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    Morocco Economic Monitor, Fall 2023: From Resilience to Shared Prosperity
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-11-20) World Bank
    The Moroccan economy is recovering. Following a sharp deceleration in 2022 caused by various overlapping commodity and climatic shocks, economic growth increased to 2.9 percent in the first semester of 2023, driven primarily by services and net exports. Inflation has halved between February and August 2023, but food inflation remains high. Lower commodity prices havealso contributed to a temporary narrowing of the current account deficit. The response to recent crises and the unfolding reform of the health and social protection systems are exerting pressures on public spending. However, the government is managing to gradually reduce the budget deficit.
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    Algeria Economic Update, Fall 2023: Continuing the Diversification Effort
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-11-08) World Bank
    Algeria’s GDP recovered to its pre-pandemic level in 2022, while high oil and gas prices allowed for marked improvements in its external and fiscal balances. The recovery continued during the first half of 2023, albeit at a slower pace, supported by nonhydrocarbon activity and investment. Oil and natural gas prices and exports declined in H1–2023, adding pressure on external and fiscal balances. Inflation remained elevated, reaching 9.7 percent in H1–2023, now driven by fresh food prices, mostly produced domestically. Growth is expected to recover in 2024 and 2025, while the fiscal and external balances would stabilize after an initial drop. The macroeconomic outlook hinges on volatile hydrocarbon prices, and the regional context underscores the reality of the climate risks to which Algeria is also exposed. These risks underscore the importance of sustainably improving macroeconomic balances, while continuing efforts to foster private sector-led investment, growth, and diversification. Diversifying export revenues away from hydrocarbons and attracting foreign investment would improve Algeria’s resilience to oil and gas price fluctuations. On the fiscal front, higher spending rigidity contrasts with volatile hydrocarbon revenues, generating significant uncertainty. This underlines the need to raise more tax revenues and strengthen spending efficiency in an equitable way, notably that of public investment. Consistent with the 2021 Government Action Plan, continued implementation of reforms to stimulate private sector to become the engine of sustainable and diversified growth remains essential to the performance and resilience of the Algerian economy.
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    Yemen Economic Monitor, Fall 2023: Peace on the Horizon?
    (Washington, DC, 2023-11-08) World Bank
    The Yemen Economic Monitor provides an update on key economic developments and policies over the past six months. It also presents findings from recent World Bank work on Yemen. The Monitor places these developments, policies, and findings in a longer-term and global context and assesses their implications for Yemen’s outlook. Its coverage ranges from the macro economy to financial markets to human welfare and development indicators. It is intended for a wide audience, including policy makers, development partners, business leaders, financial market participants, and the community of analysts and professionals engaged in Yemen.
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    Making Teacher Policy Work
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-11-08) World Bank
    This report zooms into what lies behind the success or failure of teacher policies: how teachers experience these policies, and how systems scale and sustain these policies. The report argues that for policies to be successful, they need to be designed and implemented with careful consideration of the barriers that could hinder teachers’ take-up of the policy (individual-level barriers), and the barriers that could hinder the implementation and sustainability of policies at scale (system-level barriers). Teacher polices too often fail to yield meaningful changes in teaching and learning because both their design and implementation overlook how teachers perceive, understand, and act in response to the policy and because they miss what is needed at a system level to achieve and sustain change. To avoid this, policymakers need to go beyond what works in teacher policy to how to support teachers in different contexts to adopt what works, while making sure it is implementable at scale and can be sustained over time. This requires unpacking teacher policies to consider the barriers that might hinder success at both the individual and system levels, and then putting in place strategies to overcome these barriers. The report proposes a practical framework to uncover the black box of effective teacher policy and discusses the factors that enable their scalability and sustainability. The framework distills insights from behavioral science to identify the barriers that stand in the way of the changes targeted by the policy and to develop strategies to overcome them. The framework is used to examine questions such as: What changes are required at an individual level to achieve the specific goals of a given teacher policy What barriers constrain the adoption of these changes How can the policy be better designed and implemented to tackle these barriers Moreover, the report draws on evidence from quantitative and qualitative studies on successful and failed teacher policies to examine the factors that make teacher policy operationally and politically feasible such that it can work at scale and be sustained over time.
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    Toward a K-12 Blended Learning Framework for Saudi Arabia
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-10-13) World Bank
    This report proposes a preliminary guiding framework to define and deploy blended learning models at the K−12 level in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Drawing lessons from international examples and good practices, the proposed framework aims to provide key considerations for the strategic and effective use and integration of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in K-12 schools.
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    World Bank Annual Report 2023: A New Era in Development
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-09-28) World Bank
    This annual report, which covers the period from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, has been prepared by the Executive Directors of both the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA)—collectively known as the World Bank—in accordance with the respective bylaws of the two institutions. Ajay Banga, President of the World Bank Group and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, has submitted this report, together with the accompanying administrative budgets and audited financial statements, to the Board of Governors.
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    Digital-in-Health: Unlocking the Value for Everyone
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-08-18) World Bank
    Technology and data are integral to daily life. As health systems face increasing demands to deliver new, more, better, and seamless services affordable to all people, data and technology are essential. With the potential and perils of innovations like artificial intelligence the future of health care is expected to be technology-embedded and data-linked. This shift involves expanding the focus from digitization of health data to integrating digital and health as one: Digital-in-Health. The World Bank’s report, Digital-in-Health: Unlocking the Value for Everyone, calls for a new digital-in-health approach where digital technology and data are infused into every aspect of health systems management and health service delivery for better health outcomes. The report proposes ten recommendations across three priority areas for governments to invest in: prioritize, connect and scale.
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    Jordan Economic Monitor, Fall 2022 - Public Investment: Maximizing the Development Impact
    (Washington, DC, 2023) World Bank
    Despite a challenging global environment, Jordan’s growth exceeded expectations during the first half of 2022. Propelled by a strong rebound in international tourism, the full reopening of the economy, and improving exports, real GDP accelerated to 2.7 percent. However, the rebound in economic activity was only modestly reflected on labor market indicators with unemployment rates declining only gradually. Inflation has reached its highest level since 2018 but remains contained compared to regional peers, due to temporary fuel subsidies and a number of other price control measures introduced in 2022. Yet, the untargeted subsidy support came at a fiscal cost as fiscal consolidation adjustments have slowed down despite good tax performance. On the external front, elevated global commodity prices led to a significant rise in Jordan’s import bill, outpacing the effect of the increased merchandise exports and tourism. Moreover, capital and financial inflows did not keep up with the widening current account deficit, resulting in a widening of the balance of payment deficit and a drawdown in foreign exchange reserves. Nonetheless, due to its substantial reserve buffers, the Central Bank’s gross foreign reserves remained at an adequate level, while Jordan continues to retain investors’ confidence and access to foreign financial markets. Jordan’s economic recovery in 2022 is expected to be driven by a full rebound of the services sector, helped by the full reopening of the economy and a strong rebound in tourism. However, highly volatile global fuel and food prices are impacting both domestic consumption and the trade balance. Risks surrounding Jordan’s outlook include a looming global economic downturn, prolongation of the global food and energy crisis, and the impact of higher borrowing costs and widening losses from state-owned water and electricity sectors on debt dynamics. The Special Focus highlights the role of public investment as a driver of growth, with a particular focus on its recent trends, as well as its efficiency and effectiveness. This is particularly relevant given Jordan’s constrained fiscal envelope. Public investment spending has been suffering from a steady decline during the past two decades to meet the fiscal consolidation targets, consistent under-execution, large dependency on external aid and lack of budget for operation and maintenance cost. Its efficiency can be maximized by having in place financially realistic long-term strategic planning, transparent project selection and an adoption of a medium-term perspective. Purposefully integrating climate concerns in public investments would also advance the country’s achievement of its climate targets.
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    Egypt Economic Monitor, December 2022: Strengthening Resilience through Fiscal and Education Sector Reforms
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-12) World Bank
    Amidst repercussions from the Russia-Ukraine conflict, lingering supply chain disruptions, and tightening global financial conditions, Egypt is experiencing a spike in inflation and has suffered abrupt large-scale portfolio outflows; adding pressures to the country’s already stretched public finances and external accounts. The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has undertaken exchange rate and monetary policy adjustments since March 2022 by allowing the exchange rate to depreciate and by raising key policy rates, in order to contain the widening trade deficit, capital reversal and the ensuing drop in foreign exchange buffers. In tandem, the government announced social mitigation packages. The authorities’ efforts to restore macroeconomic stability, rebuild reserves, and push ahead with structural reforms is supported by the 46-month International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, along with other multilateral and bilateral financing and investments. This report provides an update on the recent economic developments and outlook of the Egyptian economy, while embedding the analysis in long-standing challenges. It also features a Special Focus on Education Sector reforms that draws on the World Bank Egypt Public Expenditure Review for Human Development Sectors. A key message is that education spending, its efficiency, and the overall learning outcomes require improvements in order to meet the needs for robust human development, poverty reduction, improved equity, and long-term growth. According to the report, there are three key (inter-connected) priorities going forward: (1) establishing sustained macroeconomic stability and enhancing the competitiveness of Egyptian economy to ensure resilient sources of foreign income activities (exports and FDI). This requires continuing to push ahead with business environment reforms; (2) streamlining budgetary and off-budget expenditures and increasing revenues to create the fiscal space required to allocate more resources for priority areas (such as the education sector); and (3) unleashing the private sector’s potential in higher value-added and export-oriented activities to create jobs and improve living standards.
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    Lebanon Economic Monitor, Fall 2022: Time for an Equitable Banking Resolution
    (Washington, DC, 2022-11) World Bank
    The economy continues to contract, albeit at a somewhat slower pace. Public finances improved in 2021, but only because spending collapsed faster than revenue generation. Testament to the continued atrophy of Lebanon’s economy, the Lebanese Pound continues to depreciate sharply. The sharp deterioration in the currency continues to drive surging inflation, in triple digits since July 2020, impacting the poor and vulnerable the most. An unprecedented institutional vacuum will likely further delay any agreement on crisis resolution and much needed reforms; this includes prior actions as part of the April 2022 International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff-level agreement (SLA). Divergent views among key stakeholders on how to distribute the financial losses remains the main bottleneck for reaching an agreement on a comprehensive reform agenda. Lebanon needs to urgently adopt a domestic, equitable, and comprehensive solution that is predicated on: (i) addressing upfront the balance sheet impairments, (ii) restoring liquidity, and (iii) adhering to sound global practices of bail-in solutions based on a hierarchy of creditors (starting with banks’ shareholders) that protects small depositors.