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World Bank Group

Quality Unknown : The Invisible Water Crisis

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Water quantity—too much in the case of floods, or too little in the case of droughts—grabs public attention and the media spotlight. Water quality—being predominantly invisible and hard to detect—goes largely unnoticed. Quality Unknown: The Invisible Water Crisis presents new evidence and new data that call urgent attention to the hidden dangers lying beneath water’s surface. It shows how poor water quality stalls economic progress, stymies human potential, and reduces food production. Quality Unknown examines the effects of water quality on economic growth and finds upstream pollution lowers growth in downstream regions. It reveals that some of the most ubiquitous contaminants in water, such as nitrates and salt, have impacts that are larger, deeper, and wider than has been acknowledged. And it traces the damage to crop yields and the stark implications for food security in affected regions. An important step toward tackling the world’s water quality challenge is recognizing its scale. The world needs reliable, accurate, and comprehensive information so that policy makers can have new insights, decision making can be evidence based, and citizens can call for action. The report calls for a paradigm shift that emphasizes safer, and often more cost-effective remedies that prevent pollution by combining smarter policies with newer technologies. A key message of Quality Unknown is that such solutions exist and change is possible.
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142
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The World Development Report 2019: The Changing Nature of Work

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The World Development Report (WDR) 2019: The Changing Nature of Work studies how the nature of work is changing as a result of advances in technology today. Fears that robots will take away jobs from people have dominated the discussion over the future of work, but the World Development Report 2019 finds that on balance this appears to be unfounded. Work is constantly reshaped by technological progress. Firms adopt new ways of production, markets expand, and societies evolve. Overall, technology brings opportunity, paving the way to create new jobs, increase productivity, and deliver effective public services. Firms can grow rapidly thanks to digital transformation, expanding their boundaries and reshaping traditional production patterns. The rise of the digital platform firm means that technological effects reach more people faster than ever before. Technology is changing the skills that employers seek. Workers need to be better at complex problem-solving, teamwork and adaptability. Digital technology is also changing how people work and the terms on which they work. Even in advanced economies, short-term work, often found through online platforms, is posing similar challenges to those faced by the world’s informal workers. The Report analyzes these changes and considers how governments can best respond. Investing in human capital must be a priority for governments in order for workers to build the skills in demand in the labor market. In addition, governments need to enhance social protection and extend it to all people in society, irrespective of the terms on which they work. To fund these investments in human capital and social protection, the Report offers some suggestions as to how governments can mobilize additional revenues by increasing the tax base.
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151
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The Future of Work in Africa : Harnessing the Potential of Digital Technologies for All

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, August 1, 2019
Abstract in English: 
This companion report to the World Development Report (WDR) 2019: The Changing Nature of Work addresses the key themes of creating productive jobs and addressing the needs of those left behind. It builds on and contextualizes some of WDR 2019’s main messages to key specificities of the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region. It focuses on how global trends especially the adoption of digital technologies (DTs) may change the nature of work in SSA by creating new opportunities and challenges. The report is structured around three main issues that will shape the future of work in Africa, namely the human capital needs of a young and rapidly growing largely low-skilled labor force, the prevalence of informal workers and enterprises and the social protection policies to mitigate risks resulting from disruptions to labor markets. The report highlights important unanswered policy questions where new research, supplemented by new data, could yield learnings with high policy payoffs in the SSA context.
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188
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Future of Food : Maximizing Finance for Development in Agricultural Value Chains

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, April 16, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Current levels of investment in agricultural value chains are insufficient to achieve key development goals including ending poverty and hunger, boosting shared prosperity through more and better jobs, and better stewarding the world’s natural resources by 2030. Crowding-in private investment to help achieve these goals and optimizing the use of scarce public resources will be needed, as will the continued promotion of good governance and environmental and social sustainability. Increasing private sector investment and associated financing will require identifying and understanding market failures currently leading to the sub-optimal private provision of goods and services needed to achieve key development goals. Where the private sector is already investing in agricultural value chains, promoting responsible investment can help increase development impacts. Crowding-in more private investment requires increasing the space for private sector activity, improving the policy and regulatory environment, and considering options for using public financing to improve private incentives and to reduce transaction costs and risks, including blended finance solutions. While these actions can help induce more private investment, there is still a critical need for public resources to finance essential public goods and services such as human capital, agricultural research, and complementary public infrastructure
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44
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Global Economic Prospects - Darkening Skies

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Global growth is expected to slow to 2.9 percent in 2019. International trade and investment are moderating, trade tensions remain elevated, and financing conditions are tightening. Amid recent episodes of financial stress, growth in emerging market and developing economies has lost momentum and is projected to stall at 4.2 percent this year, with a weaker-than-expected rebound in commodity exporters accompanied by deceleration in commodity importers. Downside risks have become more acute. Financial market pressures and trade tensions could escalate, denting global activity.
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264
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What A Waste 2.0 : A Global Snapshot on Solid Waste Management to 2050

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Abstract in English: 
By 2050, the world is expected to generate 3.40 billion tonnes of waste annually, increasing drastically from today’s 2.01 billion tonnes. What a Waste presents national and urban waste management data from around the world and highlights the need for urgent action. The publication provides a snapshot on how waste generation and management varies across income levels and regions, and shares good practices globally. Solid waste management is one of the most important urban services, yet it is complex and expensive, accounting for approximately 20% of municipal budgets in low-income countries and 10% of municipal budgets in high-income countries. Costly and complex waste operations must compete for funding with other priorities such as clean water and other utilities, education, and healthcare. Waste management is often managed by local authorities with limited resources and limited capacities in planning, contract management and operational monitoring. These factors make sustainable waste management a complicated proposition on the path of economic development and most low and middle-income countries and their cities are struggling to address the challenges. Waste management data is critical to creating policy and planning for the local context. Understanding how much waste is generated—especially with rapid urbanization and population growth—as well as the types of waste being generated allows for local governments to select appropriate management methods and plan for future demand. It allows governments to design a system with a suitable number of vehicles, establish efficient routes, set targets for diversion of waste, track progress, and adapt as consumption patterns change. With accurate data, governments can realistically allocate budget and land, assess relevant technologies, and consider strategic partners for service provision such as the private sector or non-governmental organizations. The publication strives to provide the latest and most realistic information available to empower citizens and governments around the world to take action and address the pressing global crisis of waste.
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The World Development Report 2018—Learning to Realize Education’s Promise

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, January 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The World Development Report 2018 (WDR 2018)—LEARNING to Realize Education’s Promise—is the first ever devoted entirely to education. And the timing is excellent: education has long been critical to human welfare, but it is even more so in a time of rapid economic and social change. The best way to equip children and youth for the future is to place their learning at the center. The 2018 WDR explores four main themes: 1) education’s promise; 2) the need to shine a light on learning; 3) how to make schools work for learners; and 4) how to make systems work for learning.
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239
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Global Economic Prospects: The Turning of the Tide?

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Global growth has eased but remains robust, although with downside risks. The possibility of financial market stress, escalating trade protectionism and heightened geopolitical tensions continue to cloud the outlook.
Financial market stress could arise as a result of escalating investor concerns about the creditworthiness of some emerging market and developing economies or as a byproduct of faster-than-expected normalization of monetary policy in advanced economies. Countries with elevated corporate debt, wide current account or fiscal deficits, or weak growth prospects would be vulnerable to jumps in global financing costs. In commodity-exporting economies, in particular, the expected slowdown in commodity demand growth from major emerging markets weighs on long-term growth outcomes.
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184
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World Development Report 2018 : Learning to Realize Education's Promise

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Every year, the World Bank's World Development Report takes on a topic of central importance to global development. The 2018 Report, Learning to Realize Education's Promise, is the first ever devoted entirely to education. Now is an excellent time for it: education has long been critical for human welfare, but is even more so in a time of rapid economic change. The Report explores four main themes. First, education's promise: Education is a powerful instrument for eradicating poverty and promoting shared prosperity, but fulfilling its potential requires better policies - both within and outside the education system. Second, the learning crisis: Despite gains in education access, recent learning assessments show that many young people around the world, especially from poor families, are leaving school unequipped with even the most foundational skills they need for life. At the same time, internationally comparable learning assessments show that skills in many middle-income countries lag far behind what those countries aspire to. Third, promising interventions to improve learning: Research from areas such as brain science, pedagogical innovations, or school management have identified interventions that promote learning by ensuring that learners are prepared, that teachers are skilled as well as motivated, and that other inputs support the teacher-learner relationship. Fourth, learning at scale: Achieving learning throughout an education system will require more than just scaling up effective interventions. Change requires overcoming technical and political barriers by deploying salient metrics for mobilizing actors and tracking progress, building coalitions for learning, and being adaptive when implementing programs.
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239
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Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2016 - Taking on Inequality

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, October 2, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The Poverty and Shared Prosperity series provides a global audience with the latest and most accurate estimates on trends in global poverty and shared prosperity, as well as in-depth research into policies and interventions that can make a difference for the world’s poorest. The 2016 edition takes a close look at the role that inequality reduction plays in ending extreme poverty and improving the livelihoods of the poorest in every country. It looks at recent country experiences that have been successful in reducing inequality, provides key lessons from those experiences, and synthesizes the rigorous evidence on public policies that can shift inequality in a way that bolsters poverty reduction and shared prosperity in a sustainable manner. In doing so, the report addresses some myths about the global picture of inequality, and what works to reduce it.
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193
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