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Europe and Central Asia

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.

Women and employment in Albania’s construction sector – Closing the gender gap

Nato Kurshitashvili's picture
A road construction engineer, Albania

New infrastructure projects typically see an increase in demand for labor and skills, thereby creating new employment opportunities in the construction sector. In Albania, several infrastructure projects currently being implemented are good news for the country’s economy – but they also provide an opportunity to boost participation of women in a largely male-dominated sector. According to our research, the share of women currently employed in Albania’s construction sector is just 3%.
 

Scaling up innovations in agriculture: Lessons from Africa

Simeon Ehui's picture
The West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program is building a sustainable and nutritious food system in Nigeria that creates jobs for youth. Photo: Dasan Bobo/World Bank

For too long the narrative surrounding Africa’s agri-food sector has been one of limited opportunity, flat yields and small farms. It’s true that Africa is still producing too little food and value-added products despite recent efforts to increase investment, and that agricultural productivity has been broadly stagnant since the 1980s as shown in the 2018 African Agriculture Status Report.

Confronting tobacco illicit trade: a global review of country experiences

Sheila Dutta's picture



Illicit trade in tobacco products undermines global tobacco prevention and control interventions, particularly with respect to tobacco tax policy. From a public health perspective, illicit trade weakens the effect of tobacco excise taxes on tobacco consumption - and consequently on preventable morbidity and mortality - by increasing the affordability, attractiveness, and/or availability of tobacco products. Furthermore, tobacco illicit trade often depends on and can contribute to weakened governance.

What’s an ambitious but realistic target for human capital progress?

Zelalem Yilma Debebe's picture

Globally, 56 percent of children live in countries with Human Capital Index (HCI) scores below 0.5. As these countries gear up to improve their human capital outcomes, it is vital to set a target that is ambitious enough to prompt action and realistic enough to be achieved. One way to get at this is to examine the historical rate of progress that countries demonstrated to be possible.

Using time-series data between 2000 and 2017, we estimated countries' progress in the health components of HCI (fraction of children not stunted, child survival and adult survival) using a non-linear regression model. [1] Our measure of progress is the fraction of gap to the frontier that is eliminated every year- the frontier being 100 percent child and adult survival, and no stunting.,[2]

We address the following two questions:

  1. What is the typical progress in the health components of HCI observed globally?

When managers do not know that they do not know

Josefina Posadas's picture


Being a labor economist by training, thinking about the skills of jobseekers, workers in the changing world of labor and students is an integral part of my everyday work-life and part of my ongoing dialog with policy makers and academics.

But what about the skills of employers? Do managers and CEOs have the skills needed to make firms grow and succeed in integrated global markets and complex business environments? 

Teach: Tackling the learning crisis, one classroom at a time

Ezequiel Molina's picture
Also available in: French | Español | Portuguese | Arabic
 



Despite tremendous progress in getting children into the classroom, we are experiencing a global learning crisis, where a large share of children complete primary school lacking even basic reading, writing, and arithmetic skillsWhat explains this phenomenon? To answer this question, consider the following examples of classrooms that are unlikely to put students on a path to success. 

A Tale of Three Friends: Urban planning and why it matters for Polish development

Marcel Ionescu-Heroiu's picture
Everyone who knows spatial planning has heard this famous quote of Socrates: “By far the greatest and most admirable form of wisdom is that needed to plan and beautify cities and human communities.”
 
Socrates was right. Urban planning matters greatly for development - it impacts regulations, construction, economic growth, and the everyday lives of people. Currently, the World Bank and the European Commission are working with the Polish municipality of Rzeszów to improve urban planning and beautify this economic and cultural center in south-eastern Poland.

The distance between skills and jobs in Moldova

Boris Ciobanu's picture


Walking my dog recently, early on a dark January morning, I noticed a light from a window on the ground floor of the school near my home. I took a peek inside. Somebody was preparing the classroom for a technology education lesson, or what we call in this part of the world a “labor lesson.”

I am not nostalgic by nature, but the sight of the classroom took my mind back to the Moldova of the mid-1980s. That’s when I used to attend such classes.

Backhaul to the future – Can digital technology make Central Asia’s agriculture competitive?

Julian Lampietti's picture
Shutterstock Photo

Whether matching drivers with riders or landlords with lodgers, digital platforms like Uber and AirBnB push the marginal cost of matching supply and demand to an unprecedented low. Large infrastructure projects like China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative - which aims at more closely linking the two ends of Eurasia, as well as Africa and Oceania - could create an opportunity to alter the future of Central Asia’s agriculture, if food supply and demand can be matched more efficiently.

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