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  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Sana'a Center For Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This policy brief addresses the issue of Yemen’s bloated public sector. Due to decades of corruption and patronage appointments, among other factors, public sector salaries were already a source of fiscal stress prior to the ongoing war. Previous efforts to downsize the public sector, notably those supported by the World Bank, produced few tangible results, as this brief outlines. During the conflict, the internationally recognized Yemeni government and the armed Houthi movement have added to the public sector payroll — particularly in the military and security apparatus — as the economy has contracted. Amid consistently large budget deficits, the inflated public sector wage bill is fiscally unsustainable and threatens to undermine economic recovery and future stability in Yemen.
  • Topic: Economics, World Bank, Budget, Inflation, Public Sector, Fiscal Policy, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Asia, Yemen, West Asia
  • Author: Mirriam Muhome-Matita, Ephraim Wadonda Chirwa
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: Agriculture remains the most important sector in sub-Saharan Africa and is a dominant form of livelihood for a majority of the population that resides in the rural areas. In Malawi, agriculture accounts for 35 percent of GDP and generates more than 80 percent of foreign exchange. In addition, agriculture is the most important occupation for 71 percent of the rural population in which crop production accounts for 74 percent of all rural incomes. However, agriculture has failed to get Africa out of poverty, and most countries are experiencing low agricultural growth, rapid population growth, weak foreign exchange earnings and high transaction costs (World Bank, 2008).
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Political Economy, Poverty, World Bank, Economic growth, Rural
  • Political Geography: Africa, Malawi
  • Author: Andrew Koltun, Brittany Mcnena, Nawroos Shibli
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The 2013 West African Ebola crisis exposed two weaknesses: the inability of the international community to rapidly mobilize an effective response and a lack of adequate domestic health care systems for epidemic preparedness response. While a number of proposals have addressed gaps in the international response, none have yet addressed the remaining issue of building adequate domestic health systems. Although the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) 2005 International Health Regulations require that all member countries develop and implement a core set of health system capacities, funding constraints have prevented many low-income countries from meeting these requirements. This brief proposes that the World Bank, in collaboration with the WHO, should develop a Pandemic Prevention Program to assist low-income countries in building strong and robust health systems. This program would assist low-income countries in meeting their international obligations, while ensuring sustainable national ownership in order to prevent the next infectious disease epidemic.
  • Topic: Health, Infectious Diseases, World Bank
  • Political Geography: West Africa
  • Author: Jonathan Diab, Anna Klimbovskaia
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Populist uprisings often call for the renationalization or buying back of public goods that were originally privatized as a result of austerity measures established and disseminated by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
  • Topic: Economics, International Monetary Fund, Financial Crisis, World Bank, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Anna Marriott, Jessica Hamer
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim has publicly stated that achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and equity in health are central to reaching the two new overarching World Bank Group goals to end extreme poverty by 2030 and boost shared prosperity. Jim Kim has also rightly emphasized the need to close the gap in access to quality health services for the poorest 40 percent of the population and to eliminate point-of-service payments that impoverish people in every country.
  • Topic: Government, Health, Foreign Direct Investment, World Bank, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Benjamin Leo, Ross Thuotte
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In recent years, the World Bank Group has made increasingly strong and explicit commitments to fragile and conflict-affected states, putting them at the top of the development policy agenda. These commitments are promising, but give rise to significant operational challenges for the various arms of the World Bank Group, including the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The bank also faces steady pressure from shareholders to scale up involvement in fragile states while also improving absorptive capacity and project effectiveness.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets, Foreign Aid, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jenny Ottenhoff
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The World Bank is a multilateral financial institution that provides financial and technical assistance for development in low- and middle-income countries. Finance is allocated through low-interest loans and grants for a range of development sectors such as health and education, infrastructure, public administration, financial and private-sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Environment, Health, Foreign Aid, Infrastructure, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Indonesia, India
  • Author: Jenny Ottenhoff
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The International Financial Institutions (IFIs) are multilateral agencies. The term typically refers to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which provides financing and policy advice to member nations experiencing economic difficulties, and the multilateral development banks (MDBs), which provide financing and technical support for development projects and economic reform in low- and middle-income countries. The term MDB is usually understood to mean the World Bank and four smaller regional development banks: African Development Bank (AfDB). Asian Development Bank (ADB). European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Monetary Fund, Foreign Aid, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Africa, America, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Todd Moss, Sarah Jane Staats, Julia Barmeier
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The international financial institutions dramatically increased their lending in 2008–09 to help developing countries cope with the global financial crisis and support economic recovery. Today, these organizations are seeking billions of dollars in new funding. The IMF, which only a few years ago was losing clients and shedding staff, expanded by $750 billion last year. The World Bank and the four regional development banks for Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America are asking to increase their capital base by 30 to 200 percent. A general capital increase (GCI) for these development banks is an unusual request. A simultaneous GCI request is a once-in-a-generation occurrence.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Monetary Fund, Financial Crisis, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Alex Evans
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Global food prices have risen 83 per cent over the last three years. The increases have been driven by high income growth in emerging economies (probably the single most significant factor), use of crops for biofuels, the relative inelasticity of supply, historically low stock levels and some speculative investment. More recently, national concerns over inflation and prices have led some countries to reduce exports and others to try to build up stocks – creating a feedback loop that feeds on itself to drive prices up still further. In the medium to longer term, 'scarcity trends' – climate change, the cost of energy inputs, scarcity of land and water – could limit the supply-side response. In the immediate term, the priority is to increase both the volume and the quality of humanitarian assistance available to poor people, including by moving away from in-kind food aid and towards cash transfers or voucher systems – although it is important to be clear that there are outstanding questions about how these social protection systems will work, and they should not be seen as a panacea. The issue of compensatory financing may also arise for some countries facing balanceof- payments difficulties. In the longer term, the key challenge is to increase the supply of food: the World Bank estimates that demand for food will rise by 50 per cent by 2030, as a result of rising affluence and growing world population. Achieving this challenge will require something close to a revolution, and a massive investment in agriculture in developing countries. If supply fails to keep pace with rising demand, then the question of 'fair shares' is likely to emerge as a significant global issue. Already, the effect of a burgeoning global middle class switching to diets with more meat and dairy products – both relatively inefficient in terms of grain use – has been to reduce the affordability of staple foods for poorer consumers.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, International Trade and Finance, World Bank, Population
  • Author: Mohammad Yaghi
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayad recently appealed to the World Bank in an effort to bridge the current budget gap preventing the Palestinian Authority (PA) from paying government salaries this month. Despite a three-year $7.5 billion assistance pledge from the 2007 Paris donor conference, the PA remains in a financial crisis, with a projected shortfall of $400 million for the second half of 2008, as reported by the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee in May. Since Fayad's technocratic government has no independent political base, its legitimacy stems from the PA's financial solvency. He has survived ongoing attacks from rival Fatah leaders only because Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas recognizes him as the linchpin to Western donor assistance. If the financial crisis persists, however, Fayad's political future is in doubt.
  • Topic: Government, International Political Economy, Financial Crisis, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: It seems impossible that the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) would give advice to developing countries without fully considering how it might affect the lives of poor people. Yet, despite it being a long-stated policy of both institutions to do so, and some recent progress on the part of the IMF, they are still failing to consistently ensure that there is a proper assessment of the likely consequences of different policy actions on the poorest people.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, International Organization, World Bank
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: After two decades of indefensible neglect, agriculture is back on the agenda. The World Bank's publication of the 'World Development Report 2008: Agriculture For Development' (hereafter WDR), the first WD R on agriculture since 1982, reflects this renewed interest in the sector's potential to reduce rural poverty and inequality.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, World Bank
  • Author: Afshin Molavi
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Iran has been experiencing nationwide student demonstrations this week, touched off by a hardline court's recent decision to sentence Tehran professor Hashem Aghajari to death for advocating reform of the Shi'i clergy. Although Aghajari's message was well within the mainstream of traditional Shi'a thought, it presented a challenge to the hardline clerics, who insist on a far-reaching revision of Shi'a that includes unquestioning obedience to ruling clergy. The death sentence was meant to send a message to other midranking academics within the reformist movement. Yet, the hardliners' grave miscalculation about the reaction of the Iranian street has led to protests in Tehran, Tabriz, and other Iranian cities.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, World Bank
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jean-Louis Sarbib
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Even prior to September 11, the World Bank emphasized the links between economic development, hopelessness, acts of desperation, and terrorism. To be sure, there is no one-to-one connection between poverty and terrorism, but surely poverty feeds hopelessness, which then creates an enabling environment for terrorism. Living in a society with such despair, terrorists can perceive and present themselves as champions of the poor. The acts that were perpetrated on September 11 proved that building a wall around the prosperity of a particular region of the world simply does not work. The world is truly globalized and unified; events and problems know no borders.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia