Europe and Central Asia Knowledge Brief

67 items available

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This is a regular series of notes highlighting recent analyses, good practices, and lessons learned from the development work program of the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia Region.

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Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
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    Empowering Communities : The Local Initiatives Support Program in Russia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-06) Shulga, Ivan ; Sukhova, Anna ; Khachatryan, Gagik
    Prosperity from economic growth is not shared evenly among Russia's population and regions. Local communities and rural territories face serious development challenges: including poor living conditions, infrastructure, and services and lack of citizens' participation in decision-making processes. The Russian Federation Local Initiatives Support Program (RF LISP) aims to address community challenges by introducing a participatory approach to the development and rehabilitation of local-level social infrastructure. Specifically, LISP channels funds from regional budgets to finance participatory projects in poorer local communities. For the period 2009-14, LISP has been implemented in six regions and has resulted in more than 1,200 projects with over 1 million beneficiaries. Key factors for LISP success are the following: (i) mainstreaming of LISP into the national administrative system and budget process, and (ii) providing the Bank's technical assistance at all stages of project implementation to share international experience in community-driven development (CDD) projects, and ensuring transparency and quality of LISP procedures.
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    Tajikistan : Reinvigorating Growth in Khatlon Oblast
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-06) Carneiro, Francisco ; Bakanova, Marina
    This report supports a joint World Bank-IFC initiative to review and evaluate economic growth prospects for Khatlon oblast in order to develop a private sector-driven strategy for accelerating the region's growth over the medium term.
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    Addressing the Gender Gap in Europe and Central Asia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-06) Sattar, Sarosh
    The Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region's relative advantage in gender equality compared to other regions eroded in the 1999-2009 period. As a result, the region now looks more similar to the rest of the world in terms of women's education and labor force participation. Moreover, gender gaps continue to exist in some minority communities and in poor rural areas. Structural changes in the economies of the region have both opened up economic and employment opportunities for women and reduced some avenues of prosperity for men. However, women's gains from such opportunities are limited as occupational segregation and wage gaps persist, despite comparable human capital endowments. The dramatic demographic changes affecting the ECA region, such as aging, have different implications for men and women. In particular, (i) old age poverty will especially affect women, and (ii) the shrinking labor force will make it necessary to stimulate the labor participation rate of women.
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    The ECA’s Diaspora Populations Can Aid Growth and Development
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-04) Heleniak, Timothy ; Canagarajah, Sudharshan
    The diaspora populations from Europe and Central Asia (ECA) countries are large in both absolute and relative terms. Nearly 11 percent of the population in the region resides outside the country of birth (compared to 3.1 percent globally). The ECA diaspora populations are highly educated and skilled. Formulation of diaspora policies in the region is in its early stages; most ECA countries started developing diaspora policies and institutions only after the year 2000. ECA countries need to identify their diaspora goals, map diaspora geography and skills, create a relationship of trust between diasporas and governments of both origin and destination countries, and mobilize their diasporas to contribute to sustainable development.
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    Combating Ukraine’s Health Crisis : Lessons from Europe
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-01) Menon, Rekha
    This knowledge brief synthesizes the important findings of a recent study. It spotlights key issues and challenges facing Ukraine's health sector and suggests strategies for improvement. To combat the current health crisis, Ukraine could look at the lessons learned by other European countries that have faced similar health crises.
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    Migration and Remittances in CIS Countries during the Global Economic Crisis
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-01) Canagarajah, Sudharshan ; Kholmatov, Matin
    Despite the fact that the free flow of people across borders is the lynchpin of today's globalized world, more importance is usually given to the unrestricted movement of capital and goods. As a consequence, the effects of the financial crisis on the issue of migration have largely been ignored by the international community. The World Bank and other international organizations are examining ways to mitigate the effects of the financial crisis on migration and foster productive dialogue and partnerships among both sending and receiving countries, and the migrants themselves. This article describes the effects of the crisis in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), proposes reforms to mitigate its effects, and suggests actions to encourage self-sustaining progress in the area of migration in the future.
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    Tajik Child Health : All Hands on Deck
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-12) Bakilana, Anne ; Msisha, Wezi
    Promoting and protecting the health of their families is a high priority of households in Tajikistan-half of all households identify health as the aspect of life that is of greatest concern to them. Thirty five percent, or 2.5 million of the total estimated population of 7.2 million people in the country, are under 15 years of age. The median age of the population is just 21.6 years (UN, 2008). Although fertility has fallen in recent years, the total fertility rate remains above three. Thus, policies to improve maternal and child health (MCH) outcomes are central to improving the health of the nation. Tajikistan faces considerable challenges in its quest to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for MCH over the next six years. The fourth MDG target of a two-thirds reduction in child mortality calls for Tajikistan to decrease its current under-five mortality rate (U5MR) of 79 deaths per 1000 live births to less than 30 per 1000, and the current Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) of 65 deaths per 1000 to under 25 per 1000. Countries with GDP levels similar to Tajikistan have made significantly better progress towards reaching their MDG targets. For instance, IMRs in the Lao People's Democratic Republic and Cambodia stand at 52 and 59 deaths per 1000 live births, respectively, compared to 65 per 1000 in Tajikistan. IMRs in neighboring Uzbekistan and the Kyrgyz Republic are 38 and 36 per 1000 live births, respectively. Similarly, with child mortality rates of 69 and 41 per 1000 live births respectively, Lao and the Kyrgyz Republic are in a better position than Tajikistan.
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    Mitigating the Impact of the Economic Crisis on Public Sector Health Spending
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-08) Schneider, Pia
    The current global financial crisis is having a substantial impact in Europe and Central Asia (ECA) where economic growth is beginning to dip, unemployment is rising and government revenues are being cut. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of the region is projected to decline by 4.7 percent in 2009 and the flow of remittances is also expected to slow down sharply, causing particular hardship to low-income groups. While countries with fiscal capacity have adopted stimulus packages to promote economic recovery, most ECA countries are financially constrained and have revised their government budgets, including in the health sector. Thus, as a result of the crisis, public spending on health may actually decrease in absolute amounts and in percentage of GDP. The health sectors in most ECA countries are mainly financed from public sources. In countries with low levels of public spending on health3, the majority of health services are paid for by patients. Any reductions in public health spending would thus only add to the out-of-pocket expenditures of patients, and may negatively affect access to care, particularly for the poor. There is increasing empirical evidence that public sector spending improves health indicators in low-income and transition countries, particularly in countries that have good governance systems in place.
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    World Bank Health Sector Assists Crisis-Hit Eastern Europe Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-08) Docteur, Elizabeth
    In an environment characterized by growing financing constraints, the health sectors of Eastern European countries are under increased pressure to perform efficiently. Policy-makers are challenged to ensure access to health care and financial protection for vulnerable populations. To mitigate the impact of the economic crisis on government budgets, sector spending and household income, the World Bank is providing fiscal support to a number of Eastern European countries. In the health sector, these loan programs include technical assistance and policy dialogue for reforms. This knowledge brief describes how the World Bank is collaborating in health sector reform with four countries Hungary, Latvia, Poland, and Romania. It focuses on issues related to the economic crisis that threaten the financial sustainability of the health sectors in these countries and suggests reforms to mitigate the impact of the crisis.