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March 2013

Social Impact Bonds, Youth Employment, and Pensions

David Robalino's picture

Waiting for salvation — a homeless man in London, 02-22-11 @ Chris Schmidt

People are talking about a relatively new financial instrument — called social impact bonds (SIBs) — that can help governments implement social programs without using taxpayers' monies, that is, unless the programs work.  In fact, the Economist magazine recently had an article about SIBs. These bonds were introduced by the British in 2010. New York City, working with Goldman Sachs, launched a SIB last year. The White House is exploring SIBs to finance some Department of Labor programs.  And emerging markets, with the help of international development agencies, are also showing an interest. 

Blog links March 1, 2013: Still WEIRD, community grants, one-stop shops, pilgrim markets, and more…

David McKenzie's picture

·         A new From Evidence to Policy note looks at the impact of a community grant program in Indonesia which gave grants to communities for health and education services. The program lowered malnutrition, and finds performance-based incentives lead to improved performance.

The Prize & Price of a Hot Breakfast

Patti Petesch's picture

Breakfast in Peru. Samuel Bravo Silva/Flickr Creative Commons

Without a doubt my most vivid memories from my work on the new gender report On Norms and Agency: Conversations about Gender Equality with Women and Men in 20 Countries were my journeys to Peru and Liberia to pilot questions for focus groups. We conducted pilots in rural and urban areas, but as terribly different as these settings were, the level of similarities that emerged surprised me.

Namely, I imagined that traditional gender norms would be much less apparent in modern and rapidly urbanizing Lima when in fact, it was not the case. Young women in Lima described their day as getting up before sunrise in order to get a hot breakfast on the table, and then juggling a flurry of activities - including part-time work as supermarket cashiers and bank tellers. The descriptions were very similar to those we heard from women in other countries.

It was startling that gender norms in a modern city were not much different from norms in a rural community of a low-income country. Just like women from poorer and more traditional places, women in Lima helped their husbands make ends meet on top of long hours of household work. Just like in less developed communities, teenage pregnancies for girls as young as 12 and 13 were cited as a problem of deep concern. All of this in a place where girls went to high school and college, and had access to a modern family planning clinic right in their neighborhood.

Friday Roundup: Rural Programmes, Middle-Income Trap, Slums in Africa, Currency Wars, and Open States

LTD Editors's picture

By encompassing social, political, and feudal factors in development, Rural Support Programmes have enjoyed success in India and Pakistan for the past 30 years. Why did they work? For one, the approach acknowledges that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ and second, it looks for a holistic growth. Read the article on the Guardian to find out how communities can unlock their own potential.

What is a middle-income trap? The concept has been quite popular for some time, but only recently has been tested and defined. The concept broadly defines the fast-growing economies that suffered steep slowdown, and hence their dilemma of being caught between poverty and prosperity. There has been a lot of debate on poverty or prosperity, but it has substantially benefitted from work done by Barry Eichengreen, Donghyun Park, and Kwanho Shin. Read the post on Free Excgange to get an insight on their work.

Share Ideas, Post Questions: What Will It Take for Gender Empowerment?

Lauren Clyne Medley's picture

Available in French, Spanish

With International Women's Day just around the corner, World Bank Live will host an interactive chat on gender and empowerment on March 6 at 11 a.m. EST (16:00 GMT).

A specialist panel — including World Bank Vice President of Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte, World Bank Director of Gender and Development Jeni Klugman, gender experts, and field researchers from around the world — will discuss how women and men overcome the challenges posed by gender norms.

Heads Up: Conference on Labor Mobility as Enabler of Sustainable Development, Abu Dhabi, 14-15 May 2013

Dilip Ratha's picture

A heads up about this upcoming event. This conference, the first in the GCC region to my knowledge, will bring together governments, experts and practitioners from Asia and other parts of the world, to stimulate greater regional interest and engagement in the global dialogue on migration and development. It is expected to bring innovative ideas and research to the regional debates and programs; and strengthen the knowledge and capacity of the regional actors to conduct research and lead inter-agency policy discussion in the filed of labor mobility.

Measuring is Managing

Julia Bucknall's picture

Water management lies behind most of the great development challenges of the 21st Century.  It's obvious but we too often forget that we won't be able to achieve food security, energy security, healthy cities and productive ecosystems without greatly improving how we manage water.  In the global north, the challenges of basic access to water services are less pressing than they are in the south but -- as hurricane Sandy showed New York -- the challenges of making the right quantity and quality of water available where it is most needed still loom large.  


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