South Asia Development Forum
11 items available
Permanent URI for this collection
Home to a fifth of mankind, and to almost half of the people living in poverty, South Asia is also a region of marked contrasts: from conflict-affected areas to vibrant democracies, from demographic bulges to aging societies, from energy crises to global companies. This series explores the challenges faced by a region whose fate is critical to the success of global development in the early 21st century, and can also make a difference for global peace. The volumes in it organize in an accessible way findings from recent research and lessons of experience, across a range of development topics. The series is intended to present new ideas and to stimulate debate among practitioners, researchers, and all those interested in public policies. In doing so, it exposes the options faced by decision makers in the region and highlights the enormous potential of this fast-changing part of the world.
Items in this collection
Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
From Jobs to Careers: Apparel Exports and Career Paths for Women in Developing Countries(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022) Frederick, Stacey ; Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys ; Robertson, Raymond ; Vergara Bahena, Mexico A.It is well-established that bringing more women into the formal labor force is critical for economic development. One strategy often cited is further integrating developing countries into global trade, particularly global value chains (GVCs), to contribute to female labor market outcomes through the expansion of female-intensive industries. As a result, a big question frequently debated, is whether the apparel industry – which is the most female-intensive and globally engaged manufacturing industry – can be a key player in this regard. In recent decades, the apparel industry has shifted its production to low-wage developing countries, increasing the demand for women, closing male-female wage gaps, and bringing women into the formal labor force. Indeed, the benefits of apparel exports have reached the female population, but is an apparel-led export strategy sufficient to induce the transition from jobs to careers? This Report provides an answer by focusing on seven countries where the apparel industry plays an important role in its export basket – Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Vietnam. The Report’s key finding is that countries should take advantage of the apparel industry as a launching platform to overcome the fixed costs of introducing more women into the labor market. However, for this approach to work, there needs to be complementary policies that tackle the barriers that hinder women in their pursuit of long-term participation in the labor force and better-paid occupations. A hope is to shift the paradigm of how we think of women’s participation in the labor force by demonstrating the importance of the distinction between jobs and careers. Although aspirations towards careers are achieved in different ways, understanding how progress is being made in each country towards a more equitable life between men and women will pave the way for a better route forward.
Glaciers of the Himalayas: Climate Change, Black Carbon, and Regional Resilience(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-06-03) Mani, Muthukumara ; Mani, MuthukumaraMelting glaciers and the loss of seasonal snow pose significant risks to the stability of water resources in South Asia. The 55,000 glaciers in the Himalaya, Karakoram, and Hindu Kush (HKHK) mountain ranges store more freshwater than any region outside of the North and South Poles. Their ice reserves feed into three major river basins in South Asia—the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra—that are home to 750 million people. One major regional driver of the accelerating glacier melt is climate change, which is altering the patterns of temperature and precipitation. A second driver may be deposits of anthropogenic black carbon (BC), which increase the glaciers’ absorption of solar radiation and raise air temperatures. BC is generated by human activity both inside and outside of South Asia, and it may be meaningfully reduced by policy actions taken by the South Asian countries themselves. Glaciers of the Himalayas: Climate Change, Black Carbon, and Regional Resilience investigates the extent to which the BC reduction policies of South Asian countries may affect glacier formation and melt within the context of a changing global climate. It assesses the relative impact of each source of black carbon on snow and glacier dynamics. The authors simulate how BC emissions interact with projected climate scenarios, estimate the extent to which these glacial processes affect water resources in downstream areas of these river basins, and present scenarios until 2040.
In the Dark: How Much Do Power Sector Distortions Cost South Asia?(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2019) Zhang, FanElectricity shortages are among the biggest barriers to South Asia’s development. Some 255 million people—more than a quarter of the world’s off-grid population—live in South Asia, and millions of households and firms that are connected experience frequent and long hours of blackouts. Inefficiencies originating in every link of the electricity supply chain contribute significantly to the power deficit. Three types of distortions lead to most of the inefficiencies: institutional distortions caused by state ownership and weak governance; regulatory distortions resulting from price regulation, subsidies, and cross-subsidies; and social distortions (externalities) causing excessive environmental and health damages from energy use. Using a common analytical framework and covering all stages of power supply, In the Dark identifies and estimates how policy-induced distortions have affected South Asian economies. The book introduces two innovations. First, it goes beyond fiscal costs, evaluating the impact of distortions from a welfare perspective by measuring the impact on consumer wellbeing, producer surplus, and environmental costs. And second, the book adopts a broader definition of the sector that covers the entire power supply chain, including upstream fuel supply and downstream access and reliability. The book finds that the full cost of distortions in the power sector is far greater than previously estimated based on fiscal cost alone: The estimated total economic cost is 4–7 percent of the gross domestic product in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. Some of the largest costs are upstream and downstream. Few other reforms could quickly yield the huge economic gains that power sector reform would produce. By expanding access to electricity and improving the quality of supply, power sector reform would also directly benefit poor households. The highest payoffs are likely to come from institutional reforms, expansion of reliable access, and the appropriate pricing of carbon and local air pollution emissions.