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BRIEF November 28, 2017

Poverty and Shared Prosperity

This theme addresses issues at the heart of the World Bank Group's twin goals emphasizing the importance of economic growth and inclusion, including strong concerns for equity.

The theme encompasses a broad range of policies across the spectrum of development, such as public service delivery for human development as well as policy issues in agriculture, governance, social development, finance and markets, migration and remittances, trade and competitiveness, regulatory issues that affect small and medium-size enterprises, and macroeconomic and fiscal management that creates jobs and fuels development and sustainable growth.

Some recent and completed projects include Equity of Opportunity in Global Prosperity, The Effect of Improved Biomass Cookstoves on Indoor Air Quality and Respiratory Health in Rural Ethiopia and Living Life.

Project Highlight

Living Life

This project aims to understand how the experiences of citizens across the globe vary in the ease of interacting with their government's bureaucracy. These differences play an important role in understanding the causes of poverty and inequality worldwide.

Some governments are better organized than others; some impose cumbersome and overly bureaucratic procedures on access to services; others aim to streamline and simplify the burden on citizens to meet their responsibilities and access the goods and services to which they are entitled.

Yet no data is available to assess the extent of this regulatory burden, or to generate stimulus for reform. Living Life aims to fill this knowledge gap by providing comparable data on bureaucratic procedures across countries.

Living Life focuses on nine main topics, which can be grouped as follows: (i) civil registration and duties, such as registering a birth, registering a death, getting an identification card, voting, and paying taxes; and (ii) access to basic services, including health care, education, electricity, and water and sanitation. Each topic offers insights on specific aspects of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The project aims to collect data for three pilot economies: Ghana, Chile, and Vietnam.

Last Updated: Dec 12, 2017


Michael Toman

Research Manager, Sustainability and Infrastructure, Development Research Group