Miscellaneous Knowledge Notes

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  • Publication
    How Insolvency and Creditor-Debtor Regimes Can Help Address Nonperforming Loans
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021) World Bank Group
    In modern economies, banks are typically the primary financial intermediaries and are fundamental to a stable financial system, one that is capable of efficiently allocating resources, assessing and managing financial risks, maintaining employment levels close to the economy’s natural rate, and eliminating price movements of real or financial assets that will affect monetary stability or employment levels. When banks are not able to recover the money lent, the financial system and the economy at large may suffer. Non-performing loans (NPLs) erode the profitability and can threaten the solvency of banks, and when a sufficiently large volume of loans is affected, they can potentially threaten financial sector stability. Efficient legal regimes that promote effective insolvency and creditor/debtor rights (ICR) are important tools that facilitate debt recovery, reduce the cost of credit, increase access to finance and, as a result, help improve NPL levels. This policy note examines the relationship between effective ICR systems and NPL levels.
  • Publication
    Book Chain: Incentivizing Actors in the Book Chain to Increase Availability of Quality Books for Children
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-12) World Bank Group
    The Results in Education for All Children (REACH) Trust Fund builds evidence on results-based financing in education, including by capturing operational lessons around its use. In the PRACTICE series, experts share their experience from working in the field to provide practical advice on how to apply results-based approaches to boost education outcomes. Reports in this series highlight key discussion points from REACH roundtables, backed by direct though anonymous quotes from participating experts to allow for frank discussion.
  • Publication
    South Africa - Results-Based Financing and the Book Supply Chain: Motivating Writers and Publishers to Create Quality Storybooks
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-12) World Bank Group
    Literacy serves as an essential building block for learning, so when children master reading, they are more likely to succeed in school generally. To support the South African government’s campaign to improve literacy rates and foster a love of reading among children, room to read implemented an initiative that included results-based elements to increase the availability of affordable, quality storybooks in African languages. The project brought together public and private sector players in the book supply chain to develop new national standards on storybooks and translations, and helped to identify and build capacity of smaller publishers and writers to publish African-language storybooks. In doing so, the project demonstrated how results-based financing can be effective in the production and procurement stages of the book chain in South Africa. Results-based financing motivated and engaged publishers and writers to participate and stay engaged in the two-year project, which armed them with the skills and knowledge they need to continue to create and publish quality storybooks on their own. The success of the South Africa project underscores the potential of using innovative models such as pooled procurement, open licensing, and one day one book workshops along with results-based financing to increase the availability of quality children’s books in a cost-efficient manner. By strengthening the book chain, the project ultimately helped to foster children’s love of reading and helped them to become better learners.
  • Publication
    Women in Utilities: A Driving Force for Workforce Modernization – A Case Study of Three Utilities in the Danube Region
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-09) World Bank Group
    Diversity at the top of an organization can lead to better decision making and governance, and gender-inclusive companies—including utilities—can better reflect the needs of a diverse set of consumers. In the Danube region, utilities often face a predominantly male and sometimes aging workforce. However, gender gaps in tertiary education are closing, including programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. For the water sector, creating an environment with equal opportunities for men and women at all levels of responsibility should therefore be an integral part of every utility's modernization process. Beginning in 2017, the Danube Water Program and the World Bank Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership collaborated with three pioneering utilities in the Danube region to take a closer look at gender equality in their workplace: Brasov Regional Water Utility in Romania, the Prishtina Regional Water Utility in Kosovo, and the Tirana Water Utility in Albania. The assessment focused on four areas that determine success in gender equality, and results show that although all utilities have their individual strengths and weaknesses, there is wide scope for improvement toward optimal performance through human resource practices that foster a more gender-inclusive workforce.
  • Publication
    Wastewater? From Waste to Resource in a Circular Economy Context: Latin America and the Caribbean Region
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-08-30) World Bank Group
    The World Bank, with contributions from the CAF - Development Bank of Latin America, is promoting a paradigm shift, moving away from considering wastewater as a waste and recognizing its inherent value. As part of this collaboration, both organizations have co-organized sessions with key stakeholders at the World Water Forum and Latinosan, to encourage the water community to move towards a circular economy model. This joint note summarizes the main findings of this collaborative work.
  • Publication
    Innovations and Tools in Child Growth Measurement and Data Visualization
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06-30) World Bank Group
    Despite global efforts to address malnutrition, the numbers of children under five who are not growing properly are alarming: 150.8 million (22.2 percent) are stunted (too short for their age), 50.5 million (7.5 percent) are wasted (too thin for their height), and 38.3 million (5.6 percent) are overweight (too heavy for their height). Children living in lower-middle income countries (LMIC) are particularly affected. At these rates, the world is off course to reach the World Health Assembly targets for 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.
  • Publication
    Female Labor Force Participation in Bangladesh: What Do We Know? How Can We Address it in Operations?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06) World Bank Group
    This knowledge note is designed to support operational teams to design interventions to help address the challenges of female labor force participation in Bangladesh. The note presents a brief overview of the status and dynamics of female labor force participation in Bangladesh, along with a discussion of underlying causes. It identifies potential areas for investment and policy intervention and provides good practice case examples from World Bank projects around the world.
  • Publication
    Insights for Global Development Solutions
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-10) World Bank Group
    The Development Digest is a half-yearly publication that features key works from teams based at the World Bank Group Global Knowledge and Research Hub in Malaysia. This third issue of the Development Digest focuses on green Islamic financing, where Malaysia leads the way with the issuance of the world's first green corporate sukuk. This digest also looks into topics like ASEAN at 50, open data, the role of GDP in development, migration, and microfinance. Other articles include one on industrial policies versus public goods to spur growth, and another on economic forecasting.
  • Publication
    WASH for Human Development: Can Scaling Up Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene Interventions Help Children Grow in Tanzania?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-09) World Bank Group
    In Tanzania, chronic undernutrition is at 35 percent among children under five. This makes the country home to the third highest population of children with chronic undernutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa, just after Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This brief provides an overview of the trends in undernutrition, as indicated by stunted growth, over time and by subgroups of gender, age in months, rurality, geography, and poverty. It also provides a geo-spatial stunting map which shows 1km x 1km pixel-level estimations of stunting rates. Using the UNICEF Synergies Approach (1990) and drawing on existing scientific literature, the brief then outlines the theory behind different pathways to chronic undernutrition through inadequate food, care, environment, and health services. Further econometric analysis has been conducted on the DHS 2016 data using Shapley decomposition, to identify the relative contributions of various determinants including water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) variables in determining stunting rates, and hence chronic undernutrition in the Tanzania. The relative contributions of other factors such as poverty, the child’s characteristics, mother’s characteristics and location are also highlighted. Finally, it provides operational and policy implications along the lines of multisectoral and nutrition-sensitive approaches for intervention design to reduce stunting in Tanzania.
  • Publication
    Knowledge Brief: When, Why, and How Water and Sanitation Utilities Can Benefit from Working Together
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-08) World Bank Group
    The World Bank Water Global Practice, under the WSS GSG Utility Turnaround thematic area, has implemented the Global Study on WSS Utility Aggregation to provide evidence-based guidance to policy makers and practitioners regarding when, why, and how water and sanitation utilities can work together, or aggregate, to successfully deliver specific policy outcomes, such as better services or lower costs. Aggregation has been regarded as an opportunity to improve cost efficiency and performance of service delivery through economies-of-scale and cost-sharing, as well as enhanced human capacity. However, the study shows that successful aggregation—where the aggregated service provider performs significantly better than the previously disaggregated entities regarding the intended purpose, without unreasonable deterioration of other performance dimensions—is not always guaranteed. This work presents and reviews global evidence, analyzes specific aggregation case studies, and identifies the key characteristics that successful aggregations have in common, depending on their purpose and the context in which they occur. This knowledge brief summarizes the study outcomes, which are detailed further in the main report, Joining Forces for Better Services? When, Why, and How Water and Sanitation Utilities Can Benefit from Working Together. The accompanying toolkit (accessible at www.worldbank.org/water/aggregationtoolkit), offers a broader set of resources to inform aggregation processes.