Regional and Sectoral Studies

8 items available

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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.

Items in this collection

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Evaluating Social Funds : A Cross-Country Analysis of Community Investments
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004) Rawlings, Laura B.; van Domelen, Julie
    The 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.
  • Publication
    Economic Growth, Poverty, and Household Welfare in Vietnam
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004) Glewwe, Paul; Agrawal, Nisha; Dollar, David; Glewwe, Paul; Agrawal, Nisha; Dollar, David
    Viet 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.
  • Publication
    Income Support for the Unemployed : Issues and Options
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004) Vodopivec, Milan
    With the aim to provide guidelines for countries wishing to introduce or improve income support systems for the unemployed, the book summarizes the evidence about the performance of five such systems: unemployment insurance, unemployment assistance, unemployment insurance savings accounts, severance pay, and public works. These systems are evaluated by two sets of criteria: (1) performance criteria, evaluating how well these systems work - how they protect incomes and what other, particularly efficiency related, effects they may have; and (2) design and implementation criteria, evaluating how these systems fit the country - how suitable are these programs given country-specific conditions, chief among them being labor market and other institutions, the capacity needed for administering income support programs, the size of the informal sector, and prevalence of private transfers. This report also offers summary evaluations of alternative systems by describing the strengths and weaknesses of each system and pointing out the country specific circumstances that are particularly conducive to performance.
  • Publication
    Targeting of Transfers in Developing Countries : Review of Lessons and Experience
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004) Coady, David; Grosh, Margaret; Hoddinott, John
    Drawing on a database of more than one hundred anti-poverty interventions in 47 countries, this report provides a general review of experiences with methods used to target interventions in transition and developing countries. Written for policymakers and program managers in developing countries, in donor agencies, and in nongovernmental organizations who have responsibility for designing interventions that reach the poor, it conveys what targeting options are available, what results can be expected as well as information that will assist in choosing among them and in their implementation. Key messages are: 1) While targeting "works" - the median program transfers 25 percent more to the poor than would a universal allocation - targeting performance around the world is highly variable. 2) Means testing, geographic targeting, and self-selection based on a work requirement are the most robustly progressive methods. Proxy means testing, community-based selection of individuals and demographic targeting to children show good results on average, but with considerable variation. Demographic targeting to the elderly, community bidding, and self-selection based on consumption show limited potential for good targeting. 3) There is no single preferred method for all types of programs or all country contexts. Successful targeting depends critically on how a method is implemented.