Regional and Sectoral Studies
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This series provides an outlet for work that is relatively focused in its subject matter or geographic coverage and that contributes to the intellectual foundations of development operations and policy formulation. This series has been discontinued.
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Evaluating Social Funds : A Cross-Country Analysis of Community Investments(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004) Rawlings, Laura B. ; Sherburne-Benz, Lynne ; van Domelen, JulieThe study seeks to answer four questions that summarize the fundamental issues in the international debate about the capacity of social funds to improve beneficiaries' living conditions: o Do social funds reach poor areas and poor households? Do social funds deliver high-quality, sustainable investments? Do social funds affect living standards? How cost-efficient are social funds and the investments they finance, compared with other delivery mechanisms? The findings and lessons from this research reflect a specific moment in the evolution of six social funds and therefore may not fully predict the future impact of current investments. The evaluation assesses subprojects identified and implemented between 1993 and 1999, a period when longer-term objectives-such as increasing access to and utilization of basic services-began to supplant the funds' original emergency mandates. The time period selected allowed enough elapsed time following the implementation of the social fund subprojects to make measurement of impact and sustainability possible. The evaluation does not consider the effects of social fund projects on employment or on income generation-the original objectives of the first generation of social funds, which were introduced in Latin America. It also does not discuss the effect of social fund investments on capacity building-a more recent emphasis of social funds seeking to assist decentralization and community development.
Skills Development in Sub-Saharan Africa(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004) Johanson, Richard K. ; Adams, Arvil V.The review addresses a list of questions that seem especially pertinent for skills development in Sub-Saharan Africa today, namely: What should be the role of training when there is not enough modern sector employment? Given the widespread decay in public training systems, what should be the role of the public sector in training? Are private training providers more cost-effective than public sector training providers? What is the capacity of private training providers to fill the gap left by declining public investment in training? What is the relative importance of training within enterprises and does the state need to intervene to stimulate it? In view of shortages of public financing, how can needed skills development be financed? What role can financing mechanisms play in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of training? Answers to these questions and others developed in each chapter are pursued by looking over the past decade at the structure of employment and the demand for skills; the experience of government and non-government providers of skills training, including enterprises; and the experience with financing of TVET and resource management. The findings yield a clear, strategic role for governments to play in skills development while deepening sector reforms. The actions, if taken, promise to support achievement of the Millennium Development Goals for poverty reduction and Education for All.
Economic Growth, Poverty, and Household Welfare in Vietnam(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004) Glewwe, Paul ; Agrawal, Nisha ; Dollar, David ; Glewwe, Paul ; Agrawal, Nisha ; Dollar, DavidViet Nam is an economic success story - it transformed itself from a country in the 1980s as one of the poorest in the world, to a country in the 1990s with one of the world's highest growth rates. With the adoption of a new market-oriented policies, Viet Nam averaged an economic growth rate of 8 percent per year from 1990 to 2000, a growth rate accompanied by a large reduction in poverty, stemming from significant increases in school enrollment, and a rapid decrease in child malnutrition. The book uses an unusually rich set of macroeconomic, and household survey data, to examine several topics: the causes of the economic turnaround, and prospects for future growth; the impact of economic growth on household welfare, as measured by consumption expenditures, health, education, and other socioeconomic indicators; and, the nature of poverty in Viet Nam, and the effectiveness of government policies, intended to reduce same. Although the country's past achievements are impressive, future progress is by no means ensured.
Uganda's Recovery : The Role of Farms, Firms, and Government(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-03) Reinikka, Ritva ; Collier, Paul ; Reinikka, Ritva ; Collier, PaulThis book consists of series of studies written by a range of specialists who analyze the responses of private sector agents--households, farms, and firms--and of the government of Uganda itself, to the macroeconomic and structural reforms implemented since the late 1980s in a society recovering from a traumatic civil conflict. The importance of this line of inquiry cannot be underestimated because the success or failure of market-oriented reforms depends crucially on just how private sector agents are able to respond to incentives and opportunities created by the reforms. The analysis in this book draws on quantitative data derived from a series of household surveys and from surveys of firms conducted in the 1990s and more recently in 1999/2000. The household surveys permit analysis of the evolution of income, expenditures, and poverty during this period. The impact of reforms on rural factor markets, on crop and livestock production decisions, and on firms' investment decisions are also among the issues researched in this report. While this report praises Uganda's achievements where warranted, it provides an objective assessment of the reforms and does not shy away from identifying areas where policy mistakes were made. It points out where major weaknesses still exist, notably, public sector corruption, the still poor enforcement of contracts, and the deficiencies in the physical infrastructure.