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Skills competition inspires youth in Bangladesh

Mustahsin-ul-Aziz's picture
A team of young female innovators receiving a prize from the Ministry of Education at the national skills competition. 

Skills education in Bangladesh has suffered from a social stigma, which is gradually changing. Parents were unwilling to send their children to pursue technical education because they didn’t realize its value. Students themselves rarely aspired to be educated in the technical stream because they wrongly perceived it as a place for low-achievers. This presented a major problem for the government of Bangladesh in achieving the target of a skilled workforce. To face the challenges of the next generation job market and benefit from the demographic dividend, this mindset needed to change.

To address the situation, the Skills and Training Enhancement Project (STEP) of the government of Bangladesh supported by the Government of Canada and the World Bank took an innovative measure. The project initiated a Skills Competition in 2014. The competition planned to hold three levels of competition to encourage all students and ensure maximum participation. The first stage of the competition was held at the institutional level, and the winners went on to compete at the regional level. The winners of the regional level then competed in the national level competition to take home the prize of the Best Skilled.

Ethiopia’s new tobacco control law: a step forward that needs to be complemented by higher taxes!

Patricio V. Marquez's picture



Recently, Ethiopia’s parliament unanimously approved one of Africa’s strongest anti-tobacco laws.  Ethiopia’s new tobacco control law is comprehensive as it requires 100 percent smoke-free public and work places, bans tobacco advertising and promotions, restricts the sale of flavored tobacco products and mandates pictorial warning labels covering 70 percent of the front and back of all tobacco products. The law also bans the sale of heated tobacco products, e-cigarettes and shisha, and prohibits tobacco sales to anyone under the age of 21.

Cocoa Honey: A Sweet Good-bye

Martin Raiser's picture
Cocoa honey is probably the sweetest and most intensely flavored fruit juice I have ever tasted. It is extracted from the white flesh around the fresh cocoa beans, which are wrapped in a banana leaf until all of the juice has dripped out. This is only one of the tropical delicacies I had the privilege to try during a recent trip to the state of Bahia in Brazil’s Northeast.

Roads through tough places: Using remote sensing for impact evaluations of infrastructure investments in conflict-affected settings

Ariel BenYishay's picture

Over the last twenty years, impact evaluations have dramatically expanded the body of evidence about which types of development programs work, when, and why, but their application has been heavily concentrated in a few sectors. 83% of the trials in 3ie’s worldwide repository are focused on health, nutrition, and population programs.

Setting up early warning and response systems to prevent violent conflicts and save lives

Catherine Defontaine's picture
Daily life in Conakry, Guinea. Photo © Dominic Chavez/World Bank


As highlighted in the UN-World Bank report Pathways for Peace: Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflict, the number of violent conflicts has increased since 2010, thus raising the question of how violence and its escalation can be prevented. Conflict prevention mechanisms exist. Let’s take a look at Early Warning and Response Systems (EWRS), but first, what is early warning and early response?

Weekly links February 15: time to change your research production function? Hurray for big retailers and big data, but watch out for dynamic responses, and more....

David McKenzie's picture
  • This is the best thing I’ve read all week, particularly because it contrasts so much what my usual workflow looks like with what I would like more of it to look like – Cal Newport (of Deep Work fame) asks in the Chronicle Review “is email is making professors stupid?”. He notes that in the modern environment professors/researchers act more like middle managers than monks and suggests reforms to significantly restructure work culture to provide professors more uninterrupted time for thinking and teaching, and require less time on email and administrative duties. He gives the example of Donald Knuth, who does not have email and has an executive assistant who “intercepts all incoming communication, makes sense of it, brings to Knuth only what he needs to see, and does so only at ideal times for him to see it. His assistant also directly handles the administrative chores — things like scheduling meetings and filing expenses — that might otherwise add up to a major time sink for Knuth. It’s hard to overstate the benefits of this setup. Knuth is free to think hard about the most important and specialized aspects of his work, for hours at a time, disconnected from the background pull of inboxes”. It does make me think back to this old post I wrote on O-ring and Knowledge Hierarchy production functions for impact evaluations though, and the continued ability of O-ring issues to stymie my projects.

Now that I’ve noted that, here’s plenty of things to distract you from working deeper:

Quit smoking – not only good for your health, but also for your wallet!

Cesar A. Cancho's picture


It is a foggy afternoon in Sarajevo and the sound of the bell signals the end of classes for the day. The engineering school students rush out of the building, and while most scatter in different directions, some of them head to a kiosk nearby.

5 takeaways from the shared sanitation model in Addis Ababa

Seema Thomas's picture
A redesigned public toilet facility in Addis Ababa
Photo: Rebecca Gilsdorf

With a population exceeding 3 million, only 10% of Addis residents are connected to the sewerage system and an estimated 10% continue to practice open defecation. As a result, in 2007 the Addis Ababa Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (AAWSA) began a pilot to build approximately 200 shared sanitation facilities. After the pilot’s success, AAWSA took the next bold step of aiming to build 3,000 shared sanitation facilities, more than 600 of which have been successfully completed since 2016. These shared sanitation facilities include public facilities serving high-traffic urban areas and communal latrines shared between clusters of households in low-income communities.
 
Although the utility AAWSA has over a decade of experience in designing and implementing public and communal latrines, the learning continues as they maintain an adaptive learning mindset and as they integrate innovation in this aspect of their work. Below we present some key learnings from their decade’s journey  of providing improved sanitation services for the population of Addis.

The true romance of PPPs: Make them pay!

Jeff Delmon's picture

Legenda | Shutterstock

This is one in a series of blogs by Jeff Delmon using the metaphor of marriage (or divorce) to explore the dynamics of public-private partnerships (PPPs) as relationships created between two parties.
 

To the Data Day skeptics

Pinelopi Goldberg's picture

As I wondered which of the many fascinating ideas from the World Bank’s inaugural annual Data Day to recap in a blog, it occurred to me that there was likely selection bias in those who chose to attend.  Presumably, some skeptics of big data chose to skip the day entirely. So this blog is aimed first and foremost at the skeptical.


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