Skip to Main Navigation

World Development Report 2019—Competition Guidelines

WDR 2019 competition

The Competition is now CLOSED. 

Due to the high volume of entries to the competition, the winners will not be announced until October 15, 2018



The next World Bank World Development Report (WDR) 2019 will address The Changing Nature of Work. For the first time since the World Bank began publishing the WDR in 1978, the writing process has been completely transparent and open to the public. Every Friday afternoon, the latest draft is uploaded to the World Bank website, so that anyone with internet access has an opportunity to read it and engage with the team of authors.  As part of this process, the World Bank has launched a competition for university and college students to submit examples of governments, cities, firms, individuals, or any other actor taking advantage of opportunities created by technology and “the future of work”.

The Prizes:

The three best examples will be awarded prizes of $5,000 and be considered for inclusion in the final report.

Winners will be announced on October 1, 2018. 

Rules of Entry:

  • Participants may submit up to three different examples.
  • Only one prize will be awarded per participant.
  • The total description for each example may be up to 400 words long, including a suggestion as to where in the report the example would best fit.
  • Any subject or style is welcome, though the example should fit within the narrative of the current draft of the report and illustrate the issues discussed.
  • Supporting data, literature, policy documents, weblinks, etc. should be referenced in the description in order for the WDR team to establish the veracity of the example.
  • The competition is open to students from all countries, but entries must be written in English.
  • The judges’ verdict is final.
  • Examples cannot be altered or changed after they have been entered. No correspondence will be entered into once work has been submitted.
  • Any example submitted may be published in the final World Development Report 2019.
  • Examples received after August 31 2018 will not be considered.

The Theme:

The 2019 World Development Report studies how the nature of work is changing as a result of advances in technology today. While technology improves overall living standards, the process can be disruptive. A new social contract is needed to smooth the transition and guard against inequality. As a first priority, significant investments in human capital throughout a person’s lifecycle are vital to ensure workers stay competitive against machines. Second, the changing nature of work demands updates to social protection systems. Traditional provisions of social protection based on steady wage employment, clear definitions of employers and employees, as well as a fixed point of retirement are increasingly obsolete. Third, governments will need additional revenues to fund the investments demanded by the changing nature of work. Governments can generate such revenues through a mix of existing taxes (increases in rates or widening of the tax base), the introduction of new taxes, and improvements in tax administration.

The judges will select examples for publication based on their treatment of the “Changing Nature of Work” theme and on their relevance to messages in the report.

We look forward to reading examples from your country. We are accepting entries now until the competition ends on August 31 2018.


To enter the competition, prepare a brief summary of your example (maximum 400 words per example, three per participant) and send to Please include your full name and nationality in the cover email.

Comments or questions are welcome.