Human Development

January 12, 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.



Becoming Legible to the State: The Role of Detection and Enforcement Capacity in Tax Compliance
Oyebola Okunogbe
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 9852, November 2021

Helping Families Help Themselves? Heterogeneous Effects of a Digital Parenting Program
Sofia Amaral, Lelys Dinarte, Patricio Dominguez, Santiago M. Perez-Vincent
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 9850, November 2021

The Promise and Limitations of Information Technology for Tax Mobilization
Oyebola Okunogbe, Fabrizio Santoro
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 9848, November 2021

Preparation, Practice, and Beliefs: A Machine Learning Approach to Understanding Teacher Effectiveness
Deon Filmer, Vatsal Nahata, Shwetlena Sabarwal
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 9847, November 2021

More Working Papers


Information, Knowledge, and Behavior: Evaluating Alternative Methods of Delivering School Information to Parents
Pedro Cerdan-Infantes, Deon Filmer, Santoso
Economic Development and Cultural Change 70 (2):  January 2022 | Working Paper Version

How many infants may have died in low-income and middle-income countries in 2020 due to the economic contraction accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic? Mortality projections based on forecasted declines in economic growth
Gil Shapira, Damien de Walque, Jed Friedman
BMJ Open 11(8): e050551, August 24, 2021 | Working Paper Version

Disruptions in maternal and child health service utilization during COVID-19: analysis from eight Sub-Saharan African countries
Gil Shapira, Tashrik Ahmed, Salomé Henriette Paulette Drouard, Pablo Amor Fernandez, Eeshani Kandpal, Charles Nzelu, Chea Sanford Wesseh, Nur Ali Mohamud, Francis Smart, Charles Mwansambo, Martina L Baye, Mamatou Diabate, Sylvain Yuma, Munirat Ogunlayi, Rwema Jean De Dieu Rusatira, Tawab Hashemi, Petra Vergeer, Jed Friedman
Health Policy and Planning 36(7): 1140–1151, August 2021

  • Image

    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.
  • Image

    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.
  • Image

    Challenges and Opportunities of Aging in Chile

    Ignacio Apella, Truman Packard, Clement Joubert, Melissa Zumaeta, May 2019 (in Spanish)
    This book explores the potential effects of an aging population on social protection, the demands for health and education services, the functioning of the labor market, and macroeconomic dynamics, considering the institutional and regulatory changes that will be necessary to respond to this new reality.
  • Image

    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 »