What will be the future of work?

Do you wonder if the good fortune and opportunities that you’ve enjoyed in your wdr_2019_coverprofessional life will be available to your children, and to their children? At a time of strong global economic growth, it may seem paradoxical that we face an existential crisis around the future of work. But the pace of innovation is accelerating, and the jobs of the future – in a few months or a few years – will require specific, complex skills. Human capital will become an ever more valuable resource.

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The Race for Universal Energy Access Speeds Up

STORY HIGHLIGHTS energy

  • A billion people still live without electricity, but certain countries are starting to adopt new approaches to expand electricity services – reaching millions of people in the past few years.
  • The number of people gaining access to electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa has begun to outstrip population growth for the first time. In South Asia, progress has been even faster.
  • Much more work will be needed to achieve universal electrification by 2030, as called for in SDG7. The World Bank is significantly ramping up financing for energy access programs, with support for mini-grid and off-grid projects growing the fastest.

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Mogadishu’s first tech hub

1_BkBrs2NfHlP53xw7ZfQ0PwSomalia’s capital city of Mogadishu is defined by a complex mix of challenges and opportunities. Despite political and economic struggles, Somalis are innovating to break the chronic cycle of vulnerability. Supported in many cases by the international Somali diaspora, people in Mogadishu are using technology to solve problems and tap into new markets.

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New country classifications by income level: 2018-2019

World Bank buildingUpdated country income classifications for the World Bank’s 2019 fiscal year are available here.

The World Bank assigns the world’s economies into four income groups — high, upper-middle, lower-middle, and low. We base this assignment on GNI per capita calculated using the Atlas method. The units for this measure and for the thresholds is current US Dollars.

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After disasters hit, how countries and communities can build back better

asset_3Disaster losses disproportionately affect poor people, according to the 2017 “Unbreakable” report. The Caribbean Hurricane season of 2017 was a tragic illustration of this.

Not one, but two Category 5 hurricanes wreaked destruction on numerous small islands, causing severe damages on islands like Barbuda, Dominica, and Saint Martin. The human cost of these disasters was immense, and the impact of this devastation was felt most strongly by poorer communities in the path of the storms.

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Gains in Financial Inclusion, Gains for a Sustainable World

images.jpgMary Banda in Zambia runs a small restaurant in one of Lusaka’s oldest markets. Before she learned that financial services could make the way she did business easier, her profits were low. But today, her profits have increased, both because she banks her money and because she uses mobile money transfer services.

Using financial services has simplified managing her business and increased profits. And business proceeds now pay her children’s school fees.

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Work or Family: Sri Lankan Women Shouldn’t Have to Choose

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • At just 36.6% percent, female labour force participation in Sri Lanka is low; further, having a child under age five at home makes women 7.4 percent less likely to join the labor force than women without young children.
  • Companies who provide childcare support have been able to retain experienced employees (both women and men), reduce absenteeism, and boost employee satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Corporate HR policies that pursue diversity can play a key role in supporting inclusive workplaces.

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Technology works for getting poor people’s problems fixed – we just have to get it right

20150224-senegal-farhat-0660One of the encouraging signs that I pick up whenever I travel is the difference that technology is making to the lives of millions of marginalized people. In most cases it’s happening on a small, non-flashy scale in hundreds of different ways, quietly improving the opportunities that that have been denied to remote communities, women and young people for getting a foot on the ladder.

And because it is discreet and under the radar I dare as an optimist to suggest that we are at the beginning of something big – a slow tsunami of success. Let me give you some reasons why I believe this.

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Are men the new weaker sex? The rise of the reverse gender gap in education

capture1_34It is probably fair to say that the World Bank’s latest report on intergenerational mobility – Fair Progress? Economic Mobility across Generations around the World – is the first-ever attempt to paint a truly global picture of how achievement – or the lack thereof – is transmitted across generations. Though there are results for income mobility for a subset of countries, most of the analysis focuses on educational attainment across 148 economies, representing over 95% of the world’s population.

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The Missing Piece: Disability-Inclusive Education

down-syndrome-boy-with-phoneIn 2015, the world committed to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” More than an inspirational target, SDG4 is integral to the well-being of our societies and economies – to the quality of life of all individuals.

Today, 65 million primary school-age children are not in school – close to half of them are children with disabilities. Even children with disabilities who do enroll are far less likely to complete school than others. Some estimates suggest that less than 5% of children with disabilities will graduate. This has led to a world where only 3% of adults with disabilities are literate – with, shockingly, only 1% of women with disabilities being literate.

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