poverty reduction

Date of publication
December 2013
Geographical focus

A discussion paper by Robyn Johnston, Michael Roberts, Thuon Try and Sanjiv de Silva on groundwater for irrigation in Cambodia, published by International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka, iDE Cambodia in June 2013.

Date of publication
August 2012
Geographical focus

About half of Kenya's rural
population (approximately 9 million people) was the poverty
line in 1992, a proportion unchanged from 1982. In urban
areas, approximately a million and a quarter persons or 30
percent of the population was below the poverty line. In the
early 1980s, Kenya's social indicators were distinctly
more favorable than those of most countries in the region,
and there was further progress. But many indicators
stagnated in the early 1990s. There are also persistent
differences between rural and urban areas and between the
poor and the non-poor. These are the findings of the Kenya
poverty assessment (March 1995) which is one of the few
studies in the region to document and measure changes in
poverty indicators over a decade. Using data from a number
of sources, it shows that while Kenya achieved some
improvement in its social indicators, the lack of sustained
per capita income growth resulted in continued poverty for
an increasing number. And that the benefits of good health
and education did not accrue to all.

Date of publication
August 2012
Geographical focus

? This article outlines the role that
the World Bank will play in supporting a modified rural
development strategy for the Sub-Saharan Africa region: The
Bank will be more selective in targeting countries for
assistance in rural development programs, focusing on those
that demonstrate commitment to appropriate agricultural
policy and investment. It will expand its information,
education and communication initiatives to help governments
generate widespread commitment by their citizenry. Bank
finance will increasingly be directed towards national
sector or subsector programs. Through country assistance
strategies, the bank would ensure that national education,
health, nutrition, transport, water and economic policy
programs provide support for rural and agricultural
development. Natural resource management, forestry, and
water projects will be evaluated to identify best practice,
leading to proposals for replication. All ongoing and
proposed Bank-assisted agriculture projects will be reviewed
to identify changes that would enhance the positive impact
on using and developing African capacity. A participatory
preparation and implementation plan involving farmers will
be developed for every agriculture project supported by the
Bank. Safety nets for the rural and urban poorest would be
established. The Bank and its affiliates would more actively
support the worldwide liberalization of agricultural trade
and discourage inefficient industrial country agricultural policies.

Date of publication
August 2013
Geographical focus

The report is intended to determine the
appropriateness of the social protection system in meeting
the needs of the poor in Ukraine, and what are the changes
which can be instituted to improve such system. To this end,
the report presents the poverty measurement in the country,
assesses current social programs, and suggests a framework
for system redesign. In particular, it points at the
challenge of a transition economy, in realizing that poverty
does appear even among the employed population, while
childhood poverty does indeed affect the future of a nation.
The study presents the survey methodology, based on a
household survey, measures of income and expenditure, and of
inequality, examining the poverty line through a
multivariate analysis of poverty risks in the country,
including housing subsidies, energy arrears, in addition to
war entitlements and privileges. It finds that the Ukrainian
social support system could address social needs well, as it
has sufficient resources to do so, though currently, it does
so poorly. Thus resource allocation needs to be improved, by
targeting categorical benefits, testing asset and income
potential, as well as using indicators to substitute for the
direct measurement of income. An additional quantitative
analysis will be required to better plan management, and
effective evaluation, in addition to a system redesign to
reduce funding for poorly targeted programs, while
increasing social funding at large. A strategy is proposed
to phase-in a social assistance reform over a four-year
period, supported by the Bank.

Date of publication
December 2013
Geographical focus

Research has had a powerful impact on
policy in Uganda, affecting the climate of opinion,
improving the quality of the policy debate, and helping
focus public policy and intervention on poverty reduction.
Uganda s successful use of knowledge and research to help
set public policy priorities demonstrates that even a poor
post conflict country can, in a relatively short period of
time, create an effective information base and feedback
mechanisms for decision making.

Date of publication
August 2013
Geographical focus

The people of Swaziland are its greatest
resource. Yet, social and economic indicators of household
welfare converge to confirm fundamental inequalities in
access to incomes and assets, and the existence of
significant poverty and deprivation. Furthermore, as the
regional economic and social climate is transformed, the
fragile gains of the past are being fast eroded. At this
historic juncture, the Swazi poor need to come to the fore
of the public policy framework. There is an urgent need to
catalyze a new pattern of pro-poor development in Swaziland
where the poor participate and share fully in growth, human
development, and social protection. The report calls for
prioritizing the following actions: 1) enabling the growth
of smallholder agriculture, 2) ensuring effective human
development investments, 3) insuring the poor against major
risks, and 4) strengthening institutions to increase the
poverty impact of policies. The achievement of all these
will require fundamental change across sectors and
leadership to carry forward the change.

Date of publication
August 2013
Geographical focus

This report is intended as an input into
the Philippine Government's poverty eradication
strategy. The report aims to update our understanding of the
nature of poverty and the recent progress in poverty
reduction in the Philippines. It examines the extent to
which growth in the nineties has translated into poverty
reduction and analyzes how well publicly-provided social
services reach the poor and whether redistributive policies
attain their objectives. The report also focuses on the
social impact of the recent financial/El Nino crises and
explores policies to reduce vulnerability in the
Philippines. The report comprises two volumes. The main
volume starts with a summary of the profile of the poor and
trends in poverty. It then proposes a framework for
attacking poverty built on three pillars: 1) promoting
opportunity for poor people through generating broad-based
growth and building up the assets of the poor; 2) enhancing
security of poor people through reducing vulnerability and
helping the poor manage risks; and 3) facilitating
empowerment of poor people to ensure accountable
institutions. Finally, the main report examines the
information base for pro-poor policies and offers
suggestions for future work. The second volume provides the
detailed analytical basis for many of the findings presented
in the main report.

Date of publication
August 2013
Geographical focus

The Philippines regained a modest growth
rate of 3.5 percent per annum for 1999-2001, but has not yet
managed to reduce the incidence of poverty from its 1996
level. The Medium Term Philippine Development (MTPDP) growth
targets of over 5 percent per year are attainable, but only
if the key building blocks for sustained growth - an
environment conducive to increased investment and
productivity within both private and public sectors - are
firmly in place. And it must complement this higher growth
with increased equity to achieve the desired rapid reduction
in poverty. The report identifies priority issues in five
critical areas: 1) continue to strengthen fiscal management;
2) improve governance and public sector functioning; 3)
strengthen private sector development; 4) strengthen and
deepen the financial sector; 5) empower and protect the
poor. None of these five areas is sufficient by itself to
achieve the desired growth with equity. But they are each
necessary and together they form an integrated set of initiatives.

Date of publication
August 2012
Geographical focus

The report requested by the government
of Malawi updates the poverty assessment completed in March
1990. It will guide policy and investment priorities, and
inform the design of programs intended to improve living
conditions and increase incomes of the people in Malawi. A
greater understanding of the magnitude and the profile of
poverty will also make it easier to implement a monitoring
system to evaluate the effects of programs and track the
progress of key indicators of poverty. The profile confirms
that the level of human resource development in Malawi is
dismal and that poverty is widespread and severe. Health and
education indicators in Malawi are among the worst in the
world. Strategies to reduce poverty in Malawi will require
substantial efforts in every sector.

Date of publication
August 2012
Geographical focus

Accounting for around a third of the
1996 Goss Domestic Product (GDP) of US$ 9 billion (second
only to oil), and almost three-fourths of all employment,
agriculture is a dominant sector of the Cameroonian economy.
Also, as in most African countries, poverty in Cameroon is
concentrated in rural areas, with more than 80 percent
(approximately 5.5 million) of all poor people living in
such areas. The Government of Cameroon's objectives
include the need to create a sectoral environment favorable
to reviving agricultural production; ensure food security;
increase farm incomes by improving productivity and reducing
the costs of production; and render agricultural products
competitive in domestic and international markets. It is
committed to progressively liberalizing the marketing's
of inputs and traditional export commodities, and
privatizing agricultural development activities.
Consequently, inasmuch as poverty reduction and economic
growth are at the core of the World Bank's Country
Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Cameroon, they necessitate a
strategic focus on the agricultural and rural sectors.

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