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  • Publication
    Women, Business and the Law 2024
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-03-04) World Bank
    Women, Business and the Law 2024 is the 10th in a series of annual studies measuring the enabling conditions that affect women’s economic opportunity in 190 economies. To present a more complete picture of the global environment that enables women’s socioeconomic participation, this year Women, Business and the Law introduces two new indicators—Safety and Childcare—and presents findings on the implementation gap between laws (de jure) and how they function in practice (de facto). This study presents three indexes: (1) legal frameworks, (2) supportive frameworks (policies, institutions, services, data, budget, and access to justice), and (3) expert opinions on women’s rights in practice in the areas measured. The study’s 10 indicators—Safety, Mobility, Workplace, Pay, Marriage, Parenthood, Childcare, Entrepreneurship, Assets, and Pension—are structured around the different stages of a woman’s working life. Findings from this new research can inform policy discussions to ensure women’s full and equal participation in the economy. The indicators build evidence of the critical relationship between legal gender equality and women’s employment and entrepreneurship. Data in Women, Business and the Law 2024 are current as of October 1, 2023.
  • Publication
    Collapse and Recovery: How the COVID-19 Pandemic Eroded Human Capital and What to Do about It
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023) Schady, Norbert; Holla, Alaka; Sabarwal, Shwetlena; Silva, Joana; Yi Chang, Andres
    Worldwide, 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
    Improving Effective Coverage in Health: Do Financial Incentives Work?
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-05-11) de Walque, Damien; Kandpal, Eeshani; Wagstaff, Adam; Friedman, Jed; Neelsen, Sven; Piatti-Fünfkirchen, Moritz; Sautmann, Anja; Shapira, Gil; Van de Poel, Ellen
    In many low- and middle-income countries, health coverage has improved dramatically in the last two decades, but health outcomes have not. As such, effective coverage -- a measure of service delivery that meets a minimum standard of quality -- remains unacceptably low. This Policy Research Report examines one specific policy approach to improving effective coverage: financial incentives in the form of performance-based financing (PBF) or financial incentives to health workers on the front lines. The report draws on a rich set of rigorous studies and new analysis. When compared to business-as-usual, in low-income settings with centralized health systems PBF can result in substantial gains in effective coverage. However, the relative benefits of PBF are less clear when it is compared to two alternative approaches, decentralized facility financing which provides operating budget to frontline health services with facility autonomy on allocation, and demand-side financial support for health services (i.e., conditional cash transfers and vouchers). While PBF often results in improvements on the margins, closing the substantial gaps in effective health coverage is not yet within reach for many countries. Nonetheless, there are important lessons learned and experiences from the roll-out of PBF over the last decade which can guide health policies into the future.
  • Publication
    World Development Report 2022: Finance for an Equitable Recovery
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-02-15) World Bank
    World Development Report 2022: Finance for an Equitable Recovery examines the central role of finance in the economic recovery from COVID-19. Based on an in-depth look at the consequences of the crisis most likely to affect low- and middle-income economies, it advocates a set of policies and measures to mitigate the interconnected economic risks stemming from the pandemic—risks that may become more acute as stimulus measures are withdrawn at both the domestic and global levels. Those policies include the efficient and transparent management of nonperforming loans to mitigate threats to financial stability, insolvency reforms to allow for the orderly reduction of unsustainable debts, innovations in risk management and lending models to ensure continued access to credit for households and businesses, and improvements in sovereign debt management to preserve the ability of governments to support an equitable recovery.
  • Publication
    The World Bank Annual Report 2022: Helping Countries Adapt to a Changing World
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2022) World Bank
    The Annual Report is prepared by the Executive Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA)--collectively known as the World Bank--in accordance with the by-laws of the two institutions. The President of the IBRD and IDA and the Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors submit the Report, together with the accompanying administrative budgets and audited financial statements, to the Board of Governors.
  • Publication
    A Roadmap for Climate Action in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2021-2025
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022) World Bank Group
    In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) the rapidly changing climate is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather‑related events. The year 2020 saw the most catastrophic fire season over the Pantanal region and a record number of storms during the Atlantic cyclone season. Eta and Iota, two category 4 hurricanes, affected more than 8 million people in Central America, causing tens of billions of dollars in damage. In Honduras, annual average losses due to climate‑related shocks are estimated at 2.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). In rankings of the impacts of extreme weather events from 2000 to 2019, five Caribbean nations figure among the top 20 globally in terms of fatalities per capita, while in terms of economic losses as a share of GDP eight of the top 20 countries are in the Caribbean. Extreme precipitation events, which result in floods and landslides, are projected to intensify in magnitude and frequency due to climate change, with a 1.5°C increase in mean global temperature projected to result in an increase of up to 200 percent in the population affected by floods in Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina; 300 percent in Ecuador; and 400 percent in Peru. Climate shocks reduce the income of the poorest 40 percent by more than double the average of the LAC population and could push an estimated 2.4–5.8 million people in the region into extreme poverty by 2030.
  • Publication
    The State of the Global Education Crisis: A Path to Recovery
    (UNESCO, Paris, UNICEF, New York, and World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-12-10) UNESCO; UNICEF; World Bank
    Even before Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hit, the world was already experiencing a learning crisis. 258 million primary- and secondary-school age children and youth were out of school. Many children who were in school were learning very little: 53 percent of all ten-year-old children in low- and middle-income countries were experiencing learning poverty, meaning that they were unable to read and understand a simple age-appropriate text at age 10. This report spotlights how COVID-19 has deepened the education crisis and charts a course for creating more resilient education systems for the future. Section one gives introduction. Section two documents COVID-19’s impacts on learning levels by presenting updated simulations and bringing together the latest documented evidence on learning loss from over 28 countries. Section three explores how the crisis has widened inequality and had greater impacts on already disadvantaged children and youth. Section four reviews evidence on learning recovery from past crises and highlights current policy responses that appear most likely to have succeeded in stemming learning losses, while recognizing that the evidence is still in a nascent stage. The final section discusses how to build on the investments made and the lessons learned during the pandemic to accelerate learning recovery and emerge from the crisis with increased education quality, resilience, and equity in the longer term.
  • Publication
    The World Bank Annual Report 2021: From Crisis to Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Recovery
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-10-01) World Bank
    The Annual Report is prepared by the Executive Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA)--collectively known as the World Bank--in accordance with the by-laws of the two institutions. The President of the IBRD and IDA and the Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors submits the Report, together with the accompanying administrative budgets and audited financial statements, to the Board of Governors.
  • Publication
    GovTech Maturity Index: The State of Public Sector Digital Transformation
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-09-15) Dener, Cem; Ghunney, Love E.; Johns, Kimberly D.
    Governments have been using technology to modernize the public sector for decades. The World Bank Group (WBG) has been a partner in this process, providing both financing and technical assistance to facilitate countries’ digital transformation journeys since the 1980s. The WBG launched the GovTech Initiative in 2019 to support the latest generation of these reforms. Over the past five years, developing countries have increasingly requested WBG support to design even more advanced digital transformation programs. These programs will help to increase government efficiency and improve the access to and the quality of service delivery, provide more government-to-citizen and government-to-business communications, enhance transparency and reduce corruption, improve governance and oversight, and modernize core government operations. The GovTech Initiative appropriately responds to this growing demand. The GovTech Maturity Index (GTMI) measures the key aspects of four GovTech focus areas—supporting core government systems, enhancing service delivery, mainstreaming citizen engagement, and fostering GovTech enablers—and assists advisers and practitioners in the design of new digital transformation projects. Constructed for 198 economies using consistent data sources, the GTMI is the most comprehensive measure of digital transformation in the public sector. Several similar indices and indicators are available in the public domain to measure aspects of digital government—including the United Nations e-Government Development Index, the WBG’s Digital Adoption Index, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Digital Government Index. These indices, however, do not fully capture the aspects of emphasis in the GovTech approach—the whole-of-government approach and citizen centricity—as key when assessing the use of digital solutions for public sector modernization. The GTMI is not intended to be an assessment of readiness or performance; rather, it is intended to complement the existing tools and diagnostics by providing a baseline and a benchmark for GovTech maturity and by offering insights to those areas that have room for improvement. The GTMI is designed to be used by practitioners, policy makers, and task teams involved in the design of digital transformation strategies and individual projects, as well as by those who seek to understand their own practices and learn from those of others.
  • Publication
    World Bank Group Climate Change Action Plan 2021–2025: Supporting Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06-22) World Bank Group
    The Climate Change Action Plan 2021–2025 aims to advance the climate change aspects of the WBG’s Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development (GRID) approach, which pursues poverty eradication and shared prosperity with a sustainability lens. In the Action Plan, we will support countries and private sector clients to maximize the impact of climate finance, aiming for measurable improvements in adaptation and resilience and measurable reductions in GHG emissions. The Action Plan also considers the vital importance of natural capital, biodiversity, and ecosystems services and will increase support for nature-based solutions, given their importance for both mitigation and adaptation. As part of our effort to drive climate action, the WBG has a long-standing record of participating in key partnerships and high-level forums aimed at enhancing global efforts to address climate change. The new Action Plan represents a shift from efforts to “green” projects, to greening entire economies, and from focusing on inputs, to focusing on impacts. It focuses on (i) integrating climate and development; (ii) identifying and prioritizing action on the largest mitigation and adaptation opportunities; and (iii) using those to drive our climate finance and leverage private capital in ways that deliver the most results. That means helping the largest emitters flatten the emissions curve and accelerate the downward trend and ramping up financing on adaptation to help countries and private sector clients prepare for and adapt to climate change while pursuing broader development objectives through the GRID approach.