Other ESW Reports

282 items available

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This includes miscellaneous ESW types and pre-2003 ESW type reports that are subsequently completed and released.

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  • Publication
    Romania - Poverty Monitoring Analytical and Advisory Assistance Program : Are the Most Vulnerable Protected?
    (Washington, DC, 2008-06) World Bank
    The rapid economic growth since 2000 has been the main driver of poverty reduction in Romania. However, even under the current positive growth scenario, there are still people who live in poverty, and some who are unlikely to benefit from future growth and thus may continue to be left behind. For these people an effective redistributive social policy and targeted interventions are needed. The purpose of this note is to assist the Ministry of Labor, Family and Equal Opportunities (MLFEO) to analyze and monitor the effectiveness of the main social safety net benefits to fight social exclusion and reduce poverty. To determine the extent to which social transfers offer protection to the poorest groups of the population, the paper uses the last available (2004-2006) rounds of the household budget survey data. The analysis presented here uses the consumption aggregate and the absolute poverty definition presented in the 2003 and 2007 poverty assessments. Three main indicators are used to assess the effectiveness of social protection (SP) programs: coverage (share of population covered by the programs), targeting (share of funds directed to each welfare group of population), and adequacy of benefit (share of the benefit in the consumption of beneficiaries). The paper begins with a review of the main findings, followed by an overview of the social protection system and its overall effectiveness. Then it assesses the main social assistance programs, and concludes with a review of key issues.
  • Publication
    Yemen Poverty Assessment : Volume 2. Annexes
    (Washington, DC, 2007-11) World Bank
    From what was historically known as 'Arabia Felix', a land of prosperity and happiness, Yemen has become the most impoverished among the Arab countries. The government of the united Yemen, formed in 1990, has launched so far three five-year economic reform plans with the goal of restoring Yemen's prosperity. Have these efforts succeeded? What policies are needed to further reduce poverty? The poverty assessment report aims to answer these questions. This report measures poverty in Yemen in 2005-06, and evaluates the change in poverty compared to 1998, the two years for which comparable household budget surveys are available. The period between the two survey years (1998 and 2005-06), more or less overlaps the first two five-year economic plans and captures the effect of the economic reform programs launched since 1995. In addition to measuring poverty, this report has three objectives: evaluating the role of growth and past reforms on poverty, identifying better ways to target the vulnerable poor through public action, and an assessment of the poverty monitoring system. By examining the effect of the key policies on poverty, such as the petroleum price reform and the government's social protection mechanisms between 1998 and 2005-06, the study aims to equip policy makers and development partners with the knowledge needed to improve the effectiveness of their efforts to reduce poverty in Yemen.
  • Publication
    From Social Funds to Local Governance and Social Inclusion Programs : A Prospective Review From the ECA Region - Technical Annexes
    (2007-05-01) World Bank
    The role and relevance of Social Fund Community-Driven Development (SF/CDD) has been highly debated in the international development community. Some conceive these programs only as parallel and temporary arrangements that can ensure short-term delivery of development benefits. Others emphasize the flexibility of the SF/CDD instrument in adopting different institutional forms depending on the country context, and their contributions to long-term development challenges. The aim of this study is to provide guidance on the question of social fund relevance. The report is organized into six chapters and a set of annexes. Chapter 1 defines social funds and their main rationales. Chapter 2 provides an overview of their origins in ECA, basic facts about the Bank operations and SF performance, and develops a typology based on policy objectives. Chapter 3 summarizes the institutional arrangements of social funds in the Region and then reviews them within the wider vision of optimal public sector arrangements. Chapter 4 looks at local infrastructure and governance funds, evaluating their design against a set of good practice benchmarks for promoting local governance, and drawing implications for the future. Chapter 5 conducts a similar exercise but for social inclusion funds. The final chapter summarizes the main answers to the study questions and elaborates a set of options for future engagement with social funds, taking into account different country contexts. In the Second Volume, Annexes provide more detailed background material.
  • Publication
    India - Jharkhand : Addressing the Challenges of Inclusive Development
    (Washington, DC, 2007-03) World Bank
    This study on Jharkhand in India addresses the challenges faced by that new state of India (founded in November 2000) to surmount adverse initial conditions of low average income, very high incidence of poverty, and little social development. In addition, initial health and education indicators in Jharkhand were also markedly unfavorable in comparison to both the all-India average and the major Indian states. The paper points out that in order to put its fiscal house in order, the state needs to introduce reforms for improving resource mobilization, increasing cost effectiveness of expenditure and rationalizing the budgetary processes. Improvement of infrastructure is critically important, and once this has occurred, this will lead to favorable pro-poor changes in the labor market as well. Two opposite views of the development debate are represented by the different degrees of importance given to mining and agriculture. One view contends that the development of the mining sector can usher in a new decade of development in Jharkhand. The second view is that the potential risks associated with the mining sector are high and that agriculture has shown great potential through impressive growth in recent years contributing significantly to poverty reduction and human resource development. Given the strengths and weaknesses of the two options, the present study suggests a middle path, aiming at an inter-temporal balance between the two strategies. The paper stresses that social inclusion and effective citizenship for all are desirable outcomes everywhere, especially in Jharkhand with its sharp social and regional divide. It concludes that political commitment is needed to "make development happen" in the shortest possible time.
  • Publication
    Croatia - Living Standards Assessment : Volume 1, Promoting Social Inclusion and Regional Equity
    (Washington, DC, 2006-11) World Bank
    The Croatian economy has performed moderately well in the past decade, enabling a gradual narrowing of the income gap with the European Union (EU). Using a cost-of-basic-needs poverty line, poverty in Croatia is found to be low, with only a small proportion of the poor facing hard-core deprivation. Looking ahead, the task of faster external income convergence with the EU will be challenging, and will require both faster job creation as well as flexibility in the allocation of jobs and workers in the economy. These will also help with more rapid improvement in living conditions in lagging regions. To these ends, the report highlights three sets of interrelated policy challenges and priorities: (1) sustaining high rates of growth to permit continued income convergence with Europe; (2) promoting greater labor mobility, including measures aimed at building human capital to improve workers' opportunities; and (3) improving the adequacy and effectiveness of social safety nets within a responsible fiscal framework. In examining regional disparities, several development indicators show that regional disparities in living conditions are significant (though on average no higher than in EU countries), and only partially explained by human capital and other such individual attributes. Building on local comparative advantages offers the best way forward to improve living conditions in lagging regions.
  • Publication
    Russia : Reducing Poverty through Growth and Social Policy Reform
    (Washington, DC, 2005-02) World Bank
    The report is based on analysis of the main facets and dynamics of poverty in Russia since 1997. The analysis was conducted over the past two years by Russian and international experts in the framework of the first stage of the program on "enhancing the measurement, monitoring, and analysis of poverty". This report is however, not a Poverty Reduction Strategy - rather this report draws on the analysis of a much larger dataset, making its results far better suited for formulating poverty reduction policies. Thus recommendations are more of a sketchy roadmap of pillars of a poverty reduction strategy than a specific and detailed action plan. Following an overview of the report's main findings, Part I examines the nature of poverty, both nationally and regionally, to identify the groups with a high poverty risk. Part II examines the growth-poverty linkages through the labor market, as well as the contribution of growth and inequality to the recent poverty reduction. It also explores the expected impact of accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on overall growth and poverty. Part III examines the scope for improving social policy, in ways that will have a direct impact on the poor: the safety net, the housing and communal sector, and the education and health sectors. The final chapter of the report addresses improved monitoring of poverty outcomes, on the basis of the Household Budget Survey.
  • Publication
    Brazil : The New Growth Agenda, Volume 1. Policy Briefing
    (Washington, DC, 2002-12-31) World Bank
    During the last century, Brazil was one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Between 1901 and 2000, Brazil's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita grew at an average annual rate of 4.4 percent. Brazil's long-run growth has rivaled that of counties such as South Korea, universally praised as a stellar performer. Brazil does not received the same praise. Perhaps one reason is that more has been expected of Brazil, especially by Brazilians themselves. After all the country is richly endowed with natural resources and is blessed with an energetic people. Perhaps is that economic growth in Brazil has been more erratic than in other countries, or it may be that this economic growth performance has been accompanied by high inequality, thus diminishing the "quality" of growth. How is it that the country with the fastest growth in the region also has the highest inequality? Are the two facts related, and if so, what can be done to improve the pattern of future income growth across the social classes, and reduce its extreme inequality and the breadth and depth of its poverty? The first volume summarizes the overall conclusions for policy drawn from the seven background papers presented in the second volume, and other relevant research, as well as giving a historical account of the driving forces behind Brazilian growth since the 1960s.
  • Publication
    Brazil : Jobs Report, Volume 2. Background Papers
    (Washington, DC, 2002-12-20) World Bank
    This report, conducted jointly by researchers in Brazil and at the World Bank, aims to address the debate on how the Brazilian labor market functions. It does so not by focusing on labor market functioning but on its outcomes. What is central are labor market outcomes, such as adequate employment growth so that job-seekers can find gainful employment, acceptable worker productivity levels that are fairly compensated, and reasonable income security for workers and their households. This report is structured as follows: Chapter 1 argues that labor laws have begun to show signs of obsolescence. Chapter 2 shows this is reflected in deteriorating outcomes. Key indicators--employment growth, labor force participation, unemployment rates, and income security--all point to worsening labor market functioning since the mid-1990s. The report then examines how changed macroeconomic circumstances call for changes in labor market institutions, regulations, and interventions. Using a characterization of the economy in which informality has a central role, Chapter 3 illustrates the correspondence between the three main macroeconomic phenomena of the 1990s--greater openness, stabilization, and fiscal adjustment--and Brazil's labor market priorities. Chapter 4 concludes that the labor market has signaled the shortage of educated workers since the 1990s, and the onus is now on the education and training systems to respond. Analysis of how Brazil's labor market functions in Chapter 5 points to evidence that indicates that Brazil's poorer workers and smaller firms are especially disadvantaged by how the labor market functions. The report identifies three sets of priorities for reform: changes in mandated non-wage benefits and minimum wage setting to price labor correctly and encourage empoloyment growth (Chapter 6), changes in severance legislation and functioning of labor courts to better align incentives and increase productivity (Chapter 7), and improvements in interventions to increase income security for all workers (Chapter 8). Chapter 9 summarizes and highlights the main policy implications. Volume 2 contains in-depth examination of the issues of interest in Brazil and the relevant international experience, on which Chapters 1 through 8 of the first volume are based.
  • Publication
    Madagascar - Poverty and Socioeconomic Developments : 1993 - 1999
    (Washington, DC, 2002-09-20) World Bank
    The report provides a synthesis of the main results obtained on the evolution of poverty, and other indicators of well being over the 1990s, and is intended to facilitate debate on strategy options for poverty reduction in Madagascar. Section I provides the setting for study, and presents a synthesis of macroeconomic trends in the country during the last decade. Section II looks at the evolution of poverty, inequality, and other indicators over the 1993-1999 period. The analysis is developed both at the national, and regional level, and, when possible, international comparisons are presented. Section III further investigates which groups have been more vulnerable to economic changes during the 1990s, and which factors can help explain this evolution over time. Section IV examines developments in provision of health, and education services by reviewing the degree of program coverage, and progressiveness of services in the two sectors. Section V presents community perceptions of socioeconomic development priorities, namely physical infrastructure development, while Section VI examines the prospects for poverty reduction of different growth rates of the economy as a whole for the next twenty years, and by further investigating the potential impact of different sectoral patterns of growth. Further work should be focused on understanding the causes for geographic variations in poverty, and on the functioning of agricultural labor and land markets, to include a labor market analysis focused on off-farm employment, as a route out of poverty. Most importantly, a thorough understanding of the poverty impact of recent reforms is recommended, to build successful anti-poverty policies.
  • Publication
    An Assignment of Local Service Delivery and Local Governments in Kenya
    (Washington, DC, 2002-06-25) World Bank
    The report examines the local government sector in Kenya, the reform and decentralization process, and the dynamics of local service delivery. The report is organized in three parts. The first, traces the broad contours of the reform process in Kenya: the inter-governmental system, local government and key local service sectors (such as water, roads, education, and health), and the macro reform processes (such as the public sector reforms, and the Kenya Constitution Review). The second part, reviews the existing systems for local service delivery, including aspects such as institutional arrangements, planning and financing for local services, and the structure, and finances of local governments. The third part focuses on a synthesis of key issues in the reform process, and discusses the strategic directions for both the Bank, and the Department of International Development (DFID), regarding future support to the Government of Kenya for improvements in local service delivery, and related local government reform.