The World Bank’s World Development Report, published annually since 1978, is an invaluable guide to the economic, social, and environmental state of the world today. Each report provides in-depth analysis and policy recommendations on a specific and important aspect of development—from agriculture, the role of the state, transition economies, and labor to infrastructure, health, the environment, and poverty. Through the quality and timeliness of the information it provides, the report has become a highly influential publication that is used by many multilateral and bilateral international organizations, national governments, scholars, civil society networks and groups, and other global thought leaders to support their decision-making processes. This corporate flagship undergoes extensive internal and external review and is one of the key outputs of the World Bank's Development Economics unit.
The theme of The World Development Report 2007 is youth - young people between the ages of 12 to 24. As this population group seeks identity and independence, they make decisions that affect not only their own well-being, but that of others, and they do this in a rapidly changing demographic and socio-economic environment.
Supporting young people's transition to adulthood poses important opportunities and risky challenges for development policy. Are education systems preparing young people to cope with the demands of changing economies? What kind of support do they get as they enter the labor market? Can they move freely to where the jobs are? What can be done to help them avoid serious consequences of risky behavior, such as death from HIV-AIDS and drug abuse? Can their creative energy be directed productively to support development thinking?
The report will focus on crucial capabilities and transitions in a young person's life: learning for life and work, staying healthy, working, forming families, and exercising citizenship. For each, there are opportunities and risks; for all, policies and institutions matter.