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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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.
Protecting All: Risk Sharing for a Diverse and Diversifying World of Work(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2019-09-09) Packard, Truman ; Gentilini, Ugo ; Grosh, Margaret ; O’Keefe, Philip ; Palacios, Robert ; Robalino, David ; Santos, IndhiraThis white paper focusses on the policy interventions made to help people manage risk, uncertainty and the losses from events whose impacts are channeled primarily through the labor market. The objectives of the white paper are: to scrutinize the relevance and effects of prevailing risk-sharing policies in low- and middle-income countries; take account of how global drivers of disruption shape and diversify how people work; in light of this diversity, propose alternative risk-sharing policies, or ways to augment and improve current policies to be more relevant and responsive to peoples’ needs; and map a reasonable transition path from the current to an alternative policy approach that substantially extends protection to a greater portion of working people and their families. This white paper is a contribution to the broader, global discussion of the changing nature of work and how policy can shape its implications for the wellbeing of people. We use the term risk-sharing policies broadly in reference to the set of institutions, regulations and interventions that societies put in place to help households manage shocks to their livelihoods. These policies include formal rules and structures that regulate market interactions (worker protections and other labor market institutions) that help people pool risks (social assistance and social insurance), to save and insure affordably and effectively (mandatory and incentivized individual savings and other financial instruments) and to recover from losses in the wake of livelihood shocks (“active” reemployment measures). Effective risk-sharing policies are foundational to building equity, resilience and opportunity, the strategic objectives of the World Bank’s Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice. Given failures of factor markets and the market for risk in particular the rationale for policy intervention to augment the options that people have to manage shocks to their livelihoods is well-understood and accepted. By helping to prevent vulnerable people from falling into poverty -and people in the poorest households from falling deeper into poverty- effective risk-sharing interventions dramatically reduce poverty. Households and communities with access to effective risk-sharing instruments can better maintain and continue to invest in these vital assets, first and foremost, their human capital, and in doing so can reduce the likelihood that poverty and vulnerability will be transmitted from one generation to the next. Risk-sharing policies foster enterprise and development by ensuring that people can take appropriate risks required to grasp opportunities and secure their stake in a growing economy.