Miscellaneous Knowledge Notes

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  • Publication
    Monitoring Impacts of COVID-19 and other Shocks, Round 13, Jul-Aug 2023
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2024-01-23) Atamanov, Aziz; Ilukor, John; Kemigisha, Audrey; Machingauta, Catherine; Mupere, Andrew; Ponzini, Guilia
    In June 2020, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, with the support from the World Bank, has launched the High-Frequency Phone Survey on COVID-19 to track the impacts of the pandemic on a monthly basis for a period of 12 months. In June 2022, the scope of the survey was expanded to monitor economic sentiments and the socioeconomic impact of other shocks such as the Russia-Ukraine war and extreme weather events. The survey aimed to recontact the entire sample of households that had been interviewed during the Uganda National Panel Survey 2019/20 round and that had phone numbers for at least one household member or a reference individual. This set of tables presents findings from the most recent round (12th) of the UHFPS, conducted in July - August 2023.
  • 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
    Distributional Impacts of Brazil’s Tax Reform: scenarios regarding Cesta Básica exemption
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-10-31) Vale, Ricardo; Lara Ibarra, Gabriel; Fleury, Eduardo; Trzcinski, Kajetan
    A consumption tax reform in Brazil has been recently approved by the House of Representatives, providing a full tax exemption for the yet undefined ‘National Basic Basket’ of goods (cesta basica nacional), alongside a cashback scheme that is yet to be determined. This note simulates the distributional impacts of different fiscally neutral scenarios of reduced rates and exemptions. The authors show that the exemption of taxes for food and personal care goods (such as those suggested by Law 10,925) would benefit the most vulnerable. Nonetheless, overall expenditures on certain items that are being considered for inclusion in the cesta are relatively concentrated on households in the top decile of the income distribution. Thus, a blanket exemption on Cesta Basica items may benefit the richest more in absolute terms. If the list of items in the exempted Cesta Basica is shortened and the equivalent resources of the potential forgone revenues are returned into a targeted cashback scheme, a far less regressive indirect tax system could be achieved.
  • Publication
    G2PX in Nigeria: Piloting Rapid Response for the Urban Informal
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-10-23) Webster, Brian; Ubah, Ubah Thomas; Pulver, Caroline
    To provide assistance related to COVID-19 and to inform future shock response, Nigeria piloted digital delivery of a cash transfer program geared toward reaching the urban informal. The pilot made use of mobile technology and direct deposit, but it relied on in-person site visits and struggled to make full use of available data, hindering implementation speed. Low account penetration among informal populations and inadequate access points, among other issues plaguing the financial ecosystem, added to sluggish rollouts during pilots. While the program evolved significantly over time, incorporating the lessons from the pilots, the lack of monitoring and evaluation data prevent a full understanding of its ultimate effectiveness.
  • Publication
    September 2023 Update to the Poverty and Inequality Platform (PIP): What's New
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-10-11) World Bank
    The September 2023 update to the Poverty and Inequality Platform (PIP) involves several changes to the data underlying the global poverty estimates. In particular, some welfare aggregates have been revised, and the CPI, national accounts, and population input data have been updated. This document explains these changes in detail and the reasoning behind them. Moreover, 63 new country-years have been added, bringing the total number of surveys to more than 2,200. Global poverty estimates are reported up to 2019 and earlier years have been revised. Regional poverty estimates in 2020 and 2021 are reported only for regions with sufficient survey data coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Publication
    Gender and Informal Work in Thailand
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-09-26) World Bank
    Thailand has made good progress in closing gender gaps in various dimensions, especially human capital development. However, the progress, though obvious, has not done much to get rid of the main deterrents discouraging Thai women from participating more actively in the labor market. Thailand’s labor force participation rate (LFPR) is 94 percent for men and 80.5 percent for women; both have been relatively stable since 2017. More than half of jobs in Thailand are considered informal, but though “informal worker” is in general use throughout the economy, what it refers to has no precise definition. The gender and informality study by the World Bank Bangkok team led to the recommendations covered in this report.
  • Publication
    On the Construction of the World Bank’s Subnational Poverty and Inequality Databases: Documentation
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-09-26) Nguyen, Minh Cong; Yang, Judy; Dang, Hai-Anh; Sabatino, Carlos
    In many countries, large differences in poverty persist at the subnational level. In addition, global challenges such as climate change, fragility, economic crises, and food insecurity are often trans-border issues that pose significant risks for poverty reduction both across and within countries. Traditional poverty measures are generally presented at the national level, potentially obscuring local and regional variations of poverty and inequality. To overcome these challenges, this note describes the construction of two databases designed to provide a more granular perspective on poverty. The Subnational Poverty and Inequality Database (SPID) presents direct survey estimates of poverty and inequality from nationally representative household surveys over time. The Global Subnational Atlas of Poverty (GSAP) presents poverty estimates of survey-representative administrative areas projected to a common year. Both databases use the same underlying household survey data used by the World Bank to monitor global poverty.
  • Publication
    GeneXpert Machines in Vietnam: Applying an Optimization Model to Improve Use of Diagnostic Equipment to Fight Infectious Diseases
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-08-23) Bathanti, Jacob; Salazar, Elizabeth
    Many governments struggle with how to efficiently, effectively, and equitably allocate medical supplies and equipment. Medical supplies and equipment can be expensive and prone to mismatches in use, context, and the level of expertise needed to operate them. Optimizing allocation is particularly important considering resource scarcity in many developing countries. Therefore, generating evidence to inform efficient, effective, and equitable allocation of medical supplies and equipment to maximize the benefits of scarce and often in-demand resources is crucial for improving medical care around the world. This case study examines how the World Bank financed Investing and Innovating for Grassroots Health Service Delivery project used optimization analysis to determine the best allocation of TB diagnosis machines. Identifying and combining relevant datasets and applying these within a well-defined algorithm, with the agreement of key stakeholders, enabled the national and provincial governments of Vietnam to determine where machines could be placed for maximum impact to enable and promote efficient use of expensive medical equipment.
  • Publication
    Tajikistan - Enhancing Opportunities for Female Cross-border Traders
    (Washington, DC, 2023-08-23) World Bank
    Women entrepreneurs in Tajikistan confront disproportionate challenges in their businesses compared to their male counterparts, with cross-border traders being no exception. The World Bank initiated the Fourth Phase of the Central Asia Regional Links Program in 2020, aiming to boost Tajikistan’s regional transport connectivity and foster cross-border trade. Complementing this program, the Quality Infrastructure Investment (QII) Partnership provided a grant to address gender disparities in cross-border trade and augment the economic opportunities for female cross-border traders. The grant funded activities are set to incorporate gender-responsive practices within Tajikistan’s Customs Service and strengthen the capacity of women entrepreneurs involved in cross-border trade.
  • Publication
    Supporting Artisanal and Small-scale Mining Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-08-01) World Bank
    In 2020, the World Bank projected that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic could push more than hundred million people into extreme poverty. The estimated forty-five million people around the world working in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) were particularly vulnerable because of the informal, often precarious nature of their working conditions and lack of access to social safety nets. At the height of the initial lockdown, as mineral prices dropped and mining sites closed, artisanal and small-scale miners, their families, and their communities suffered large declines in income and rising food insecurity. Without intervention, they were at risk of sliding into poverty. At the same time, there was concern that gains made over several decades to formalize the sector would be eroded, particularly where community tensions were rising. To address these risks, the World Bank took early action. In May 2020, the extractives global programmatic support (EGPS) trust fund initiated a rapid global survey to identify miners’ needs and then used the results to mobilize an emergency response window that raised 6.6 million in support to ASM communities in 22 countries. This report describes the EGPS emergency response window for ASM Communities Impacted by COVID-19, what it achieved, and what the World Bank has identified as priority areas for action in ASM communities going forward.