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  • Publication
    The Unfulfilled Promise of Oil and Growth : Poverty, Inclusion and Welfare in Iraq 2007-2012
    (Washington, DC, 2014-12-01) World Bank
    Iraq appears to have firmly entered the ranks of upper middle-income countries in 2012, having experienced strong economic growth following the establishment of a civilian elected government in 2005-06. In 2012 the years of growth culminated in a per capita GDP of 2472 constant 2005 US$. This three-volume poverty and inclusion assessment provides the first in-depth analysis of Iraq's economic and social development during the period of 2007 to 2012. Volume 1 is an overview of the economic climate in Iraq, providing brushstroke descriptions of its poverty reduction plans, labor markets, public health data, and education focal points. Volume 2 is a nine-chapter report on the years between 2007 and 2012, a period of relative stability in Iraq. 2007 marks the end of sectarian violence, which lasted until 2012, prior to the militancy and insurgency in the northern governorates of the summer of 2014. The country has been a nexus of conflict and fragility since the early 1980s, and has experienced multiple types of conflict: insurgency, international war, sectarian strife, persistent terrorism, regional fragmentation, and spillovers from conflict in other countries. What should have been a promising endowment of natural resources of land, oil and gas, as well of human capital, did not provide the foundation for poverty reduction and shared prosperity. The realization of potential was confounded by war and repression. A key priority of the Government of Iraq since 2005-06 has been to fill the huge knowledge gap in terms of a deeper understanding of the state of the economy and of a range of socioeconomic indicators of welfare with the objective of building a strong evidence base for effective policy making. The rich analyses presented in this report go well beyond counting the poor. It gives an incisive understanding of the multi-layered development challenges faced by the nation, which serves as a testament to the commitment of the Government of Iraq, the staff of the Central Statistics Office, and the Kurdistan Region Statistics Office. It will form the basis for a new strategy for Iraq's development and ensure broad-based welfare improvements for the population. Volume 3 consists of nine annexes and nine references in the forms of tables, boxes, and equations used in the methodologies.
  • 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
    The Status of Yemini Women : From Aspiration to Opportunity
    (Washington, DC, 2014-02) World Bank
    The report draws on the conceptual framework of the world development 2012: gender equality and development, and the regional report on gender equality, opening doors: gender equality in the Middle East and North Africa. The report's analytic approach is unique in threading together three bodies of evidence and analysis to shed new light on significant trends and causes underpinning the large gender disparities in the country. The report presents: i) a fresh look at available survey data on human development and socio-economic indicators in the country; ii) a brief history and in-depth analysis of the most critical legal barriers to women's and girl's full participation in Yemeni society; and iii) insights from a rich qualitative dataset collected in January 2011.The findings especially highlight the powerful roles of social norms and legal rights and entitlements in placing women and girls at a disadvantage and constraining not only faster progress on gender equality but also the country's economic development. The objectives of this report are two-fold: first, to take stock of the status of gender outcomes in Yemen and understand the forces that are driving the strong gender inequalities; and second, drawing on these insights and outcomes of the study, to highlight promising areas for policy action in this crucial transition period. The report explores how individual aspirations and opportunities in the areas of education, family formation, and labor force participation are constrained by the severe gender gaps in Yemeni society.
  • 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
    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
    IFC Annual Report 2009 : Their/Our Story, Creating Opportunity Where It's Needed Most
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2009) International Finance Corporation
    The global economic crisis has opened an uncertain chapter, especially for the 2.5 billion people who live on less than $2 a day. Many of them lack access to electricity, or clean water, or basic health care. For at least a decade, economic growth in developing countries helped expand the availability of basic necessities while steadily reducing the number of people in poverty. But this year, the number of people in extreme poverty is expected to be much higher than was predicted before the crisis. Unemployment is rising. Yet many countries lack the domestic resources needed to speed up development. International Finance Corporation (IFC) has responded swiftly and creatively to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people by working with the private sector to create conditions for sustainable prosperity, wherever the need is greatest. IFC has quickly ramped up its advisory efforts and mobilized its donor partners to help governments, clients, and markets cope with the crisis and recover speedily. Priorities include: helping financial institutions better manage their risks and their nonperforming loans; complementing investment efforts in banking for small and medium enterprises, microfinance, and housing finance with advice to financial institutions; supporting governments' efforts to keep trade flowing with advice on trade logistics; helping governments facing larger deficits widen their tax base; encouraging governments to simplify their bankruptcy systems to allow indebted companies to recover faster; advising boards of directors on risk management and crisis intervention; and helping governments redesign public-private infrastructure projects that face crisis-related difficulties.
  • Publication
    Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2009) Fiszbein, Ariel; Ferreira, Francisco H.G.; Grosh, Margaret; Olinto, Pedro; Skoufias, Emmanuel
    The report shows that there is good evidence that conditional cash transfers (CCTs) have improved the lives of poor people. Transfers generally have been well targeted to poor households, have raised consumption levels, and have reduced poverty, by a substantial amount in some countries. Offsetting adjustments that could have blunted the impact of transfers, such as reductions in the labor market participation of beneficiaries, have been relatively modest. Moreover, CCT programs often have provided an entry point to reforming badly targeted subsidies and upgrading the quality of safety nets. The report thus argues that CCTs have been an effective way to redistribute income to the poor, while recognizing that even the best-designed and best-managed program cannot fulfill all of the needs of a comprehensive social protection system. CCTs therefore need to be complemented with other interventions, such as workfare or employment programs and social pensions. The report also considers the rationale for conditioning the transfers on the use of specific health and education services by program beneficiaries. Conditions can be justified if households are under investing in the human capital of their children, for example, if they hold incorrect beliefs about the returns to these investments; if there is "incomplete altruism" between parents and their children; or if there are large externalities to investments in health and education. Political economy considerations also may favor conditional over unconditional transfers: taxpayers may be more likely to support transfers to the poor if they are linked to efforts to overcome poverty in the long term, particularly when the efforts involve actions to improve the welfare of children.
  • Publication
    IFC Annual Report 2008 : Creating Opportunity, Volume 1
    (Washington, DC, 2008) International Finance Corporation
    The International Finance Corporation (IFC) annual report continues an approach pioneered last year, combining information on the investments and advisory services, sustainability, development effectiveness, and donor partnerships. The report covers fiscal 2008 (July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2008) and discusses the year's new business as well as the performance and development results of the portfolio. In FY08, new investments totaled $16.2 billion, rising 34 percent from the previous year. The IFC seeks to enhance the accountability and to articulate the vision, core corporate values, purpose, and the way the IFC works for a wide range of stakeholders: client companies, governments, partners, local communities affected by the activities, advocacy organizations, investors, and the staff.
  • Publication
    The World Bank Annual Report 2008: Year in Review
    (Washington, DC, 2008) World Bank
    The World Bank Group's work focuses on achievement of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The goals call for eliminating poverty and achieving inclusive and sustainable globalization. The MDGs lay out a blueprint for the World Bank Group, setting its priorities and measuring its results. The World Bank is the world's largest funder of education; the world's largest external funder of the fight against HIV/AIDS; a leader in the fight against corruption worldwide; a strong supporter of debt relief; and the largest international financier of biodiversity, water supply, and sanitation projects. The recipients of the World Bank Group's fiscal 2008 financial commitments are using the funds in more than 670 projects, many of them collaborative efforts of two or more of the affiliates. The projects are designed to overcome poverty and enhance growth by improving education and health services, promoting private sector development, building infrastructure, and strengthening governance and institutions. They are practical plans to help developing countries move from poverty and become more competitive in a globalizing world. The Bank Group is also preparing a strategic framework on climate change and development - a plan for integrating climate change and development challenges without compromising growth and poverty reduction efforts. The framework will include priorities, approaches, and a road map for action in helping countries mitigate or adapt to climate change. In addition, the Bank Group has set a goal of scaling up its portfolio of investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects by an annual average of 20 percent through 2010.