The World Bank Group has been promoting gender equality in development since 1977. Yet today, in many parts of the world, women continue to lack voice and decision-making ability; and their economic opportunities remain very constrained.
Read More »
The investmentTogether, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and CIFF will invest $4.2 million over three years to fund the most extensive data modeling ever undertaken, establishing the economic c... Show More +onsequences of child marriage and the economic case for putting a stop to child marriage.This unique program will be jointly led by the International Center for Research on Women and the World Bank.Key components of the investment are:Create a conceptual framework of the pathways through which early marriage affects economic outcomes that will be validated by an expert technical reference group.Using these pathways, conduct empirical analysis of a wide range of existing datasets.Partner with Governments in three high-burden countries to carry out new data collection and in-depth country studies.Operationalize the findings through strategic dissemination and advocacy.MilestonesFindings will be generated throughout the investment period with a program information website and data-hub set-up in 2015 to support dissemination and cost-simulation.The analysis of existing datasets will lead to a range of county, regional, and global estimates of the impact and cost of child marriage together with policy recommendations.New data collection and in-depth case studies for three countries will help validate these findings.A range of capacity building and dissemination events will be undertaken to maximize accessibility for policy-makers, programmers and advocates.Looking aheadEstablishing the economic cost of child marriage will strengthen the case for new, large scale programs to prevent child marriage. Cost estimates will serve as a strategic asset, helping to catalyze greater attention and resources as progress accelerates. Show Less -
Qili Mohammad Gul, District Harnai, Balochistan – Less than a quarter of Balochistan’s residents live in urban areas. Most of the population lives in small and dispersed rural settlements– 5% of Pakis... Show More +tan’s population spread over 43% of its total land mass. As a result lack of access to basic services poses a tremendous challenge, particularly in education delivery. National Survey Statistics for Balochistan show only 47% of its children aged 5-9 are enrolled in school, with the figure for girls just 35%.Lagging enrolments can be traced to low community participation, poor quality of education in government schools, and the limited participation of the private sector in education service delivery. This demands the promotion of public-private and community partnerships in order to improve access to quality primary education, especially for girls. In 2006, the Government of Balochistan launched the Balochistan Education Support Project (BESP), with support from the World Bank. The objective was to test models for education delivery to remote communities in the province. The program over the past eight years has successfully tested alternate service delivery models of Public-Private and Community Partnership.The Balochistan Education Foundation (BEF), an autonomous body that distributes grants, acts as the apex body of BESP, working with implementing partners (IPs), NGOs working in the community, to establish Community Schools in remote areas. Through BESP, Community Schools have been established in areas where they are able to enroll at least 20 students. These formal schools are established where there is no girls’ school within two kilometers. According to Aimal Khan, Research Officer, BEF, “633 Community Schools are now functional with regular attendance of students and teachers, eight years after they were first set up. These community schools were established with the assistance of BEF’s Implementation Partners (IPs)” The Community Schools around the province have so far enrolled over 26,000 students, 42% of them girls.Communities were initially skeptical about the sustainability of these schools. “Initially communities were not enthusiastic because there was a negative perception about the NGO-schools, that they would close down after the project ends,” explains Khaliq Daad, Project Manager, IP, District Harnai. Thus, community mobilization and effective community involvement have been key aspects in sustaining these schools. “Every quarter a larger community meeting is held to inform the community about the funds provided to them by the BEF,” says Daad.The IPs mobilized the community to form Parent Education Committees (PECs), with members whose kids attend the school. PEC members are then trained in how to manage the schools Teachers are also recruited from within the community to regulate and monitor their attendance. Nearly 2,000 teachers have so far received professional development training.To encourage parents to send their children to school there is no condition for wearing uniforms in the schools. Abid Ali, a teacher at the Community School in Qili Mohammad Gul, spends time on developing learning materials for students after hours. He received training which has helped him teach in a multi-grade setting. “Students start gathering early for the morning assembly, they get involved in learning activities, national day events and show keen interest in subjects like science and mathematics. And all of them are just too excited about the new school building to be absent,” says Abid, reflecting the 85% student attendance rate observed so far. Show Less -
WASHINGTON, July 15, 2014 –The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$15 million equivalent in financing for the Pasture and Livestock Management Improvement Project in the Kyrgyz... Show More + Republic. US$8.25 million of this financing is a concessional credit, while US$6.75 million is a grant.The project aims to improve community-based pasture and livestock management in the Kyrgyz Republic, and will have two key components: 1) community-based pasture management, and 2) community-based animal health and husbandry services.The first component will support building public awareness of pasture-related legislation; demarcating internal pasture boundaries, resulting in more accurate land tax charges and resolution of land-use disputes; building more inclusive pasture users union governance and increasing women’s participation in decision-making; funding community-based investments in pasture, feeding, and livestock improvement; and introducing community-based pasture management into forestry enterprise pastures. The second component will focus on building the capacity of animal health and husbandry groups created under pasture users unions; equipping and training private vets, and facilitating contracts between vets and pasture users unions; building awareness of pasture users of the benefits of veterinary services and improved animal health; development of training materials for vets in cooperation with the Veterinary Chamber and Kyrgyz National Agrarian University; and building the capacity of the Veterinary Chamber to support the assessment and professional development of private vets, resulting in higher private veterinary standards. “At the community level, the project will support 140 pasture users unions and 420 private veterinarians in the Chui and Talas regions in the North of the Kyrgyz Republic. The project will also pilot community-based pasture management in five forestry enterprises in the Chui and Talas oblasts as a basis for a future program nationally,” said Peter Goodman, Senior Agricultural Specialist at the World Bank and Task Team Leader for the project. “At the national level, the project will strengthen the capacity of the Pasture Department, the State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry, and the Veterinary Chamber.”Overall, it is expected that about 190,000 rural households in the Chui and Talas regions will benefit from improved pasture users unions and private vet services. 140 pasture users unions (out of 454 nationally), currently responsible for community-based management of about 1.2 million hectares of pastures and 2,100 pasture committee members, as well as 420 private vets, will benefit from capacity-building under the project. In addition, about 48 veterinary higher education graduates will receive equipment and training. “In the Kyrgyz Republic, livestock production, which makes up around half of agricultural GDP, provides stable income for rural households and acts as a social safety net that can be sold in times of economic hardships. The Pasture and Livestock Management Improvement Project will improve access to pastures and animal health services for the poorest livestock holders, and thereby help to increase their incomes,” said Dinara Djoldosheva, acting World Bank Country Manager in the Kyrgyz Republic.The project will be implemented in 2015-2019 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Melioration through its Agricultural Projects Implementation Unit and through the Community Development and Investment Agency (ARIS).The World Bank’s overall mission in the Kyrgyz Republic is to reduce poverty and promote economic growth and shared prosperity. 45 percent of the World Bank’s assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic is in the form of grants. The other 55 percent is in highly concessional credits with no interest, and only a 0.75 percent service charge. Credits are repayable in 38 years, including a 6-year grace period, while grants require no repayment. The Bank’s financial assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic since 1992 amounts to over US$1 billion, in the form of grants and highly concessional credits. Show Less -
ResultsThe following results were achieved under the Jamaica Second HIV/AIDS Project.Prevention91% of female sex workers reporting condom use with their most recent client (target: maintain more than ... Show More +90%).59.2% of female sex workers who received HIV testing in the last 12 months and who know the results (target: 50%).40,445 female sex workers and 22,145 men who have sex with men reached through prevention activities (target: FSW 14,955; MSM 14,059).19% of prison inmates reached through prevention activities (target: 15%)Treatment, Care, and Support10,469 men, women and children with advanced HIV receiving antiretroviral combination therapy according to national guidelines (target: 9,000)85.8% of HIV positive pregnant women receiving a complete course of antiretroviral (ARV) prophylaxis to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission (target: maintain more than or equal to 80%)1.4% of infants born to HIV infected mothers who are also HIV infected (target: less than 5.0%)More than 95% of antenatal clinic clients counseled and tested for HIV (target: maintain more than 90%)Strengthening Institutional Capacity for Legislative Reform, Policy Formulation, Program Management, Monitoring and Evaluation100% of reported cases of HIV-related discrimination receiving redress (target: 70%)100% of institutions/organizations reached adopting HIV/AIDS policies (target: 93%)Bank Group ContributionThe Bank’s total investment contributions in support of Jamaica’s response to HIV/AIDS include the first loan for US$15 million, which was implemented between March 2002 and May 2008, and the follow-on Second HIV/AIDS Project for US$10 million, implemented between May 2008 and March 2013. PartnersThe project was implemented by the Ministry of Health, its four decentralized regional health authorities, four non-health line ministries, civil society organizations, and the Jamaica Business Council. The project was critical in helping the Government leverage additional donor funds, which included US$44.22 million from the Global Fund and US$26 million from the United States Agency for International Development, President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relieve (USAID/PEPFAR). Based on the sustainability study conducted by the Bank in collaboration with the Government and the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Global Fund has provided an additional grant of approximately US$2 million to assist Jamaica during the transition from external to domestic financing of the National HIV/AIDS Program. Show Less -
Linguistic and cultural diversity are at risk. It is estimated that nearly half of the world’s approximately 6,000 languages could die out by the end of the century, with 96 percent of these languages... Show More + spoken by a mere four percent of the world’s population.A vernacular language is the native language or native dialect of a specific population, region or country that is more the language of ordinary speech than formal writing. Every day, a dozen of these vernacular languages disappear. This is alarming, because language plays a vital role in development, in ensuring cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, and is also critical in strengthening cooperation, building inclusive knowledge societies, preserving cultural heritage and providing quality education for all.Unfortunately, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), especially Internet, have so far contributed to the trend towards reduced linguistic diversity, although international organizations such as UNESCO and the Broadband Commission for Digital Development regularly advocate the need for a greater presence of content in local languages.The online dominance of certain languages is undeniable: at least 80 percent of all content on the Internet is in one of 10 languages: English, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, German, Arabic, French, Russian, and Korean. African languages are represented on the Internet, but not as a widespread communication medium and often with minimum content in the languages themselves.So how do we develop a knowledge society based on local content creation and distribution of such content, both locally and globally using broadband services? A workshop held on May 13 in Libreville, Gabon, as an initiative of the country’s Ministry of Digital Economy, Communication and Post, helped provide some answers.With a gross national income per capita estimated at US$10,040 in 2012, Gabon is a middle-income country that is committed to diversifying its economy, largely based on the exploitation of natural resources (especially oil). This favorable economic situation has allowed Gabon to develop an ambitious strategy of developing its digital economy, simultaneously deploying electronic communications infrastructure, as well as content, services and applications, including in vernacular languages.In Gabon, as in most African countries, daily communications are still largely in the vernacular languages in rural areas, which leads to a phenomenon of Internet underutilization by rural households. This fact remains even though the Internet and ICT in general provide a platform to communicate, learn, manage and disseminate knowledge, especially in the areas of agriculture, education and health in order to promote sustainable socio-economic development. By contrast, vernacular languages are experiencing a significant decline in urban areas, and – in the case of Gabon and many other francophone African countries – are increasingly superseded by French.A number of initiatives are already targeting the preservation of the linguistic and cultural identity of Gabon. Gabonese radio and television channels have some broadcasts in vernacular languages. The University Laboratory of Oral Traditions and Contemporary Dynamics (LUTO-DC) in the Omar Bongo University and the Raponda-Walker Foundation have been striving for 20 years to preserve, collect and standardize the language and oral traditions of Gabon. Between them, they have grouped 60 of Gabon’s vernacular languages into 10 groups, which facilitates content development.Other organizations have specialized in learning in these languages. The Rapondo-Walker Foundation has focused its efforts on schools. The Innovation Box (la Boîte à Innovations - BAI) has made strides on an e-learning platform that uses sound, video and text to improve literacy and bring ICT to the most vulnerable populations in 12 languages of West Africa, including three Gabonese vernacular languages. In particular, BAI’s experience shows that, when users are trained to use ICTs in the language they use in their daily activities (business, household and social affairs), they are more responsible in the management of their vocational training and, in some cases, even buy a computer. Show Less -