Miscellaneous Knowledge Notes

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    Adaptive Safety Nets for Rural Africa: Drought-Sensitive Targeting with Sparse Data
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-07) Baez, Javier E. ; Kshirsagar, Varun ; Skoufias, Emmanuel
    This paper combines remote-sensed data and individual child, mother, and household-level data from the Demographic and Health Surveys for 5 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to design a prototype drought-contingent targeting framework for use in scarce-data contexts. To accomplish this, the paper: (i) develops simple and easy-to-communicate measures of drought shocks; (ii) shows that droughts have a large impact on child stunting in these five countries, comparable, in size, to the effects of mother’s illiteracy or a fall to a lower wealth quintile; and (iii) shows that, in this context, decision trees and regressions predict stunting as accurately as complex machine learning methods that are not interpretable.2 Taken together, the analysis lends support to the idea that a data-driven approach may contribute to the design of a transparent and easy-to-use drought-contingent targeting framework
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    Location Matters: Welfare Among Urban and Rural Poor in Djibouti
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-01) Lara Ibarra, Gabriel ; Mendiratta, Vibhuti
    This note presents aspects of welfare of urban and rural poor in Djibouti. With only 15 percent of Djibouti's population, rural areas host about 45 percent of the country's poor. As such, these areas require a comprehensive strategy that invests in infrastructure and service provision and better connection to cities. The urban poor are more numerous and concentrated in the Balbala community of the capital. A policy tool kit to promote high quality of public services, better education and employment opportunities for urban poor would be critical.