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Putting a human face to statistics on vulnerable youth in Sub-Saharan Africa

Keiko Inoue's picture

Picture this: A young ex-combatant who put down his weapons a few months ago, raises his hand to say he has decided to improve his life by going into agriculture, and his colleagues think the same. 

The knowledge capital imperative

Eric A. Hanushek's picture
Up close and personal: an elephant encounters tourists in Tanzania. Photo: Magda Lovei/World Bank

Africa’s unique natural assets—its iconic wildlife, snow-capped mountains, waterfalls, rapids, majestic forests, unique bird populations, pristine beaches and coral reefs—represent tremendous value. Wonders of nature such as Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Kenya, and the Victoria Falls, as well as Zanzibar’s Stone Town and its beautiful beaches, and the wildebeest migration between the Masai Mara and Serengeti, are some of the world’s best-known tourist attractions.

Robots: What can workers do to protect themselves from automation?

Harry A. Patrinos's picture
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Credit: Tracy Ben/ Shutterstock

“At 14:28:04 on May 12, 2008, an 8.0 earthquake struck suddenly, shaking the earth, with mountains and rivers shifted, devastated, and parted forever….” This was how China’s official report read, when describing the catastrophic consequences of the Sichuan earthquake, which left 5,335 students dead or missing.
Just two years ago, in Nepal, on April 25, 2015, due to a Mw 7.8 earthquake, 6,700 school buildings collapsed or were affected beyond repair. Fortunately, it occurred on Saturday—a holiday in Nepal—otherwise the human toll could have been as high as that of the Sichuan disaster, or even worse. Similarly, in other parts of the world—Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines, Haiti, Ecuador, and most recently Mexico—schools suffered from the impact of natural hazards. 
Why have schools collapsed?

Finding employment for young people of all abilities

Matt Hobson's picture
Young women from family with members with disabilities being taught to use a sewing machine.
India. Photo: © John Isaac / World Bank

Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
In every society globally, unemployment rates for persons with disabilities are higher than for people without disabilities. The International Labor Organization reports that, in some Asia-Pacific countries, the unemployment rate of people living with disabilities is over 80%. 

The resilient brain and its crucial role in human development

Dorota Chapko's picture
Young children in Uzbekistan play with mind-stimulating games. Photo: Matluba Mukhamedova / World Bank

​Did you know that investments in early childhood are crucial for achieving the brain’s full developmental potential and resilience?
Jim Heckman, Nobel Laureate in economics, and his collaborators have shown that strong foundational skills built in early childhood are crucial for socio-economic success. These foundational skills lead to a self-reinforcing motivation to learn so that “skills beget skills”. This leads to better-paying jobs, healthier lifestyle choices, greater social participation, and more productive societies. Growing research also reveals that these benefits are linked to the important role that early foundations of cognitive and socio-emotional abilities play on healthy brain development across the human lifespan.

Brain complexity –the diversity and complexity of neural pathways and networks— is moulded during childhood and has a lasting impact on the development of cognitive and socio-emotional human abilities.

Lessons from the Mbongui

Gessye Ginelle Safou-Mat's picture
Европа испытывает самый значительный наплыв мигрантов за последние десятилетия. Численность беженцев из зон конфликта в Сирии, Ираке и других стран, которые прибывают к южному побережью Европы, растёт с каждым днём. Вследствие резкого роста количества прошений о предоставлении убежища в Европейском Союзе (ЕС), вызванного этими процессами, обозначились расхождения между странами-членами ЕС относительно способов реагирования на эту проблему. Правительства стран Центральной Европы и Балтии отвергли предложения Еврокомиссии, которые предполагали введение системы обязательных квот для распределения беженцев среди всех 28 стран-членов ЕС, и выступили против того, чтобы принимать значительное число беженцев.

Но постойте! Сопротивление миграции – поведение, кажущееся парадоксальным для Европы, которую в перспективе ждёт старение и быстрое сокращение населения. Так, в странах Балтии и в Болгарии с 1990 года численность населения уже сократилась более чем на 15 процентов, в Хорватии – на 10 процентов, в Румынии и Венгрии – более чем на 5 процентов. Доля лиц в возрасте 65 лет и старше в населении стран Центральной Европы и Балтии в период с 1990 по 2010 год выросла больше чем на треть. В отличие от стран Западной Европы, где растёт продолжительность жизни, процессы старения в странах Центральной Европы и Балтии обусловлены массовой эмиграцией, особенно среди молодёжи в детородном возрасте и нередко - в Западную Европу, а также значительным падением рождаемости. Сегодня коэффициент рождаемости в странах Центральной Европы и Балтии, как правило, не выше 1,6. В Польше, Венгрии и Словакии его значение не превышает 1,3, что гораздо ниже необходимого для естественного замещения, которое составляет 2,1. Согласно демографическим прогнозам, процессы старения и сокращения численности народонаселения продолжатся и даже ускорятся. Это создаст риск для экономического роста и ляжет дополнительным бременем на бюджет из-за увеличения спроса на пенсии по старости и услуги здравоохранения.

Pathway to profitable women-owned enterprises

Francesco Strobbe's picture
Image from Chris Chopyak, who captured the workshop in
simple designs and strategic illustrations
What do Open and Big Data principles and advanced analytics have to do with energy access and efficiency? A lot. At a recent workshop, we explored a range of challenges and solutions alongside experts from the U.S. Department of Energy, the University of Chicago and other organizations.
Today, about 1.1 billion people around the world live without electricity. Cities, which now house more than half the world’s population, struggle under the weight of inefficient, expensive and often-polluting energy systems. Energy access and affordability are paramount in addressing poverty alleviation and shared prosperity goals, and cleaner energy is critical in mitigating climate change.
Applications of Open and Big Data principles and advanced analytics is an area of innovation that can help address many pressing energy sector challenges in the developing world, as well as provide social and financial dividends at low cost.

The World Bank Group is committed to accelerating the use of Open Data and advanced analytics to improve access to reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity, in line with its commitment to the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative. In order to increase awareness around opportunities of new data capturing and analyzing solutions in the energy sector in emerging markets, the World Bank Group and University of Chicago hosted a training session and a subsequent workshop in mid-May.

Education post-2015

Andreas Schleicher's picture
Photo: Sinkdd/Flickr
For many countries, damages and losses related to transport are a significant proportion of the economic impacts of disasters, often more than destruction to housing and agricult+ure in value terms. For example, a fiscal disaster risk assessment in Sri Lanka highlighted that over 1/3 of all damages and losses over the past 15 years were to the transport network. In addition, climate change increases the damages and losses.
In the Kyrgyz Republic, where 96% of all cargo travels by road, any disaster-related disruptions to the road network would have severe repercussions on the economy. The Minister of Transport and Roads, Mr. Zhamshitbek Kalilov, is charged with protecting these systems from all kinds of natural hazards, from avalanches to floods.
Working to support country officials, like Mr. Kalilov, is why the World Bank Resilient Transport Community of Practice (CoP) and the Disaster Risk Management Hub of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) organized the Technical Knowledge Exchange on Resilient Transport on May 8-12.

Held in Tokyo, the week-long exchange brought together World Bank clients and teams from 16 countries across all regions to share concepts and practices on resilient transport, including systems planning, engineering and design, asset management, and contingency programming. The exchange drew upon the experience of several countries and international experts who showcased innovative approaches and practical advice on how to address risk at every phase of the infrastructure life-cycle.