Syndicate content

The World Region

Where are there laws against domestic violence?

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: Français | 中文 | Español | العربية

Globally, the most common form of violence women experience is from an intimate partner. A recent report found that 127 out of 173 economies studied had laws on domestic violence, and in 72% of economies, protection orders can be used to limit an abuser's behavior. Read more.


From the ideal to the real: 20 lessons from scaling up innovations at the World Bank

Soren Gigler's picture

On a brisk February morning in 2010, a small group of my World Bank colleagues, a few AidData partners, and I were in brainstorming mode.  Our topic of discussion: how we could make a meaningful, measurable difference in making our development projects more open, transparent, and effective.

One idea lit us all up: putting development on a map. We envisioned an open platform that citizens around the world could use to look up local development projects and provide direct feedback. We were inspired by “open evangelists” like Beth Novek, Hans Rosling and Viveck Kundra.


 Testing of the citizen feedback platform with local community members in rural Cochabamba, Bolivia

However, there was one challenge: how could we help make the World Bank’s data and numerous data sets fully open, free, shareable, and easily accessible to anyone? At the time, the large majority of these data sets were proprietary, and those who had access to key data sets were a relatively limited number of technical specialists.


In addressing this issue, we were fortunate. We worked closely as a small, creative, and highly committed team of innovators from different parts of the Bank to gradually open up the Bank’s data. To be honest, no one on our small team of incubators could have predicted that we would be able to scale up our early innovations so rapidly and that they would result in such important changes in the Bank’s approach to data and openness.


Are we ready to embrace big private-sector data?

Andrew Whitby's picture

The use of big data to help understand the global economy continues to build momentum. Last week our sister institution, the International Monetary Fund, launched their own program in big data, with a slate of interesting speakers including Hal Varian (Google Chief Economist), Susan Athey (Professor at Stanford GSB and a former Microsoft Chief Economist) and DJ Patil (Chief Data Scientist of the United States).
The day's speakers grappled with the implications of big data for the Fund's bread-and-butter macroeconomic analysis--a topic of great interest to the World Bank Group too. Examples were presented in which big data is used to generate macroeconomic series that have traditionally been the preserve of national statistical offices (NSOs): for example, MIT's Billion Prices Project, which measures price inflation in a radically different way from traditional CPI statistics.

Should we continue to use the term “developing world”?

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: 中文

Comparing the classification of countries.

Humans, by their nature, categorize. Economists are no different. For many years, the World Bank has produced and used income classifications to group countries.  

The low, lower-middle, upper-middle and high income groups are each associated with an annually updated threshold level of Gross National Income (GNI) per-capita, and the low and middle income groups taken together are referred to in the World Bank (and elsewhere) as the “developing world.

This term is used in our publications (such as the World Development Indicators and the Global Monitoring Report) and we also publish aggregate estimates for important indicators like poverty rates for both developing countries as a group and for the whole world.

But the terms “developing world” and “developing country” are tricky: even we use them cautiously, trying to make it clear that we're not judging the development status of any country.

Climate change's biggest effect on poverty? Agriculture.

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: Français | Español

The biggest impact climate change will have on the poor will be through agriculture. Under a pessimistic "poverty" scenario with high climate change impacts, there could be more than 100 million additional people in poverty by 2030, largely due to changing crop yields and prices. Under an optimistic "prosperity" scenario, these effects are greatly reduced. Read more in the new "Shock Waves" report.


How long does it take to start a business in your country?

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français | Español | 中文
One of the most interesting trends in Doing Business is the reduction in the number of days it takes to start a business across the world. Navigate through the graphic below using the arrows next to the captions and then select any countries or groupings you'd like to see with the dropdown menu at the bottom.

Starting a business gets easier around the world

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: Español

On average, it took 20 days to start a business in 2015 vs 51 in 2003. The 2016 edition of Doing Business finds that low and middle income countries are making big strides in improving business climates. Notably, a total of 45 economies, 33 of which were developing economies, undertook reforms to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start a business. The report presents quantitative data on 189 economies, including many city-level analyses. You can download the report and the data behind it from the Doing Business website.

17 statistics for World Statistics Day (and why we need to invest in them)

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: 中文

Today’s celebration of World Statistics Day comes right after Sunday’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, last month’s UN General Assembly agreeing the Sustainable Development Goals and the launch of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.  

A common thread? Better data leads to better lives.

World Statistics Day celebrates the role of statistics, the institutions and individuals that produce them, and the impact they have in designing and monitoring the policies and services that can improve people’s wellbeing.

The World Bank’s commitment to improve statistics and fill data gaps


There are some big gaps in country-level data - gaps in what we know. We consider this “data deprivation”  an overlooked dimension of poverty. That’s why we’re working with our partners to identify priority investments to close these gaps.

The areas we’ll initially focus on include: ensuring universal civil registration of births and deaths; improving economic statistics; expanding the coverage of household surveys in the world’s poorest countries; and taking advantage of new technologies and data sources to improve data production and use.  

Statistics are vital. We’re working to make them better, so they can be used better.

So without further ado, my colleages around the Bank have put together 17 statistics that stand out for them  - some you may know, some you may not, all of them related to the Sustainable Development Goals:

Record number of forcibly displaced people has reached 60 million worldwide, data show

Leila Rafei's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français | 中文 | Español

As we continue to see headlines and editorials almost every day about migrants and refugees, it's not surprising when UNHCR reports that the number of forcibly displaced people has reached 60 million worldwide for the first time since World War II. This figure includes internally displaced people, refugees, and asylum seekers.

While many are on the move as refugees, others migrate willfully at rates that have also reached unprecedented levels. Below, I've explored some trends in regional, country- and economic-level migration and refugee data. But first: What's the difference between a migrant and a refugee?

According to UNHCR, a refugee is any person who has been forced to flee their country of origin because of a fear of persecution. A migrant, on the other hand, is one who leaves their country voluntarily for reasons such as employment, study, or family reunification. A migrant is still protected by their own government while abroad, while a refugee lacks protection from their country of origin.

In 2015, the global child mortality rate is less than half its 1990 levels, but the MDG 4 target has not been met

Emi Suzuki's picture
Also available in: 中文 | Français | العربية | Español

New child mortality estimates [PDF 4.2 Mb] released today by the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) show major progress globally. Between 1990 and 2015, the global under-five mortality rate dropped 53 percent from 91 to 41 deaths per 1,000. But this drop is still not enough to meet the global MDG4 target of a two-thirds reduction between 1990 and 2015.


In this final year of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), two out of six regions have met the MDG4 target: East Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean, whereas the Europe and Central Asia, and Middle East and North Africa regions fell slightly short. In Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, progress remains insufficient to reach the target.