Items in this collection

Now showing 1 - 10 of 13
  • Publication
    Measuring Microfinance Access : Building on Existing Cross-Country Data
    (Washington, DC, 2005-05) Honohan, Patrick
    Given the acknowledged need for a new effort to expand the set of available data on direct access to financial services, including a focus on access by those at low income, Honohan provides a selective review of the diverse sources of data that exist and considers how best to build on them. He proposes a basic framework within which to consider the analysis of the interesting questions: (1) How does access affect poverty and productivity? and (2) What hinders access? The author discusses existing and potential contribution of household and business user surveys, surveys of providers and their regulators, and surveys of experts, and assesses their relative strengths.
  • Publication
    Peru : Restoring the Multiple Pillars of Old Age Income Security
    (Washington, DC, 2004-01-26) World Bank
    In this report, the components of a national retirement security system are categorized - as "pillars", or as "tiers" according to their objective. This is in marked contrast to other publications that categorize the branches of a pension system in accordance with who administers them (the public or private sector); how are benefits structured (final-salary defined benefit formula, or defined contributions); or, their financing mechanism (pay-as-you-go, or full funding). Thus, the term "first pillar" or "pillar one" refers to that part of a pension system intended to keep elderly out of poverty; "second pillar" or "pillar two" to that part intended to help individuals smooth consumption over their life-cycle, i.e., to prevent a dramatic fall in income at retirement time; and, "third pillar" or "pillar three" to the instruments, and institutions available on a voluntary basis for workers to increase their income in old age. This report intends to explore, and present policy options to extend formal protection against old age poverty risks, at a fiscally sustainable cost, and aims as well at restoring the multiple pillars of formal old age income security. The report reviews the current pillars of Peru's retirement security system, grown weak, and by and large, has failed to diversify the risks to old-age income. The public branch of the "second pillar" still threatens the Government's fiscal stance, and constrains management of the economy. The private branch is costly, risky and administered by a private oligopoly. The "third pillar" of voluntary savings, and insurance instruments is weak, costly, lacks transparency and fails to complement benefits from the mandatory pillars. The report takes a comprehensive approach in its analysis of Peru's retirement security institutions, and, is divided into five sections. Following this introduction, Section II presents the dimensions of Peru's vulnerability to poverty in old age, by examining the nature of the risks to income from ageing in Peru. The section continues with a look at how well Government administered and/or mandated pension plans are covering these risks. Section III provides the institutional background, reviews reforms to formal social security institutions in the 1990's, and the progress achieved, and, examines the serious problems remaining. Section lV presents an analysis of proposals for reforms to each branch of the retirement security system, while Section V concludes by presenting policy options - some straight forward measures, while others, deeper, more controversial reforms - consistent with meeting the stated objective of extending protection against poverty in old age, in a fiscally, sustainable manner.
  • Publication
    The Political Economy of Public Spending on Education, Inequality, and Growth
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-11) Gradstein, Mark
    Public provision of education has often been perceived as universal and egalitarian, but in reality it is not. Political pressure typically results in incidence bias in favor of the rich. The author argues that the bias in political influence resulting from extreme income inequalities is particularly likely to generate an incidence bias, which we call social exclusion. This may then lead to a feedback mechanism whereby inequality in the incidence of public spending on education breeds higher income inequality, thus generating multiple equilibria: with social exclusion and high inequality; and with social inclusion and relatively low inequality. The author also shows that the latter equilibrium leads to higher long-run growth than the former. An extension of the basic model reveals that spillover effects among members of social groups differentiated by race or ethnicity may reinforce the support for social exclusion.
  • Publication
    Public Expenditure Review for Armenia
    (Washington, DC, 2003-08) World Bank
    This is the first full-scale World Bank Public Expenditure Review for Armenia, which reviews the main fiscal trends in the country for the period 1997-2001, and develops recommendations with respect to further fiscal adjustment, expenditure prioritization, and budget consolidation. The analysis focuses on core issues, i.e., sustainability of fiscal adjustment, fiscal transparency, expenditure priorities, and short-term expenditure management, given the existing economy-wide institutional constraints. The study covers extra-budgetary funds, in-kind external grants, subsidies provided by the state-owned companies in the energy, and utility sectors, and operations of the Social Insurance Fund, as well as regular spending. It suggests a medium-term action plan to address identified weaknesses. Sectoral chapters review health, education, and social protection and insurance. The study also analyzes budget support for core public infrastructure, and the country's public investment program.
  • Publication
    Nigeria Poverty : Environmental Linkages in the Natural Resource Sector - Empirical Evidence from Nigerian Case Studies with Policy Implications and Recommendations
    (Washington, DC, 2003-06-30) World Bank
    This study explores the international development community's understanding of poverty and illustrates how it is related to environmental degradation. the study relies on three sources: a comprehensive general literature review, a review of past donor interventions in Nigeria, and original empirical evidence. The linkages found between poverty and environmental degradation are based on 240 household surveys analyzed by income quintiles investigated at two sites in Nigeria: the Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands in the North and the Niger Delta in the South. Lessons relating "Causality and Linkages" (Chapter 2) explore various perceptions of how poverty "causes" environmental degradation, how environmental degradation "causes" poverty, or how other ofseting or reinforcing factors may influence the linkages between poverty and environmental quality. The empirical findings from the two study sites provide the primary basis for subsequent policy recommendations. Chapter 3 outlines the site selection process, summarizes the methods used, and provides detailed descriptive statistics for the two sites. the chapter concludes with an interpretation of key findings. Chapter 4 comences with a general discussion of available policies and strategies, including issues relating to self-sufficiency, precautionary principle, and adaptive co-management.Specific recommended strategies for Nigeria are based on the empirical findings from the case studies. An agenda for incorporating these strategies within ongoing Nigerian and donor initiatives concludes this chapter.
  • Publication
    Making Services Work for Poor People : The Role of Participatory Public Expenditure Management (PPEM)
    (Washington, DC, 2003-03) World Bank
    The public sector of most developing countries is often the target of numerous criticisms - lack of or no infrastructure, absenteeism of service providers like teachers and doctors, poor quality of services, corruption, non-transparency, favoritism, discrimination, etc. While several of these criticisms are usually attributed to lack of resources and the conflict between the needs of equity and those of efficiency, research has shown in general that the correlation between increased public expenditure and actual outcomes or improvements in service delivery is weak. This gap between spending and development outcomes reflects more serious deficiencies of 'voice' and 'accountability' for citizens in general, and the poor in particular. The need for making services work for poor people is therefore immense, and has provided the theme for the World Bank's World Development Report (WDR) for 2004.
  • Publication
    Subnational Data Requirements for Fiscal Decentralization : Case Studies from Central Eastern Europe
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2003) Yilmaz, Serdar; Bell, Michael E.; Yilmaz, Serdar; Hegedus, Jozsef; Bell, Michael E.
    Poverty is an outcome of interaction between economic, social, and political forces. The World Bank has emphasized poverty reduction in its programs and operational activities. With the launching of initiatives such as the poverty reduction strategy papers and the Comprehensive Development Framework, it has made considerable progress in integrating antipoverty programs into other lending operations. As mentioned in the World Development Report 2000/2001, Attacking Poverty (World Bank 2001b), poverty has many dimensions. It is not defined only by income, but also has political and sectoral (access to services) dimensions. Today, in most countries subnational governments are responsible for the delivery of services that affect these dimensions of poverty. Because subnational governments control increasingly higher shares of total public resources, their competence in designing public policies and delivering public services becomes crucial in influencing the level of poverty. Indeed, the literature on fiscal decentralization presents evidence that local services, especially health and education, are highly correlated with the incidence of poverty (Bird and Rodriguez 1999). In this context, the need for subnational demographic, social, economic, and fiscal data is becoming more evident at a time when subnational governments are involved in national and global objectives of poverty reduction. Statistical capacity building at the subnational level aims to help statistical offices and subnational governments produce the basic microdata necessary not only for monitoring progress in poverty reduction, but also for ex ante policy formulation by subnational governments.
  • Publication
    Colombia : Social Safety Net Assessment
    (Washington, DC, 2002-08) World Bank
    The recent economic shock provided an incentive for carrying out the analysis of Colombia's safety net of national social assistance. Even though economic growth recovered modestly in 2000, poverty and unemployment remain high, and there has been a decline in some human development indicators. This is partly due to Colombia not having an effective safety net in place, capable to address the social consequences of the crisis. These deficiencies led to the introduction in 2000 of the Red de Apoyo Social (RAS), i.e., Social Support Network. This assessment identifies issues, and recommends options for reform of the social safety net. The country is undergoing an unprecedented economic contraction, and severe fiscal imbalance that will require major reforms, notably to the pension program, before achieving macroeconomic stabilization. Therefore, the report takes into account the complex, and changing socioeconomic conditions, exacerbated by the protracted internal conflict. Such situation calls for supporting institutional viability, building on Colombia's strengths in the social sectors. Social assistance was not included in the social sector reforms for the 1990s, and the lack of strategic safety net is underscored by the fragmentation of programs within institutions, and overlapping program objectives across institutions. Targeted technical reforms should address budgeting, monitoring and evaluation to orient social assistance programs; existing programs reformed to improve quality and coverage; and, longer-term strategic reforms should focus on improving the operation of social safety nets, based on national debate, consensus, and political will.
  • Publication
    Ethiopia : Focusing Public Expenditures on Poverty Reduction, Volume 3. Public Expenditure Review of Oromiya Region
    (Washington, DC, 2001-12-20) World Bank
    The topics for this review were determined by the Government in consultation with a core group of donors at a workshop in Brussels organized by the European Commission in November 2000. The Government suggested reviewing public expenditures at the regional level, starting with three regions. This public expenditure review (PER) marks the first explicit attempt at Regional PERs. This integrated report draws on draft reports from the January-April 2000 mission as well as from a workshop held in Addis Ababa during September 17-18, 2001. The theme amd the focus topics for this PER emerged out of consultations between the Ethiopian governmentand a core donor group at a workshop in Brussels organized by the European Commission in November 2000. This PER is set on three premises: 1) It is thematically set in the context of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries document; 2) It focuses on getting a better understanding of the budgetary institutions, systems and processes at the regional level; and 3) the PER analysis and recommendations are intended to harmonize with the sequence and pace of the Government of Ethiopia's Expenditure Management and Control Program.
  • Publication
    Thailand Social Monitor : Poverty and Public Policy
    (Washington, DC, 2001-11) World Bank
    This is the sixth issue of the "Thailand Social Monitor." It is written for Thai policymakers, to provide them with the best evidence currently available on poverty and public policy, and to strengthen the foundation for anti-poverty strategies in Thailand. This report approaches Poverty in Thailand from four perspectives: 1) the changing profile of the poor, who they are, where they live, their defining characteristics, so as to better understand the dimensions of the problem (Chapters 1 and 2); 2) the changing profile of income inequality in Thailand, to assess whether income distribution should be an issue for public policy (Chapters 3 and 4); 3) some of the strategic, cross-sectoral issues that are at the center of public policy debates on poverty reduction in Thailand (Chapter 4); and 4) the performance of recent policies and programs to reduce poverty, so as to appreciate the strengths and limitations of public policy in this challenging domain (Chapters 5 and 6). The coverage of this report is thus broad. However, while chapters 5 and 6 analyze targeted poverty interventions, they do not capture the full range of public efforts to reduce poverty, nor do they address the anti-poverty benefits of universal programs, such as education, health, transport, or agricultural services. Also, macroeconomic policies are not covered.