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Human Capital Project: Key Reports

The Human Capital Project (HCP) is providing innovative ways for countries to protect and invest in their people. Produced through careful analysis, strategic thinking, and partnerships, the HCP is proud to share a variety of core documents that help country governments to engage in this important agenda.


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Building Human Capital in Ireland

(September, 2021)

This case study looks at the story of Ireland’s remarkable economic and social transformations since the 1960s, with a focus on the contribution made by education to human capital development. The people of Ireland are armed with the relevant knowledge, entrepreneurial agility, and analytical skills to support economic and social prosperity.

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Africa Human Capital Plan (Year 2)

(August, 2021)

This progress report, highlights how the World Bank has supported countries in Africa to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a story of speed, scale, and ambition and an enduring commitment to investing in Africa’s people.

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Investing in Human Capital for a Resilient Recovery: The role of public finance

(June, 2021)

The Approach Paper considers the role of public finance to build, protect and utilize human capital as well as lay a foundation for inclusive, resilient and sustainable development. The paper defines the problem with respect to human capital outcomes amid the COVID-19 crisis and outlines three areas for action, including policy priorities, governance, and utilizing human capital. 

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Children: The Hidden Pandemic 2021

(June, 2021)

This report presents statistical data from 192 countries on children experiencing COVID-19-associated orphanhood and death of grandparent caregivers. The report demonstrates that protecting children from the dire, potentially irreversible threats of this health emergency demands both immediate and sustained action at all levels.

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Human Capital Project Ministerial Conclave : Investing in Human Capital for a Green, Resilient and Inclusive Recovery

(April, 2021)

On April 5, 2021, ministers of finance and planning, together with high-level government officials and development partners from the 81 HCP member countries, participated in the Human Capital Project Ministerial Conclave to discuss the importance of investing in human capital for a green, resilient and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

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Human Capital Project : Year 2 Progress Report

(October, 2020)

The Human Capital Project has completed its second official year of activities. This report describes new tools, networks, knowledge-sharing, and operations helping ensure we #investinpeople.

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The First 100 Days: Prioritizing People in the COVID Response

(September, 2020)

In the first 100 days of the COVID-19 operational response the World Bank has leveraged over $16 billion in funding for human capital priorities. These resources are supporting more than 100 governments to save lives, safeguard the poor and vulnerable, protect jobs, and rebuild better systems for the future.

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The Human Capital Index 2020 Update : Human Capital in the Time of COVID-19

(September, 2020)

This report presents an update to the Human Capital Index (HCI), using the most recent health and education data available as of 2020. It documents new evidence on trends over time in the HCI, examples of success, and new analytical work on utilization of human capital, as well as a primer on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and its potential impact on human capital.

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Survive, Learn, Thrive : Strategic Human Capital Investments

(September 2020)

Human capital is the stock of accumulated knowledge, experience, and attributes that workers bring to and use in the production of goods and services in an economy. Investing in people through quality healthcare, education, social services, and job opportunities develops human capital, which is key to ending extreme poverty and creating more inclusive societies. [ArmeniaAzerbaijanGeorgia]

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Protecting People and Economies : Integrated Policy Responses to COVID-19

(July, 2020)

This report proposes several principles that can inform policy decisions when responding to the many challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Written with contributions across the entire World Bank, it sketches possible solutions for containing the pandemic and protecting health, for protecting human capital and livelihoods and for safeguarding the economy.

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Human Capital Project Case Studies Series (July 21, 2020)

The Human Capital Project is supporting a variety of case studies that examine the policies, programs and practices that governments have used to achieve their human capital goals and on identifying lessons for other countries. 

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Fostering Human Capital in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (June 19, 2020)

The formation of human capital--the knowledge, skills, and health that people accumulate over their lifetimes--is critical for the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Human capital contributes not only to human development and employment but also to the long-term sustainability of a diversified economic growth model that is knowledge based and private sector driven.

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Africa Human Capital Plan Year One Progress Report : Game Changers for Investing in Africa's People (June 1, 2020)

In April 2019, we launched the Africa Human Capital Plan. This ambitious plan sets out clear targets and commitments to boost Africa's potential through its human capital. After just one year, the plan is well underway, helping African countries build momentum by leveraging investments and policy reforms across key sectors, empowering women, developing solutions tailored to the challenges of fragile and conflict-affected settings, mobilizing technology and innovation, and building knowledge and partnerships.

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Human Capital and Disability : Why It's Important to Invest in All People (May 26, 2020)

The Human Capital project is predicated on the importance of investing in all people. This brief outlines the barriers faced by persons with disabilities at different points in the lifecycle as they strive to purse their human capital goals. It describes the whole-of-government approach needed for disability inclusive development to take place and outlines what the World Bank will do to support action now.

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Human Capital Project : HCI Compass (April 27, 2020)

he Human Capital Index (HCI) Compass is a guidance note for clients' own assessment of progress towards HCI. The launch of the Human Capital Index (HCI) in October 2018 spurred an interesting conversation on the state of the world in terms of preparing the current generation to the challenges of the future labor market.

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The Human Capital Project and Climate (May 1, 2020)

Human capital can play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, generating long-term human development gains. Actions to cut GHG emissions can lower air pollution, the fourth-leading risk factor for death worldwide largely affecting children. Low-carbon and resilient growth could deliver economic benefits of 26 trillion US Dollars by 2030. The Human Capital Project can support this shift to a new climate economy.

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Insights from Disaggregating the Human Capital Index (January 3, 2020)

This report quantifies inequalities in human capital and particularly focuses on socioeconomic and subnational spatial differences. The authors discuss 50 low- and middle-income countries with comparable data and highlight the potential of detailed disaggregation for the design of well-targeted policies.

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Human Capital Project Ministerial Conclave : Promoting Jobs and Economic Transformation (October 17, 2019)

On October 17, 2019, as part of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual meetings, ministers and high-level representatives from more than 70 countries and organizations came together for the third Human Capital Project (HCP) conclave, with a focus on how human capital investments benefit job opportunities and economic transformation.

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HCP : 2019 Annual Progress Report (October 3, 2019)

Read what countries have accomplished during the first full year of the HCP.

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The Changing Nature of Work (World Development Report 2019) (October 1, 2019)

Fears that robots will take away jobs from people have dominated the discussion over the future of work, but the World Development Report 2019 finds that on balance this appears to be unfounded. This report suggests investments in human capital and social protection can lead the way to the skills needed in a changing labor market.

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Middle East and North Africa Human Capital Plan (October 3, 2019)

On October 16, 2019, The World Bank launched a new plan for MENA countries to invest in human capital by focusing on early childhood development and improving learning outcomes.

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The Human Capital Project Ministers’ Conclave (April 11, 2019)

On April 11, 2019, the World Bank hosted the first Human Capital Project (HCP) Ministers Conclave in Washington, DC. Held during the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings, the event was attended by Ministers and other high-ranking government officials from over 60 countries. Other key development partners and champions for human capital were also represented. 

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Whole-of-Government Series (April 1, 2019)

This series of four briefs explores strategies that governments have deployed to overcome barriers to investing in human capital: (i) sustaining effort across political cycles, (ii) coordinating across government, and (iii) designing policies according to evidence. (iv) whole of government approach.

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The Human Capital Project in Sub-Saharan Africa: Stories of progress (October 1, 2018)

Investing in Africa’s people is central to ensuring the continent’s future prosperity and full participation in global markets. This overview explains how some countries in Africa have already advanced the agenda and what the Human Capital Project will do to support outcomes.

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The Human Capital Project Brief (August 7, 2018)

This brief provides a definition of human capital, describes the HCP goals and theory of change, and presents evidence of the importance of investing in people, economies, and societies. The HCI methodology is detailed in the appendix.

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Learning to Realize Education’s Promise (World Development Report 2018)

The best way to equip children and youth for the future is to place their learning at the center the education system. The 2018 World Development Report explores four main themes: 1) education’s promise; 2) the need to shine a light on learning; 3) how to make schools work for learners; and 4) how to make systems work for learning.