Miscellaneous Knowledge Notes

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  • 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.
  • Publication
    Legal Framework and Assessment of Policy Gaps in Romania: Background Note for the Gender Assessment
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-11-29) Chilera , Chifundo; Costache, Irina
    This note reviews the legal, institutional, and policy framework that affects gender equality in the country, including efforts to enforce gender laws and policies.
  • Publication
    Ensuring the Adequacy of Education Finance through Domestic Resource Mobilization: The Case of Sierra Leone
    (Washington, DC, 2023-11-20) World Bank
    Historically, education expenditure in Sierra Leone has been insufficient to provide quality education to all school-age children. Although real government expenditure on education increased on average by 11 percent per year between 2008 and 2014, this increase was barely adequate to keep up with rapidly expanding enrollment figures, with the total number of students enrolled in primary and secondary education rising from 709,875 to 1,809,563 between 2001 and 2015 (UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), 2023a; UIS, 2023b). In 2012, per-student expenditure on primary education was 5.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, compared to an average of 11.1 percent in sub-Saharan Africa (UIS, 2023c). The education system in Sierra Leone is divided into pre-primary education (three years, starting at age three), primary education (six years, starting at age six), junior secondary education (three years, starting at age 12), senior secondary education, and higher education. Primary and junior secondary education together comprise basic education, which is compulsory for all children. Transitioning from one level to another is typically based on performance in national level examinations. Starting at the secondary level, students can follow either a general academic program or opt for one of the technical and vocational education and training programs. There are three categories of schools: (a) government schools that are funded and managed by the government; (b) government-assisted schools that receive financial assistance from the government but are owned by non-government organizations such as missions or a community; and (c) private schools that are privately owned, funded, and managed without financial assistance from the government.
  • Publication
    Ensuring Equitable Financing of Schools in FCV Contexts: The Case of Democratic Republic of Congo
    (Washington, DC, 2023-11-20) World Bank
    Free education policies have vastly increased access to schooling but, if improperly financed, can reduce quality, and exacerbate inequities in education systems. To support free education, countries in sub-Saharan Africa have introduced new alternative models of school funding. Abolition of tuition fees has been the key component of free education policies implemented in sub-Saharan African countries since the 1990s (Bashir, Lockheed, Ninan and Tan, 2018). However, abolishing fees, without replacing revenue for use by schools, leads to financing shortages that can severely impair education quality. These shortages impact the equity of education systems. Schools in wealthier neighborhoods may be better able to cope with financing shortages through informal voluntary contributions from communities and revenue mobilization from NGOs and other supporters. In poorer areas, these informal means of revenue mobilization are likely to be more difficult, leading to large disparities in per-student finance between schools. To address this, sub-Saharan African countries have introduced school grant schemes, providing discretionary finance to schools for operating costs, the purchase of materials, and improvements to learning environments. School grants provide control to schools and their communities over day-to-day expenditure, typically while maintaining control of larger cost items—such as teachers and classrooms, at district or national level. However, the effective implementation of school grant schemes entails challenges: ensuring the appropriate use of grant finance requires functional school management systems, mechanisms to keep schools committed to national goals, and oversight and audit systems to ensure the proper use of finance. These tasks could be particularly difficult for underdeveloped education systems with preexisting school funding gaps and low capacity at the school level, such as those found in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Publication
    Addressing Inefficient Distribution of Teachers Between Schools: The Case of Tanzania With Malawi and the Gambia
    (Washington, DC, 2023-11-20) World Bank
    Teachers are the single most important input to learning, and in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa teachers’ emoluments account for most of the spending on basic education (Bold et al., 2017). However, in many countries in the region teachers are poorly distributed between schools. Schools in remote areas are frequently understaffed compared to those closer to towns and large villages, reflecting a reluctance among teachers to accept postings in areas with significant hardship (Mulkeen, 2010). By contrast, schools in or close to towns and larger villages, where more facilities and amenities are available, often have more teachers than required by government standards, even where the overall supply of teachers nationwide is inadequate. An estimated 28 percent of the variation in staffing between schools in the region cannot be explained by variation in the size of enrollments in schools (Majgaard and Mingat, 2012). This represents a major source of inefficiency in public education expenditure, with significant shares of finance being spent to maintain teachers in comparatively overstaffed schools where they have limited marginal impact on learning outcomes. The impacts of these inefficiencies may be exacerbated by the need to ensure a suitable range of subject expertise among the teachers at a school.
  • Publication
    Case Studies of Successful Reforms to Address the Challenges of Financing Education Systems Effectively: Increasing the Adequacy of Education Finance through Private Sector Resource Mobilization - The Case of Côte d’Ivoire
    (Washington, DC, 2023-11-20) World Bank
    Many low, and middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa face an education financing crisis. Exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, rapid improvements in access place severe pressure on the adequacy of public education expenditure, with average per-student public expenditure in the region being less than one-tenth that in Europe and Central Asia (World Bank, 2022). Some countries have successfully mobilized private sector finance to support education beyond the financing provided by government. These efforts have been particularly common in technical and vocational education and training (TVET), where countries including Tanzania and Zambia have introduced skills levies on businesses, which are channeled into dedicated funds to support TVET. However, such efforts are much rarer in basic education, which typically relies on conventional taxation, public debt, and development assistance for funding. This case study presents the example of Côte d’Ivoire, where a partnership between the government, private foundations, and the cocoa industry has mobilized significant amounts of finance to support the provision of basic education in cocoa-growing communities.
  • Publication
    Piloting a Machine Learning-Based Job-Matching Algorithm: Summary of Results from Pomerania
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-11-20) Honorati, Maddalena; Gajderowicz, Tomasz
    The objective of this note is to present and discuss the findings of piloting a task-based job matching tool developed by the World Bank and implemented in partnership with the Regional Labor Office of Pomerania, Poland. The aim of the pilot was to assess whether simple ML-based tools could contribute to improve the efficiency of PES delivery and job-seeking behaviors compared to rule-based, knowledge-driven approaches. By combining labor demand data from local occupational barometers and the descriptions of tasks in the national taxonomy of occupations, the tool provides jobseekers a menu of potential jobs available in the local labor markets that match the tasks performed in previous work experiences. Results show that jobseekers were satisfied with the proposed occupations resulting from the tool (as beyond their thinking) and had the intention to expand job search efforts, though job-seeking behaviors could not be monitored. Career advisers recognized that the lack of information on jobseekers’ education, skills, and preferences limited the efficiency of the proposed job matches.