03. Journals

2,963 items available

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These are journal articles published in World Bank journals as well as externally by World Bank authors.

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    Effectiveness of Fertiliser Policy Reforms to Enhance Food Security in Kenya: A Macro-Microsimulation Analysis
    (Taylor and Francis, 2022-02) Boulanger, Pierre ; Dudu, Hasan ; Ferrari, Emanuele ; Mainar, Alfredo J. ; Ramos, Maria Priscila
    Food security represents a key challenge in most Sub-Saharan African countries and in Kenya in particular where still a relevant share of the population lives below a minimum dietary energy consumption. Kenya addresses this concern with a noteworthy policy mix, aiming at giving to the agricultural sector a leading task in improving food security. This paper evaluates the impacts on food security of expanding fertilizer capacities in Kenya, combined with a set of additional policy changes targeting fertilizer use. In a top-down analysis, a specific Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model is linked with a microsimulation approach. Scenarios present overall positive effects on key food security aggregates. The same is true for welfare. Nevertheless, the heterogeneity of households across and within regions suggests that improving input productivity through better market access and service extension are critical to reducing possible discrepancies across farmers, households and regions. The paper concludes on the need for a sound policy mix since increasing fertilizer production alone is not enough to enhance food security evenly. Among accompanying measures, intensifying extension services are essential especially for smallholders in their acquisition of better knowledge on the use of agricultural inputs.
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    Cereal Prices and Child Undernutrition in Ethiopia
    (Taylor and Francis, 2021-07-06) Brenton, Paul ; Nyawo, Mike
    This paper looks at how changing cereal prices affect child undernutrition in Ethiopia. It derives height for age (stunting) and weight for height (wasting) as indicators of child undernutrition from the two most recent years of the Livings Standards Measurement Survey and utilizes market prices for key cereals, teff, wheat, and maize at the enumeration area across all regions of the country. Using a panel data fixed effects model, the analysis finds that, contrary to previous studies, rising cereal prices are positively associated with improved child stunting rates for children between ages 6 months and 5 years. There is no evidence to suggest that cereal prices have a significantly greater impact on height for age for children that come from households who are net sellers of these crops. Cereal prices do not appear to be associated with wasting, which is a shorter-term negative health outcome.
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    Assessing Gender Gaps in Employment and Earnings in Africa: The Case of Eswatini
    (Taylor and Francis, 2021-07) Brixiova Schwidrowski, Zuzana ; Imai, Susumu ; Kangoye, Thierry ; Yameogo, Nadege Desiree
    Persistent gender gaps characterize labor markets in many African countries. Utilizing Eswatini’s first three labor market surveys (conducted in 2007, 2010, and 2013), this paper provides first systematic evidence on the country’s gender gaps in employment and earnings. We find that women have notably lower employment rates and earnings than men, even though the global financial crisis had a less negative impact on women than it had on men. Both unadjusted and unexplained gender earnings gaps are higher in self-employment than in wage employment. Tertiary education and urban location account for a large part of the gender earnings gap and mitigate high female propensity to self-employment. Our findings suggest that policies supporting female higher education and rural-urban mobility could reduce persistent inequalities in Eswatini’s labor market outcomes as well as in other middle-income countries in southern Africa.
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    Looking into the performance-based financing black box: Evidence from an impact evaluation in the health sector in Cameroon
    (Oxford University Press, 2021-07) de Walque, Damien ; Robyn, Paul Jacob ; Saidou, Hamadou ; Sorgho, Gaston ; Steenland, Maria
    Performance-based financing (PBF) is a complex health systems intervention aimed at improving the coverage and quality of care. Several studies have shown a positive impact of PBF on health service coverage, often coupled with improvements in quality, but relatively little is known about the mechanisms driving those results. This article presents results of a randomized impact evaluation in Cameroon designed to isolate the role of specific components of the PBF approach with four study groups: (i) PBF with explicit financial incentives linked to results, (ii) direct financing with additional resources available for health providers not linked to performance, (iii) enhanced supervision and monitoring without additional resources and (iv) a control group. Overall, results indicate that, when compared with the pure control group, PBF in Cameroon led to significant increases in utilization for several services (child and maternal vaccinations, use of modern family planning), but not for others like antenatal care visits and facility-based deliveries. In terms of quality, PBF increased the availability of inputs and equipment, qualified health workers, led to a reduction in formal and informal user fees but did not affect the content of care. However, for many positively impacted outcomes, the differences between the PBF group and the group receiving additional financing not linked to performance are not significant, suggesting that additional funding rather than the explicit incentives might be driving improvements. In contrast, the intervention group offering enhanced supervision, coaching and monitoring without additional funding did not experience significant impacts compared to the control group.
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    Assessing Bias in Smartphone Mobility Estimates in Low Income Countries
    (Association for Computing Machinery, 2021-06-28) Milusheva, Sveta ; Björkegren, Daniel ; Viotti, Leonardo
    It has become common for governments and practitioners to measure mobility using data from smartphones, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet in countries where few people have smartphones, or use mobile internet, the movement of smartphones may not be a good indicator of the movement of the population. This paper develops a framework for approaching potential bias that can arise when measuring mobility with smartphones. Using mobile phone operator records in Uganda, we compare the mobility of smartphones and the basic and feature phones that are more common. Smartphones have different travel patterns, and decrease mobility substantially more in response to a COVID-19 lockdown. This suggests caution when interpreting smartphone mobility estimates in contexts with low adoption.
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    Disruptions in Maternal and Child Health Service Utilization during COVID-19: Analysis from Eight Sub-Saharan African Countries
    (Oxford University Press, 2021-06-19) Shapira, Gil ; Ahmed, Tashrik ; Drouard, Salome Henriette Paulette ; Fernandez, Pablo Amor ; Kandpal, Eeshani ; Nzelu, Charles ; Sanford Wesseh, Chea ; Mohamud, Nur Ali ; Smart, Francis ; Mwansambo, Charles ; Baye, Martina L ; Diabate, Mamatou ; Yuma, Sylvain ; Ogunlayi, Munirat ; De Dieu Rusatira, Rwema Jean ; Hashemi, Tawab ; Vergeer, Petra ; Friedman, Jed
    The coronavirus-19 pandemic and its secondary effects threaten the continuity of essential health services delivery, which may lead to worsened population health and a protracted public health crisis. We quantify such disruptions, focusing on maternal and child health, in eight sub-Saharan countries. Service volumes are extracted from administrative systems for 63 954 facilities in eight countries: Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Somalia. Using an interrupted time series design and an ordinary least squares regression model with facility-level fixed effects, we analyze data from January 2018 to February 2020 to predict what service utilization levels would have been in March–July 2020 in the absence of the pandemic, accounting for both secular trends and seasonality. Estimates of disruption are derived by comparing the predicted and observed service utilization levels during the pandemic period. All countries experienced service disruptions for at least 1 month, but the magnitude and duration of the disruptions vary. Outpatient consultations and child vaccinations were the most commonly affected services and fell by the largest margins. We estimate a cumulative shortfall of 5 149 491 outpatient consultations and 328 961 third-dose pentavalent vaccinations during the 5 months in these eight countries. Decreases in maternal health service utilization are less generalized, although significant declines in institutional deliveries, antenatal care and postnatal care were detected in some countries. There is a need to better understand the factors determining the magnitude and duration of such disruptions in order to design interventions that would respond to the shortfall in care. Service delivery modifications need to be both highly contextualized and integrated as a core component of future epidemic response and planning.
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    Cognitive Achievement Production in Madagascar: A Value-Added Model Approach
    (Taylor and Francis, 2021-06-19) Aubery, Frederic ; Sahn, David
    In this paper, we measure the contribution of an additional year of schooling on skills acquisition for a cohort of young adults in Madagascar. We estimate a value-added model of learning achievement that includes test scores measured at adolescence, thereby reducing the potential for omitted variable bias. We demonstrate that schooling increases cognitive skills among young adults. The value-added of a year of schooling during adolescence is 0.15 to 0.26 standard deviation. Our results show the skills gap widens in adolescence, as students with higher cognitive skills complete more grades, accumulating more skills in their transition to adulthood.
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    Disrupted Service Delivery? The Impact of Conflict on Antenatal Care Quality in Kenya
    (Frontiers Media, 2021-02-28) Chukwuma, Adanna ; Wong, Kerry L.M. ; Ekhator-Mobayode, Uche Eseosa
    African countries facing conflict have higher levels of maternal mortality. Understanding the gaps in the utilization of high-quality maternal health care is essential to improving maternal survival in these states. Few studies have estimated the impact of conflict on the quality of health care. In this study, we estimated the impact of conflict on the quality of health care in Kenya, a country with multiple overlapping conflicts and significant disparities in maternal survival. Our study demonstrates the importance of designing maternal health policy based on the context-specific evidence on the mechanisms through which conflict affects health care. In Kenya, deterioration of equipment and infrastructure does not appear to be the main mechanism through which conflict has affected ANC quality. Further research should focus on better understanding the determinants of the gaps in process quality in conflict-affected settings, including provider motivation, competence, and incentives.
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    Droughts and Floods in Malawi: Impacts on Crop Production and the Performance of Sustainable Land Management Practices under Weather Extremes
    (Cambridge University Press, 2021-01-25) McCarthy, Nancy ; Kilic, Talip ; Brubaker, Josh ; Murray, Siobhan ; de la Fuente, Alejandro
    Climate change is predicted to increase the frequency of extreme weather events, increasing the vulnerability of smallholder farmers dependent on rain-fed agriculture. We evaluate the extent to which farmers in Malawi suffer crop production losses due to extreme weather, and whether sustainable land management (SLM) practices help shield crop production losses from extreme events. We use a three period panel dataset where widespread floods and droughts occurred in separate periods, offering a unique opportunity to evaluate impacts using data collected immediately following these events. Results show that crop production outcomes were severely hit by both floods and droughts, with average losses ranging between 32–48 per cent. Legume intercropping provided protection against both floods and droughts, while green belts provided protection against floods. However, we find limited evidence that SLM adoption decisions are driven by exposure to weather shocks; rather, farmers with more productive assets are more likely to adopt.
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    Recreation Demand and Pricing Policy for International Tourists in Developing Countries: Evidence from South Africa
    (Taylor and Francis, 2021) Mukanjari, Samson ; Muchapondwa, Edwin ; Demeke, Eyoual
    National park agencies in Africa often lack incentives to maximize revenue, despite the decline in conservation subsidies from the State. We explore the potential of pricing policy to generate funds for extensive conservation. We estimate recreation demand by international tourists for a popular South African park, calculate the consumer surplus and find the revenue-maximizing entrance fee. Our results suggest substantial underpricing and therefore significant forgone income. By charging low fees at popular parks despite increasing conservation mandates and declining conservation subsidies, national parks in developing countries are forgoing substantial revenue crucial for combating widespread biodiversity losses.