South Asia Human Development Sector Discussion Papers

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These Discussion Papers are published to communicate the results of the World Bank’s work to the development community with the least possible delay. The typescript manuscript of this paper therefore has not been prepared in accordance with the procedures appropriate to formally edited texts. Some sources cited in the paper may be informal documents that are not readily available.

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    Gender Dimensions of Education Access and Achievement in Sri Lanka
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-08) Aturupane, Harsha ; Shojo, Mari ; Ebenezer, Roshini
    Sri Lanka is a lower-middle income country with an impressive record of achievementsin economic and human development. Despite 26 years of conflict, Sri Lanka, an island countrywith a population of 20.6 million has stood out from its regional counterparts with high levels ofhuman development. Sri Lanka’s score in the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.766—whichput the country in the high human development category (UNDP 2016). The country has also hasalso witnessed significant economic growth in recent years: in 2017, its per capita income was3,842 (UDS), more than four times that of its GPD in 2002. With these achievements, it has nowadvanced the economic ladder, from a low to a middle-income country.2. Policy makers are keen to build on the country’s successes and to ensure that the benefitseconomic growth are distributed equitably in the population. Sri Lanka is poised to grow, witha development strategy expressly aimed at fostering strong and equitable growth for its entirepopulation (Bhatta, Ebenezer and Nyugen 2014). Despite its achievements in human development,the country has had persistent pockets of inequity, by region, as well as population sub-group- andsocial inequity, whether caused by gender, economic disadvantage, or any other factor, over a longperiod of time, that has limited the potential benefits of growth (Aturupane 1999a; Dundar, Millot,Riboud, Shojo, Aturupane, Goyal, and Raju 2017). Sri Lanka’s policy makers recognize this andunderstand the importance of ensuring equitable growth.
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    Study on Demand for Skilled Labor in Unregistered MSMEs of India
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-01) Sinha, Shabnam ; Pental, Kartik
    This report seeks to highlight the economic importance of unregistered Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in India and ascertain their role in the job market. It attempts to summarize the sector’s demand for skilled labor and entrepreneurial skills training.The report opens with an executive summary of key findings and a background explaining the context in which it has been prepared and the research objectives it seeks to fulfil. The next section of the reportpresents key insights derived from the analysis of data collected through the Unregistered MSMEs censusof 2006-07 and the associated extrapolations made by the government in 2013-14. This section discusses the size, scale and profile of the unregistered MSME sector along with estimates of the employment generated by the sector. This is followed by a section on insights from field based research in Chhattisgarh. It utilizes primary datato estimate how the unregistered MSME sector has grown in the state; how its profile and scale hasevolved since the census of 2006-07; the size of the labor force engaged by unregistered businesses in Chhattisgarh; the sector’s demand for skilled labor; its preference for formally skilled/certified employees; the wage gains that employees can expect to derive from obtaining formal skills certification;its contribution to the state economy; and the skills training needs of entrepreneurs. The next section of the report builds on the findings of the first two sections to estimate and present national level aggregates for the growth of the unregistered MSME sector, the quantum of labor force employed by unregistered MSMEs in India, the sector’s demand for skilled labor and the wage benefitsthat employees can derive from attaining formal skills certification.This is the most recent and holistic data source available as thenext unregistered MSME census is currently in the planning and data collection phase. Primary data fromthe low-income state of Chhattisgarh has been used to adjust/control the extrapolations made using the2006-07 census data. Extrapolations have been made based on gross state domestic product per capita,change in gross state domestic product per capita, female labor force participation estimates and change infemale labor force participation estimates.The report closes with a set of recommendations directed at strengthening policy and programmingresponse to the skills training needs of unregistered MSMEs in India. It presents ideas that different tiersof governance, skills training providers and skill development agencies can leverage upon to realize theobjectives of the ‘Skill India Mission.’State level estimates for key data points are given in Annexure I of the report and Annexure II presents the approach and methodology used to structure the field based research carried out in Chhattisgarh.
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    Value for Money from Public Education Expenditure on Elementary Education in India
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-04) World Bank Group
    The World Bank has been supporting the Universalization of Elementary Education (UEE)program for India through its support to the flagship program of the Government of India, theSarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). The Bank's ongoing support to SSA is a little over $ 1 billion.With reducing national level budgetary allocation and scarcity of resources for publicly-fundededucation, it is important to analyse the efficiency and effectiveness of the investments in thesector. It is critical that financial investments made have been used efficiently and yield a highreturn in terms of children's access to education and learning outcomes. With this objective, the World Bank as a part of its ongoing support to SSA, undertook a Value for Money (VFM) analysis that could assess the returns from public education expenditure. This paper attempts to calculate and benchmark the economic value of any increases in children’s access to schooling and in students' learning levels that may result from increases in public education spending over time.
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    State Systems for Skill Development in India: A Study of Bihar, Gujarat, Rajastha, and Maharashtra
    (Washington, DC, 2015-12) World Bank
    At a time when the World’s leading economies are rapidly greying, India is set to have the largestand youngest workforce the world has ever seen. Indeed, by 2020, when the global shortage ofmanpower soars to 57 million, India is expected to be the world’s leading provider of human resources, with a surplus of 46 million working-age people. However, this window of opportunity will not just be rare, it will also be short-lived, since it is predicted to only last until 2040.It is in this context that Prime Minister Modi has made it a national priority to make India the skill capital of the world.The report endeavors to identify the institutional and systemic structures that will be needed to improve the effectiveness of skills training across India’s states. It also seeks to pinpoint innovative best practices and outline ways to scale them up throughout the country.The report covers skill development institutional structures at the state level (in most cases, the State Skill Development Missions), economic zones and future high-growth industries in those zones,corporate engagement in skill development, and finally, innovation in skilling models by states and the corporate sector. In addition, the report also describes some best practices observed globally, especially from Australia, Germany, Japan and South Korea. These models cover three areas of resource optimization pertaining to increasing apprenticeships and industry participation, leveraging technology, and providing training at the grassroots. The key lesson learned is that skilling is a highly localized issue, and models need to be adapted to target groups rather than be force-fitted using a one-size-fits-all kind of approach. Finally, it must be pointed out that high-level recommendations have been provided to enhance the skill development landscape, particularly at the state level, from an institutional and systemic point of view.
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    How Does the Short-Term Training Program Contribute to Skills Development in Bangladesh?: A Tracer Study of the Short-Term Training Graduates
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-09) World Bank
    Skills development is one of the priorities for national economic development strategies of Bangladesh. The vision 2021 of the Government of Bangladesh gives the highest priority to building a large base of skilled workers in order to achieve a poverty-free middle-income country by 2021. The skills development sector is highly complex due to multiple service providers, a vast spectrum of target audiences, a large range in modalities of service provision, and varied emphases in terms of skills levels and types. The short-term training, a formal channel of six months training, is an important instrument for bridging the gap between the needs of the labor market for increasing the pool of skillful workers and the aspiration of the students for finding a good job. In order to assess the performance of short-term training and interventions by Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP), a tracer study was conducted between December 2013 and January 2014. Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP) is jointly financed by the World Bank, Canada and the Government of Bangladesh (GoB), which started in 2010 for contributing to Bangladesh’s medium to long-term objective of developing its human resources as a cornerstone of its strategy for poverty alleviation and economic growth. It supports competitively selected 42 public and 8 private short-term training institutions for improving the quality of training and providing opportunities to the disadvantaged youth for obtaining skills from the select training providers.
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    International Conference on Use of ICT and ODL in Teacher Education : Bihar, India
    (Washington, DC, 2014-06) World Bank
    With Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) transitioning towards the Right To Education (RTE), teacher education institutions and systems need to be fully geared up to meet the demands of pre-service and in-service teacher education and their ongoing professional development. Most states do not have adequate systems to provide the necessary cadres of trained elementary level school teachers. It is thus important to enhance the roles and capacities of teacher education institutions in India to support them to become globally competitive, professionally managed, and futuristically progressive to cater to the needs of huge back logs of untrained teachers. This training is crucial to ensure that children at the elementary levels get quality education in accordance with the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 and its basic tenets of child centered pedagogy.
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    Strengthening Teacher Capacity in Bihar through ICT : Designing Innovative Solution to Unique Challenges
    (Washington, DC, 2014-06) World Bank
    Within this context, there are significant opportunities to harness Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in teacher education, especially to deliver pre-service teacher education. Consequently, the Government of Bihar requested the World Bank to provide support in development of distance education curriculum, related syllabi, content, effective delivery mechanisms, appropriate student support systems, and assessment strategies to meet the needs of its untrained teachers. Many other states and countries are facing similar problems, and will need to prepare comprehensive time-bound plans for untrained teachers to acquire the prescribed qualifications (both academic and professional). Thus, experiences in Bihar might provide models for developing an ICT-based teacher education system that can be used as a useful reference point by others facing similar problems. This report outlines these experiences and shares lessons learned through the process to date.
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    School Health and Nutrition in Sri Lanka
    (Washington, DC, 2014-06) World Bank
    School health and nutrition (SHN) programs are critical for achieving education for all (EFA) as research has shown that improvements in health status contribute to improvements in learning and academic outcomes. Through programs targeted to address major health conditions that are highly prevalent among poor schoolchildren, (for example, iron deficiency anemia, hunger, worm infections, diarrheal disease, and malaria) SHN programs can have a large impact on children’s education, increasing the time that they spend at school and their ability to learn while at school. SHN programs are recognized as important educational policy initiatives to improve education outcomes. Furthermore, schools provide an excellent platform for the delivery of child health and nutrition services, where they can strengthen the cost-effectiveness of health interventions and deliver gains in participation and learning. In this paper, the policy platform is documented as well as the type, coverage, and the effect of the SHN interventions, followed by the key areas identified for development and learning of the school health promotion program (SHPP).
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    Sri Lanka : Investment in Human Capital
    (Washington, DC, 2014-05) World Bank
    Education is one of the most important determinants of economic performance in the modern world. This is true of both countries and individuals. The main characteristic which distinguishes between advanced economies, middle-income economies and low-income countries, is the knowledge content of their production activities and processes. Economic activities and products have become increasingly knowledge and skill-intensive in recent years. In addition, the importance of knowledge and skills is growing at an accelerating pace. Education is at the heart of human capital accumulation and economic growth. Education increases cognitive skills and soft skills of individuals. In addition, education improves the capacity of individuals to be trained for specific occupations and to acquire job-related skills. These effects of education enable individuals to accumulate human capital, improve labor productivity and increase life-cycle earnings. In the aggregate, this process generates economic growth. Investment in education produces a broad range of social benefits. Well-educated individuals, especially women, are better able to control their fertility and family health, resulting in reduced child, infant and maternal mortality, and higher life expectancy. Education also facilitates social mobility by creating opportunities for poor and disadvantaged groups to raise their economic and social status. A broad range of further externality benefits of education have been identified in the economic literature. These cover aspects of social well-being such as better political decision making, reduced incidence of crime, and higher quality public services. Education also produces inter-generational economic and social benefits: increased education in one generation improves schooling, labor productivity and income in the next. The public goods, informational imperfections and distributive justice aspects of education provide the economic justification for state investment in the education sector.
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    How Much and What Kind of Teaching Is There in Elementary Education in India? Evidence from Three States
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-02) Sankar, Deepa ; Linden, Toby
    This study focuses on the link between teachers' 'time-on-task' (TOT) and the nature of tasks in classrooms. This study, carried out with concurrence from Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), is built upon the independent study commissioned by MHRD to explore teacher attendance rates in schools. This study ventures beyond the quantitative dimensions of teacher attendance (physical presence) to look at the 'time-on-task' (TOT) and nature of tasks, that is, the quantity and quality of teacher presence and interaction. Most specifically, it will provide insight into the work environment of teachers who are the key to service delivery and suggest implications for both policy and program interventions to empower teachers and introduce more accountability into the system. The McKinsey and Company study (Barber & Mourshed, 2007) identified three things that matter most: (1) getting the right people to become teachers; (2) developing them into effective instructors; and (3) ensuring that the system is able to deliver the best possible instruction for every child. In the present study, the attempt is to see whether the teachers are 'effective instructors' and the system is delivering the best to its children. The study aims to find out the factors that facilitate improved quality of instructional time on the one hand, and what it means to the whole process of improving learning levels on the other. In addition, there is an effort to understand the characteristics of various enabling inputs