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Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023) Schady, Norbert ; Holla, Alaka ; Sabarwal, Shwetlena ; Silva, Joana ; Yi Chang, AndresWorldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an enormous shock to mortality, economies, and daily life. But what has received insufficient attention is the impact of the pandemic on the accumulation of human capital—the health, education, and skills—of young people. How large was the setback, and how far are we still from a recovery? Collapse and Recovery estimates the impacts of the pandemic on the human capital of young children, school-age children, and youth and discusses the urgent actions needed to reverse the damage. It shows that there was a collapse of human capital and that, unless that collapse is remedied, it is a time bomb for countries. Specifically, the report documents alarming declines in cognitive and social-emotional development among young children, which could translate into a 25 percent reduction in their earnings as adults. It finds that 1 billion children in low- and middle-income countries missed at least one year of in-person schooling. And despite enormous efforts in remote learning, children did not learn during the unprecedentedly long school closures, which could reduce future lifetime earnings around the world by US$21 trillion. The report quantifies the dramatic drops in employment and skills among youth that resulted from the pandemic as well as the substantial increase in the number of youth neither employed nor enrolled in education or training. In all of these age groups, the impacts of the pandemic were consistently worse for children from poorer backgrounds. These losses call for immediate action. The good news is that evidence-based policies can recover these losses. Collapse and Recovery reviews governments’ responses to the pandemic, assessing why there was a collapse in human capital accumulation, what was missing in the policy architecture to protect human capital during the crisis, and how governments can better prepare to withstand future shocks. It offers concrete policy recommendations to recover losses in human capital—programs that will end up paying for themselves in the long term. To better prepare for future shocks such as climate change and wars, the report emphasizes the need for solutions that bring health, education, and social protection programs together in an integrated human development system. If countries fail to act, the losses in human capital documented in this report will become permanent and last for multiple generations. The time to act is now.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020-07-30) Lindert, Kathy ; Karippacheril, Tina George ; Rodriguez Caillava, Inés ; Nishikawa Chavez, Kenichi ; Lindert, Kathy ; Karippacheril, Tina George ; Rodriguez Caillava, Inés ; Nishikawa Chavez, KenichiThe Sourcebook synthesizes real-world experiences and lessons learned of social protection delivery systems from around the world, with a particular focus on social and labor benefits and services. It takes a practical approach, seeking to address concrete “how-to” questions, including: How do countries deliver social protection benefits and services? How do they do so effectively and efficiently? How do they ensure dynamic inclusion, especially for the most vulnerable and needy? How do they promote better coordination and integration—not only among social protection programs but also programs in other parts of government? How can they meet the needs of their intended populations and provide a better client experience? The Sourcebook structures itself around eight key principles that can frame the delivery systems mindset: (1) delivery systems evolve over time, do so in a non-linear fashion, and are affected by the starting point(s); (2) additional efforts should be made to “do simple well”, and to do so from the start rather than trying to remedy by after-the-fact adding-on of features or aspects; (3) quality implementation matters, and weaknesses in the design or structure of any core system element will negatively impact delivery; (4) defining the “first mile” for people interface greatly affects the system and overall delivery, and is most improved when that “first mile” is understood as the weakest link in delivery systems); (5) delivery systems do not operate in a vacuum and thus should not be developed in silos; (6) delivery systems can contribute more broadly to government’s ability to intervene in other sectors, such as health insurance subsidies, scholarships, social energy tariffs, housing benefits, and legal services; (7) there is no single blueprint for delivery systems, but there are commonalities and those common elements constitute the core of the delivery systems framework; (8) inclusion and coordination are pervasive and perennial dual challenges, and they contribute to the objectives of effectiveness and efficiency.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2019-10-09) Beegle, Kathleen ; Christiaensen, LucSub-Saharan Africa's turnaround over the past couple of decades has been dramatic. After many years in decline, the continent's economy picked up in the mid-1990s. Along with this macroeconomic growth, people became healthier, many more youngsters attended schools, and the rate of extreme poverty declined from 54 percent in 1990 to 41 percent in 2015. Political and social freedoms expanded, and gender equality advanced. Conflict in the region also subsided, although it still claims thousands of civilian lives in some countries and still drives pressing numbers of displaced persons. Despite Africa’s widespread economic and social welfare accomplishments, the region’s challenges remain daunting: Economic growth has slowed in recent years. Poverty rates in many countries are the highest in the world. And notably, the number of poor in Africa is rising because of population growth. From a global perspective, the biggest concentration of poverty has shifted from South Asia to Africa. Accelerating Poverty Reduction in Africa explores critical policy entry points to address the demographic, societal, and political drivers of poverty; improve income-earning opportunities both on and off the farm; and better mobilize resources for the poor. It looks beyond macroeconomic stability and growth—critical yet insufficient components of these objectives—to ask what more could be done and where policy makers should focus their attention to speed up poverty reduction. The pro-poor policy agenda advanced in this volume requires not only economic growth where the poor work and live, but also mitigation of the many risks to which African households are exposed. As such, this report takes a "jobs" lens to its task. It focuses squarely on the productivity and livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable—that is, what it will take to increase their earnings. Finally, it presents a road map for financing the poverty and development agenda.