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    Principles for Public Credit Guarantee Schemes for SMEs
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-12) World Bank Group
    Access to finance, particularly credit, is widely recognized as problematic for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), hampering their growth and development. To address this challenge, many governments around the world intervene in SME credit markets through credit guarantee schemes (CGSs). A CGS offers risk mitigation to lenders by taking a share of the lenders’ losses on SME loans in case of default. CGSs can contribute to expand access to finance for SMEs. Yet they may bring limited value added and prove costly if they are not designed and implemented well. There have been efforts in recent years to identify good practices for CGSs, but the international community still lacks a common set of principles or standards that can help governments establish, operate, and evaluate CGSs for SMEs. The Principles for Public Credit Guarantees for SMEs are filling this gap. The Principles provide a generally accepted set of good practices, which can serve as a global reference for the design, execution, and evaluation of public CGSs around the world. The Principles propose appropriate governance and risk management arrangements, as well as operational conduct rules for CGSs, which can lead to improved outreach and additionality along with financial sustainability. Developed through extensive consultations with stakeholders, the Principles draw from both the literature on good practices for CGSs and sound practices implemented by a number of successful CGSs around the world.
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    Central America Social Expenditures and Institutional Review: Panama
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-07-06) World Bank Group
    Panama has experienced impressive and significant economic growth, emerging as one of the better performers in Central America in recent years and one of the fastest growing economies worldwide. From 2003 to 2013, Panama has averaged an annual GDP growth rate of approximately 7 percent, surpassing the average GDP growth in Central America. It has also emerged as one of the fastest growing economies worldwide. Even during the economic crisis of 2008-2009, its economy continued to grow albeit at a lower rate. This note recommends that Panama prioritize three main aspects: a) improving the effectiveness of social public spending by further enhancing the pro-poor and pro-indigenous features of targeting mechanisms; b) reducing inefficiencies in the various sectors, for example, by improving the coordination between the Ministries of Education, Health, Social Development, and CSS to minimize duplication of efforts and resources; and c) strengthening planning, budgeting, and information tools and systems, legislation, and institutions to support implementation and track progress toward Government goals.
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    Indigenous Latin America in the Twenty-First Century: The First Decade
    ( 2015) World Bank Group
    In 2013 the World Bank set itself two ambitious goals: to end extreme poverty within a generation and to boost the prosperity of the bottom 40 percent of the population worldwide. In Latin America, the significance of both goals cannot be overstated. Indigenous people account for about 8 percent of the population, but represent 14 percent of the poor and over 17 percent of all Latin Americans living on less than United States (U.S.) $2.50 a day. Though the World Bank has chosen two general indicators for measuring progress toward its twin goals - the proportion of people living on less than U.S. $1.25 a day (purchasing power parity, 2005) and the growth of real capital income among the bottom 40 percent of the population - this report acknowledges that these indicators offer only a partial view of the obstacles preventing many indigenous peoples from achieving their chosen paths of development. The report notes that in Bolivia, Quechua women are 28 percent less likely to complete secondary school than a nonindigenous Bolivian woman, while Quechua men are 14 percent less likely to complete secondary school than non-indigenous men. This report seeks to contribute to these discussions by offering a brief, preliminary glance at the state of indigenous peoples in Latin America at the end of the first decade of the millennium. The authors believe that this is the first, necessary step to start working on a concerted and evidence-based agenda for subsequent work in critical areas of development such as education, health, and land rights. The report makes a critical analysis of the many inconsistencies present in much of the data, which in many cases are intrinsic to the difficulties of approaching indigenous issues with tools and data sets not originally intended to account for or include indigenous peoples’ voices and special needs. The report is divided into six sections. The first part, how many and where they are provides a demographic overview of indigenous people in the region, including population, geographic distribution, number of ethnic groups, and indigenous languages. The second section, mobility, migration, and urbanization describes a growing tendency among indigenous people to migrate to Latin American cities, which are becoming critical, though largely ignored, areas for political participation, and market articulation. The third section, development with identity briefly discusses the concept of poverty and reflects on how the use of predominantly Western indicators of well-being might condition the understanding of indigenous peoples’ situations and needs. The fourth and fifth sections broaden this argument by focusing on two particular instances of exclusion - the market and education.