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
Engendering Access to STEM Education and Careers in South Asia: Overview(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023) Sosale, Shobhana ; Harrison, Graham Mark ; Tognatta, Namrata ; Nakata, Shiro ; Mukesh Gala, PriyalBuilding a skilled and diverse science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce is crucial for economic development, cross-border trade, and social inclusion in South Asia. However, underrepresentation of girls and women in STEM education and careers remains a persistent issue. What kinds of macro and micro socioeconomic interventions are needed to increase girls’ and women’s access to and participation in STEM education and careers in South Asia? Engendering Access to STEM Education and Careers in South Asia compares trends in South Asia with global trends to examine how access to and choices of STEM fields affects girls’ enrollment in upper secondary education, technical and vocational education and training, and higher education in the region, as well as selection of careers. Based on the analysis, it offers recommendations to policy makers and practitioners to improve inclusion. The following are among the findings: •Four key intervention points to increase inclusion in STEM education and careers and staunch the “leaky pipeline” are at enrollment in the upper primary, lower and upper secondary, and tertiary education levels; and during early career years. •A strong pathway from STEM education to career depends on an integrated, systematic approach that motivates students to pursue STEM fields, builds STEM skills, and removes barriers to diversity. •With the increasing migration of workers between countries in South Asia, preparing a critical mass of semiskilled and skilled STEM migrant workers has cross-border value, especially for workers migrating from smaller to larger economies. New ways of defining STEM occupations are required to help develop and sustain female interest in STEM education and careers. Potential strategies that governments can pursue include raising awareness and building knowledge and skills in STEM outside the formal academic environment, such as in after-school programs, science fairs and competitions, and summer camps, and developing and systematically disseminating standardized resources. Inclusion and diversity must be championed by governments, the private sector, and by stakeholders who stand to benefit from more diverse workforces. Though women themselves would likely be credible champions, in South Asia they are often constrained by a range of factors. This report addresses some of those factors.
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.
Exports to Jobs: Boosting the Gains from Trade in South Asia(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2019-02-24) Artuc, Erhan ; Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys ; Robertson, Raymond ; Samaan, DanielSouth Asia’s economy has grown rapidly, and the region has made a significant reduction in poverty. However, the available jobs for the growing working population remain limited. Policy makers are contending with lingering concerns about jobless growth and poor job quality. Exports to Jobs: Boosting the Gains from Trade in South Asia posits that exports, could bring higher wages and better jobs to South Asia. We use a new methodology to estimate the potential impact from higher South Asian exports per worker on wages and employment. We find that increasing exports per worker would result in higher wages, mostly for the better-off groups—like the better-educated workers, men, and the more-experienced workers—although the less-skilled and rural workers would benefit from new job opportunities outside of the informal sector. Our report shows that to spread the benefits from higher exports widely, policies are needed to raise skills and get certain groups, such as women and youth, into more and better jobs. Complementary measures include removing trade barriers and investing in infrastructure, and increasing the ability of workers to find higher-paying jobs. Together, these actions would help South Asian countries spread the gains from being closely integrated into the global economy through exporting. This book, which is the product of a partnership between the International Labour Organization and the World Bank, contributes to our understanding of the impact that growing exports can have on increasing well-being, and it bridges the gap between academic research and policy making.