Human Development

August 26, 2022

Human development is at the core of the World Bank’s strategy to improve people’s lives and support sustainable development. The Human Development research program spans the study of early childhood development, education/skills, health, and labor, among other areas.



Life Cycle Savings in a High-Informality Setting—Evidence from Pakistan
Clément Joubert, Priyanka Kanth
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10121, July 2022

Bring a Friend: Strengthening Women’s Social Networks and Reproductive Autonomy in India 
S Anukriti, Catalina Herrera-Almanza, Mahesh Karra
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10107, June 2022

Adaptive Experiments for Policy Choice: Phone Calls for Home Reading in Kenya 
Bruno Esposito, Anja Sautmann
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10098, June 2022

Neither by Land nor by Sea: The Rise of Electronic Remittances during COVID-19
Lelys Dinarte-Diaz, David Jaume, Eduardo Medina-Cortina, Hernan Winkler
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10057, May 2022

More Working Papers


HIV, Risk and Time Preferences: Evidence from a general population sample in Lesotho
Martina Björkman Nyqvist, Lucia Corno, Damien de Walque, Jakob Svensson
Health Economics vol. 31, issue 5, May 2022 

Convincing the Mummy-ji: Improving Mother-in-Law Approval of Family Planning in India
S. Anukriti, Catalina Herrera-Almanza, Mahesh Karra, Rocio Valdebenito
AEA Papers and Proceedings vol. 112, May 2022

Invitations, Incentives, and Conditions: A Randomized Evaluation of Demand-Side Interventions for Health Screenings
Damien de Walque, Adanna Chukwuma, Nono Ayivi Guedehoussou, Marianna Koshkakaryan
Social Science and Medicine vol. 296, March 2022 | Working Paper Version

Technology, Taxation, and Corruption: Evidence from the Introduction of Electronic Tax Filing
Oyebola Okunogbe, Victor Pouliquen
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy vol. 14, no. 1, February 2022 | Working Paper Version

  • Cover of the Improving Effective Coverage in Health: Do Financial Incentives Work? report

    Improving Effective Coverage in Health: Do Financial Incentives Work?

    Damien de Walque, Eeshani Kandpal, Adam Wagstaff, May 2022
    Improving Effective Coverage in Health: Do Financial Incentives Work? examines one specific policy approach to improving effective coverage: financial incentives in the form of performance-based financing (PBF), a package reform that typically includes performance pay to frontline health workers as well as facility autonomy, transparency, and community engagement.
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    Handbook on Using Administrative Data for Research and Evidence-based Policy

    Edited by Shawn Cole, Iqbal Dhaliwal, Anja Sautmann, Lars Vilhuber, 2021
    The Handbook serves as a go-to reference for researchers seeking to use administrative data and for data providers looking to make their data accessible for research. It provides information, best practices, and case studies on how to create privacy-protected access to, handle, and analyze administrative data, with the aim of pushing the research frontier as well as informing evidence-based policy innovations.
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    Overconfident : How Economic and Health Fault Lines Left the Middle East and North Africa Ill-Prepared to Face COVID-19

    Roberta V. Gatti, Daniel Lederman, Yuting Fan, Arian Hatefi, Ha Nguyen, Anja Sautmann, Joseph Martin Sax, Christina A. Wood, October 2021
    This report examines the region’s economic prospects in 2021, forecasting that the recovery will be both tenuous and uneven as per capita GDP level stays below pre-pandemic levels. It points out that the region’s health systems were ill-prepared for the pandemic, and suffered from over-confidence, as authorities painted an overly optimistic picture in self-assessments of health system preparedness. Going forward, governments must improve data transparency and undertake reforms to remedy historical underinvestment in public health systems.
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    The Fast Track to New Skills: Short-Cycle Higher Education Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean

    María Marta Ferreyra, Lelys Dinarte Díaz, Sergio Urzúa, Marina Bassi, January 2021
    The economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated underlying trends, such as automation, the use of electronic platforms, and the need for lifelong learning. Addressing these demands requires the urgent upskilling and reskilling of the population. The report explores the labor market outcomes and returns of Short-Cycle Higher Education Programs, examines their providers, and identifies the practices adopted by the best programs.
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    World Development Report 2018: Learning to Realize Education’s Promise

    January 2018
    The World Development Report 2018 is the first ever devoted entirely to education. And the timing is excellent: education has long been critical to human welfare, but it is even more so in a time of rapid economic and social change.


Kathleen Beegle

Research Manager and Lead Economist, Human Development
Research Staff »