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  • Publication
    The Knowledge Compact for Action: Transforming Ideas Into Development Impact - For a World Free of Poverty on a Livable Planet
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-05-07) World Bank
    Today’s global challenges are bigger, more complex, and more intertwined than ever before, from the relentless grip of poverty and stubborn persistence of inequality to the devastations caused by climate disasters, fragility, pandemics, and conflicts. Financing and investments alone cannot solve these problems in a global context of higher debt and scarce resources. Now more than ever, clients are demanding innovative ideas and successful experiences from other countries to tackle the ongoing and emerging global crises, regain the development progress of past decades and move faster towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time, recent breakthroughs in technology, including the rapid advances in artificial intelligence, offer enormous potential to revolutionize development work. Policymakers and practitioners across the globe are poised to benefit from new tools to innovate, act based on evidence and accelerate the transformation of new ideas into development outcomes that improve lives of the poor. This paper articulates the strategic direction of the Knowledge Compact for Action, which seeks to empower all WBG clients, public and private, by systematically making the latest development knowledge available to respond more effectively to increasingly complex development challenges. The Compact seizes the opportunity of the digital revolution, bringing together the wealth of data analytics, research and best practices accumulated by the WBG over decades and combining this knowledge with the WBG’s proven mix of public-private finance to power learning and innovative solutions. This includes capturing the tacit knowledge embedded in operations for policymakers and development practitioners to easily access lessons of development successes and failures in other countries. Ultimately, the Compact aims to take knowledge to a new level, placing it front and center of the WBG’s work to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity on a livable planet.
  • Publication
    Libya Economic Monitor, Fall 2023
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-02-12) World Bank
    Libya’s medium-term growth and development challenges are major and pressing. Key among these is to accelerate and stabilize growth: GDP per capita shrank by 54 percent between 2010 and 2022. Furthermore, Libya’s economy was among the most volatile during the past decade due to the conflict, instability, fragmentation, oil export blockades, and weak economic policies. Another challenge is to diversify the economy to make growth more job-rich, more inclusive to women and youth and less intensive in carbon. This could be achieved by strengthening human capital and rebuilding infrastructure. Building a wide, transparent, and effective cash transfer system could bea transformational approach to reform public finances and the public sector and rebuild trust between citizens and the state. Partly linked to the above is the challenge to address the transparency and equitable sharing of oil resources, including to address regional disparities to reduce risks of conflict and fragility in the interest of building a lasting peace. Lastly, the overall institutional and economic policy framework and capacity need to be strengthened to undertake such major transformation.
  • Publication
    Tunisia Economic Monitor, Fall 2023: Migration Amid a Challenging Economic Context
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-12-04) World Bank
    Migration will likely become increasingly important for Tunisia in terms of both inflows and outflows, given the demographic transition in both Tunisia and Europe. As such Tunisia can work (also with partner countries) to maximize the benefits of migration. As a country of mainly emigration, Tunisia could help strengthen the match of its emigrants with the demand abroad, including through enhanced cooperation with destination countries. Such cooperation should include focusing international assistance towards development objectives in Tunisia. Based on available evidence, increasing household incomes will contribute to reducing the propensity to consider emigrating through irregular channels. As its importance as a destination country (hence migrants who want to settle in Tunisia) is likely to increase, Tunisia can also enhance the economic benefits from immigrants by facilitating migrants’ regular status and streamlining the recognition of their qualifications, which has been identified as one of the key aspects for the successful implementation of bilateral mobility agreements involving skill partnerships.
  • Publication
    A New State of Mind: Greater Transparency and Accountability in the Middle East and North Africa
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2022-10-05) Belhaj, Ferid; Gatti, Roberta; Lederman, Daniel; Sergenti, Ernest John; Assem, Hoda; Lotfi, Rana; Mousa, Mennatallah Emam; Assem, Hoda
    The MENA region is facing important vulnerabilities, which the current crises—first the pandemic, then the war in Ukraine—have exacerbated. Prices of food and energy are higher, hurting the most vulnerable, and rising interest rates from the global tightening of monetary policy are making debt service more burdensome. Part I explores some of the resulting vulnerabilities for MENA. MENA countries are facing diverging paths for future growth. Oil Exporters have seen windfall increases in state revenues from the rise in hydrocarbon prices, while oil importers face heightened stress and risk—from higher import bills, especially for food and energy, and the depreciation of local currencies in some countries. Part II of this report argues that poor governance, and, in particular, the lack of government transparency and accountability, is at the root of the region’s development failings—including low growth, exclusion of the most disadvantaged and women, and overuse of such precious natural resources as land and water.
  • Publication
    Egypt Public Expenditure Review for the Human Development Sectors
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-09) World Bank Group
    This Public Expenditure Review (PER) aims at informing government efforts to pursue its commitment to enhancing socioeconomic outcomes through more and better spending on human capital. To achieve this important objective, the Government of Egypt (GoE) aims at creating the fiscal space needed to increase growth-enhancing spending in a way that reflects positively on socioeconomic outcomes. This PER analyzes the adequacy, efficiency, and equity of public spending on the human development sectors. It examines options to create fiscal space by reducing inefficient and wasteful spending within this sector and increasing the impact of existing resources. From an equity perspective, the PER examines how public resources are distributed within the sector, and across income groups and/or geographical regions, and how system-wide reforms can reduce inequality in spending and outcomes. Drawing on a fiscal incidence analysis jointly carried out with the MOF, the distributional impact of potential fiscal measures and other policy changes is simulated to inform the reforms agenda. The first part of the review (Volume I) presents the macro-fiscal context and its constraints. It also presents an analysis of the social protection system in place to mitigate the effects of the challenging macroeconomic environment. The second part of the review (Volume II) focuses on the most difficult challenges facing the core human development sectors, namely health, education and higher education.
  • Publication
    Tunisia Economic Monitor, Winter 2021: Economic Reforms to Navigate Out of the Crisis
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-01-20) World Bank
    The Economic Monitor examines four possible factors behind Tunisia’s slow recovery. First, the drop in mobility related to the pandemic may have been more harmful in Tunisia. However, mobility in Tunisia has dropped to a similar extent as other countries and it has now returned to pre-pandemic levels following the acceleration in the vaccination campaign since July. If anything, the mobility drop in Tunisia has resulted in a lower reduction in economic activity than in comparator countries as Algeria and Egypt. Second, it could be that the level of public support to the ailing firms and households may have been particularly low. However, at 2.3 percent of GDP, the Covid-19 stimulus package in 2020 was in the same ballpark as other comparators in the region. Third, the structure of the Tunisian economy, particularly its reliance on tourism, may have exposed it to the negative demand shock more than other countries. Indeed hotels, cafe and restaurant and transport are the sectors which have contracted the most since the start of the pandemic. The losses of these sectors explain a significant portion of the negative effects of the crisis in Tunisia, although they do not fully account for such slow 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
    Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2022: Correcting Course
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2022) World Bank
    Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2022: Correcting Course provides the first comprehensive analysis of the pandemic’s toll on poverty in developing countries. It identifies how governments can optimize fiscal policy to help correct course. Fiscal policies offset the impact of COVID-19 on poverty in many high-income countries, but those policies offset barely one quarter of the pandemic’s impact in low-income countries and lower-middle-income countries. Improving support to households as crises continue will require reorienting protective spending away from generally regressive and inefficient subsidies and toward a direct transfer support system—a first key priority. Reorienting fiscal spending toward supporting growth is a second key priority identified by the report. Some of the highest-value public spending often pays out decades later. Amid crises, it is difficult to protect such investments, but it is essential to do so. Finally, it is not enough just to spend wisely - when additional revenue does need to be mobilized, it must be done in a way that minimizes reductions in poor people’s incomes. The report highlights how exploring underused forms of progressive taxation and increasing the efficiency of tax collection can help in this regard. Poverty and Shared Prosperity is a biennial series that reports on global trends in poverty and shared prosperity. Each report also explores a central challenge to poverty reduction and boosting shared prosperity, assessing what works well and what does not in different settings. By bringing together the latest evidence, this corporate flagship report provides a foundation for informed advocacy around ending extreme poverty and improving the lives of the poorest in every country in the world. For more information, please visit worldbank.org/poverty-and-shared-prosperity.
  • Publication
    Distributional Impacts of COVID-19 in the Middle East and North Africa Region
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-11-22) Hoogeveen, Johannes G.; Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys; Hoogeveen, Johannes G.; Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys
    COVID-19 is one of multiple crises to have hit the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region in the decade following the Arab Spring. War, oil price declines, economic slowdowns and now a pandemic are tearing at the social fabric of a region characterized by high rates of unemployment, high levels of informality and low annual economic growth. The economic costs of the pandemic are estimated at about $227 billion, and fiscal support packages across MENA are averaging 2.7 percent of GDP, putting pressure on already weak fiscal balances and making a quick recovery challenging. Pre-pandemic MENA was the only region in the world experiencing increases in poverty and declines in life satisfaction. This Report investigates how COVID-19 changed the welfare of individuals and households in the region. It does so by relying on phone surveys implemented across the region and complements these with micro-simulation exercises to assess the impact of COVID-19 on jobs, income, poverty and inequality. The two approaches perform a complementary task by corroborating each other’s results, thereby making the findings more robust and richer. This Report’s results show that in the short run, poverty rates in MENA will increase significantly, and that inequality will widen. A group of “new poor” is likely to emerge that may have difficulty to recover from the economic consequences of the pandemic. The Report adds value by analyzing newly gathered primary data, along with projections based on newly modelled micro-macro simulations and by identifying key issues that policy makers should focus on to enable a quick, inclusive and sustained economic recovery.
  • 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.