Africa Region Findings & Good Practice Infobriefs

415 items available

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These briefs report on ongoing operational, economic, and sector work carried out by the World Bank and its member governments in the Africa Region.

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Health Expenditures, Services and Outcomes in Africa

2010-04, Peters, David H., Kandola, Kami, Elemendorf, A. Edward, Chellaraj, Gnanaraj

In the past thirty years, Sub-Saharan African countries have made remarkable improvements in health conditions and status. However, they still suffer from some of the worst health problems in the world, and AIDS is making conditions much worse than they will be otherwise. This study, health expenditures, services, and outcomes in Africa considers 48 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and outlines broad patterns of health spending, service delivery, mortality, fertility and nutrition in the early to mid-1990s. The study focuses on how to better monitor progress and use information to identify problems and improve health outcomes within and among different African countries. Good information about inputs, processes and results in the health sector is vital for policymakers to make intelligent choices about health strategies and investments, and often is simply not available. For purposes of the study, countries were classified as lowest-income, low-income and middle-income categories. Over three quarters of the African countries are low income or even lowest income countries, and nearly all have weak health management systems.

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Malaria Booster Program for Africa : Gaining Ground against a Major Challenge to Health and Development

2008-02, Qamruddin, Jumana, Constantinou, Nansia

Malaria is a treatable and preventable disease yet it remains a major challenge to achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Africa. It is not only a serious health problem, but an issue that cripples development. Every year, malaria infects more than 500 million people around the world and is one of the leading causes of child deaths on in Africa, with 3,000 children dying from it every day. It is estimated that malaria costs Africa $12 billion a year in direct costs and lost productivity. The key features of the Booster Program are the following: (i) support for country-led operations to reduce illnesses and avoidable deaths from malaria while improving the capacity for service delivery; (ii) emphasis on both effective scale-up of critical disease control interventions and the strengthening of health systems; (iii) partnerships to broker global agreements and support country led programs; (iv) monitoring results against monies spent; and v) knowledge generation and innovations to finance global public goods for malaria control. Due in part to the efforts of the Booster Program, countries and regions are closing gaps in their health systems and employing springboard for the ultimate goal of eradicating malaria.

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Is There a Divergence Between Objective Measures and Subjective Perceptions of Poverty Trends? Evidence from West and Central Africa

2007-10, Wodon, Quentin

Several sub-Saharan African countries have succeeded at increasing their economic growth rate in recent years, and this has translated into substantial poverty reduction according to objective measures based on household survey data. At the same time, many people do not feel that the poverty situation has been improving in their country or community, and this is a source of concern for elected policymakers. To what extent is there a divergence between objective measures and subjective perceptions of poverty trends, and what may explain this divergence: the objective of this note is to document and discuss this issue using data from West and Central Africa and results from a series of poverty assessments recently completed at the World Bank.

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Using Simple Cross-Country Comparisons to Guide Measurement : Poverty in the CFA Franc Zone

2007-10, Wodon, Quentin

In order to inform discussions on the extent of poverty in a country, it is often useful to compare the country's poverty measures to estimates obtained in other countries with similar levels of development within the same region of the world. Beyond gains from the point of view of cross-country comparisons that such an approach provides, there are also potential gains from such comparisons in terms of realigning a country's poverty estimates and better informing policy choices within the country. This is because where the poverty line or threshold is set is somewhat normative and thereby open to debate, and because poverty estimates are highly sensitive to the choice of the poverty line (even if poverty comparisons over time or across groups may not be), it is often difficult for agencies such as National Statistical Offices or government units in charge of Poverty Reduction Strategies in any given country to adopt a critical perspective on their own poverty estimates. This issue of Findings looks at how to use simple cross country comparisons and how to guide measurement of poverty in the CFA franc zone.

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Burundi - Investing in Leadership Development through the Rapid Results Approach

2008-08, World Bank

The government of Burundi appealed to the World Bank Institute (WBI) for help in strengthening the capacities of leadership to implement policies and programs that would achieve measurable results. The new government needed to make tough decisions on competing priorities, including allocating an estimated US$12 billion to achieve the millennium development goals, and carrying out reforms to ensure efficient allocation of public resources. The government understood it would need to invest in leadership development in order to drive change at the institutional level and achieve results, and that this would require more than the traditional classroom method of leadership training. Instead, the following approaches were needed: 1) training programs adapted to the needs of leaders; 2) a learning-by-doing approach to capacity development; and 3) a participatory approach to action planning, work planning, and defining modalities for resource management.

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Multi-Dimensional Results Measurement in CDD Projects : Experiences from the Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda Social Action Funds

2007-12, Pidatala, Krishna, Lenneiye, Nginya Mungai

In the last decade, Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda have used the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach to implement projects that exhibit multi-sectoral linkages, complex institutional structures and implementation processes, creative tension between the supply and demand sides, and convergence at the Local Government Authority (LGA) level in environments compounded by the pace of decentralization. The projects have broadened the issue of results focus from the measurement of a few input-output indicators to include intermediate outcomes (which measure beneficiaries potentially reached by outputs produced by the projects). In the process, these projects have been able to scale up from 'isolated boutique-type projects' to a mass production of outputs through participatory decision-making, local capacity development, and community control of resources. At the national level, the projects have contributed to: (a) poverty reduction, (b) improved social welfare, and (c) improved transparency and accountability.

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Measuring Trends in Access to Modern Infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa : Results from Demographic and Health Surveys

2007-10, Banerjee, Sudeshna, Wodon, Quentin

A recent study for sub-Saharan Africa by Banerjee et al. (2007) uses Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) from 22 countries that have conducted at least two such surveys between 1990 and 2005 in order to collect comparable information across countries on access to modern and alternative infrastructure services over time. In addition to national, urban, and rural trends in access, the study includes a distributional analysis of how access rates have evolved since 1990. That is, households are divided into five quintiles of population according to their level of wealth, with wealth defined using a principal components analysis. The objective of this note is to provide a summary of key findings from the study regarding access trends to electricity, piped water, flush toilets, and landline telephones over the period 1990-2005.

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Mali - Private Sector Assistance Grant

2008-03, Mastri, Lawrence

The principal objective of the project was to help foster the development of private sector enterprises, so that they could lead the growth of Mali's economy. The project aimed at putting in place mechanisms and measures to support the government's strategy of breaking from past reliance on the public sector. The project proposed to achieve this by: (a) completing implementation of improvements to the regulatory environment that had been introduced starting in the late eighties; (b) assisting a private business support structure, APEP, the Agence pour la Promotion de l'Entreprise Privee, to coordinate a program of institutional support to private non-financial enterprises; (c) improving the functioning of economic chambers (principally the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Mali), the Government's office charged with public enterprise reform, BEP, and departments of the administration responsible of administering regulations affecting private enterprises; and (d) inducing the strengthening of the banking sector and the preparation of a coherent financial sector strategy.

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The West and Central Africa Poverty Mapping Initiative

2007-10, Wodon, Quentin

There are often large regional differences in poverty and other social indicators within a country. But geographic poverty profiles based on household surveys tend to be limited to broad areas because survey sample sizes are too small to permit analysts to construct valid estimates of poverty at the local level. This issue of Findings looks at another way to look at information by constructing poverty maps. Using a methodology developed by Elbers, Lanjouw, and Lanjouw (2003), detailed poverty maps can be obtained by combining census and survey data. This issue of Findings looks at how to construct such a map and how to build capacity for the analysis of the census data.

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Poverty among Cotton Producers : Evidence from West and Central Africa

2007-10, Tsimpo, Clarence, Wodon, Quentin

In many sub-Saharan African countries household surveys are well designed to measure consumption and poverty as well as human development outcomes (especially in education and health) and access to basic infrastructure. But detailed information on the sources of income and the livelihoods of households and individuals are still often lacking. This is problematic because income data is essential to identify the links between growth and poverty reduction, to determine ways to improve household well-being, and to understand the potential impacts of economic shocks and policy reforms. In a context where countries as well as international organizations such as the World Bank are asked to document the potential poverty and social impact of the reforms that they propose (through Poverty and Social Impact Analysis), it is important to encourage countries to start collecting data or to improve data collection on income sources.