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Labor and Social Protection

How can new infrastructure accelerate creation of more and better jobs?

Vismay Parikh's picture
The study analyzed four stages of the value chain —production; storage and logistics; processing; and marketing— to understand the potential for job creation stimulated by infrastructure projects. (Photo: Kubat Sydykov / World Bank)


It is widely accepted that investments in infrastructure can lead to direct and indirect jobs, and usually have spillover effects into other economic opportunities. For example, good transport systems and agro-logistics services help move freight from farms to locations where value can be added (like intermediate processing, packaging and sorting of agricultural produce) and ultimately to consumers. However, the anticipated benefits of these investments are not always fully realized, or sometimes they happen much later. How can investments in infrastructure have a multiplier effect in stimulating the economy and, eventually, facilitate job creation?

To maximize their impact, infrastructure projects should explicitly analyze and include complementary investments (e.g., industrial parks or processing facilities) and soft interventions (financial services, ICT, laws and regulations, etc.) needed to unlock the potential of new markets. As part of a broader effort to link investment in rural roads to economic opportunities, the Roads to Jobs study analyzed strategic value chains in the agriculture sector in Rajasthan, India, to better understand the challenges faced by farmers in accessing markets and provided recommendations to address constraints.

Do Sri Lankan women need to take the backseat?

Seshika Fernando's picture
        CMI

In a country like Egypt which faces a host of political and economic challenges, innovative solutions are very much in demand. The good news is that there is a wave of innovation and entrepreneurship spreading across the Arab world. The bad news is that micro and small enterprises -- mostly working in low-tech industries -- in Egypt are not getting the support they need to be part of this wave.

To build a brighter future, invest in women and girls

Jim Yong Kim's picture


Arne Hoel

As we mark International Women’s Day 2018, there has never been a more critical time to invest in people, especially in women and girls. 

Skills, knowledge, and know-how – collectively called human capital – have become an enormous share of global wealth, bigger than produced capital such as factories or industry, or natural resources.

But human capital wealth is not evenly distributed around the world, and it’s a larger slice of wealth as countries develop. How, then, can developing countries build their human capital and prepare for a more technologically demanding future?

The answer is they must invest much more in the building blocks of human capital – in nutrition, health, education, social protection, and jobs. And the biggest returns will come from educating and nurturing girls, empowering women, and ensuring that social safety nets increase their resilience.

According to UNESCO estimates, 130 million girls between the age of 6 and 17 are out of school, and 15 million girls of primary-school age – half of them in sub-Saharan Africa – will never enter a classroom. Women’s participation in the global labor market is nearly 27 percentage points lower than for men, and women’s labor force participation fell from 52 percent in 1990 to 49 percent in 2016.

What if we could fix this? Fostering women’s labor force participation, business ownership, and improvements in productivity could add billions to the global economy.

Getting to equal in Mongolia’s labor market (and leadership market)

Jim Anderson's picture
Photo: © World Bank

Yesterday morning I participated in the “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” event at the opening of the Mongolian Stock Exchange. A global event sponsored by the IFC and other partners*, the event highlights how economies and individual companies benefit from efforts to close gender gaps in their operations and governing structures.

Earlier I had dug out my notes from a survey of listed companies conducted in 1996.  Only 25 of the 249 companies we surveyed counted women as general directors. Today, women lead around six percent of the top 100 listed firms – that is, fewer than 20 years ago.  This does not mean that there has not been progress. The last time the World Bank Group enterprises surveys were done, Mongolia had a similar or larger share of firms with women in top management. This number is higher than the region’s average, but such leadership roles were more heavily weighted to smaller firms.  Whereas 31 percent of medium-sized firms – that is, those with 20-99 employees – had female top managers, only 17 percent of firms with over 100 employees had women in senior management.

Getting to equal at the top requires more systematic scrutiny of the factors that support or hinder women’s economic empowerment throughout their lives. No one is born a CEO.

So, where are the gender gaps?

The invisible door: Three barriers limiting women’s access to work

Namita Datta's picture



The International Day of Peace is celebrated on September 21st.  After more than 50 years of civil war, we finally have a national Peace Day to celebrate in Colombia, too.
 

Redefining women's empowerment in Bangladesh

Sabah Moyeen's picture
 

What does empowerment really mean? The Northern Area Reduction Initiative (NARI) project has forced me to ask this question several times. And the answers are apparently not as neat and foldable into the pre-set indicators as one would think.
 
Bangladesh’s garment industry has been at the heart of the country’s export boom ever since the first factory opened in 1976. Today, the industry accounts for 80% of Bangladesh’s total exports. 85% of the workers in the garments sector are women. The NARI program aims to facilitate the entry of skilled women into this sector. However, this program is not just about technical skills aimed at churning out yet another RMG worker. The girls learn how to adjust to life outside their homes and villages, open and manage bank accounts, and learn about their rights and responsibilities as workers. They also negotiate contracts and rent, understand what sexual harassment is, and learn how and where to report it. They build networks, allow ideas to form on the basis of newly discovered confidence and self-esteem. Some graduate and join the earmarked jobs, often in positions several steps ahead of what they would have been offered without the training.

A light at the end of the tunnel: Implementing ICT for public work programs in Ghana through e-services

Suleiman Namara's picture

Editor's Note: Join us April 22nd at 10AM ET for the 2017 Global Infrastructure Forum when the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), the United Nations, the G-20, and development partners from around the world meet to discuss opportunities to harness public and private resources to improve infrastructure worldwide, and to ensure that investments are environmentally, social and economically sustainable. Check out the event site to view the livestream on April 22.



This post was originally published on the International Finance Corporation's Medium channel.

From marginalization to inclusion: The story of the waste pickers in the West Bank

Amal Faltas's picture
Generating clean energy in New Zealand. Jondaar_1/Flickr Creative Commons

作者:Stephanie Pfeifer,气候变化机构投资者团体(欧洲); Nathan Fabian,气候变化投资者团体(澳大利亚、新西兰);Chris Davis,气候风险投资者网络(北美);Alexandra Tracy,亚洲气候变化投资者团体。

英国经济学家尼科拉斯•斯特恩(Nicholas)勋爵把气候变化称为“全世界经历的最严重的市场失灵”。如不能给碳排放定价,会使得市场无法应对碳排放造成的危害。如果不给某种有害活动附设代价,则市场参与者就没有动力寻求危害较小的替代方案。可喜的是,这种情况正在变化。

全球约有40个国家和20多个地区已实施或计划实施碳定价制度。全世界排放交易体系价值总额约为300亿美元。其中,中国拥有世界第二大碳市场, 其排放交易额相当于11.15亿吨二氧化碳;欧盟拥有世界第一大碳市场,其排放交易额相当于23.09亿吨二氧化碳。

这一进展是一大利好消息,而进一步推广碳定价制度很有必要。给碳定价可减少排放,降低与排放相关的代价。这些代价最终会以气候变化造成的各种影响形式由每个人来承担,包括企业和社会。

Women in rural roads: recommendations for a second generation of interventions

Karla Dominguez Gonzalez's picture

Yesterday, Markus blogged about a new initiative by 3ie to replicate studies in economics. It is indeed called “3ie’s Replication Program”. Below I argue that while this may be a worthy endeavor, it is mislabeled…

What’s new in social protection – February edition

Ugo Gentilini's picture

Can cash transfers increase trust that citizens bestow upon their government… and even help it work a little better? Yes they can, according to a new paper (and accompanying blog) by Evans, Kosec and Holtemeyer. In 2010, Tanzania launched a pilot conditional cash transfer program, with a randomized roll-out in half of a set of 80 villages. After 2.5 years of transfers, beneficiaries – relative to potential beneficiaries in the waitlisted villages – report a stronger belief that their elected village leaders can be trusted in general, but not their appointed bureaucrats. Beneficiaries are more likely to report that local government leaders take citizens’ concerns into account, and that their honesty has improved over time. Notably, this increased trust does not translate into political activity. Beneficiary households are no more likely to vote in Village Council elections, or attend more Village Council meetings. The research even suggests that the program improves record keeping in the government, but only in sectors linked to transfers (education and health).


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