Data are everywhere. But what is the data revolution doing for the 700 million people who live in extreme poverty? When data are turned into valuable information, they have the potential to improve lives, transform economies, and help end poverty. Now more than ever, the world is facing new demands for data as our principal weapon in the war against COVID-19. The latest edition of the World Development Report from the World Bank provides a blueprint on how to harness the power of data for development, to ensure no one is left behind.
This year’s World Bank World Development Report uncovers new insights on the relationship between international connectivity and economic activity.
Thanks to technological improvements, the costs to transport goods, people, knowledge and capital between countries have declined. This environment has changed the underlying structure of global economic production: we’re seeing an increasing number of multinational corporations; higher degrees of specialization of various stages of production; and rising levels of trade of intermediate goods (the parts and materials imported to make products for consumption domestically and abroad) between developing countries.
In the era of digital technology, the structure of production as well as the interaction between humans and machines is being redefined. The diffusion and application of digital technology can increase productivity in an unprecedented manner, with potential to reshape the role of humans in the function of production. Jobs are the drivers of development and pillars of resilience for people. Five years ago, the World Development Report (WDR 2014), Risk and Opportunity – Managing Risk for Development, highlighted the role of enterprises in supporting people’s risk management by absorbing shocks and exploiting the opportunity side of risk. There have been heated debates on how technology may lead to risks, such as job loss and structural changes of employment. While the risks are real, the estimates of the impact of digital technology on employment vary widely, from substantial job loss for both skilled and the unskilled workers, to potential job gains thanks to the complementarity of humans and machines, as well as the income and wealth effect derived from higher productivity.
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.
“I like work, it fascinates me,” said Jerome K Jerome. “I can sit and look at it for hours.” We concur with the author of “Three Men in a Boat’, a novel which so fascinated Late Victorian England that, within a year of publication, the number of vessels on the River Thames had doubled.
For three days this month, the West African nation of Senegal was in the spotlight of global efforts to combat climate change and improve education in a rapidly changing world.
French President Emmanuel Macron and Senegal’s President Macky Sall co-hosted a conference in Dakar to replenish the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) – a funding platform to help low-income countries increase the number of children who are both in school and learning.