Author Archives: WorldBankBlogs

The Poor, the Bank, and the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Something Is Changing Fifteen years ago, the international community designed the Millennium Development Goals, including that of halving extreme poverty, through a process that mostly took place in New York, behind closed doors. A few years earlier, the World Bank had developed the guidelines of the Poverty Reduction Strategy for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries from Washington, D.C. in a similar fashion. Fortunately, this approach has changed. Today, the process of identifying and consulting on the post-2015 development agenda has been opened to the general public including, importantly, those whom the goals are expected to serve.

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The Longer World Waits to Address Climate Change, the Higher the Cost

In September, the world’s top scientists said the human influence on climate was clear. Last month, they warned of increased risks of a rapidly warming planet to our economies, environment, food supply, and global security. Today, the latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) describes what we need to do about it. The report, focused on mitigation, says that global greenhouse gas emissions were rising faster in the last decade than in the previously three, despite reduction efforts.  Without additional mitigation efforts, we could see a temperature rise of 3.7 to 4.8 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times by the end of this century. The IPCC says we can still limit that increase to 2 degrees, but that will require substantial technological, economic, institutional, and behavioral change

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Making the Case for Universal Health Coverage

With people around the world struggling to afford health care, countries as diverse as Myanmar, Nigeria, Peru, Senegal, Kenya, South Africa, and the Philippines are warming to the idea of universal health coverage. This growing momentum was the subject of a high-profile Spring Meetings event examining the case for universal health coverage and the steps to get there. Some 70 governments have asked the United Nations for help to achieve universal health coverage, said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He spoke at Toward Universal Health Coverage by 2030, co-sponsored by the World Bank and World Health Organization and moderated by the WHO Director-General Margaret Chan. “We can celebrate the fact that virtually all mothers in Sweden survive childbirth,” Ban said

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In a Rapidly Changing World, Governments Need to Make Education a Priority

The world needs to step up efforts to educate large numbers of young people to meet the challenges of the 21st century. That was a key message at the Learning for All Symposium, Investing in a Brighter Future, at the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings. The event, moderated by PBS News Anchor Judy Woodruff and webcast in three languages, linked what several participants described as an ongoing “learning crisis” with high unemployment among young people worldwide.

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Take It On: What You Can Do to Help End Extreme Poverty

One voice can make a difference. Many can change the world. From civil rights in America to the global fight against AIDS, history has shown that when people come together in pursuit of a goal, they can overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. We’re urging everyone to come together to help end extreme poverty by 2030. The World Bank Group, along with other like-minded organizations and individuals, is part of a global movement to change the lives of millions of people who survive on less than $1.25 a day.

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Want to Join the Movement to End Poverty? Take It On!

Remember when you were a kid and everyone asked: “What do you want to become when you grow up?” What did you answer? Have you fulfilled your dreams? Most of us aspire to live our lives to the fullest; to develop our talents; to make a difference in the world. Sometimes we may feel lost in the great scheme of things. But as the World Bank Group’s Jim Yong Kim points out: The most successful movements to change the world started with a small group of like-minded people.

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Poland Scores High on Shared Prosperity Progress

Laura Tuck, Vice President for the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia region, discusses her trip to Poland, its economy, progress in boosting shared prosperity, and the World Bank’s partnership with the country. <span itemprop=”name” content=”Laura Tuck Vlog – Poland”></span> <span itemprop=”description” content=””></span> <span itemprop=”duration” content=”207″></span> <span itemprop=”thumbnail” content=”https://cdnsecakmi.kaltura.com/p/619672/sp/61967200/thumbnail/entry_id/1_ddoyflmm/version/100001/acv/341″></span> <span itemprop=”width” content=”400″></span> <span itemprop=”height” content=”333″></span>

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Climate Action Now: Building Scalable Solutions

With its scenarios of increasing risks as a result of climate change – from sea level rise to disappearing fish populations, food insecurity, and forest diebacks from extreme heat – the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) paints a picture of a complicated future where no one gets by unscathed, where existing vulnerabilities are exacerbated, and where, as Fred Pearce so aptly puts it, we need to “prepare for the worst.”   But, as the scientists rightly point out, it doesn’t have to be like this.

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Finding work in conflict-affected states: What can Liberia teach us?

Each month, about one million people enter the labor force in Africa. Another one million start looking for work in India. Add to this millions of others around the globe, and worldwide, some one billion people will enter the labor force between now and 2030.   Why is that date important?

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Equality of Opportunity – giving Roma children a chance

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On December 17, 2013, Prof. Raj Chetty gave a talk on “Improving equality of opportunity” at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. I have always found the concept of equality of opportunity fascinating. “A world where your future does not depend on where you come from, how much your family earns, what color your skin is, or whether you are male or female” sounds like a good world to me – a world I am sure we all would want to live in.

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Zimbabwe: How Can the Diaspora Contribute to Development?

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Around Christmas time and at the beginning of every academic year, I have routinely sent cash to my extended family back home in Zimbabwe. That’s been the pattern since I joined the World Bank mid-career and settled in Washington D.C. 23 years ago.   I am not alone; the number of Zimbabweans that have left the country is estimated at more than 3 million. Most have left since 2000, for reasons varying from the socio-economic to political

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Myanmar’s Chance to Boost Prosperity, End Poverty

YANGON, Myanmar — The government here has put forward ambitious plans to dramatically increase access to electricity and health care, especially in rural areas. Both are huge problems; some 70% of all people in Myanmar do not have access to electricity, and public health issues, including the spread of TB, need to be more effectively curtailed. What can we can do about these problems? Actually, quite a bit. Watch the video from the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.

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Growing Enough Nutritious Food Amid Climate Change

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International Green Week in Berlin, the world’s largest exhibition for agriculture, food, and horticulture, is the sort of place where you can taste food from all over the world, see animals of all shapes and sizes (ever heard of a Pustertaler Schecken?), and explore the latest innovations in GPS-guided agricultural machinery. The event attracts not only 400,000 curious visitors, it also draws global decision-makers from government, the private sector, science, and civil society, including some 70 ministers of agriculture. Established in 1926, this event could probably make a reasonable claim that it has seen it all before.  But, of course, it hasn’t. This year, the focus was on resilience

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Complicated vs. Complex, Part II: Solving the World’s Most Difficult Challenges

Confronting the hardest problems on the planet requires humility to admit that we don’t know many answers when we start and sometimes we don’t even know the right problem to work on. If we address symptoms rather than root causes, we can exacerbate conditions. Penalizing teachers for example for not coming to school may ignore very real issues related to over-crowded classrooms, transport or meager wages for educators. If you start with the wrong problem, you’ll certainly propose the wrong solution.

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