Publication: Do Our Children Have a Chance? A Human Opportunity Report for Latin America and the Caribbean
This book reports on the status and evolution of human opportunity in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). It builds on the 2008 publication in several directions. First, it uses newly available data to expand the set of opportunities and personal circumstances under analysis. The data are representative of about 200 million children living in 19 countries over the last 15 years. Second, it compares human opportunity in LAC with that of developed countries, among them the United States and France, two very different models of social policy. This allows for illuminating exercises in benchmarking and extrapolation. Third, it looks at human opportunity within countries, across regions, states, and cities. This gives us a preliminary glimpse at the geographic dimension of equity, and at the role that different federal structures play. The overall message that emerges is one of cautious hope. LAC is making progress in opening the doors of development to all, but it still has a long way to go. At the current pace, it would take, on average, a generation for the region to achieve universal access to just the basic services that make for human opportunity. Seen from the viewpoint of equity, even our most successful nations lag far behind the developed world, and intracounty regional disparities are large and barely converging. Fortunately, there is much policy makers can do about it.
Link to Data Set
“Molinas Vega, José R.; Paes de Barros, Ricardo; Saavedra Chanduvi, Jaime; Giugale, Marcelo; Cord, Louise J.; Pessino, Carola; Hasan, Amer. 2012. Do Our Children Have a Chance? A Human Opportunity Report for Latin America and the Caribbean. Directions in development ; poverty. © World Bank. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/2374 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
Other publications in this report series
PublicationDemocratic Republic of Congo Urbanization Review: Productive and Inclusive Cities for an Emerging Congo(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2018)The Democratic Republic of Congo has the third largest urban population in sub-Saharan Africa (estimated at 43% in 2016) after South Africa and Nigeria. It is expected to grow at a rate of 4.1% per year, which corresponds to an additional 1 million residents moving to cities every year. If this trend continues, the urban population could double in just 15 years. Thus, with a population of 12 million and a growth rate of 5.1% per year, Kinshasa is poised to become the most populous city in Africa by 2030. Such strong urban growth comes with two main challenges – the need to make cities livable and inclusive by meeting the high demand for social services, infrastructure, education, health, and other basic services; and the need to make cities more productive by addressing the lack of concentrated economic activity. The Urbanization Review of the Democratic Republic of Congo argues that the country is urbanizing at different rates and identifies five regions (East, South, Central, West and Congo Basin) that present specific challenges and opportunities. The Urbanization Review proposes policy options based on three sets of instruments, known as the three 'I's – Institutions, Infrastructures and Interventions – to help each region respond to its specific needs while reaping the benefits of economic agglomeration The Democratic Republic of the Congo is at a crossroads. The recent decline in commodity prices could constitute an opportunity for the country to diversify its economy and invest in the manufacturing sector. Now is an opportune time for Congolese decision-makers to invest in cities that can lead the country's structural transformation and facilitate greater integration with African and global markets. Such action would position the country well on the path to emergence.
PublicationAn Investment Framework for Nutrition: Reaching the Global Targets for Stunting, Anemia, Breastfeeding, and Wasting(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2017-04-12)The report estimates the costs, impacts and financing scenarios to achieve the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets for stunting, anemia in women, exclusive breastfeeding and the scaling up of the treatment of severe wasting among young children. To reach these four targets, the world needs $70 billion over 10 years to invest in high-impact nutrition-specific interventions. This investment would have enormous benefits: 65 million cases of stunting and 265 million cases of anemia in women would be prevented in 2025 as compared with the 2015 baseline. In addition, at least 91 million more children would be treated for severe wasting and 105 million additional babies would be exclusively breastfed during the first six months of life over 10 years. Altogether, achieving these targets would avert at least 3.7 million child deaths. Every dollar invested in this package of interventions would yield between $4 and $35 in economic returns, making investing in early nutrition one of the best value-for-money development actions. Although some of the targets—especially those for reducing stunting in children and anemia in women—are ambitious and will require concerted efforts in financing, scale-up, and sustained commitment, recent experience from several countries suggests that meeting these targets is feasible. These investments in the critical 1000 day window of early childhood are inalienable and portable and will pay lifelong dividends – not only for children directly affected but also for us all in the form of more robust societies – that will drive future economies.
PublicationAt a Crossroads: Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-05-02)Higher education (HE) has expanded dramatically in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) since 2000. While access became more equitable, quality concerns remain. This volume studies the expansion, as well as HE quality, variety and equity in LAC. It investigates the expansion’s demand and supply drivers, and outlines policy implications.
PublicationMorocco 2040: Emerging by Investing in Intangible Capital(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2018)Morocco 2040: Emerging by Investing in Intangible Capital documents the major economic and social strides made by Morocco over the past 15 years and analyzes the economic conditions for accelerating the pace of economic catch-up by 2040. A virtuous yet realistic scenario suggests that with higher productivity gains Morocco could double its current pace of convergence with Southern European countries. In one generation, Morocco’s standard of living could reach about 45 percent of that of Spain, its immediate Northern neighbor, compared to the current rate of 22 percent. To lay out the possible pathways for Morocco to become the first North African country to attain upper middle income status, the Book then investigates the policies that could bring about such a virtuous scenario of accelerated economic convergence. It shows that sustaining higher productivity gains for 25 years would require greater efforts at building Morocco’s institutional, human and social capital—what is also known as intangible capital. Accumulating such intangible capital necessarily take a number of different forms and the Book proposes a four-pronged approach. First, by strengthening Morocco’s market institutions for a more efficient allocation of capital and labor and international integration. Second, by strengthening Morocco’s public institutions to strengthen the rule of law and justice, modernize the public administration, and improve the quality of public service delivery. Third, by strengthening Morocco’s human capital, especially education, health and the development of early childhood. And fourth, by strengthening Morocco’s social capital through greater gender parity and increased interpersonal trust and civism in society. By placing more of a priority on its intangible capital, Morocco would be advancing a social contract based on the promotion of a more open society. It would be taking a route that is partly new, but which is also the logical outcome of many economic and social diagnoses and pressing calls for change.
PublicationSin Tax Reform in the Philippines: Transforming Public Finance, Health, and Governance for More Inclusive Development(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2016-07-06)Excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol products can be an effective instrument for promoting public health through curbing smoking and excessive drinking, while raising significant revenues for development priorities. In 2012, the Philippines successfully passed a landmark tobacco and alcohol tax reform—dubbed the “Sin Tax Law.” This book describes the design of the Philippines sin tax reform, documents the technical and political processes by which it came about, and assesses the impact that the reform has had after three years of implementation.