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ID4D Diagnostic in São Tomé e Principe

2024-04-04, World Bank

The World Bank Group’s Identification for Development (ID4D) Initiative harnesses global and cross sectoral knowledge, World Bank financing instruments, and partnerships to help countries realize the transformational potential of identification (ID) systems, including civil registration (CR). The aim is to enable all people to exercise their rights and access better services and economic opportunities in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. This is especially important as countries transition to digital economies, digital governments, and digital societies, where inclusive and trusted means of verifying identity are essential to ensure accessibility and data protection.

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Mozambique Gender Assessment: Leveraging Women and Girls' Potential

2023-10-13, World Bank

This gender assessment has been prepared as an input for the preparation of the World Bank’s Country Partnership Strategy for Mozambique (2023–2027). However, this assessment is not limited to areas of the World Bank’s current country engagement; rather, it seeks to provide a general overview of the key challenges and opportunities facing Mozambican women and girls across different dimensions of their lives. The assessment adopts a life-cycle approach identifying key inflection points in the lives of women and girls that either limit or facilitate their empowerment.The assessment is based on a desk review of available studies, reports, and data from Mozambique, and draws on global evidence, largely from the Africa region.

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Navigating Education, Motherhood, and Informal Labor: The Experiences of Young Women in Luanda

2023-09-26, World Bank

Gender equality is a key foundation of inclusive and sustainable economic development that can translate into long-term and effective poverty reduction. While gender equality matters on its own as a human right, it also offers instrumental value for individuals, households, and societies at large. Global evidence consistently shows that empowering women and girls reduces poverty incidence and food insecurity, boosts economic growth and productivity, and enhances investments in children’s human capital. Angola, a country where a third of the population lives in poverty and economic output is heavily dependent on its oil sector, stands out in Sub-Saharan Africa for its particularly large gender disparities, especially when compared to countries of same income levels. Family formation, education, and labor market decisions are intrinsically interwoven and connected, which in the case of Angola leads to extreme demographic pressure on an already weak public service system. To begin tackling these significant gender disparities, well-designed and targeted policies are needed. But there are significant knowledge gaps when it comes to understanding the key barriers facing Angolan girls and young women in accessing education and transitioning to the labor market. This report presents insights gained from the voices of young women and girls, their parents, and key informants through a series of interviews carried out in Luanda, home to a quarter of the country’s population, in 2022. Based on these in-depth interviews with low-income young women in Luanda, this report points to the multiple challenges they face across their life cycle - challenges relating to the dimensions of education, family formation, and work. It also shows how those dimensions in a woman’s life are deeply interconnected - and how they are determined by structural constraints including poverty and vulnerability, gender norms, corruption and lack of transparency in access to services and opportunities, and violence in public and private spheres.

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New Approaches to Closing the Fiscal Gap

2022-10-04, World Bank

As the COVID‐19 crisis recedes, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is back to work and looking forward. Reported deaths related to the pandemic are low and have plausibly converged to global levels. Yet low vaccination rates in some countries leave them vulnerable to new variants. In most countries, gross domestic product (GDP) and employment have fully recovered their 2019 levels, although forecasted growth rates might be said to be “resiliently mediocre”: banking systems appear sound, and rising debt burdens are manageable so far, but growth is not expected to exceed the low levels of the 2010 decade. Poverty in terms of income (monetary poverty) has largely receded with the economic recovery, but the longer‐term scars of the pandemic in terms of education and health have planted deep seeds of future inequality. Redressing these problems and undertaking the structural reforms needed to reach higher levels of growth and reduce poverty remain central on the policy agenda. The new and unwelcome entrant in the policy space is inflation. While comparable to advanced country levels and well managed by regional monetary authorities, inflation nonetheless is being propelled by forces that may give it more staying power than originally hoped. Finally, public deficits induced by the pandemic and the need to finance critical government programs and directions have opened a fiscal gap and led to constrained fiscal space. The need to close the fiscal gap, put debt on a sustainable footing, and generate fiscal space to finance necessary physical and social investments has led to a search for new revenues and in particular to pressure to increase income taxes. In looking at any tax hike, concerns center on the possible depressive effects on growth, overall progressivity, and possible incentives for informality. This report presents new evidence on these effects for value added taxes (VAT) and income taxes. It also advocates for steps to cut wasteful government spending and increase government efficiency - both to generate substantial resources and as an entry point to a broader agenda of state modernization and generating public trust.

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Adaptation of the Calculator of Social and Environmental Impacts from Small-Scale Gold Mining in the Amazon: Application in Frontier Regions between Brazil, Colombia and Peru

2023-11-09, World Bank

Over the past decade, illegal gold extraction has increased significantly in the Amazon region, partly due to the high international prices of this mineral, the less stringent attitude of some countries in relation to the environment and the pursuit of immediate economic opportunities. Furthermore, this illicit activity is closely intertwined with other illegal practices, such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, and the trafficking of endangered species. This has repercussions not just for the region's ecological wealth, but also for the physical well-being of those safeguarding their lands and the health of communities living in proximity to the extraction zones due to the contamination of their rivers and, consequently, their primary sources of food, such as fish. Despite the international effort to recognize the socio-environmental repercussions of this activity, there are still gaps on this issue, mainly due to the economic losses that this activity represents.

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Brazil Systematic Country Diagnostic: Update

2023-10-11, World Bank

This Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) update argues that development challenges identified in SCD1 remain relevant. Moreover, there is a renewed urgency to build the capacity of individuals to generate income and a reinforced need for timely action in a transition to a greener economy. The update builds on the evidence collected in a long series of recently published analytical reports to review the challenges identified in SCD1 and inform the definition of the update’s challenges. The first constraint is complemented by the definition of another challenge so that not only the need to have productive jobs is highlighted, but also the poverty‐reduction prerequisite of building the income‐generating capacity of all individuals (through human, natural, and financial capital) is explicitly stated. The third constraint is also expanded to underscore Brazil’s need to address increased exposure to climate change risks in a timely manner. The update identified four development challenges that must be overcome, which are linked to three desired high‐level outcomes (HLOs). These outcomes, reflecting transformative changes that are critical to achieving the twin goals, are defined as long‐term sustained improvements in the well‐being of the poorest and most vulnerable. The HLOs are: (i) increased access to high quality job opportunities; (ii) improved households’ accumulation and use of productive assets; and (iii) reduced vulnerability to climate shocks.

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Unlocking Blue Carbon Development: Investment Readiness Framework for Governments

2023-09-11, World Bank

The purpose of this paper is to provide a practical framework to guide governments in catalyzing and scaling up public and private investment in Blue Carbon as part of their blue economy development. It does this by describing in detail a Blue Carbon Readiness Framework, a step-by-step, well-illustrated guide with simple checklists. Client countries can use the illustrations and checklists to determine their readiness to catalyze and scale up investment in blue carbon credit finance. The Blue Carbon Readiness Framework consists of three pillars: 1. Data and Analytics; 2. Policy and Institutions; 3. Finance.

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Making Teacher Policy Work

2023-11-08, World Bank

This report zooms into what lies behind the success or failure of teacher policies: how teachers experience these policies, and how systems scale and sustain these policies. The report argues that for policies to be successful, they need to be designed and implemented with careful consideration of the barriers that could hinder teachers’ take-up of the policy (individual-level barriers), and the barriers that could hinder the implementation and sustainability of policies at scale (system-level barriers). Teacher polices too often fail to yield meaningful changes in teaching and learning because both their design and implementation overlook how teachers perceive, understand, and act in response to the policy and because they miss what is needed at a system level to achieve and sustain change. To avoid this, policymakers need to go beyond what works in teacher policy to how to support teachers in different contexts to adopt what works, while making sure it is implementable at scale and can be sustained over time. This requires unpacking teacher policies to consider the barriers that might hinder success at both the individual and system levels, and then putting in place strategies to overcome these barriers. The report proposes a practical framework to uncover the black box of effective teacher policy and discusses the factors that enable their scalability and sustainability. The framework distills insights from behavioral science to identify the barriers that stand in the way of the changes targeted by the policy and to develop strategies to overcome them. The framework is used to examine questions such as: What changes are required at an individual level to achieve the specific goals of a given teacher policy What barriers constrain the adoption of these changes How can the policy be better designed and implemented to tackle these barriers Moreover, the report draws on evidence from quantitative and qualitative studies on successful and failed teacher policies to examine the factors that make teacher policy operationally and politically feasible such that it can work at scale and be sustained over time.

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World Bank Annual Report 2023: A New Era in Development

2023-09-28, World Bank

This annual report, which covers the period from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, has been prepared by the Executive Directors of both the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA)—collectively known as the World Bank—in accordance with the respective bylaws of the two institutions. Ajay Banga, President of the World Bank Group and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, has submitted this report, together with the accompanying administrative budgets and audited financial statements, to the Board of Governors.

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Opportunities for All: Brazil Policy Notes 2022

2022-12, World Bank

This package of Public Policy Notes is directed to Brazilian policy makers and society to present the World Bank Group’s overview of key challenges facing the country at this juncture, and possible ways forward to address them. We present an agenda prioritized around four issues of core relevance to Brazil’s recovery and its future resilience. First is the goal of financing development sustainably given the immediate challenge of situating the country’s enormous growth, inclusion and climate action needs within a credible macroeconomic framework and efficient and effective fiscal policies. The second theme addressed in this note is building opportunities through productivity-led growth. With the growing reliance of Brazilians on social assistance policies, it is critical to keep sight of growth and jobs as the most important vehicles for the dignity and upward mobility of the poor. Third is increasing the capabilities and economic inclusion of the poor so that they are better able to capture the opportunities that come with growth. Thefourth theme we address in this note is meeting Brazil’s potential as a as a leader in green and climate friendly development. This document is accompanied by a package of six policy presentations and an underlying set of more detailed policy reports that can be accesses here: https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/brazil.