Already facing huge development needs, the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the challenges facing fragile and conflict states—a group of currently about 40 countries trapped in cycles of low administrative capacity, political instability, conflict, and weak economic performance. […]
Imagine you’re a policymaker in sub-Saharan Africa. You’ve been charged with lifting your country out of the worst health crisis in living memory, and nobody around you knows when it will end—the second wave that gripped the region earlier in the year has eased, but many countries are nonetheless bracing for further waves as winter approaches. […]
By Gita Bhatt
There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen. This saying could not be more apt today. The pandemic—which has disrupted the world in profound ways—has prompted countries to roll out significant policy changes that might otherwise have taken years. It has also sped the arrival of technologies and new ways of working and learning, moving us almost overnight into a new era. […]
Emerging markets and developing economies grew consistently in the two decades before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, allowing for much-needed gains in poverty reduction and life expectancy. The crisis now puts much of that progress at risk while further widening the gap between rich and poor.
Despite the pre-pandemic gains in poverty reduction and lifespans, many of these countries have struggled to reduce income inequality. At the same time, they saw persistently high shares of inactive youth (i.e., those not […]
Will I do as well as my parents?
A positive answer to this question once seemed a foregone conclusion; now, for recent generations, less so. Despite being more educated than their parents, millennials—those born between 1980 and 2000—may have less job stability during their working life. Concerns that it might be more difficult to break into the middle class, or to have enough retirement savings, are also rising to the fore in policy debates in many advanced economies. […]
By David Lipton
Across sub-Saharan Africa, a visit to a school offers both a vision of hope for the future, and a reminder of the difficulties in attaining that vision. My recent visit to Sierra Leone and Niger brought this duality into sharp focus. […]
Making sure that opportunities to enter the workforce are fair and rewarding for women benefits everyone. Yet, the average female workforce participation rate across countries is still 20 percentage points lower than the male rate, largely because gender gaps in wages and access to opportunities, such as education, stubbornly persist. […]
Tired of reading articles about how a robot will take your job? We’ve all heard horror stories that foresee the devastating consequences that automation will have on people’s working lives—yet much less attention has been devoted to what workers actually think. […]