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September 2013

The global demographic dividend and how to make the most of it

Wolfgang Fengler's picture

From a global demographic standpoint, our generation and those of our parents and grand-parents, experienced the most profound shifts in human history ever. Assuming your grandparents were born around 100 years ago, the world they came into consisted of less than 2 billion people. When I was in primary school, that figure had doubled to 4; I remember apocalyptic projections and calls to stop such uncontrolled population growth. Today, the world is home to almost 7.2 billion people and demographic doomsday scenarios have not materialized.

Three generations at a family owned village store in KabulAlthough human suffering remains tragically widespread, the world is undoubtedly a much better place today than it was 100 years ago.  An average person is healthier, better educated and wealthier than his or her grandparents. Strong growth in poor and emerging nations has fostered the emergence of a global middle class, even in Africa. In most parts of the world, the Millennium Development Goals will also be reached. There are few places left on earth where universal primary enrollment and vaccination have not been achieved, with the associated spectacular drops in child mortality.
 

Building the evidence based roadmap for women's economic empowerment

Markus Goldstein's picture
On Monday I was at the UN Foundation's launch of a new report, A Roadmap for Promoting Women's Economic Empowerment.  Authored by Mayra Buvinic, Rebecca Furst-Nichols and Emily Courey Pryor this report provides a significant step forward in making sense of the rapidly growing evidence base on what works and what does not for gender equality.   [Full disclosure: with co-authors I contributed two of the many background papers for this report].
 

Spillovers of the Syrian Conflict on Jobs in Lebanon

David Robalino's picture
Beqaa, Lebanon - May 03, 2013: Syrian Refugee women standing in the back of a truck on their way to work in one of the farms. Photo by ©aicamelbourne
 

Over the summer I was part of a team looking at the potential impact that an influx of Syrian refugees could have on labor markets in Lebanon. Indeed, as of August 2013, over 914,000 people had crossed the border between Lebanon and Syria because of the Syrian conflict.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): Challenges for Poverty Reduction and Service Delivery in the Rural-Urban Continuum

Abhilaksh Likhi's picture

The progress in achieving the target set for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) continues to be diverse across goals and regions. The goals aim at actualizing a universal standard of being free from grinding poverty, being educated and healthy and having ready access to clean water and sanitation. While progress has lagged for education and health related MDGs, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has indeed fallen. To accelerate further progress in the latter, development strategies have to attempt to increase not only the rate of growth but also the share of income going to the poorest section of the population along the rural-urban continuum.

Economic projections for developing countries prepared by the World Bank state that approximately 970 million people will continue in 2015 to live below $1.25 a day. This would be equivalent to 15.5% of the population in the developing world. Herein, the pertinent challenge of reducing extreme poverty through creation of new income opportunities and better delivery of basic services largely remains in rural areas. In addition, such poverty is concentrated more in Asia (East and South) and Sub Saharan Africa with 38% and 46% of their poor residing in rural areas respectively. Thus, the task of effective rural development remains daunting. But the latter has to be operationalized and implemented holistically, and more importantly, in context of the complexities posed by the rural -urban continuum.

Prospects Daily: Emerging Economies’ stocks decline, German Investor Morale At 3 1/2-year High, China’s FDI growth eases

Global Macroeconomics Team's picture
Emerging Economies’ stocks decline…German Investor Morale At 3 1/2-year High…China’s FDI growth eases
 
Financial Markets… U.S. Treasuries gained for a fifth day on Tuesday, with the benchmark 10-year note yields sliding to 2.84%, as investors await on a Federal Reserve announcement tomorrow on the future of U.S. stimulus program. U.S. government bonds have declined 3.6% this year through yesterday, while they gained 2% last year.

Djibouti Keeps an Eye on Quality in Efforts to Expand Access to Education

Noah Yarrow's picture

Djibouti Keeps an Eye on Quality in Efforts to Expand Access to Education

Djibouti does not make the headlines as often as its larger neighbors Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia –or Yemen, just across the Gulf of Aden.  As children go back to school this month, the small, French speaking country deserves our attention as it works to overcome serious education challenges with a committed group of partners including the World Bank.

Shanghai: Paving the Way for Greener Cities

Jim Yong Kim's picture

SHANGHAI, China, Sept. 17 -- I'm standing in front of a building at Linkong International Garden that has solar panels on the outer walls and rooftops, geothermal heat pumps, and online energy management. This is part of the front line of the fight against climate change, and Shanghai is helping to lead the way in making sure rapid urbanization involves a wide array of clean technologies. Watch the video to learn more.

The challenge of metropolitan governance in the face of rapid urbanization

Alexandra Linden's picture

From a demographic point of view, more than 9 billion people are expected to live on planet earth in 2050, two-thirds of them in cities. Actually, the entire anticipated population increase is to take place in urban areas, with over 90 percent in Africa, Asia, and Latin American and the Caribbean ; so, global urbanization has long since shifted to developing countries and emerging economies. Approximately 2.7 billion people live in urban agglomerations in developing and emerging economies today; in 2030, that number will rise to 3.9 billion – and reach 5.1 billion in 2050. Around 95 percent of this urban momentum is going to take place in metropolitan regions. Established mega regions like Sao Paulo or Mumbai, as well as urban agglomerations composed of rapidly growing small and medium-sized cities will become the key living and economic spaces of the urban millennium.

In Case You Missed It: World Water Week 2013 Recap

Anna Delgado Martin's picture

After an intense and exciting week in Stockholm for World Water Week, it is time to look back at some conclusions of the conference and the way forward for next year. I was in Stockholm as a “Lead Rapporteur” and reported in the closing plenary session on “Cooperation to achieve equity by balancing competing demands”; other teams reported on “Managing waters across borders,” “Responding to Global Change,” and “Closing the science-policy-practice loop” (see closing plenary here).  This is my attempt to summarize over 100 sessions, you can find all the sessions in the WWW website.

Are you financially literate or financially capable?

Siegfried Zottel's picture


‘Imagine you have a lot of mangoes on your farm and your neighbor has lots of tomatoes. You make a bargain and he says he will give you three tomatoes for every mango you give him. If you give him fourteen mangoes, how many tomatoes do you expect him to give back to you?’

This question, amongst others, has been asked in the 2009 and 2011 Kenya FinAccess surveys. If you got the answer to this question right (see end of the blog for the correct answer), congratulations! It may be an indication that you are financially literate. Or would you rather be financially capable? ‘Financial Literacy’ and ‘Financial Capability’ are two terms many have heard about and usually they are used interchangeably. However, in a recent World Bank publication, which tries to ‘Make Sense of Financial Capability Surveys around the World’, the authors (Perotti, Zottel, Iarossi, and Bolaji-Adio) reviewed key approaches to measure financial literacy and capability. In doing so, they identified Financial Literacy to be often associated with financial knowledge.


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