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March 2013

India's NREGS (Part II): Strong Results But Trends to Ponder

Shamika Ravi's picture

In 2006, India launched the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) to tackle underemployment and unemployment in the agricultural sector. The program guaranteed a minimum of 100 days of work every year to anyone who requested it. How is it doing?  We examine this question in a two-part series. In Part II, we talk with Shamika Ravi, Assistant Professor, Indian School of Business, who recently conducted an impact evaluation of NREGS in Medak District (one of the poorest districts in Andhra Pradesh).

India's NREGS (Part I): Creating Jobs—on Demand—in Agriculture

R. Subrahmanyam's picture

In 2006, India launched the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) to tackle underemployment and unemployment in the agricultural sector. The program guaranteed a minimum of 100 days of work every year to anyone who requested it. How is it doing? We examine this question in a two-part series. In Part I, we talk with R.Subrahmanyam, Principal Secretary of Rural Development in Andhra Pradesh. He says that since 2006, the program has been extended to 1 million villages, providing employment to more than 2.5 billion households, at a cost of $33 billion.

Youth training and internships in Kenya

Alice Githu's picture

Kenya has high unemployment and under-employment, but the jobless rate for youth is much higher than that for adults. For that reason, a pilot project—part of the Kenya Youth Empowerment Project (KYEP)—is under way to address the lack of skills and work experience for unemployed youth (aged 15-29). We spoke with the KYEP’s coordinator, Alice Githu (Senior Youth Development Officer, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports). She says that one key lesson is the need to offer life skills training on top of core business skills. Another is the importance of private sector involvement.

Coping with the Crisis. Lessons from Latvia, Albania, and Romania

Mary Hallward-Driemeier's picture

A baker in her Albanian shop. Photo: ©World Bank

Many of the hardest hit countries during the recent financial crisis were in Eastern Europe — and now the prospect of a "jobless recovery" is a real concern. Although the level of output has risen and growth has resumed, unemployment rates are still above pre-crisis levels, especially for youth. In addition, the episodes of unemployment are increasing in length, with a significant share unemployed for over a year.

Nurturing Technopreneurship in the Philippines

Maria Susan Dela Rama's picture

In 2011, the Philippines launched the Specialista Technopreneurship Program to stimulate economic growth and help provide employment to graduates of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), especially in the rural areas. We learned more about the program works from Maria Susan Dela Rama, Executive Director for Planning of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)—the government agency that regulates TVET.

"Mobile Money" Helps Kenya's Informal Workers Save for Retirement

Patricia Odera's picture

In recent years, Kenya has turned to a new mobile phone-based money transfer service to reach out to the 85 percent of the total work force that isn't covered by a registered retirement plan. The Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) hopes that the Mbao Pension Plan can help members of informal sector associations save for retirement.  We recently spoke with Patricia Odera, a Senior Corporate Communications Officer for the RBA, who explains how the plan carefully targets informal sector workers.

Social Impact Bonds, Youth Employment, and Pensions

David Robalino's picture

Waiting for salvation — a homeless man in London, 02-22-11 @ Chris Schmidt

People are talking about a relatively new financial instrument — called social impact bonds (SIBs) — that can help governments implement social programs without using taxpayers' monies, that is, unless the programs work.  In fact, the Economist magazine recently had an article about SIBs. These bonds were introduced by the British in 2010. New York City, working with Goldman Sachs, launched a SIB last year. The White House is exploring SIBs to finance some Department of Labor programs.  And emerging markets, with the help of international development agencies, are also showing an interest.