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  • Publication
    World Development Report 2018: Learning to Realize Education's Promise
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2018) World Bank
    Every year, the World Bank's World Development Report takes on a topic of central importance to global development. The 2018 Report, Learning to Realize Education's Promise, is the first ever devoted entirely to education. Now is an excellent time for it: education has long been critical for human welfare, but is even more so in a time of rapid economic change. The Report explores four main themes. First, education's promise: Education is a powerful instrument for eradicating poverty and promoting shared prosperity, but fulfilling its potential requires better policies - both within and outside the education system. Second, the learning crisis: Despite gains in education access, recent learning assessments show that many young people around the world, especially from poor families, are leaving school unequipped with even the most foundational skills they need for life. At the same time, internationally comparable learning assessments show that skills in many middle-income countries lag far behind what those countries aspire to. Third, promising interventions to improve learning: Research from areas such as brain science, pedagogical innovations, or school management have identified interventions that promote learning by ensuring that learners are prepared, that teachers are skilled as well as motivated, and that other inputs support the teacher-learner relationship. Fourth, learning at scale: Achieving learning throughout an education system will require more than just scaling up effective interventions. Change requires overcoming technical and political barriers by deploying salient metrics for mobilizing actors and tracking progress, building coalitions for learning, and being adaptive when implementing programs.
  • Publication
    Learning in the Face of Adversity: The UNRWA Education Program for Palestine Refugees
    (Washington, DC, 2014-10) Abdul-Hamid, Husein; Patrinos, Harry Anthony; Diaz Varela, Andrea
    The goal of this study is to provide a better understanding of how a school system can operate efficiently under adversity. The results of this work will be useful in identifying relevant policies in the Middle East and North Africa region. Palestine refugees are achieving higher-than-average learning outcomes in spite of the adverse circumstances they live under. Their education system the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) operates one of the largest non-governmental school systems in the Middle East. It manages nearly 700 schools, has hired 17,000 staff, educates more than 500,000 refugee students each year, and operates in five areas, including the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. This study examines three: West Bank, Gaza, and Jordan. Contrary to what might be expected from a resource-constrained administration serving refugee students who continually face a multitude of adversities, UNRWA students outperform public schools in the three regions the West Bank, Gaza, and Jordan by a year's worth of learning. This study was undertaken to better understand the reasons for success at UNRWA schools and their positive variation from comparable public schools. Econometric techniques were used to analyze international (TIMSS and Programme for International Student Assessment, or PISA) and national learning achievement data. Pedagogical practices and classroom time-on-task were observed using structured methods (Stallings model). Systems Approach for Better Education Results (SABER) tools were used to better understand the policies and implementation strategies for school and teacher management and for monitoring and evaluation. Additionally, qualitative data were collected and analyzed in line with an education resilience conceptual framework to better uncover factors that help students develop the skills to learn despite the adversities they face.
  • Publication
    The Road Traveled: Dubai's Journey towards Improving Private Education - A World Bank Review
    (2014-03-21) Thacker, Simon; Cuadra, Ernesto
    As Dubai has grown over the last two decades, the demand for private education has grown with it, a reflection of the number of expatriates settling in the city. Today, 88 percent of all students attend private schools. The surge in demand over this period had in fact been so significant that authorities, recognizing the need to establish a specific governmental entity to oversee the sector s expansion, moved to create the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in 2007. Given the city-state s unique context (in which a majority of the population are expatriates, not Emiratis), the immediate challenge for this new public institution was to identify an appropriate approach for regulating a private education sector. The main objective of the present review is to understand what has motivated KHDA s policy initiatives, what principles have guided design, how they were operationalized, and how they function in real life situations today. In what follows, we look first at the broader context of the issue by giving a brief overview of: (i) the growth of private sector education; and (ii) the rise of public governance reform initiatives in the global education policy agenda. The authors then turn to the case of Dubai: the authors present the argument in the road not traveled before reviewing how that policy framework was translated into its present institutional configuration in Dubai through the development of the institutions that came into being. The authors then reflect on the policy framework in operation, showing how the constituent components function together. The authors end by suggesting some options on potential ways forward that will further enhance the system.
  • Publication
    Arab Republic of Egypt Workforce Development : SABER Country Report 2014
    (Washington, DC, 2014) World Bank
    From the mid-2000s to 2011, the Egyptian economy grew at a rapid pace. Yet, this economic performance has not significantly improved the country's overall competitiveness, nor has this growth impacted the masses by providing more decent jobs. In 2004, the Government of Egypt embarked on a structural reform program of liberalization and privatization, which, combined with high oil prices, booming economies in the Gulf countries, and strong global economic growth, led to real GDP growth of over 7 percent per year between FY06 and FY08. The subsequent global financial, food, and fuel crises dampened economic growth in Egypt to an average of 5 percent in FY09 and FY10, still a strong performance by international standards. However, since 2011, the macroeconomic picture has deteriorated due to unresolved political tensions and policy inflexibility.
  • Publication
    Jordan Workforce Development : SABER Country Report 2013
    (Washington, DC, 2013) World Bank
    Human Development in Jordan has witnessed significant progress over the past two decades, in line with Jordan s vision to become a regional leader through leveraging its strong human capital base into a skills, knowledge and innovation driven economy. Evidence of progress on this front is provided by the advancement of the country s human development and education indicators. Between 1980 and 2011, the Human Development Index (HDI) value increased by 29 percent, the adult literacy rate reached 92.6 percent; the primary school completion rate hit 100 percent and combined gross enrolment reached 79 percent. In the decade prior to the global financial slowdown of 2008 and the subsequent political unrest in the region, Jordan experienced rapid economic growth, outperforming the MENA average.
  • Publication
    Reshaping Egypt's Economic Geography : Domestic Integration as a Development Platform
    (Washington, DC, 2012-06) World Bank
    This report investigates Egypt's regional economic growth, explores the causes for geographically unbalanced development, and proposes policy options to make unbalanced growth compatible with inclusive development. Regional disparities in income and consumption may be attributed to differences in natural endowments and geographical location, but unbalanced growth is mostly due to economies of scale, spillover effects, and the lower transaction costs that result from agglomeration. In Egypt, despite rapid progress in most welfare indicators in lagging regions, there are still substantial gaps in consumption and opportunities between growth poles and the rest of the country. Adopting integration as a development platform is not simple because spatial disparities are spanned in three dimensions: urban/rural dichotomies, the upper Egypt/lower Egypt duality, and the differences between large metropolises and the rest of the country. This typology of instruments underlies the menu of options presented in this report as the basis of domestic spatial integration as a development platform to achieve more balanced and equitable development without sacrificing growth. This report first identifies the gaps in consumption and in opportunities, showing the stark contrasts between regions and how they evolve through time. It then explores the causes of the gaps, revealing a multiplicity of factors and exposing the complexity of the problem. Finally, the bulk of the report presents the policy options to address the integration challenges.
  • Publication
    Arab Republic of Egypt - Reshaping Egypt's Economic Geography : Domestic Integration as a Development Platform, Volume 1
    (Washington, DC, 2012-06) World Bank
    This report investigates Egypt's regional economic growth, explores the causes for geographically unbalanced development, and proposes policy options to make unbalanced growth compatible with inclusive development. In Egypt, despite rapid progress in most welfare indicators in lagging regions, there are still substantial gaps in consumption and opportunities between growth poles and the rest of the country. This report's central proposal is adopting spatial integration as a development platform, in which the policy focus shifts from spreading out industrial location to spreading out access to basic public services and facilitating factor mobility, which will make growth more inclusive and development more balanced in Egypt. Egypt's new political environment provides an opportunity to examine this perennial problem from a new perspective. Adopting integration as a development platform is not simple because spatial disparities are spanned in three dimensions: urban/rural dichotomies, the upper Egypt/lower Egypt duality, and the differences between large metropolises and the rest of the country. This report first identifies the gaps in consumption and in opportunities, showing the stark contrasts between regions and how they evolve through time. It then explores the causes of the gaps, revealing a multiplicity of factors and exposing the complexity of the problem. Finally, the bulk of the report presents the policy options to address the integration challenges.
  • Publication
    Universities Through the Looking Glass : Benchmarking University Governance to Enable Higher Education Modernization in MENA
    (Washington, DC, 2012-03) World Bank
    This benchmarking exercise provided some important lessons on the tool itself and its capacity to: 1) identify strengths and weaknesses at individual institutions; 2) identify trends at the national level; 3) identify trends and practices by type of institution; and 4) generate interest to initiate reforms at the institutional, national, and regional levels. It is clear from this first round of data collection (and the subsequent increased demand and interest from institutions to participate), that universities are seeking to find meaningful ways to compare themselves with other institutions around the world, but more importantly, that they are genuinely interested in finding ways of improving their performance. Countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are going through an important political transformation, and this is likely to impact their economic and social development for the next few years. The January 2011 revolution in Tunisia and Egypt's uprising transformed the political and social environments in both countries. In all MENA countries, recovery will depend on the capacity to develop new markets and to employ fiscal prudence. Universities play a key role in all societies because they are directly involved in generating new knowledge and because they teach and form young people to become leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists, and professionals in all fields of knowledge. In today's world, knowledge generation has replaced capital assets as the key ingredient for economic growth. Universities need to innovate to provide the kind of education that will enable their graduates to be competitive and to contribute to the economic and social growth of their countries.
  • Publication
    Breaking Even or Breaking Through: Reaching Financial Sustainability while Providing High Quality Standards in Higher Education in the Middle East and North Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-08) Jaramillo, Adriana; Melonio, Thomas; Jaramillo, Adriana; Melonio, Thomas
    Higher education (HE) systems worldwide are faced with three main challenges: providing young people with the skills required by the job market; improving access to high quality services; and seeking out new sources of financing to cope with the growing student demand. This document will provide evidence on the need to seek sustainable financing strategies for countries in Middle East and North Africa (MENA), whether they are high income economies, such as the oil producing countries, or low to middle income economies. Chapter one presents an overall description of HE graduates and the many challenges they face in their transition into the workforce. The different elements that affect this transition are discussed and special attention is given to the mismatches between labor supply and demand. Chapter two analyses the current levels of spending on HE, projects the future financing gaps taking into account the need to continue expanding access and improving quality and relevance, and provides a framework for funding approaches linked to meeting access, equity, and quality goals. Chapter three outlines ways of using current funds in more effective ways, emphasizing the need to align financing allocations with policy goals. Innovative funding allocations that link funding to performance and demand- as well as supply-side mechanisms are discussed. Chapter four discusses different ways to diversify sources of funding and presents alternative methods of cost-sharing. The chapter emphasizes the equity measures needed for cost-sharing mechanisms, such as student fees, and provides an overview of student loan programs used in MENA and elsewhere. Chapter five discusses the role of private provision of HE, and how this can be an alternative to increase access and quality, provided the necessary regulatory and quality controls are in place. Chapter six describes an alternative source of funding not yet common in MENA, namely the use of philanthropic resources to build endowments to support HE.
  • Publication
    The World Bank Annual Report 2011: Year in Review
    (Washington, DC, 2011) World Bank
    Executive Directors continued to play an important role as the World Bank faced many challenges in a global post crisis economy. The Board considered a number of key documents in preparation for the committee on development effectiveness meetings. These included the World Development Report 2011, which focuses on conflict, security, and development, and responding to global food price volatility and its impact on food security, which examines the Bank's responses to food price increases and climate change risks. The Board approved more than $42 billion in financial assistance in fiscal 2011, comprising about $26 billion in International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) lending and $16 billion in International Development Association (IDA) support. During fiscal 2011 the Bank Group committed $57.3 billion in loans, grants, equity investments, and guarantees to its members and to private businesses. IBRD commitments totaled $26.7 billion compared with $44.2billion in 2010, but still above pre crisis levels. The World Bank Group continues to operate under a real flat budget, for the seventh consecutive year.