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January 2013

Leveraging Mobile Technology to Connect India’s Informal Sector

Sean Blagsvedt's picture

In India, since 2007, has been using web and mobile technologies to efficiently connect employers with potential employees of low-skill jobs in the informal sector. We spoke with Sean Blagsvedt, founder and CEO of the Bangalore-based start-up, who told us that Babajob now has a presence in every state in India, with about 500,000 registered job seekers and 70,000 employers using the platform.

Liberia's Project to Empower Adolescent Girls and Young Women

Dala T. Korkoyah Jr.'s picture

In late 2009, Liberia launched the Economic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and Young Women (EPAG) project, the first pilot of the World Bank’s Adolescent Girls Initiative. It provides training in business development, job skills, and life skills for young women—which is vital in a country where youth unemployment is high and girls are especially vulnerable. We asked Dala T. Korkoyah, Jr.—EPAG Monitoring and Evaluation Director—about the preliminary results of the midline survey.

Investing in Jobs to Pay for Pensions

David Robalino's picture

Elderly couple watches a child. Belgrade, Serbia. Photo: I. Djokovic/World Bank

We've all heard about the problems that pay-as-you-go pension (PAYG) systems have delivering on their promises. These are the most common public pension systems around the world and many are going bust — largely because as populations age, there are fewer workers making contributions to pay for the pensions of an increasing number of retirees. Well, now we know how to fix them...

A Snapshot of Youth Training Programs in Brazil and the Dominican Republic

Claudia Sepúlveda's picture

Day workers unload bananas in an open air market in Manaus, Brazil. Photo: © Julio Pantoja / World Bank

If you are at the prime working age of 35-55 years old and watching the 2013 South American Youth Championship (Campeonato Sudamericano Sub-20) — which is taking place in Argentina and will qualify the four South American teams to the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup — then you may be forgiven for thinking of trading places with a 20-year-old. Young people are healthier and stronger, and they don't worry about waistlines and other signs of age. But one thing would worsen as a result of the trade: your labor market prospects. Young workers almost invariably have lower wages and higher rates of unemployment than older workers.

The virtual tribe: community of practitioners explores employment & safety nets in MENA (cross-posted)

Amina Semlali's picture

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."

~ Benjamin Franklin ~

Travel and learning have always gone hand in hand. With the option of virtual travel, learning and information sharing have never been easier. We are presented with endless opportunities to discuss, interact and share experiences. Hopefully, this will help us come up with creative ideas for global solutions. The World Bank's Community of Practice hopes to do just that. Born out of a desire of various countries faced with similar challenges to share best practices, the community facilitates South-South learning between practitioners.

Time to Move from Measuring Jobs to Jobs Quality

Gladys Lopez-Acevedo's picture

Workers seting up an electric sub station in Santiago de Chile

There's widespread agreement that a stronger focus on quality jobs — typically thought of as jobs that are well paid, stable, and with reasonable conditions — are perhaps the best way for emerging and developing countries to lift themselves out of poverty and reduce inequality. However, there's little agreement on how to measure and analyze job quality not only because the literature on the topic is quite recent and heterogeneous but also because of a lack of adequate data to measure job quality properly. Today's blog looks at an innovative paper that tries to break new ground in measuring job quality. It focuses on Chile, which in recent decades has enjoyed strong economic growth — yet continues to suffer inequality and poverty.

Promising Results from Uganda's Youth Opportunities Program

Timothy Lubanga's picture

In 2006, Uganda launched the Youth Opportunities Program, which provides cash transfers to groups of young adults for self-employment in trades. It is part of the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund, a decentralized development program that is the centerpiece of the post-conflict recovery plan. We spoke with Timothy Lubanga of the Office of the Prime Minister in Uganda, about the mid-term results from an impact evaluation conducted in 2010. He reports that the program is working well, with beneficiaries — especially women — experiencing higher employment and incomes than the control group.

Sizing Up Gender Gaps in Labor Markets

Mary Hallward-Driemeier's picture

Luisa Maria Oliveira. Student. Brazil. VIdeo Still. © Romel Simon/World Bank RS-BR03

We know there are large gender gaps in labor markets. But how pervasive are they and what can be done about them? At the November 2012 LACEA (Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association) — LAMES (Latin American Meeting of the Econometric Society) conference in Peru, academics presented new evidence on the extent of gender gaps in the labor market and some of the underlying explanations for the patterns observed.

Labor policies: Avoiding the two cliffs

Gordon Betcherman's picture

Policy makers often think that the path to creating more jobs lies in improving labor policies (such as minimum wages, the role of unions, and employment insurance). But as Gordon Betcherman—a core member of the World Bank's team for the 2013 World Development Report on Jobs—explains, these policies often don't have a major impact on a country’s employment or productivity.