When Cecilia Rodriguez was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and pain in the joints, eight years ago, she had a major revelation. She realized that what she was promoting as director of a primary health care facility in Chile was very different than what she actually needed as a patient.
In response, she founded the nonprofit Fundación Me Muevo with her sister, who also has rheumatoid arthritis, to support people affected by the chronic condition. She also became a patient advocate — Me Muevo is part of a growing movement of patient-led organizations in Chile. “Health care systems tend to be geared towards treating acute illnesses and are rarely organized to help patients with lifelong diseases,” Cecilia says. “We called the NGO Me Muevo (‘I move’) because we learned that with this condition you have to keep your body moving, but also because ‘I move’ means ‘I take action.’”
Comparing two middle-income countries is not unusual, but two that are geographically far and are apparently different is less common. However, both Turkey and Peru have had the highest growth in their respective regions in recent years, aspire to become high-income economies in the next decade, depend on trade. Both countries face downside risks if structural changes—in the education and training system, and the economy more broadly—are not made to ensure that contributions to economic growth come from improvements in productivity. Both countries recognize there is a large gap between their productivity levels and the global productivity frontier, and both have growing populations that are not adequately equipped to meet labor market needs, with average productivity levels. Given these (similar) challenges, both countries have as their development goal, central to their development agenda, to improve productivity to continue growing in a sustainable manner.
Scientific and technological advances are transforming lives: they are even helping poorer countries close the gap with rich countries in life expectancy. But, poorer countries still face tremendous challenges, as almost a quarter of children under five are malnourished, and 60 percent of primary school students are failing to achieve even a rudimentary education. In fact, more than 260 million children and youth in poorer countries are receiving no education at all.
There is a moral case to be made, of course, for investing in the health and education of all people. But there is an economic one as well: to be ready to compete and thrive in a rapidly changing environment. “Human capital” – the potential of individuals – is going to be the most important long-term investment any country can make for its people’s future prosperity and quality of life.
Do you wonder if the good fortune and opportunities that you’ve enjoyed in your professional 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.
Next week, the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) take place from upcoming October 10 to October 14 in Washington DC. During this meetings the Board of Governs of the attentive organizations will debate in the field of topics associated with poverty reduction, international economic development and finance.
In order to make these meetings accessible for the wide audience, World bank Live will daily stream several events in different languages such as English, Spanish, French and Arabic. The subjects of the Flagship events of the Annual Meetings vary from Human Capital Summit to digital economy and education. If you are interested within accompany the dialogues through the broadcast of Worldbank live, check out the whole program here and join the World Bank’s Live online event. You are also able to submit questions before the events. Below you will find a short selection of these upcoming events concurrently with the Annual Meetings 2017.