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Counting charcoal trucks by the side of the road in Haiti

Katie Kennedy Freeman's picture
Traditional Charcoal Stoves in Haiti/ World Bank

Across the world, over 3 billion people cook with solid biomass over traditional stoves resulting in negative impacts on health and the environment. In Latin America this number is around 90 million people.

In this blog, I want to focus on the case of Haiti, where 93 percent of people (2.2 million households) cook with solid fuels and some 80 percent of urban households use charcoal as their primary cooking fuel. This fuel has implications on health – burning charcoal exposes cooks and family members to harmful Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) like PM2.5 and others – and on the environment, especially forests, since charcoal is made from wood.

New Mali survey data now available!

Marco Tiberti's picture
Photo © Dominic Chavez/World Bank

The second edition of the Enquête Agricole de Conjoncture Intégrée aux Conditions de Vie des Ménages (EAC-I 17)—a nationally representative household survey covering a range of topics including agriculture, demography, education, food security, labor, livestock, savings, shocks—is now available.

For this survey, 8,390 households were visited twice each between 2017 and 2018, during post-planting and post-harvest periods of the agricultural season. Particular attention was paid to the measurement of agricultural income, a long-sought goal of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Overall findings:

  • Agriculture: 70% of households do not use improved seed varieties or phytosanitary products, and 44% of agricultural households use inorganic fertilizers.
  • Credit: The primary reasons for taking out loans are, 1) to buy farm inputs, and 2) to help meet household consumption requirements.
  • Education: There is a large educational gap between urban and rural populations. Around 75% of individuals aged 15–39 years are uneducated in rural areas, while only 29% are, in urban areas.
  • Employment: Agriculture is the greatest source of employment in rural areas. Over 96 % of individuals aged 15–39 years are in fact employed in agriculture.
  • Income: Crop production is by far the most important source of income, accounting for almost 50% of total income, followed by transfers (18%), and livestock and non-agricultural wages (12%).
  • Livestock: Livestock are mainly kept for their income-generating by-products and their ability to work the fields.
  • Labor: Household labor represents 92% of total labor farm labor.

Community-based forestry in Malawi will soon bear fruit

Hasita Bhammar's picture
Firewood on bicycles as primary mode of reaching markets, Malawi. © Dejere/Shutterstock.com
Firewood on bicycles as primary mode of reaching markets, Malawi. © Dejere/Shutterstock.com

The jeep came to an abrupt halt, a few miles before we reached Lengwe National Park. I saw the Forest Officer jump out and stop a villager on a bicycle that was overloaded with a giant stack of firewood. The villager looked distraught as the Forest Officer confiscated the logs and sent him off with a cautionary warning. With a shrug of resignation, the officer explained that harvesting firewood in forest reserves and national parks was illegal and incidents like the one I had just witnessed were increasing tensions between the community and the Department of Forestry. 

For many Malawians, firewood and charcoal provide their only source of income and for the majority, they are also the only form of energy (fewer than one in 10 people has access to electricity). Their economic predicament forces them to risk being apprehended but under these circumstances, they take their chances.

Efficient public transport starts with strong institutions

Sofía Guerrero Gámez's picture
Also available in: Español
Photo: Max Souffriau/Flickr
Over 10 million people now live in the Lima Metropolitan Area, equivalent to about 1/3 of Peru’s total population. As the number of residents and private vehicles continues to rise, getting around this sprawling metropolis is proving increasingly difficult.
 
In fact, Lima’s commuters waste an average 20 days a year due to congestion. Traffic also takes a serious toll on quality of life and the environment. Most importantly, the yearly rate of road fatalities has reached 14 per 100,000 people across Peru, with most instances concentrated in urban areas.
 
The city’s transport woes have been exacerbated by the lack of efficient public transport, which drastically undermines access to jobs and essential services like health or education—especially for the poor—and eats away more than 1.5% of the local GDP.
 
So how can we tackle this and keep Lima moving? As mentioned in one of our previous articles, cities that are striving to build adequate and reliable public transport systems must consider multiple factors simultaneously.  
 
Today, let’s take a closer look at the role of institutions—perhaps one of the most critical pieces of the urban transport puzzle.

Expand exports to resolve the South Asian paradox

Hartwig Schafer's picture
South Asia has grown strongly to reduce poverty and create jobs, but the region remains a development paradox


South Asia has grown strongly to reduce poverty and create jobs, but the region remains a development paradox: Despite strong growth job creation remains weak and is often of poor quality.

Sri Lanka grew at an average rate of 5.8 percent from 2010-2017 but the growth of new job opportunities is below what many had hoped for. Most Sri Lankans still lack a regular job in the formal economy, and huge differences in pay among workers exist.

Meanwhile, trade in goods as a share of the economy is much lower than in other regions. The trends in Sri Lanka and much of South Asia differ from other regions, where trade, growth and jobs are directly connected and go hand in hand. This South Asian paradox raises the question of how governments can boost job growth, and how to raise the quality of new jobs so that economic development brings more shared prosperity.

A new report by the World Bank and the International Labour Organization (ILO) finds that increasing exports has the potential to contribute to a broader strategy for promoting growth, job creation and shared prosperity.

Titled “Exports to Jobs: Realizing the Gains from Trade,” the report shows how higher exports can translate into benefits for workers across the country, and it therefore recommends policies to expand exports together with policies that help sharing these benefits more widely, for example through measures that help workers get the skills needed to compete for new formal-sector jobs.

Buffering rural producer associations against financial setbacks – Evidence from Brazil

Caio Piza's picture

Poverty in Brazil is disproportionately concentrated in rural areas.  Although rural households account for only 15% of the population, 45% of them fall within the nation’s poorest quartile.  A large proportion of the rural population relies on small scale agriculture for their livelihoods, highlighting the importance of inclusive growth in the sector in contributing to poverty reduction. Accessing markets is one of the major development challenges faced by small producers (WB 2016). As a result of limited commercial activities and viable business plans, opportunities to access financial services to invest are limited. When rural organizations are asked what their main limitation is to the development of new projects or to diversification of the services offered, 56% of the organizations stated that a lack of resources - financial, physical, and human- was the main limitation. 

Like manna from heaven? The sustainability of Open Source projects

Michael M. Lokshin's picture

Sustainability of OSS is an important, but often overlooked issue. The private sector is struggling to find the right model to maintain and sustain OSS. The International Development Agencies need viable long-term strategies to sustain the OSS projects they are developing, funding, or using.

Two young colleagues invited me for coffee to discuss their proposal to develop an open source software (OSS) system for administering government programs in developing countries. The idea of replacing costly, custom-built proprietary systems with open-source solutions tailored for specific country requirements was very appealing.

“Why pay millions of dollars for a proprietary solution when an open source system will be free?” exclaimed one of the colleagues.

I inquired cautiously, “Have you considered how to maintain these systems once they are deployed? Who will pay for customization and on-going support to the country clients? How do you consistently ensure the quality of the code?”

“The international OSS community will volunteer their time to maintain and improve these systems.” was the reply.

How are we approaching the intersection of fragility, conflict and violence, and disaster risk?

Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez's picture
 

We are facing an unprecedented era of increasingly complex crises. A growing number of countries are affected by both recurring disasters caused by natural hazards and protracted crises associated with fragility, conflict and violence (FCV). Violent conflict has spiked dramatically since 2010 and the fragility landscape is becoming more complex. Two billion people now live in countries affected by FCV. By 2020, it is estimated that between 43% and 60% of the world’s extreme poor will live in FCV countries.

Rising with rice in Côte d’Ivoire 1: How local farmers and millers are leading the way

Raphaela Karlen's picture
Also available in: Français
Zié Coulibaly, director of the Katiola rice mill in the Hambol Region, Côte d’Ivoire (Photo by Raphaela Karlen, World Bank)

It is rice harvesting time in the Hambol Region of central Côte d’Ivoire, and Sali Soro is making sure this important day goes off without a hitch. A female member of Coop-CA Hambol, a regional rice cooperative in the Lopé lowlands, Sali managed to rent one of the few threshers available in the area. Workers brought the machine to her plot in the early morning and the rumble of the thresher has filled the air ever since.

At the end of the day, Sali will bring the harvested paddy rice to the nearby mill in the small town of Katiola. It’s a mill she is quite familiar with: Throughout the rice production cycle, Sali received not only seeds and fertilizers from the mill but also in-person agronomic advice from an extension agent.


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