What is Human Capital and What is the Human Capital Project?
Human capital consists of the knowledge, skills, and health that people accumulate throughout their lives, enabling them to realize their potential as productive members of society. We can end extreme poverty and create more inclusive societies by developing human capital. This requires investing in people through nutrition, health care, quality education, jobs and skills.
Why now? The cost of inaction on human capital development is going up. Without human capital, countries cannot sustain economic growth, will not have a workforce that is prepared for the more highly-skilled jobs of the future, and will not compete effectively in the global economy.
What is the World Bank’s response? The World Bank Group announced the Human Capital Project in 2017. Work is underway, with a new Human Capital Index launched in October 2018 at the Annual Meetings held in Bali Indonesia. Ministers from close to 30 pilot countries presented early ideas on how to accelerate investments, followed by a rare opportunity for their staff to work across regions and sectors in person. The number of countries actively participating in the project has grown to over 40 as of 2019.
How will the Human Capital Project have an impact? The Human Capital Project is expected to help create the political space for national leaders to prioritize transformational human capital investments. The objective is rapid progress towards a world in which all children arrive in school well-nourished and ready to learn, can expect to attain real learning in the classroom, and are able to enter the job market as healthy, skilled, and productive adults.
Where can I learn more? Learn more about human capital by reading through the stories, blogs, and frequently asked questions (FAQ) on our main website. Watch the recoding of the Human Capital Summit, follow updates from the 2019 World Development Report The Changing Nature of Work, and join others on Twitter and Facebook talking about why we must #InvestinPeople.