Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, World Bank
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Education, Health, Nutrition, Labor, Poverty, Risk
Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, World Bank
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Last updated September 15, 2023
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Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-09) Morrison, Andrew ; Raju, Dhushyanth ; Sinha, NisthaThis paper reviews empirical findings from economic analyses of the role of gender equality and women's empowerment in reducing poverty and stimulating growth. Going beyond the large literature documenting the impact of female education on a range of development outcomes, the paper presents evidence on the impact of women's access to markets (labor, land, and credit) and women's decision-making power within households on poverty reduction and productivity at the individual and household level. The paper also summarizes evidence from studies examining the relationship between gender equality and poverty reduction and growth at the macro level. Although micro level effects of gender equality on individual productivity and human development outcomes have been well documented and have important ramifications for aggregate economic performance, establishing an empirical relationship between gender equality and poverty reduction and growth at the macro level has proven to be more challenging. The paper concludes by identifying priority areas for future research.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-06) Barrera-Osorio, Felipe ; Raju, DhushyanthThis paper presents evidence from the first three years of a randomized controlled trial of a government-administered pilot teacher performance pay program in Punjab, Pakistan. The program offers yearly cash bonuses to teachers in a sample of public primary schools with the lowest mean student exam scores in the province. Bonuses are linked to three school-level indicators: the gain in student exam scores, the gain in school enrollment, and the level of student exam participation. Bonus receipt and size are also randomly assigned across schools according to whether or not the teacher is the school’s head. On average, the program increases school enrollment by 4.1 percent and student exam participation rates by 3.4 percentage points, both in the third year. The analysis does not find that the program increases student exam scores in any year. Mean impacts are similar across program variants. The positive mean impact on school enrollment is mainly seen in urban schools and the positive mean impact on student exam participation rates is only seen in rural schools.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-03) Dizon, Felipe ; Josephson, Anna ; Raju, DhushyanthThrough a review of the literature, this paper examines the links of food and agriculture with nutrition in South Asia, a region characterized by a high level of malnutrition. The review finds that the level and stability of food prices play a critical part in food consumption, with rising prices affecting poor households the most. Although public food transfer programs are aimed at addressing this, most are too small to have a marked effect in protecting or promoting nutrition. Several supply-side food and agricultural interventions suggest promise in improving nutrition, although their effects have yet to be well identified. These include the cultivation of home gardens, animal farming, and use of biofortification and post-harvest fortification. All these efforts will be futile, however, without parallel efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Publication( 2010-11-01) Barrera-Osorio, Felipe ; Raju, DhushyanthLow student learning is a common finding in much of the developing world. This paper uses a relatively unique dataset of five semiannual rounds of standardized test data to characterize and explain the short-term changes in student learning. The data are collected as part of the quality assurance system for a public-private partnership program that offers public subsidies conditional on minimum learning levels to low-cost private schools in Pakistan. Apart from a large positive distributional shift in learning between the first two test rounds, the learning distributions over test rounds show little progress. Schools are ejected from the program if they fail to achieve a minimum pass rate in the test in two consecutive attempts, making the test high stakes. Sharp regression discontinuity estimates show that the threat of program exit on schools that barely failed the test for the first time induces large learning gains. The large change in learning between the first two test rounds is likely attributable to this accountability pressure given that a large share of new program entrants failed in the first test round. Schools also qualify for substantial annual teacher bonuses if they achieve a minimum score in a composite measure of student test participation and mean test score. Sharp regression discontinuity estimates do not show that the prospect of future teacher bonus rewards induces learning gains for schools that barely did not qualify for the bonus.
Pathways to Better Nutrition in South Asia: Evidence on the Effects of Food and Agricultural Interventions(Elsevier, 2021-03) Dizon, Felipe ; Josephson, Anna ; Raju, DhushyanthIn South Asia, nearly half a billion people are malnourished. This paper examines the links of food and agriculture with nutrition in South Asia, with the goal of informing policy to reduce hunger and malnutrition in the region. We investigate pathways including public food transfer programs, agricultural diversification, and different methods of food fortification. We find that public food transfer programs, used to make food available and affordable to poor households, are often unable to significantly protect or promote nutrition. But several supply-side food and agricultural interventions show promise in improving nutrition, although their effects have yet to be well identified. These include the cultivation of home gardens, animal agriculture, and use of biofortification and post-harvest fortification. All these efforts to reduce hunger and malnutrition will be futile, however, without parallel efforts to mitigate rising challenges in the region, including those posed by climate change, urbanization, food loss and food waste, and food safety hazards.
Publication(Wiley, 2018-11-09) Raju, Dhushyanth ; Kim, Kyoung Yang ; Nguyen, Quynh Thu ; Govindaraj, RameshThis study uses novel household survey data that are representative of Bangladesh's large cities, and of slum and non-slum areas within the cities, to investigate the effects of demographic and socioeconomic factors on child nutrition status in 2013. The study also decomposes the difference in mean child nutrition status between slum and non-slum areas in 2013, and the increase in mean child nutrition status in slum and non-slum areas from 2006 to 2013. Mother's education attainment and household wealth largely explain the cross‐sectional difference and intertemporal change in mean child nutrition status. Although positive in some cases, the effects of maternal and child health services, and potential health‐protective household amenities, on child nutrition status differ by the type of health facility, household amenity, and urban area (slum or non-slum). Focusing on nutrition‐sensitive programs for slum residents and the urban poor is consistent with the results. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions. https://authorservices.wiley.com/author-resources/Journal-Authors/licensing/self-archiving.html
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-11) Torlesse, Harriet ; Raju, DhushyanthPoor breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices predict child stunting and wasting in South Asia, suggesting that initiatives to end undernutrition in the region should focus on improving the diets of young children. This review of the literature finds that South Asia has made relatively good progress in improving breastfeeding practices compared with other regions, but the lack of diversity in complementary foods and low frequency of feeding continue to be problems. Children who are most at risk of experiencing poor feeding include those who are born small, have younger mothers, and live in poorer households or in communities with less access to, or lower uptake of, primary health services. Initiatives to improve feeding practices have not produced substantial improvement, particularly in complementary feeding, because such efforts have lacked the coverage, intensity, comprehensiveness, and continuity needed. Policy, legal, and program actions to protect, promote, and support recommended feeding practices should be informed by situation analyses and formative research on context-specific drivers of poor practices. The actions should involve multiple sectors and stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, communities, and households.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2018) Govindaraj, Ramesh ; Raju, Dhushyanth ; Secci, Federica ; Chowdhury, Sadia ; Frere, Jean-JacquesUrbanization is occurring at a rapid pace in Bangladesh, accompanied by the proliferation of slum settlements, whose residents have special health needs given the adverse social, economic, and public environmental conditions they face. Over the past 45 years, the country’s health and nutrition policies and programs have focused largely on rural health services. Consequently, equitable access of urban populations—particularly the urban poor—to quality health and nutrition services has emerged as a major development issue. However, the knowledge base on urban health and nutrition in Bangladesh remains weak. To address the knowledge gap, Health and Nutrition in Urban Bangladesh: Social Determinants and Health Sector Governance examines the health and nutrition challenges in urban Bangladesh—looking at socioeconomic determinants in general and at health sector governance in particular. Using a mixed methods approach, the study identifies critical areas such as financing, regulation, service delivery, and public environmental health, among others that require policy attention. The study also proposes specific actions within and outside the health sector to address the issues, providing guidance on their sequencing and the specific responsibilities of government agencies and other actors. This study should be useful to policy makers and practitioners working on urban health and nutrition issues in Bangladesh and in other low- and middle-income countries.