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Poverty

How do we achieve sustained growth? Through human capital, and East Asia and the Pacific proves it

Michael Crawford's picture
Students at Beijing Bayi High School in China. Photo: World Bank


In 1950, the average working-age person in the world had  almost three years of education, but in East Asia and Pacific (EAP), the  average person had less than half that amount. Around this time, countries in  the EAP  region put themselves on a path that focused on growth  driven by human capital. They made significant and steady investments in  schooling to close the educational attainment gap with the rest of the world. While  improving their school systems, they also put their human capital to work in  labor markets. As a result, economic growth has been stellar: for four decades  EAP has grown at roughly twice the pace of the global average. What is more, no  slowdown is in sight for rising prosperity.

High economic growth and strong human capital accumulation  are deeply intertwined. In a recent paper, Daron Acemoglu and David Autor explore  the way skills and labor markets interact: Human capital is the central  determinant of economic growth and is the main—and very likely the only—means  to achieve shared growth when technology is changing quickly and raising the  demand for skills. Skills promote productivity and growth, but if there are not  enough skilled workers, growth soon chokes off. If, by contrast, skills are abundant and  average skill-levels keep rising, technological change can drive productivity  and growth without stoking inequality.

Land at the heart of Myanmar’s transition: Part 1

Anna Wellenstein's picture

Also available in: Myanmar (.pdf)


 

Mike-Petteri Torhonen / World Bank




Struggles over land in Myanmar have been a defining characteristic of the country’s six decades of armed conflict.
 
In the past, government acquired lands for extracting natural resources, commercialized farming, and ambitious infrastructure projects, such as building of the new capital city of Nay Pyi Taw. Today, claims over land acquisition injustices dominate public discourse and the new government’s agenda. In parallel, infrastructure and institutions for land administration and property markets are grossly outdated and weak.

Phenomenal development: New MOOC draws economic policy lessons from South Korea’s transformation

Sheila Jagannathan's picture

The World Bank Group’s Open Learning Campus (OLC) launched a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) today — Policy Lessons from South Korea’s Development — through the edX platform, with approximately 7,000 global learners already registered. In this MOOC, prominent representatives of academic and research institutions in South Korea and the United States narrate a multi-faceted story of Korea’s economic growth. 
 
Why focus on South Korea? South Korea's transformation from poverty to prosperity in just three decades was virtually miraculous. Indeed, by almost any measure, South Korea is one of the greatest development success stories. South Korea’s income per capita rose nearly 250 times, from a mere $110 in 1962 to $27,440 in 2015. This rapid growth was achieved despite geopolitical uncertainties and a lack of natural resources. Today, South Korea is a major exporter of products such as semiconductors, automobiles, telecommunications equipment, and ships.

Source: World Development Indicators, 12/16/2016

Sustainable Growth in Lao PDR Will Lead to Poverty Reduction and Better Lives for All

Victoria Kwakwa's picture



My visit to Lao PDR this week has convinced me that this nation is moving toward the right path to sustained economic growth, which could lead to less poverty and better lives for all of its people.
 
Over the past two decades, Lao PDR has made significant development progress. It is one of the fastest growing economies in East Asia, with GDP growth averaging 8 percent a year since 2000. Lao PDR also successfully met the Millennium Development Goal of reducing extreme poverty, based on its national poverty line, to below 24 percent by 2015 from 33.5 percent in 2002.
 
As I have witnessed during my trip, people are enjoying better living conditions, with improved access to water supply, sanitation, roads, and power. Indeed, Lao PDR’s electrification program is one of the most successful in the world, and more than 90 percent of households now have access to electricity. Lao PDR also has built 50 percent more road surfaces in the last decade, and two-thirds of all Lao villages are now connected by all-season roads.

“四小”不小,管用就好

Sitie Wang's picture
Also available in: English
这是纪念10月17日国际消除贫困日的中国系列博客文章中的的一篇,中国对全球减贫事业的贡献超过世界任何国家,中国正在全力实现到2020年消除极端贫困的宏伟目标。 点击此处浏览系列中其他博客。
 
四月中旬,我们到川东开展精准扶贫调研,看了南部县大堰乡封坎庙村、碑院镇林坝村的扶贫“四小工程”:小养殖、小庭院、小作坊和小买卖。果林下,百余只土鸡正在啄食;水田里,一群鸭子正在游弋……这就是我们在林坝村脱贫户张定科家门前看到的一幕。今年61岁的张定科给我们介绍说:“在家门口搞点鸡、鸭等小养殖,还养猪,投资少见效快,真是再实在不过了。”他还告诉我们,以前他家以种地为生,日子过得紧巴巴的。随着两个子女先后考入大学,家里的日子变得愈发艰难。去年初,他家在帮扶部门的支持下搞起了小养殖、小买卖,年底增收1.70万余元,摆脱了贫困。

Ending Poverty in China: Small projects bring big benefits

Sitie Wang's picture
Also available in: 中文
This blog is part of a series produced to commemorate End Poverty Day (October 17), focusing on China – which has contributed more than any other country to global poverty reduction – and its efforts to end extreme poverty by 2020. Read the blog series here. 
 

阿里巴巴的“互联网+扶贫”实践

Ruidong Zhang's picture
Also available in: English
这是纪念10月17日国际消除贫困日的中国系列博客文章中的的一篇,中国对全球减贫事业的贡献超过世界任何国家,中国正在全力实现到2020年消除极端贫困的宏伟目标。 点击此处浏览系列中其他博客。

阿里巴巴对于贫困地区的“互联网+扶贫”最早始于2009年对四川省青川县的震后援建。阿里巴巴的核心思路是用商业模式扶持灾区经济发展,不仅要帮助灾区人民重建家园,更要通过互联网+赋能,使他们具备致富脱贫的能力。

2014年10月阿里巴巴发布了农村战略,在接下来的3-5年,将拿出100亿元投入到1000个县的10万个行政村,用于当地电子商务服务体系建设。

阿里巴巴“互联网+扶贫”的落地分为三个层面。一是给贫困地区带来便捷实惠的商品和生活服务。如消费品下乡、农产品进城、手机充值、生活缴费、购买车票、预定宾馆等,此外还包括小微金融、远程医疗、在线教育等。二是为农村经济和社会提供可持续发展的生态支持。包括对地方官员的互联网意识、地方企业的互联网转型能力,以及返乡青年或普通农民的互联网技能的培训和建设。三是帮助贫困地区建立起新经济基础设施,包括物流、支付、金融、云计算、数据等。

至2016年上半年,阿里巴巴通过农村淘宝项目已经在全国29个省近400个县(包括94个国家级贫困县和95个省级贫困县)的1.8万个村建立起了“互联网+”服务体系,招募了2万余名合伙人或淘帮手。2016年7月,农村淘宝启动以服务为核心的3.0模式,合伙人将由创业者演化为乡村服务者,村级服务站也将升级为当地的生态服务中心、创业孵化中心和公益文化中心。

阿里巴巴的“互联网+扶贫”实践,包括了在电商、就业、金融、旅游、教育、健康等多个领域的创新。

An example of how private corporations can help end poverty in China: Alibaba and the “Internet + Poverty Reduction”

Ruidong Zhang's picture
Also available in: 中文
This blog is part of a series produced to commemorate End Poverty Day (October 17), focusing on China – which has contributed more than any other country to global poverty reduction – and its efforts to end extreme poverty by 2020. Read the blog series here. 

Following a 2009 earthquake in Qingchuan County, Sichuan Province, Alibaba introduced the “Internet + Poverty Reduction” model, with the core concept to boost economic development in the affected areas with a business model that empowers people to move out of poverty using the Internet.

Alibaba announced its rural e-commerce strategy in October 2014, with a plan to invest RMB100 million (about $14.8 million) over the next three to five years in the development of local e-commerce service systems for 1,000 counties with 100,000 villages.

The program provides valuable services in three areas:
  1. Easy and affordable access to goods and services in poor areas including: delivery of consumer goods to rural areas and farm produce to cities, mobile phone recharge, utility bills payment, booking airline and train tickets, making hotel reservations, as well as microfinance, online medical consultation, and online learning;
  2. Provision of ecosystem support for sustainable rural development, including raising awareness about the Internet among local officials, building the capacity of local firms to use the Internet for business, Internet skills training for young people and farmers; and
  3. Infrastructure development for the new economy, including logistics infrastructure, payment systems, financial services, cloud computing and data collection. 
By mid-2016, Alibaba’s Rural Taobao Program established “Internet+” service systems in 18,000 villages in 400 counties (including about 200 poorest counties) in 29 provinces, and recruited more than 20,000 Taobao partners and helpers. In July, Rural Taobao launched its service-based 3.0 model, upgrading partners to rural service providers and village service stations to local service centers, business incubators and public-benefit cultural centers.
Alibaba’s “Internet + Poverty Reduction” features a number of innovations including e-commerce, job creation, access to finance, tourism development, education and healthcare.

Ending Poverty in China: How NGOs can play a role

Wenkui Liu's picture
Also available in: 中文
This blog is part of a series produced to commemorate End Poverty Day (October 17), focusing on China – which has contributed more than any other country to global poverty reduction – and its efforts to end extreme poverty by 2020. Read the blog series here. 
 
China has 128,000 poor villages with 55.75 million registered poor people. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to lift them out of poverty. Typically, people fall into four categories of poverty, requiring different approaches. Unlike some development players, NGOs are more agile and are innovative in solutions, allowing them to provide support sooner.

The first category comprises those who are temporarily incapable of work due to illness or having school-aged children to support. For these people, rehabilitation or bringing back their capability to work to will help reduce their vulnerabilities.

The second category consists of those who have some resources but lack business skills or efficiency. Working with them to develop new business models and use resources more efficiently will help them get out of poverty.

The third category is made up of those who are capable of work but external conditions or resources like jobs are poor. Relocation or employment skills training may be effective solutions.

The fourth category comprises those who are permanently incapacitated, such as the severely disabled. They should be supported by the social protection system.   
  

民间组织参与扶贫大有可为

Wenkui Liu's picture
Also available in: English
这是纪念10月17日国际消除贫困日的中国系列博客文章中的的一篇,中国对全球减贫事业的贡献超过世界任何国家,中国正在全力实现到2020年消除极端贫困的宏伟目标。 点击此处浏览系列中其他博客。
 
面对中国现有的12.8万贫困村,5575万建档立卡贫困户,眉毛胡子一把抓是不可取的,社会组织应该更好的发挥自身灵活机动的特点,分类施策、精准帮扶。根据贫困人口的自身条件和所处环境,通常可以分为四类,各类又有不同的扶贫策略。

第一类是暂时劳动能力不足的,比如因病或营养问题导致劳动能力不足,或家中有在读学生需要供养。对这类贫困人口,社会组织可以对其直接帮扶,帮助其恢复或重建劳动能力,缓解贫困压力。第二类是有一定资源但组织方式低下,劳动效率不高的,社会组织可以帮助其创新生产组织方式,提高资源利用效率实现脱贫。第三类是有劳动能力但客观上资源不足的,那么异地搬迁、培训就业等方式就显得更为有效。第四类则是永久丧失劳动能力的,比如重度残疾等情况,则由社会保障体系使其摆脱贫困。   
  

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