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  • Publication
    A Roadmap for Climate Action in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2021-2025
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022) World Bank Group
    In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) the rapidly changing climate is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather‑related events. The year 2020 saw the most catastrophic fire season over the Pantanal region and a record number of storms during the Atlantic cyclone season. Eta and Iota, two category 4 hurricanes, affected more than 8 million people in Central America, causing tens of billions of dollars in damage. In Honduras, annual average losses due to climate‑related shocks are estimated at 2.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). In rankings of the impacts of extreme weather events from 2000 to 2019, five Caribbean nations figure among the top 20 globally in terms of fatalities per capita, while in terms of economic losses as a share of GDP eight of the top 20 countries are in the Caribbean. Extreme precipitation events, which result in floods and landslides, are projected to intensify in magnitude and frequency due to climate change, with a 1.5°C increase in mean global temperature projected to result in an increase of up to 200 percent in the population affected by floods in Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina; 300 percent in Ecuador; and 400 percent in Peru. Climate shocks reduce the income of the poorest 40 percent by more than double the average of the LAC population and could push an estimated 2.4–5.8 million people in the region into extreme poverty by 2030.
  • Publication
    Women, Business and the Law 2019: A Decade of Reform
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-02-27) World Bank Group
    The World Bank Group’s Women, Business and the Law examines laws and regulations affecting women’s prospects as entrepreneurs and employees across 187 economies. Its goal is to inform policy discussions on how to remove legal restrictions on women and promote research on how to improve women’s economic inclusion. Women, Business and the Law 2019: A Decade of Reform introduces a new index measuring legal rights for women throughout their working lives in 187 economies. The index is composed of 35 data points grouped into eight indicators. The data covers a 10-year period not only to understand the current situation but to see how laws affecting women’s equality of opportunity have evolved over time. The index assesses economic rights at milestones spanning the arc of a woman’s working life: the ability to move freely; starting a job; getting paid; legal capacity within marriage; having children; running a business; managing assets; and getting a pension.
  • Publication
    World Development Report 2017: Governance and the Law
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2017-01-30) World Bank Group
    Why are carefully designed, sensible policies too often not adopted or implemented? When they are, why do they often fail to generate development outcomes such as security, growth, and equity? And why do some bad policies endure? This book addresses these fundamental questions, which are at the heart of development. Policy making and policy implementation do not occur in a vacuum. Rather, they take place in complex political and social settings, in which individuals and groups with unequal power interact within changing rules as they pursue conflicting interests. The process of these interactions is what this Report calls governance, and the space in which these interactions take place, the policy arena. The capacity of actors to commit and their willingness to cooperate and coordinate to achieve socially desirable goals are what matter for effectiveness. However, who bargains, who is excluded, and what barriers block entry to the policy arena determine the selection and implementation of policies and, consequently, their impact on development outcomes. Exclusion, capture, and clientelism are manifestations of power asymmetries that lead to failures to achieve security, growth, and equity. The distribution of power in society is partly determined by history. Yet, there is room for positive change. This Report reveals that governance can mitigate, even overcome, power asymmetries to bring about more effective policy interventions that achieve sustainable improvements in security, growth, and equity. This happens by shifting the incentives of those with power, reshaping their preferences in favor of good outcomes, and taking into account the interests of previously excluded participants. These changes can come about through bargains among elites and greater citizen engagement, as well as by international actors supporting rules that strengthen coalitions for reform.
  • Publication
    World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2016-01-13) World Bank Group
    The 2016 World Development Report shows that while the digital revolution has forged ahead, its “analog complements”—the regulations that promote entry and competition, the skills that enable workers to access and then leverage the new economy, and the institutions that are accountable to citizens—have not kept pace. And when these analog complements to digital investments are absent, the development impact can be disappointing.
  • Publication
    World Development Report 2015: Mind, Society, and Behavior
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2015) World Bank Group
    Every policy relies on explicit or implicit assumptions about how people make choices. Those assumptions typically rest on an idealized model of how people think, rather than an understanding of how everyday thinking actually works. This year’s World Development Report argues that a more realistic account of decision-making and behavior will make development policy more effective. The Report emphasizes what it calls 'the three marks of everyday thinking.' In everyday thinking, people use intuition much more than careful analysis. They employ concepts and tools that prior experience in their cultural world has made familiar. And social emotions and social norms motivate much of what they do. These insights together explain the extraordinary persistence of some social practices, and rapid change in others. They also offer new targets for development policy. A richer understanding of why people save, use preventive health care, work hard, learn, and conserve energy provides a basis for innovative and inexpensive interventions. The insights reveal that poverty not only deprives people of resources but is an environment that shapes decision making, a fact that development projects across the board need to recognize. The insights show that the psychological foundations of decision making emerge at a young age and require social support. The Report applies insights from modern behavioral and social sciences to development policies for addressing poverty, finance, productivity, health, children, and climate change. It demonstrates that new policy ideas based on a richer view of decision-making can yield high economic returns. These new policy targets include: the choice architecture (for example, the default option); the scope for social rewards; frames that influence whether or not a norm is activated; information in the form of rules of thumb; opportunities for experiences that change mental models or social norms. Finally, the Report shows that small changes in context have large effects on behavior. As a result, discovering which interventions are most effective, and with which contexts and populations, inherently requires an experimental approach. Rigor is needed for testing the processes for delivering interventions, not just the products that are delivered.