Miscellaneous Knowledge Notes

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  • Publication
    A Case Study on How Allocative Efficiency Analysis Supported by Mathematical Modelling Changed HIV Investment in Sudan
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-11) World Bank
    This brief presents a real-life example of how a group of government decision-makers, programme managers, researchers and development partners worked together to improve the allocation of HIV resources in Sudan and thereby better address the HIV objectives that the country strives to achieve. The initial modelling analysis showed that by reallocating funds towards antiretroviral treatment (ART) and prevention programmes in Sudan, 37 percent of new HIV infections could be averted with the same amount of funding. These allocations combined with additional technical efficiency gains would allow for increasing ART coverage from 6 percent in 2013 to 34 percent in 2017, and more than double programme coverage for key populations. The reallocations in the 2015 to 2017 HIV budget for the national response are projected to avert an additional 3,200 new infections and 1,100 deaths in these three years compared to initially planned allocations.The reallocations were achieved through a rigorous HIV allocative efficiency analysis and evidence-informed policy process, conducted by a multi-disciplinary team of national and international partners working for the common goal to make Sudan’s HIV response more manageable and sustainable. The case study discusses process and outcomes of this effort. It also offers some reflections on the application of mathematical modelling to strengthening decision-making of finite HIV resources, and some lessons learned about how to go ‘beyond modelling’ to application of modelled allocative efficiency improvements to improving actual budget allocations for better health outcomes.
  • Publication
    Systems in Action: Tanzania
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-11) World Bank
    Education systems are large, complex organizations that encompass not only various sets of actors and inputs, but also the relationships that allow those actors and units to work together. When standards, rules, accountability relationships and financing levels are aligned towards shared education goals, the education system as a whole, in all its complexity and size, is coherent and able to perform well. Improving learning outcomes therefore requires much more than simply increasing resources; education systems must be strengthened at the component and the system level, to help equip children, youth and adults with knowledge and skills for life. The World Bank helps countries ensure ‘learning for all’ through support to countries on both the financing and knowledge fronts. The Education Global Practice within the World Bank champions a systems approach, by holistically evaluating which education policies and programs are most likely to create quality learning environments and improve student performance, especially among the disadvantaged and excluded.
  • Publication
    Exploring the Phenomenon of Missing Girls in the South Caucasus
    (Washington, DC, 2015-04) World Bank
    Sex ratio at birth, the number of boys born for every 100 girls, has increased in the South Caucasus in the past decades. A World Bank study sought to produce rigorous and supporting evidence on the issue of “missing girls” in the South Caucasus countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia to inform and propose policy options. The findings highlight the causes and consequences of skewed birth ratios and sex selection and are summed up in this brief. Although recent data suggest an improving trend, the higher-than-expected ratio of male to female births reveals underlying gender inequality in the region- overshadowing progress in other areas, such as educational attainment. The specific topics addressed in this paper are: the preference for sons, decline in fertility, prenatal sex detection technology, and shocks due to the dropping rates. Finally the report concludes by discussing policies that could be put in place to address the current trend in sex ratio in the Caucasus.
  • Publication
    Vulnerability of Internally Displaced Persons in Urban Settings
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-01) World Bank; UNHCR
    Internal displacement, rapid growth of urban areas and proliferation of informal settlements are in the spotlight of public policy debate in Afghanistan at present. This pamphlet discusses characteristics, livelihood strategies and vulnerabilities of households living in informal settlements in three urban centers in Afghanistan. These findings summarize the analysis from a joint World Bank-UNHCR ‘research study on IDPs in urban settings’, which illustrates the complexities of displacement and of urban informal settlement growth. Motivated by an existing knowledge gap on these issues, the analysis provides a starting point for discussion among actors directly or indirectly involved with management of problems related to displacement and urban informal settlements, including departments in the Government of Afghanistan, international institutions and stakeholders from civil society. The study documents the significance of displacement as a factor underlying vulnerabilities observed in informal settlements, and identifies IDPs as an extremely deprived segment of the population, even in comparison to the profile of urban poverty in the recent national risk and vulnerability assessment.