Miscellaneous Knowledge Notes

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  • Publication
    Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes: Rationale, Evidence and Design for Improving Health
    (Washington DC: World Bank, 2024-02-21) World Bank
    The purpose of this note is to provide an updated overview of 1) the rationale for implementing sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxes, 2) the impact of SSB taxes on prices, the demand for SSBs and substitutes, and economic outcomes, and 3) tax design, revenue, and tax administration considerations. A summary of policy considerations is also provided to aid in decision-making.
  • Publication
    Monitoring Impacts of COVID-19 and other Shocks, Round 13, Jul-Aug 2023
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2024-01-23) Atamanov, Aziz; Ilukor, John; Kemigisha, Audrey; Machingauta, Catherine; Mupere, Andrew; Ponzini, Guilia
    In June 2020, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, with the support from the World Bank, has launched the High-Frequency Phone Survey on COVID-19 to track the impacts of the pandemic on a monthly basis for a period of 12 months. In June 2022, the scope of the survey was expanded to monitor economic sentiments and the socioeconomic impact of other shocks such as the Russia-Ukraine war and extreme weather events. The survey aimed to recontact the entire sample of households that had been interviewed during the Uganda National Panel Survey 2019/20 round and that had phone numbers for at least one household member or a reference individual. This set of tables presents findings from the most recent round (12th) of the UHFPS, conducted in July - August 2023.
  • Publication
    Digitizing Court Systems: Benefits and Limitations
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2024-01-23) Maroz, Raman; Popova, Oleksandra; Satizábal Acosta, Santiago
    The eagerness with which governments across the world rushed to digitize their court systems during the COVID-19 pandemic might create an impression that new technologies alone can solve the multitude of issues associated with the quality and efficiency of dispute resolution. However, while digitization can indeed contribute positively to the operation of judicial institutions, new technologies constitute only one factor, albeit an important one, affecting the outcomes in the complex, multifaceted system for resolving disputes. The findings in this brief show that while increased digitization is associated with greater accessibility and transparency within judiciaries, it may not necessarily result in significant improvements in the efficiency of the court processes unless a more holistic approach is considered.
  • Publication
    Laws and Policies to Address Violence Against Women in Countries Affected by Fragility and Conflict
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2024-01-23) Santagostino Recavarren, Isabel; Marekera, Shantel; Gnakra, Mariam Anaïs
    This Brief presents data collected by the World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law (WBL) project on legal and supportive frameworks to curb domestic violence and sexual harassment in 55 countries, including 17 categorized as affected by fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV). Analysis of the data reveals glaring gaps in the legal and supportive frameworks currently in place to protect women from on laws and policies currently in place in FCV countries, as well as the gaps, the
  • Publication
    Thailand Monthly Economic Monitor: 17 January 2024
    (Washington, DC, 2024-01-22) World Bank
    The economy sustained its gradual recovery, buoyed by strong private consumption and improving goods exports but hampered by contracting manufacturing production. The economy is projected to grow 2.5 percent in 2023 and accelerate to 3.2 percent in 2024. Inflation remained negative for the third consecutive month and stayed well below peers, primarily due to falling energy and food prices as well as energy subsidies. The marginal increase in the minimum wage for 2024 is unlikely to exert significant pressure on inflation. The planned fiscal stimulus measures are expected to provide a short-term boost to growth but will delay fiscal consolidation. In December, the Thai baht appreciated against major trading partners, although net foreign portfolio outflows were the largest in three months.
  • Publication
    Myanmar Budget Brief, November 2023
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-01-12) World Bank
    This budget brief presents a summary of developments in Myanmar’s public finances. This report includes three sections that cover the aggregate fiscal update, public finance developments in states and regions, and core service ministries. The report relies on data from published reports of the Ministry of Planning and Finance, and other publicly available information.
  • Publication
    How to Identify Gender Gaps in Urban Forced Displacement: Guidance Note
    (Washington, DC, 2023-12-11) World Bank
    This Guidance Note offers comprehensive insights on how to conduct a gender gap analysis of the needs of displaced women and girls in situations of urban forced displacement. Addressing gender disparities is critical to the consolidation of peace and security. The 2024-2030 World Bank Group Gender Strategy commits the Bank to closing gender gaps in fragile and conflict-affected situations, which includes addressing women’s leadership, control over assets, access to employment, and social protection. The World Bank Strategy for Fragility, Conflict and Violence 2020-2025 also highlights the Bank’s role in mitigating the impacts of violent conflict and strengthening the resilience of the most vulnerable populations. Disaster risk management is crucial in urban areas, especially for displaced people living in informal communities. Therefore, the World Bank’s 2021-2025 Climate Change Action Plan is a critical component of a thorough gender gap analysis in urban settings.
  • Publication
    Understanding Socioeconomic Factors in Climate Change Awareness and Action
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-12-05) Asad, Saher; Dahlin, Lauren N.; Barón, Juan D.
    Climate change has profoundly affected Pakistan, manifesting in altered weather patterns and devastating floods. According to projections, Pakistan’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to decrease by a minimum of 18 to 20 percent by 2050 due to severe climate-related occurrences, environmental deterioration, and air contamination. This policy note presents findings from a phone survey that explores the socio-economic factors influencing the level of concern and likelihood of action regarding climate change.
  • Publication
    Using Disaster Risk Financing to Build Adaptive Social Protection for Climate Shocks in Malawi: Social Support for Resilient Livelihoods
    (Washington, DC, 2023-12-04) World Bank
    The Government of Malawi put in place a mechanism that enables its flagship unconditional cash transfer program—the Social Cash Transfer Program (SCTP)—to scale up response to additional beneficiaries when shocks occur. Making the SCTP shock-responsive is a key strategic pillar of the government’s Disaster Risk Financing Strategy. The SCTP scalable mechanism was first implemented during the 2021/22 rainfall season in three initially selected districts (Blantyre, Ntcheu, and Thyolo). It covered 74,000 poor and vulnerable households that would be eligible to receive a cash transfer in the event of a shock, and in fact a drought and compounding shocks resulted in a payout for the households. In 2022/23, the mechanism was expanded to cover over 100,000 households in six districts; the long-term goal is to make it a nationwide mechanism. This note summarizes the gpvernment’s process for establishing this mechanism and presents key results and lessons learned.
  • Publication
    Building Resilient Livelihoods: The Enduring Impacts of Afghanistan's Targeting the Ultra-Poor Program
    (Washington, DC, 2023-12-04) World Bank
    Between 2018 and 2021, the country was beset by multiple crises: severe droughts in 2018 and 2021, escalating violence, and the COVID-19 pandemic, fundamentally affected Afghans' livelihoods, creating an even more fragile context. In 2021, five years after households started receiving the program, and shortly prior to the regime change in August 2021, ultra-poor women in the treatment group continued to have significantly higher levels of consumption, assets, market work participation, financial inclusion, children’s school enrollment, and women’s psychological well-being and empowerment, relative to the control group. Households boost resilience by diversifying productive activities and the program improves equality by reducing the gaps between ultra-poor and non-ultra- poor households across multiple dimensions.