Other Poverty Study

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  • Publication
    Afghanistan - Poverty, Vulnerability, and Social Protection : An Initial Assessment
    (Washington, DC, 2005-03) World Bank
    This report highlights the relationship between poverty, risk and vulnerability facing the people of Afghanistan. The report is divided in to five chapters: Chapter I provides a short historical overview of poverty and vulnerability and highlights some of the ways in which the Afghan people have survived more than two decades of conflict, recurring drought and other natural disasters. Chapters II and III focus on livelihoods, poverty and vulnerability in rural Afghanistan where more than three-quarters of the Afghan population live. Chapter IV focuses on the same subject matter in the urban areas. The final chapter of the report outlines the policy directions for poverty reduction and suggests that the essential path for poverty reduction is sustained, equitable, broad-based economic growth, with the State playing the role of facilitator, regular and financier of high-return infrastructure and services but leaving provision largely in the hands of the private sector, communities and NGOs. The objectives of the report are (i) to gain a more in-depth understanding of poverty and vulnerability as experienced by different socio-economic groups; (ii) to examine the range of risk-management instruments (informal and formal) that are available and to better understand their effectiveness; and (iii) to suggest the parameters of a broad-based poverty reduction strategy.
  • Publication
    Poverty in Mexico : An Assessment of Conditions, Trends, and Government Strategy
    (World Bank, Mexico, D.F., 2004-06-01) World Bank
    This report presents the results of an assessment of poverty conditions in Mexico, and of the Government strategies to reduce poverty. It constitutes the first phase of a longer-term work program on poverty reduction in Mexico that the Bank is undertaking in collaboration with the Government during the period 2003-2006. The current situation in the country is mixed, with respect to poverty. In terms of well-being, Mexico has experienced major progress in some dimensions - notably related to basic service access - but much weaker progress on others - notably on the income of the poor. Despite the gains between 1996 and 2002, and in particular, for the extreme poor, poverty remains widespread, and is only slightly below the levels prevailing before the 1994-1995 crisis. The report relates to government strategy, and its strengths. The CONTIGO framework is excellent as a conceptual framework, especially in its attempt to integrate the multiple dimensions of well-being, and public action into a life-cycle approach. There are notable successes in specific programs -with "Oportunidades" (i.e., "Opportunities ") unusual in its combination of highly effective targeting, and broad reach amongst the extreme poor. The emphasis on evaluation is commendable, while the recent introduction of the Ley de Desarrollo Social (Social Development Law) is a potentially valuable attempt to institutionalize the social development strategy, and in particular, provide more continuity across government administrations. But challenges still remain. The quality of services is a major issue in many sectors, for although social policies for the extreme poor are well developed, policies for their income growth are not. There is a broader pending agenda for the moderate poor, especially with respect to improving the productivity of the self-employed and informal enterprises. Most of the extreme and moderate poor fall outside the formal social protection system, and face significant risks, i.e., health, unemployment or lack of income in old age. And there are a wide range of institutional issues to be tackled - from strengthening accountability, especially under decentralized structures, to social incorporation of excluded groups - as well as linking of rigorous evaluation to results-based management.
  • Publication
    Mongolia : Participatory Living Standards Assessment 2000
    (Washington, DC, 2001-12) World Bank
    The Mongolia Participatory Living Standards Assessment 2000 (PLSA) was the first exercise of its kind in Mongolia to use participatory learning and action methods to broaden and deepen understanding of poverty at the national level. The PLSA was conducted by the National Statistical Office of Mongolia (NSO) with the financial and technical support of the World Bank. It forms one of the building blocks for the Government of Mongolia's evolving Poverty Reduction Strategy - both in its analysis and as part of the process of consultation and is helping to contribute to the formulation of national policies to help foster more widely shared economic growth. The PLSA documented the perspectives and priorities of community members throughout Mongolia using their own words. The conclusions that emerged from the PLSA are helping to re-orient the approach taken within the Government of Mongolia's national anti-poverty program, with the support of foreign donors and international financial institutions.
  • Publication
    Brazil - Poverty Reduction, Growth, and Fiscal Stability in the State of Ceara : A State Economic Memorandum, Volume 2. Annexes
    (Washington, DC, 2000-08-21) World Bank
    Although the State of Ceara, in Brazil, is a model of good economic, and fiscal performance given its poverty status, recent analysis show poverty remains severe, in spite of significant reductions over the last decade. The combination of good governance, and sound fiscal management, industrial promotion, and public investments have been successful, but the report questions whether different policies, could have led to higher growth, and poverty reduction, or, whether it is simply a matter of time to further reduce poverty rates. Arguably, Ceara can continue to develop economically, based on favorable assets, such as agriculture, or tourism, on a large labor force with wages comparatively low by Brazilian standards, and on fiscal responsibility. But development is constrained by low productivity, low education levels, and by large populations living in stagnant regions, where water accessibility is limited. While alternatives either suggest to: strengthen the existing policy on industry development; focus on massive public investments, namely education, and infrastructure; or, exercise an explicit welfare strategy, recommendations stipulate improvements in education, development of public-private partnerships, removal of industrial incentives through reform policies, implementation of institutional framework for water resource management, and, overall social safety nets to reduce poverty.
  • Publication
    Brazil - Poverty Reduction, Growth, and Fiscal Stability in the State of Ceara : A State Economic Memorandum, Volume 1. Policy Report
    (Washington, DC, 2000-08-21) World Bank
    Although the State of Ceara, in Brazil, is a model of good economic, and fiscal performance given its poverty status, recent analysis show poverty remains severe, in spite of significant reductions over the last decade. The combination of good governance, and sound fiscal management, industrial promotion, and public investments have been successful, but the report questions whether different policies, could have led to higher growth, and poverty reduction, or, whether it is simply a matter of time to further reduce poverty rates. Arguably, Ceara can continue to develop economically, based on favorable assets, such as agriculture, or tourism, on a large labor force with wages comparatively low by Brazilian standards, and on fiscal responsibility. But development is constrained by low productivity, low education levels, and by large populations living in stagnant regions, where water accessibility is limited. While alternatives either suggest to: strengthen the existing policy on industry development; focus on massive public investments, namely education, and infrastructure; or, exercise an explicit welfare strategy, recommendations stipulate improvements in education, development of public-private partnerships, removal of industrial incentives through reform policies, implementation of institutional framework for water resource management, and, overall social safety nets to reduce poverty.
  • Publication
    Poor People in a Rich Country : Volume 1. Poverty Report for Argentina
    (Washington, DC, 2000-03-23) World Bank
    The study presents an overview on Argentina's economic growth, income distribution, and poverty, mostly as of 1991, when the country underwent a period of adjustment, which remarkably led to a sharp inflation drop, to the privatization of state-owned industries, and to fostering foreign commerce, thus widening the economy. Nonetheless, the study points out that all of these adjustments affected the poor, particularly through labor demand, exacerbated by the slowdown of the growth process, resulting from the economic crises of 1995, and 1998. Recommendations include macroeconomic, and reform policies to allow rapid growth, and stabilize the economy, without inflation, for a substantial poverty reduction. The elimination of centralized, collective bargaining labor agreements, reduction of labor taxes, and severance payments, would prod a funded, unemployment insurance system, based on individual accounts, and thus, reduce the high cost of labor. Temporary employment, and extended programs should not be enforced under payroll taxes, to allow exceptions for small scale enterprise development. Accessibility of the poor to basic services should be enhanced, mainly through greater investments in education, and health care services. In addition, a strong system of safety nets is recommended, through the identification of expanding programs, to also provide emergency employment, and income during potential crises.