Last year in Paris, world leaders came together for the first time to commit to keeping global warming below 2°C. With the Paris Agreement in force and negotiators at COP22 in Marrakesh teasing out the details of implementing the Agreement, countries are developing their action plans (or Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs) to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Part of this is looking at how carbon assets could be traded across borders.
He has an agreement with TNEPRP to train a total of 180 differently abled, including a planned group of 30 women. Run on a guild program model, the CSS ensures that upon completion of a one-month program on skills enhancement, the trainees can become self-employed or work in small enterprises repairing home appliances in their own and neighboring villages. The rapid urbanization of rural Tamil Nadu offers plenty of such opportunities.
Mr. Kannan designed the key aspect of the curriculum—which goes beyond technical training—based on his own life experiences. During our conversation, I found out that Mr. Kannan is differently abled himself—he was afflicted with polio at the age of three and has lost the use of both his lower limbs. As a result, Mr. Kannan needed a wheelchair to get around. Nevertheless, he was not deterred and continued his education to receive a diploma in mechanical engineering from a local Polytechnic. He ended up at Samsung’s service center in Chennai, the state capital, where he spent four years acquiring skills in home appliance repair.
In February of this year the Syrian Center for Policy Research issued a report stating that 470,000 Syrians had been killed in the war and 1.9 million wounded. That was 10 months ago and with the intensification of the siege and bombardment of Aleppo and ongoing fighting elsewhere in the country, one can only guess at the current toll. What is clear is that each day of fighting adds to the burden that Syria will have to carry for generations to come, not only in terms of the ever mounting physical destruction but also in caring for the growing daily toll of the physically or mentally disabled that the war produces. All this at a time when half the population--nearly 5 million refugees and 6.6 million Internally Displaced Person (IDPs)--have been torn from their homes; and the country’s medical system is in tatters.
- What has Jane Austin got to do with how households respond to public works? Shwetlena Sabarwal explains on the Africa Can blog.
- Jishnu Das on why he is getting hate mail for his work on the informal health care sector in India
- Marc Bellemare on how to think systematically about selection
- Dave Evans's paper with Anna Popova on cash transfers and temptation goods just came out in EDCC. In a local version of "are working papers working?", he lays out the differences between the working paper and published versions here.
- A first look at Facebook’s high-resolution population maps on the World Bank’s Open data blog.
- Call for papers: the PACDEV conference will be held at UC Riverside on March 11; and the 2017 Symposium on Economic Experiments in Developing Countries will be at the University of East Anglia on April 20-21.
- development impact links
A World Bank study in Argentina highlighted that women “have more complex travel patterns, travel more, and have more travel needs at off-peak hours, which are often not related to work and associated with fixed destinations (e.g. child care).” As a result, they are constrained to smaller commutes and, by association, fewer employment opportunities. In addition to using public transport at different times, frequencies, and for alternate purposes, data from other countries also indicates that .
To dig deeper on this and identify what kind of complementary interventions could help ensure mass transit investments bring women the best accessibility benefits, we conducted preliminary research in Mexico City with support from the World Bank Youth Innovation Fund.
Our primary objective was to figure out what encourages or inhibits women’s use of mass transit systems, and to understand how these systems influence their decisions to find employment or better employment.
This month’s meeting of the International Comparison Program (ICP) Governing Board marked a new chapter in one of the world’s most far-reaching statistical operations. The release of the 2011 ICP round results in 2014 was met with some disagreement among scholars, but a dominant view emerged that they represent an improvement over the 2005 round. The release triggered a revision of the international poverty line which was updated from $1.25 / day in 2005 PPPs to $1.90 / day in 2011 PPPs. The IMF also uses the resulting PPPs in its Quota subscription allocation, as does the UNDP in the calculation of the Human Development Report’s Human Development Index (HDI), and a number of the SDGs involve PPPs in their measurement.
The ICP estimates purchasing power parities, or PPPs, for use as currency converters to compare the size and price levels of economies around the world. PPP-based measures are critical for assessing the real living conditions of individuals in different countries, and for establishing a common yardstick for measuring progress. Just as important as what it does is how it does it - the ICP is a partnership, and a great example of how working together can yield great benefits to all stakeholders.
The Global ICP Unit - part of the official statistical architecture
The World Bank is now home to the permanent Global ICP Unit, which has this year been instituted as a formal part of the global statistical program by the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC). This development puts the ICP on a stable long-term footing and is a testimony to the ICP’s collective efforts to ensure the success and continuity of the program.
Since its establishment in 1968, the ICP has grown to cover all regions of the world and become the world’s largest statistical initiative. The 2011 round of the ICP covered 199 economies from eight regions with the help of 15 regional and international partners.
One of the most astounding features of public debate and discussion is how many times this occurs: a word acquires wide currency, even notoriety, yet its boundaries remain limitless and, very often, nobody really knows what it means. Because of current events around the world, right now the best example of such a word is “populism”. For instance, I read a special section in Foreign Affairs recently titled ‘The Power of Populism’ and after reading several of the essays I still could not make out the precise meaning of the concept. Right now, what seems clear is that being called a ‘populist’ is not a good thing. It suggests that you are somehow a demagogue, and that you have something to do with getting large numbers of people worked up, and that you are generally up to no good.
In search of conceptual clarity, I recently acquired and read a new book by Jan-Werner Müller, a professor of politics at Princeton University. The book is titled simply: What is Populism? (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016). It is a short, lucid, and exceedingly intelligent book. Müller starts the book by demonstrating the ‘conceptual chaos’ around ‘populism’. The concept, he shows, is deployed fairly carelessly. It is a contested concept. He goes on to demolish what he calls definitional dead ends, that is, suggestions in public debate and discussion that populism means one or all of the following things:
- A particular psychological cast (you can fill in the terms of abuse you have heard!);
- A particular class of citizens (like those famous non-college educated voters!);
- A particular set of daft or simplistic policies; or
- A particular style of politics (boorishness, incivility or the famous paranoid style etc.).
Key achievements and prospective issues
LAC concentrates only 2.3%of the total worldwide HIV/AIDS burden, landing in fourth place after Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and the Pacific. From 2000 to 2013, LAC had the second-highest decreasing rate on HIV/AIDS burden worldwide (42 %). At the end of 2015, roughly 1.6m people were living with HIV in a region with more than 500m people (discounting USA and Canada). The same year, Cuba became the first country in the world to receive validation from WHO for eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, with another five LAC countries close to achieving the same goal; this was one important step towards having an AIDS-free generation worldwide.
The early introduction of universal access to treatment initiated by Brazil and Argentina, massive social mobilization, new legal regulations, and efforts to control vertical transmission, stigma and discrimination converted the region in a leader in combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
HIV program expenditure in LAC, annually is around three billion USD. While substantial, it is under 1% of LAC’s total health expenditure. In the context of less external financing support in future and the need to improve efficiencies, LAC decided to undertake a series of 12 studies within eight countries.
Investment is one of the pillars of private sector development. The acquisition of assets enables firms to increase their capacity and improve their efficiency, unlocking avenues of growth. Promoting firms’ growth is especially critical in Sub-Saharan African countries that have predominantly low levels of economic development and high rates of poverty. Against this backdrop, there has been a rapid increase in mobile money use - that is the use of mobile phones for financial transfers. At the end of 2015, mobile money services were available in 93 countries -with a total of over 411 million registered accounts and 134 million active users (GSMA, 2015). Many of these users are firms that increasingly rely on mobile money to pay bills, suppliers, and salaries or to receive payments from customers. While numerous advantages of the permeation of mobile money has been explored, including lower transaction costs, little research has been done to investigate the far-reaching benefits that lowering transaction costs could entail, such as increasing firm investment. To fill this void, we recently completed a study on the effect of mobile money use on firm investment in three countries – Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
The 16 Days of Activism campaign also allows us to reflect on the important role of research in activism. Without rigorous research, activism against gender-based violence may be misguided or misaligned with individual or community perceptions and needs.
What is meant by rigorous research?
Rigorous research has been defined as research that applies the appropriate research tools to investigate a set of stated objectives. While some researchers may argue that quantitative research methodologies generate more rigorous data, using this definition we can see that qualitative research methodologies can also generate rigorous data to inform programming, policy and activism.
Our project, funded by the World Bank Group and Sexual Violence Research Initiative Development Marketplace for Innovations to Prevent Gender-Based Violence, aims to do just that—generate rigorous data using qualitative research methodologies to better understand the gender, social, and cultural norms that contribute to intimate partner violence among Syrian refugees. Women and Health Alliance (WAHA) International in collaboration with academic and organizational partners in Turkey and Greece will collect data using focus group discussions and participatory action learning activities in order to inform future interventions targeting intimate partner violence among displaced populations.