Human Development Perspectives
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The books in this series address main and emerging development issues of a global/regional nature through original research and findings in the areas of Education, Gender, Health, Nutrition, Population, Social Protection and Jobs. This series is aimed at policy makers and area experts and is overseen by the Human Development Practice Group Chief Economist.
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Revisiting Targeting in Social Assistance: A New Look at Old Dilemmas(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-03-31) Grosh, Margaret ; Leite, Phillippe ; Wai-Poi, Matthew ; Tesliuc, EmilTargeting is a commonly used, but much debated, policy within global social assistance practice. This book examines the well- known dilemmas in light of the growing body of experience, new implementation capacities, and the potential to bring new data and data science to bear. Chapter 1 presents a series of essays on the factors that shape choices around why or whether or how narrowly/broadly to target different parts of social assistance. Chapter 2 updates the global empirics around the outcomes and costs of focusing benefits on the poor or vulnerable. Chapter 3 illustrates the options and choices that must be made in moving from an abstract vision of focusing resources on the poor or vulnerable to more specific concepts and implementable definitions and procedures, and how the many choices should be informed by values, empirics and context. Chapter 4 provides a brief treatment of delivery systems and processes showing their importance to distributional outcomes and suggesting the many facets with room for improvement. Chapter 5 discusses the choice between targeting methods, how differences in purposes and contexts shape those. Chapter 6 summarizes and comprehensively updates the know-how with respect to the data and inference used by the different household-specific targeting methods. Chapter 7 contains a primer on measurement issues, going much deeper than usual and explaining how better measurement can lead to clearer understanding of targeting issues. Chapter 8 explores machine learning algorithms for household-specific mechanisms for eligibility determination.
Obesity: Health and Economic Consequences of an Impending Global Challenge(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020) Shekar, Meera ; Popkin, Barry ; Shekar, Meera ; Popkin, Barry ; Dayton Eberwein, Julia ; Dayton Eberwein, Julia ; Oddo, Vanessa ; Akuoku, Jonathan Kweku ; Shibata Okamura, Kyoko ; Schneider, Pia ; Block, Charlotte ; Provo, Anne Marie ; Provo, Anne MarieObesity is a global ticking time-bomb with huge potential negative economic and health impacts, especially for the poor. As of 2016, an estimated 44 percent of adults (more than 2 billion) worldwide are overweight/obese, and over 70 percent of them live in low- or middle-income countries, dispelling the myth that obesity is a problem only in high-income countries. The global obesity epidemic presents a formidable challenge to human capital acquisition, national wealth accumulation, and the goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. Given the renewed global focus on human capital, its links to the obesity epidemic, and the growing evidence base for double- and triple-duty actions, there is both an urgent need for action and a great opportunity for engagement that will require both a whole-of-government and a whole-of-development partner approach. Countries and global partners need to act urgently to address this ensuing epidemic with emphasis highlighting interventions that require corrective public action rather than one of individual responsibility.