Miscellaneous Knowledge Notes

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Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa, home to more than 1 billion people, half of whom will be under 25 years old by 2050, is a diverse ...

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    Challenging Entrenched Marital Power in South Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-04-29) Arekapudi, Nisha ; Mazoni Silva Martins, Natália
    This brief examines more than thirty years of legal reform aimed at removing husbands’ marital power at the expense of their wives from South African legislation. For decades, marital power relegated wives to a position akin to minors, with devastating effects on women’s economic empowerment. Removing the many components of this form of discrimination from national law has required not only a conducive political environment, but also sustained momentum from the women’s rights movement and selective, strategic litigation that challenges the varied effects. Such reforms have directly and positively affected women’s economic inclusion. While efforts to improve gender equality in South Africa are ongoing, the analysis offers important insights on optimal contexts for change, the role women play in advocacy efforts, and the benefits of reform for economic growth.
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    COVID-19 Impact Monitoring: Malawi, Round 11
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-07) World Bank
    The COVID-19 pandemic has socio-economic impacts on Malawians and there is need for timely data to monitor these impacts and support response efforts to the pandemic. In May 2020, the National Statistical Office (NSO), with support from the World Bank, launched the High Frequency Phone Survey on COVID-19; a monthly survey of a nationally representative sample of households previously interviewed as part of the Malawi Integrated Household Panel Survey to monitor the economic impact of the pandemic and other shocks. This brief presents the findings from the tenth and eleventh rounds of the Malawi High-Frequency Phone Sur-vey on COVID-19 (HFPS COVID-19) conducted between the 29th of April and the 9th of June 2021.
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    Disaggregated Survey Data on Taxation to Improve Policy Design: A Perspective from the Ethiopia Socioeconomic Survey (2018/19)
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06) Ambel, Alemayehu A. ; Komatsu, Hitomi ; Koolwal, Gayatri ; Tsegay, Asmelash H. ; Yonis, Manex B.
    A disaggregated analysis of the tax burdens and economic needs of the most economically vulnerable - such as poor women and men, informal workers, and owners of micro- and small enterprises - is crucial for designing equitable and well-targeted tax and public spending policies. This is particularly important in low-income countries, where formal and informal tax systems often exist in parallel, and administrative data is sparse. Availability of data on tax payments by households and non-farm enterprises, individual-level employment and asset ownership, and contributions to community institutions and infrastructure programs can reveal important distributional implications for tax policy design going forward. This survey brief summarizes findings from the tax module of the nationally representative 2018-19 Ethiopia socioeconomic survey (ESS). The tax module covers different types of formal and informal taxes that households, businesses, and individuals pay, as well as informal contributions towards services and infrastructural improvements in the community. Findings from the multi-topic survey also reveal different tax burdens by socioeconomic and demographic groups, as well as across rural and urban areas, that are important for national tax policy design and targeting.
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    Gender Implications of Rural Land Use Fee and Agricultural Income Tax in Ethiopia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06) Komatsu, Hitomi ; Ambel, Alemayehu A. ; Koolwal, Gayatri ; Yonis, Manex Bule
    Land use fees and agricultural income tax in Ethiopia are levied on rural landholders according to the size of agricultural landholdings. Summarizing the evidence presented in the authors paper based on new, nationally-representative data on taxation of households and individual landholdings and rights in the Fourth Ethiopian Socioeconomic Survey, this brief discusses how area-based land taxes are regressive and the tax burdens for female-only households are larger than for dual-adult households. Social norms limiting women’s roles in agriculture and a gender agricultural productivity gap are likely to be a source of this gender bias. Lower tax rates for smallholders can reduce women’s tax burdens, but area-based land taxation would continue to be regressive.
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    Monitoring the Impact of COVID-19 on Firms in Zambia: Results from Two Rounds of World Bank Enterprise Survey Follow-ups on COVID-19
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-05) Finn, Arden ; Ayana, Gemechu A. ; Kanagavel, Rajee
    The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its negative economic effects create a need for timely data and evidence to help monitor and mitigate the social and economic impacts of the crisis. To monitor the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and related containment measures on formal firms in Zambia and to inform the policy response, the World Bank is implementing several rounds of phone-based surveys of firms. The surveys in Zambia are follow-ons from the baseline enterprise survey that was conducted in Zambia immediately prior to the pandemic. These phone surveys allow for a better understanding of the effects of and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic on firm operations, hiring and firing, and expectations of future operations and labor demand in order to better tailor and implement interventions and policy responses and monitor their effects. This note summarizes the results of round 2 (R2) of the survey, conducted between December 19, 2020 and February 18, 2021. The information presented in this report is based on the sample of 570 firms that responded to both round 1 (R1) and round 2 (R2) surveys.
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    Monitoring COVID-19 Impacts on Firms in Ethiopia, Report No. 7: How Ethiopian Firms are Adapting to the Pandemic? A Brief Look at the Evidence from HFPS-F
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-09-07) Abebe, Girum ; Bundervoet, Tom ; Wieser, Christina
    The High-Frequency Phone Survey of Firms (HFPS-F) interviews a sample of firms in Addis Ababa every three weeks for a total of eight survey rounds. This high-frequency follow-up allows for a better understanding of the effects of and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic on firm operations, hiring and firing, and expectations of future operations and labor demand. The results of this survey will help the Job Creation Commission, established under the Prime Minister’s Office, in formulating a response package to support the private sector throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
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    Mapping Deprivations in Mauritania
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-09) Dahmani-Scuitti, Anais ; Doyle, Jesse ; Lefebvre, Matthieu ; Meyer, Moritz ; Rajashekar, Anirudh
    Recent economic growth In Mauritania has helped reduce poverty, but spatial disparities in terms of both monetary welfare and access to services and opportunities remain. Designing policies and projects to improve living conditions requires localized and updated data not usually available from household surveys. Deprivation mapping—a new spatial deprivation analysis tool—uses administrative and geospatial settlement-level data (the lowest administrative unit in our case study Mauritania) to estimate settlement access deprivations across 4 dimensions: social services, basic infrastructure, opportunities, and exposure to weather/climate shocks. Database and visualizations (map) highlight and rank each settlement’s deprivation index, enhancing national data and showing spatial differences in the depth, complexity, and persistence of deprivations to inform policies and prioritize investments.
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    Collecting Robust Real-Time High Frequency Price Data in Fragile Settings
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-03) Pape, Utz J. ; Nunez Chaim, Gonzalo I.
    To embark on a sustainable pathway toward development, effective policy responses must be implemented quickly and based on evidence. This requires reliable, timely data, which is often unavailable especially in fragile settings. An innovative High Frequency Survey (HFS) infrastructure offers a modern data collection system to fill critical data gaps. It can provide quantitative data to inform programs and policies, often linked to resilience in fragile settings. Using the cases of Somalia and South Sudan, this note describes the design and setup of such a HFS infrastructure and illustrates how high frequency price data can effectively support decision-making even in the event of an economic or humanitarian crisis.
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    Using Satellite Imagery to Revolutionize the Creation of Tax Maps
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-08) Ali, Daniel Ayalew ; Deininger, Klaus ; Wild, Michael
    Globally, cities rely on property taxes as a key source of revenues to finance the services that enhance its long-term competitiveness and counter the negative aspects of density. In developing countries, the technical complexity of ensuring that tax rolls are complete and valuations current is often perceived as a major barrier to bringing in more property tax revenues. This policy paper shows how high-resolution satellite imagery makes it possible to assess the completeness of existing tax maps by estimating built-up areas based on building heights and footprints. Together with information on sales prices from the land registry, targeted surveys, and routine statistical data, this makes it possible to use mass valuation procedures to generate tax maps. The example of Kigali illustrates the reliability of the method and the potentially far-reaching revenue impacts. Estimates based on modelling show that heightened tax compliance and a move to a one percent ad valorem tax would yield a tenfold increase in revenue from public land.
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    Open Government Initiative in Edo State : Fostering an Ecosystem of Collaboration and Transparency
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-05) Bujoreanu, Lyudmila ; Kaplan, Jeff ; McNaughton, Matthew
    This note is intended to briefly describe the World Bank's experience supporting the development and implementation of an open government initiative in Nigeria's Edo State. It reflects upon the process of design and implementation of the first phase of the Edo State Open Government Initiative, which began in 2011 and sought to establish a broader framework for an Open Government ecosystem in the state. Phase 1 culminated with the launch of the Edo State Open Data Portal in September 2013, the first sub-national portal in Africa and which contains more than 100 data sets that had not been previously digitized or released to the public. Using this experience as a reference point, the note seeks to surface some lessons learned for effectively partnering with governments (both federal and state) on an open government agenda. At its core, open government is commonly perceived as being comprised of three main pillars: participation, transparency and collaboration. The World Bank's engagement with the Edo State Government in establishing of an Open Government Framework and moving open government ideas forward has resulted in a number of tangible outcomes and public goods. The Edo State Open Data Portal is now being reused by the developer's community and is providing citizens of Edo with free access to high-value, government data. As a result of the project, the government created two special units: a data digitalization unit and a GIS unit. The case of Edo presents a valuable knowledge sharing opportunity around creating an open government ecosystem and moving this agenda forward in a complex environment.