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Future of Government: Civil Registries— The key to securing jobs and livelihoods or a lever for limiting civil liberties?

January 19, 2022




  • In the 21st century, many governments have failed to create jobs quickly enough to absorb the large number of labor market entrants. This challenge will only increase in the future, and has been further complicated by the COVID pandemic. Improved understanding of the informal sector is key to better targeting policies and social programs as well as to efficiently transferring funds to those most in need.

    This conversation discussed three critical lists that governments need to maintain to achieve progress: a civil registry that records births and deaths connected to a trusted (electronic) identification system to enable social safety programs; land cadasters, which determine the undisputed owners of land; and business registries that track the productive assets in a country. How can governments protect property, administer social protection, secure property rights or tax citizens and firms fairly? What is the role of the government and stakeholders in gathering and managing data? What are the incentives involved? How can the risks of personal data being used to restrict civil liberties be addressed? Watch a replay now.

  • 8:00 am – 8:05 am: Introduction and opening remarks

    8:05 am – 8:25 am: Discussion with panelists

    8:25 am – 09:20 am: Q&A

    9:20 am – 9:30 am: Closing remarks

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    Dr. Bledi Taska

    Executive Vice President and Chief Economist, Emsi Burning Glass

    Bledi Taska is a labor economist specializing in the application of econometrics and data science methods on real-time labor market data. At Emsi Burning Glass, Bledi leads a team of economists and data scientists, which supports the company’s public policy research, product development, and collaboration with academic researchers and international organizations. Current projects at Emsi Burning Glass involve topics around skills mismatch and labor shortages, the future of skills, the effect of automation and COVID, and reskilling of workers based on skill adjacencies. Bledi has been invited to present at conferences organized by UNESCO, CEDEFOP, OECD, World Bank, ILO, IZA, and NESTA among others. Bledi’s work at Emsi Burning Glass has been published or featured in several popular media outlets from all over the world, such as the Australian Financial Review, the Daily Telegraph, the Economist, France 24, the Financial Time, The Guardian, the Globe and Mail, the New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Bledi earned a doctorate degree in economics from New York University with a concentration in labor and education economics and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Athens, Greece.


    Cina Lawson

    Minister of Digital Economy and Digital Transformation, Togo

    Drawing from over 17 years of experience and expertise in telecommunications policy and regulation, Cina is leading Togo through a profound transition to an inclusive digital economy. Lawson began her career at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. assisting governments in developing countries to execute regulatory reforms. She then worked for Alcatel-Lucent in Paris before joining Orange Group in New York City as Manager of Corporate Strategy and Business Development. As a minister, she has boosted private sector participation in the Togolese telecoms sector, enacted new legal and regulatory frameworks and privatised the historic operator. Lawson’s transformative initiatives such as strengthening data protection and cybersecurity; implementing universal digital ID; digitising public services and government-to-people payments; as well as accelerating the deployment of high-speed Internet nationwide, have contributed to building a solid foundation for the modernisation of Togo’s economy. She is a fervent advocate of innovation-driven solutions to Africa’s developmental challenges. Lawson’s work has gained recognition from around the world, including from the World Economic Forum, les Napoleons and Forbes. In 2019, she received the Harvard Alumni Public Service Award becoming the first African female political figure to do so. Lawson is a graduate of Sciences Po Paris and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


    Iselin Nybø

    Former Minister of Trade and Industry, Norway

    Iselin Nybø was the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry from January 2020 until October 2021. Before that she served as Minister of Research and Higher Education from January 2018 until January 2020. She was elected to the Norwegian Parliament from the Liberal Party in 2013 where she served as the first deputy chair of the Standing Committee on Education, Research and Church Affairs. As the Minister of Trade and Industry in 2020 she led the government's effort in securing trade and helping small and big businesses through the Covid-19 pandemic. Several economic support packages were launched. Nybø also signed the UK-Norwegian free trade agreement in July 2021, the most comprehensive trade agreement Norway has with any individual country. This spring Nybø will return to her former profession as a lawyer and partner in one of Norway’s biggest law firms, Schjødt.


    Naveed Akbar

    Director General, Benazir Income Support Program, Pakistan

    Mr. Naveed Akbar is the Director General for National Socio-Economic Registry/Education and Health & Nutrition CCT programs at the Benazir Income Support Program in the Government of Pakistan. After graduating from the Master of Science program in Economics and Finance of International Islamic University, Islamabad, Mr. Akbar has held a distinguished career in Pakistani civil service. As a Director General, his core responsibility is to implement all activities in the Pakistani socio-economic registry, and to ensure the expansion of CCT programs in all 160 districts of the country. Mr. Akbar designs and implements all Conditional Cash Transfer programs and manages the NSER which has data of over 34 million households. As a Director General of this important socio-economic registry, he also oversees design of immunization programs and implements Shock Responsiveness initiatives of Benazir Income Support Program.


    Chiara Bronchi

    Practice Manager, Fiscal Policy and Sustainable Growth, Macroeconomics, Trade, and Investment Global Practice, World Bank

    Chiara Bronchi leads a group of macro-fiscal economists and tax experts who work on fiscal policy and sustainable growth. Chiara has over 25 years of professional experience in managing multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary programs gained in various international organizations. She started her professional career as Economic Adviser with the U.K. government, joined the OECD in 1998 as a Young Professional, and then the IMF in 2003. She served at the Head of the Fiscal Affairs Office of Kosovo under the UN Protectorate before joining the World Bank in 2008, where she has led lending operations, technical assistance, and knowledge products. In 2018-19 she was on external assignment as the Chief Thematic Officer of the ADB, where she provided vision and goals for the ADB thematic cluster and the ADB Strategy 2030. She has published on taxation and public spending. Most recently, she has co-authored an approach paper for the Conclave of Ministers of Finance on financing Human Capital Development. Chiara holds a doctorate in economics from Bologna University and a MSc in economics from University College of London.


    Michal Rutkowski

    Global Director, Social Protection and Jobs, World Bank

    Michal Rutkowski oversees the World Bank’s work in developing systems that protect the poorest and vulnerable from crises and shocks, and supporting private sector-led growth. Until July 2016, he was the Director for Multilateral Organizations, and prior to that the Country Director for the Russian Federation and the Resident Representative in Moscow for three years. Mr. Rutkowski joined the World Bank in 1990. He was a country economist for the Russian Federation between 1995-1996, and after taking a brief leave from the Bank, returned as Sector Manager for social protection between 1998-2004, where he led a team of professionals working on pensions, labor market and social assistance reforms in 28 countries of Central and Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union, as well as in Turkey. Mr. Rutkowski’s published work covers issues on labor markets and social security. He was a core team member of the World Development Report “Workers in an Integrated World”- the World Bank’s annual flagship research publication - in 1995. Prior to joining the World Bank, he helped design the Polish pension system while serving as the Director of the Office for Social Security Reform. He also taught at the Institute of Economic Policy at the Warsaw School of Economics. Mr. Rutkowski holds an M.Sc. and Ph.D from Warsaw School of Economics and finished his post-graduate studies at the London School of Economics. He also graduated from the Executive Development program at the Harvard Business School in 1999, and from the Leadership for Collective Intelligence program run by Dialogos in 2010.


    Edward Olowo-Okere

    Global Director, Governance Global Practice, World Bank

    Ed Olowo-Okere, a Nigerian national with three decades of experience working on governance issues around the world, leads the World Bank’s Public Sector and Financial Management team in the Governance Global Practice. This group is focused on helping countries build capable, effective, accountable, transparent, and inclusive institutions that deliver citizen-centric services, facilitate private-sector growth, and build trust in Government. The group provides expertise on governance issues, ranging from public financial management, domestic resource mobilization, state-owned enterprises reform/ corporate governance, public institutions reform, decentralization/subnational governance to anti-corruption policies, fiduciary assurance, political economy analysis and GovTech (i.e. leveraging technology to modernize the public sector and improve service delivery to citizens and business, and increase efficiency, transparency and accountability). Mr. Olowo-Okere joined the World Bank in 1998 and has held various positions in operations, including Director of Governance overseeing Africa, MENA and ECA regions, Senior Advisor in the Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions practice group, and Director of the Core Operational Services Department in the Africa region. Before joining the Bank, Ed held public- and private-sector positions in Nigeria, Britain, and New Zealand. Ed holds a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honors) Degree in Accountancy from the University of Maiduguri and a Masters’ Degree in Accounting, with Distinctions, from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He has a Ph.D. in Management with a specialization in Change Management and Public Financial Management from the University of Bath, United Kingdom. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). He has researched and published in reputable international journals and lectured at undergraduate and graduate levels in Nigeria and New Zealand on accounting and finance.