World Bank budget support projects throughout the COVID-19 global health emergency contain significant policy conditionality. On average, each operation required the recipient government to implement 8 policy reforms to secure funding—a reasonable constraint in “normal” times but at odds with the twin imperatives of speed and flexibility in crisis times.
The international humanitarian system provides a global public service but is financed on a voluntary basis. The way official donor funding is mobilised and allocated is unpredictable and haphazard, reducing efficiency and effectiveness. Donors should overcome the collective action problem that is inhibiting change and reach a critical mass of finance delivered through collective mechanisms. This paper outlines the case for - and obstacles against – change. It suggests three ways to make some progress: a multi-year common replenishment model for protracted and predictable crises; rebalancing country-level pooled mechanisms; and aligning core funding to agencies with agreed core functions.
The Indirect Health Effects of COVID-19: Emerging Findings from Kenya, the Philippines, South Africa, and Uganda
COVID-19 has caused significant morbidity and mortality, both directly and indirectly via the disruption to routine health services. Evidence on the indirect health impacts has largely been anecdotal or modeled, and cause/program-specific. We aimed to document the indirect health impacts in four countries with different experiences: Kenya, the Philippines, South Africa, and Uganda.
IFC’s board and leadership understand that meeting these goals requires a change in the way that the corporation operates, and a number of recent reforms will help it to deliver. But while these reforms are a welcome start, the IFC will have to change further if it is to meet its targets and reach its development potential. This paper discusses the rationale and elements of that change agenda, focused on ensuring the IFC best serves its ultimate clients.
These challenges notwithstanding, Latin America is beginning to benefit from a more benign global economic outlook that is anchored, among other factors, in an expansion in global demand, a resumption of capital flows to emerging markets, and a boom in commodity prices. In this context, the Committee believes that, while the social and political resistance to reforms (particularly on the fiscal side) has understandably intensified, the region must rise to the challenge and convert the expected cyclical (post-COVID) rebound into a more promising scenario for job creation.
The response to the COVID-19 pandemic saw schools close across the globe. The huge majority of children worldwide are in developing countries, and the considerable majority of unpaid care is provided by women. That means women in low- and middle-income countries were likely to have been disproportionately affected. In this note, we estimate the childcare workload in low- and middle-income countries created by school and preschool closures, and the potential distribution of that burden between men and women.
The ILO estimates that the number of women employed in low- and middle-income countries fell 4.7 percent between 2019 and 2020, compared to a 3.3 percent decline for men. Here, we examine one potential element of the story: the fact that women-owned businesses, which tend to hire more women employees than men-owned businesses, saw higher closure rates in the developing countries for which we have data.
This note presents estimates of Finance for International Development (FID) in 2018. FID is a grant equivalent measure of cross-border, concessional finance publicly provided for development. We introduced FID last year to better compare development finance provided by both DAC (OECD Development Assistance Committee) and non-DAC countries, the latter having gained importance as development actors in recent decades. We produced estimates of FID for 40 of the world’s major economies, which accounted for around 90 percent of global GDP in 2018.
Humanitarian nonprofit organizations, from small, volunteer groups, to international NGOs with thousands of paid staff, operate in a patchwork of intersecting, competing and reinforcing missions. They share a common objective: to protect the lives of vulnerable people in crisis. When organizations fail to maintain public confidence in their mission, as in the recent spate of #AidToo scandals, the cost falls most heavily on the populations they aim to serve, but accountability to aid recipients is often missing aside from these isolated incidents incurring heightened public scrutiny.
This paper makes the case that some interventions designed to improve women’s economic lives need to be tracked long enough for women to manifest new and beneficial behaviors. The study analyzes the time paths of the estimated impacts in a randomized trial providing financial incentives to bank agents (on the supply-side) and basic business training to women business owners (on the demand-side) for them to access and use formal financial services.
We conduct an adaptive randomized controlled trial to evaluate the impact of a SMS-based information campaign on the adoption of social distancing and handwashing in rural Bihar, India, six months into the COVID-19 pandemic. We test 10 arms that vary in delivery timing and message framing, changing content to highlight gains or losses for either one’s own family or community.Our results suggest that SMS-based information campaigns may have limited efficacy after the initial phase of a pandemic.
From Displacement to Development: How Ethiopia Can Create Shared Growth by Facilitating Economic Inclusion for Refugees
This case study is part of the “Let Them Work” initiative by Refugees International (RI) and the Center for Global Development (CGD). It outlines the barriers refugees face in Ethiopia to economic inclusion; the impacts of these barriers; and the steps that the government of Ethiopia, international organizations, donors, and the private sector could take to overcome them
There will be 95 million fewer working-age people in Europe in 2050 than in 2015, under business as usual. The paper compares business as usual estimates of inflows to 2050 with the size of the labor gap in Europe. Under plausible estimates, business as usual will fill one-third of the labor gap. This suggests a need for an urgent shift if Europe is to avoid an aging crisis. Africa is the obvious source of immigrants, to mutual benefit.
The humanitarian system has undergone three series of reforms over the past couple of decades, with mixed results. Multilateral agencies play a central role in the system. Faced with the prospect of growing humanitarian needs as a result of conflict, climate change and
The Insurance Cascade Framework to Diagnose Bottlenecks and Improve the Effectiveness of Health Insurance Programs: An Application to India
Many low- and middle-income countries are looking to achieve universal health coverage by implementing large social health insurance schemes. India has been a frontrunner in this effort, introducing state and national health insurance schemes, especially for tertiary care. Despite these efforts, Indian households remain at risk of high out-of-pocket spending due to inpatient hospitalizations. We examine bottlenecks to the effectiveness of health insurance schemes in India by using the “insurance cascade,” a framework that traces the steps from enrolling eligible households to ultimately delivering their benefits at no charge.
COVID-19 has put a spotlight on health product supply chains, highlighting the challenges in multiple steps in the global supply chain. This paper seeks to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the supply chain of a subset of essential medicines.
Promoting an Inclusive Recovery by Prioritizing Gender: A “Care, Cash, and Data” Agenda for the IDA20 Replenishment
The World Bank estimates that the global pandemic could push between 55 and 63 million people into extreme poverty in IDA (the International Development Association) countries. With IDA being the largest source of concessional loans and grants for the world’s poorest countries, its upcoming replenishment cycle (IDA20) is a key opportunity to promote a more inclusive recovery—and, in particular, one that reaches and benefits women and girls disproportionately hurt by the COVID-19 crisis.
Ethical Recruitment of Health Workers: Using Bilateral Cooperation to Fulfill the World Health Organization’s Global Code of Practice
In this policy paper, we outline how the WHO defined a “critical shortage” of health workers, both for the original Code and for its newly published Health Workforce Support and Safeguards List. The paper then goes onto explore how countries of migrant destination and origin can (and should) design ethical and sustainable health worker migration partnerships that fulfil the requirements of the Code.