Wodon, Quentin

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Early Childhood Development, Girls' Education, Education for All
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Quentin Wodon is a Lead Economist at the World Bank. Previous roles include managing the unit on values and development, serving as Lead Poverty Specialist for Africa, and working as Economist/Senior Economist for Latin America. Before joining the World Bank, he taught with tenure at the University of Namur. He has also taught at American University and Georgetown University. Quentin has more than 500 publications and his research has been covered by major news outlets. He has served as Associate Editor for journals and as President of two economics associations (the Society of Government Economists and the Association for Social Economics). A lifelong learner, he holds four PhDs in economics, environmental science, health sciences, and theology. Upon completing business engineering studies, Quentin conducted market research as Laureate of the Prize of Belgium’s Secretary for Foreign Trade. He worked next as Assistant Brand Manager for Procter & Gamble. Almost 30 years ago, he shifted career and joined ATD Fourth World, a non-profit working with the extreme poor. He has tried to remain faithful to the cause of ending extreme poverty ever since. In his free time, he volunteers with nonprofits and through Rotary, where he has served in leadership positions with his club, his district, and globally. He also tries to remain (barely) fit with occasional marathons and triathlons, finishing at the end of the pack.
Citations 490 Scopus

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 149
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    Poverty and the Policy Response to the Economic Crisis in Liberia
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2012) Wodon, Quentin ; Wodon, Quentin
    The purpose of this study is to provide in one place a set of papers that were written at various points in time over the last four years on poverty and the response to the recent economic crisis in Liberia. More precisely, the objective of the study is twofold. First it is to provide a basic diagnostic of both consumption-based poverty and human development (especially education and health) in the country using the 2007 CWIQ (Core Welfare Indicators Questionnaire) survey. Second, it is to assess the likely impact on the poor of the recent economic crisis, and especially the increase in rice prices, and to document the targeting performance of measures taken by the government in 2008/09 to help the poor cope with the crisis. These measures included a reduction in import taxes for rice, a reform of the personal income tax, and the implementation of cash for work temporary employment program. This introductory chapter outlines the topics covered in the various chapters of the study and summarizes their main results. The study is structured in three parts. Part one consists of three basic diagnostic chapters for poverty, education, and health. Part two is devoted to assessing the likely impact on the poor of the recent economic crisis, and especially the increase in rice prices, and to document the targeting performance of fiscal measures taken by the government to help the poor cope with the crisis. Part three provides an evaluation of cash for work temporary employment program also put in place by the authorities to help the poor cope with the crisis.
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    Playing Broken Telephone : Assessing Faith-inspired Health Care Provision in Africa
    (Taylor and Francis, 2012-07-05) Olivier, Jill ; Wodon, Quentin
    In the literature on the religious contribution to health and development, it is commonly stated that faith-inspired institutions (FIIs) provide from 30 to 70 per cent of all health care provision in Africa. This article tracks the sources of such statements back to the 1960s, highlighting a process of ‘broken telephone’ whereby estimates are passed on and frequently distorted by policy- and advocacy-oriented influences at both the national and international levels. This demonstrates how estimates are being wielded bluntly, often resulting in poorly substantiated claims to the detriment of more careful research, thereby weakening the empirical knowledge-base and improved practice.
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    Improving the Targeting of Social Programs in Ghana
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2012-10-31) Wodon, Quentin ; Wodon, Quentin
    This study provides a diagnostic of the benefit incidence and targeting performance of a large number of social programs in Ghana. Both broad-based programs (such as spending for education and health, and subsidies for food, oil-related products and electricity) as well as targetd programs (such as LEAP, the indigent exemption under the NHIS, school lunches and uniforms, or fertilizer subsidies) are considered. In addition, the study provides tools and recommendations for better targeting of those programs in the future. The tools include new maps and data sets for geographic targeting according to poverty and food security, as well as ways to implement proxy means-testing. The purpose of this introductory chapter is to provide a brief synthesis of the key findings and messages from the study.
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    Cash for Work in Sierra Leone : A Case Study on the Design and Implementation of a Safety Net in Response to a Crisis
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-11) Andrews, Colin ; Ovadiya, Mirey ; Ribes Ros, Christophe ; Wodon, Quentin
    This paper presents an assessment of the first phase (2008?2009) of Sierra Leone's cash for work program based on a qualitative and quantitative analysis examining program design features, main processes and impact. The assessment highlights that while cash for work was an appropriate crisis response, the challenge of achieving good targeting should not be underestimated. Findings from the assessment point to high inclusion errors of non?poor population quintiles, despite the program apparently many rules of best practice in program design. The assessment points to a series of factors to explain targeting performance, and future strategies consider mixed methods with a greater emphasis on the role of communities in affecting overall outcomes. The assessment notes areas of success during implementation, including the impact of the program in promoting cohesion amongst youth groups, as well as women. In this sense the assessment points to future strategies and options for moving cash for work forward under its expanded incarnation of the Youth Employment Support Project. Through the use of light qualitative and quantitative methods, the paper also advocates for similar assessments where monitoring and evaluation capacity are weak and time constraints tight.
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    Can Risk Averse Competitive Input Providers Serve Farmers Efficiently?
    ( 2009) Makdissi, Paul ; Wodon, Quentin
    Under price ceilings and quality floors for agricultural inputs in cash crop sectors in developing countries where credit markets are weak, imperfect information on the ability of farmers to pay for their inputs at the end of the cropping season may lead the decentralized production of those inputs by risk averse private input providers to be inefficient. A coordinating agency and/or subsidies for new farmers could help to produce and distribute more agricultural inputs, thereby increasing the profits for input providers while also enabling more farmers to produce the crops that are key to their livelihood.
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    Faith-Based Schools in Latin America : Case Studies on Fe Y Alegria
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014) Parra Osorio, Juan Carlos ; Wodon, Quentin ; Parra Osorio, Juan Carlos ; Wodon, Quentin
    Many observers consider Fe y Alegría a successful organization, but very few rigorous evaluations have been conducted. This volume is devoted to an assessment of the performance and selected aspects of the management and pedagogical practices of Fe y Alegría, a federation of Jesuit schools serving approximately one million children in 20 countries, mostly in Latin America. The available quantitative evidence suggests that the federation’s schools often do reach the poor, and that students in Fe y Alegría schools tend to perform as well on test scores, if not slightly better than comparable students in other schools. Qualitative data and case studies suggest that the factors that lead to good performance are complex and related not only to the types of “inputs” or resources used by the schools in the education process, but also to the management of these resources, and the ability to implement and test innovative programs. Other factors that support this argument include the capacity and flexibility to implement and test innovative programs that take into account the local realities. This volume will be of interest to researchers, policy makers and practitioners working in service provision through public-private partnerships and especially by faith-based organizations.
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    Education in Sub-Saharan Africa : Comparing Faith-Inspired, Private Secular, and Public Schools
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014) Wodon, Quentin
    The purpose of this study is to build a stronger evidence base on the role of faith-inspired, private secular, and public schools in sub-Saharan Africa using nationally representative household surveys as well as qualitative data. Six main findings emerge from the study: (1) Across a sample of 16 countries, the average market share for faith-inspired schools is at 10-15 percent, and the market share for private secular schools is of a similar order of magnitude; (2) On average faith-inspired schools do not reach the poor more than other groups; they also do not reach the poor more than public schools, but they do reach the poor significantly more than private secular schools; (3) The cost of faith-inspired schools for households is higher than that of public schools, possibly because of a lack of access to public funding, but lower than that of private secular schools; (4) Faith-inspired and private secular schools have higher satisfaction rates among parents than public schools; (5) Parents using faith-inspired schools place a stronger emphasis on religious education and moral values; and (6) Students in faith-inspired and private schools perform better than those in public schools, but this may be due in part to self-selection.
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    Measurement and Meaning : Combining Quantitative and Qualitative Methods for the Analysis of Poverty and Social Exclusion in Latin America
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-12) Gacitua-Mario, Estanislao ; Wodon, Quentin ; Gacitua-Mario, Estanislao ; Wodon, Quentin
    This report consists of a collection of case studies from Latin America combining qualitative and quantitative research methods for the analysis of poverty within a social exclusion framework. The first chapter provides an overview of the differences between quantitative and qualitative methods, and the gains from using both types of methods in applied work. The other chapters are devoted to three case studies on reproductive health in rural Argentina, the targeting of social programs in Chile, and social exclusion in urban Uruguay. Each case study was prepared within the broader context of country-specific economic and sectoral work at the World Bank.
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    Efficiency in Reaching the Millennium Development Goals
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2003-06) Jayasuriya, Ruwan ; Wodon, Quentin
    To improve the likelihood of reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), or more generally to improve their social indicators, countries (or states and provinces within countries) basically have two options: increasing the inputs used to "produce" the outcomes measured by the MDGs, or increasing the efficiency with which they use their existing inputs. The four papers presented in this study look at whether improvements in efficiency could bring gains in outcomes. The first two papers use world panel data in order to analyze country level efficiency in improving education, health, and GDP indicators (GDP is related to the MDGs because a higher level of income leads to a reduction in poverty). The other two papers use province and state level data to analyze within-country efficiency in Argentina and Mexico for "producing" good education and health outcomes. Together, the four papers suggest that apart from increasing inputs, it will be necessary to improve efficiency in order to reach the MDGs. While this conclusion is hardly surprising, the analysis helps to quantify how much progress could be achieved through better efficiency, and to some extent, how efficiency itself could be improved.
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    Measuring and Explaining the Impact of Productive Efficiency on Economic Development
    (Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the World Bank, 2005-01) Jayasuriya, Ruwan ; Wodon, Quentin
    A limitation of most empirical cross-country studies that focus on determinants of gross domestic product (GDP) is that they fail to distinguish explicitly between inputs used in production and conditions that facilitate production. For example, physical capital, human capital, and labor are production inputs, whereas the quality of institutions, macroeconomic stability, and market quality are conditions that facilitate production. This article takes this distinction seriously and uses a stochastic frontier approach to study factors affecting economic performance. A panel data set of 71 countries for the 1980-98 periods is used to estimate a production frontier with physical capital, human capital, and labor as inputs. The article also analyzes what drives productive efficiency, using the institutional framework, macroeconomic stability, market quality, and urbanization as possible explanatory factors. Urbanization turns out to be an important determinant, with the rule of law, inflation rate, and market quality also affecting productive efficiency.