT deals with the use of electronic computers and computer software to convert, store, protect, process, transmit and retrieve information, securely.

In this definition, the term "information" can usually be replaced by "data" without loss of meaning. Recently it has become popular to broaden the term to explicitly include the field of electronic communication so that people tend to use the abbreviation
ICT (Information and Communication Technology).

ICT transmit, store, create, share or exchange information. ICT include: radio, television, video, DVD, telephone, satellite systems, computer and network hardware and software.

Incentive

In economics, an incentive is any factor (financial or non-financial) that provides a motive for a particular course of action, or counts as a reason for preferring one choice to the alternatives. Since human beings are purposeful creatures, the study of incentive structures is central to the study of all economic activity (both in terms of individual decision-making and in terms of co-operation and competition within a larger institutional structure).

Income redistribution

Income redistribution, or the redistribution of wealth, is a political policy usually promoted by members of the political left, and opposed, or less strongly supported, by members of the political right. The basic premise of the redistribution of wealth is that money should be distributed so it benefits all members of society, and that the rich should be obliged to assist the poor. Today, income redistribution occurs in some form in most democratic countries, most commonly through income-adjusted taxes (in which the amount of tax paid is directly connected to one's income), some of which goes to fund welfare programs to assist the poor.

Income statement

A financial statement that summarizes the financial results of an organization operations over a specified time period such as a quarter or a year.

Inflation

In mainstream economics, the word “inflation” refers to a general rise in prices measured against a standard level of purchasing power. Previously the term was used to refer to an increase in the money supply, which is now referred to as expansionary monetary policy or monetary inflation. Inflation is measured by comparing two sets of goods at two points in time, and computing the increase in cost not reflected by an increase in quality. There are, therefore, many measures of inflation depending on the specific circumstances. The most well known are the consumer price index (CPI) which measures consumer prices, and the GDP deflator, which measures inflation in the whole of the domestic economy.

Information disclosure

Information disclosure means the giving out of information, either voluntarily or to be in compliance with legal regulations or workplace rules.

Informational asymmetry (asymmetrical information)

In economics, information asymmetry occurs when one party to a transaction has more or better information than the other party. (It has also been called asymmetrical information). Typically, it is the seller that knows more about the product than the buyer, however, it is possible for the reverse to be true: for the buyer to know more than the seller.

Inputs-outputs-outcome

Inputs

The resources used to produce outputs. Inputs are usually expressed as amounts of expenditure or of resources themselves (e.g., the number of employee/days). An input to one activity may be the output of an earlier activity.

Outputs

The products and services produced directly by a programme or activity. Outputs are important e.g., in setting targets for staff to achieve and measuring performance, but do not in themselves indicate the extent to which progress has occurred toward achieving a programme’s ultimate purpose. Depending on their nature, outputs may or may not be easy to measure, e.g., the number of hospital cases is easier to measure than the quality of advice on a policy issue submitted by a health official to the minister concerned.

Outcomes

Economic or social changes brought about by a policy measure, programme or activity. Outcomes are distinct from outputs, which measure the immediate effects of a programme or activity. For example, the outcome of a random breath-testing campaign conducted by the police may be a decline in drunk driving, while one of the outputs could be the number of drivers charged with exceeding the legal alcohol limit. Programmes usually have two types of outcomes: (i) End outcomes that reflect the desired end or ultimate results that the programme or activity aims to achieve; (ii) Intermediate outcomes that are expected to lead to the ends desired, but are not themselves ends. See also impact, outputs, performance indicators and performance measurement.

Institutions

Institution is sometimes used synonymously with the term “organisation” or “body”, e.g. a ministry or government office. Institutions comprise any set of premises in a permanent structure or structures designed to house (usually large) groups of persons who are bound by either a common public objective or a common personal interest. Such sets of living quarters usually have certain common facilities shared by the occupants (baths, lounges, dormitories and so forth). Hospitals, military barracks, boarding schools, convents, prisons and so forth fall within this category. However, the term is also increasingly used in a different sense, to describe the formal and informal rules that determine behaviour, and the enforcement of these rules.

Insurance

The activity of insurance is intended to provide individual institutional units exposed to certain risks with financial protection against the consequences of the occurrence of specified events. It is also a form of financial intermediation in which funds are collected from policyholders and invested in financial or other assets which are held as technical reserves to meet future claims arising from the occurrence of the events specified in the insurance policies.

Intergenerational equity

Intergenerational equity is equality in treatment for different generations. Conversations about intergenerational equity occur across several fields. They include transition economics, social policy, and government budget-making. Intergenerational equity is also explored in environmental concerns, including sustainable development, global warming and climate change. Conversations about intergenerational equity are also relevant to social justice arenas as well, where issues such as health care are equal in importance to youth rights and youth voice are pressing and urgent. There is a strong interest within the legal community towards the application of intergenerational equity in law.

Investment management

Investment management is the professional management of various securities (shares, bonds etc.) and other assets (e.g., real estate), to meet specified investment goals for the benefit of the investors. Investors may be institutions (insurance companies, pension funds, corporations etc.) or private investors (both directly via investment contracts and more commonly via collective investment schemes e.g., mutual funds).

Investment risk

On ground of assurance of the return, there are two kinds of Investments - riskless and risky. Riskless investments are guaranteed, but since the value of a guarantee is only as good as the guarantor, those backed by the full faith and confidence of a large stable government are the only ones considered "riskless." Even in that case the risk of devaluation of the currency (inflation) is a form of risk appropriately called "inflation risk." Therefore no venture can be said to be by definition "risk free" - merely very close to it where the guarantor is a stable government.