On September 18th, a successful and informative webinar to discuss land-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), co-hosted by the Columbia Center on Sustainable Development (CCSI), the Land Portal Foundation, UN SDSN’s Thematic Network on Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources, the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), and the Global Land Indicators Initiative (GLII), took place.
The World Bank group, among the world's largest development institutions, is a major source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. In fiscal 2009, the World Bank group sponsored 767 projects with a total commitment of $58.8 billion, distributed in credits, loans, grants, and guarantees. This fiscal year's funding marks a 54 percent increase over the previous fiscal year and a record high for the Bank group.
In the wake of the revolution, Tunisian society is currently undergoing a significant transformation. In late 2011, the country's first representative government in more than three decades was formed, as the Constituent Assembly was seated. Hundreds of legitimate candidates ran in an election that was free, fair, and enjoyed nearly 90 percent participation by eligible voters.
James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank Group, discussed what the Bank learned in coming to look at the issues of poverty and development. Development requires proper economic policies, but also the essential element of the social aspects and human aspects of society. The Bank’s focus is to think first in terms of poverty—fighting poverty with passion was adopted recently as the first line of our mission statement. Wolfensohn discussed an agenda for action on the issues of inclusion, corruption, transparency, education, knowledge, and private sector environment.
James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank Group, discussed the issues that link the United States to other countries: health, migration, trade, peace and stability, energy, food, and crime and narcotics. The responsibilities of foundations do not end with our cities and communities. The job the Bank does can only be done on the basis of partnership with the governments, with the other multilateral institutions, with the private sector, but most particularly with civil society.
Women in Sub-Saharan Africa are less likely than men to own land. They also use less land and have lower tenure security over the land that they use. This gap is costly in terms of lost productive output. The early results showed that improved tenure security through land demarcation increased long-term investments in cash crops and trees and erased the gender gap in land fallowing - a key soil fertility investment.
In sub-Saharan Africa women comprise a large proportion of the agricultural labor force, yet they are consistently found to be less productive than male farmers. The gender gap in agricultural productivity-measured by the value of agricultural produce per unit of cultivated land-ranges from 4-25 percent, depending on the country and the crop.1 The World Bank Africa Gender Innovation Lab, UN Women, and the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative jointly produced a report to quantify the cost of the gender gap and the potential gains from closing that gap in Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda.
In developing countries, female entrepreneurs have low returns. Yet, the few women who cross over into traditionally male-dominated sectors double their profits. So why don't more women cross over? When parents and husbands support them, women are more likely to cross over. When they lack information on the earnings potential in male-dominated sectors, they are less likely to. This suggests a path to promote women entrepreneurs crossing over. The challenges Ethiopian women face in getting jobs and earning income come from a range of sources.
A recent overview of World Bank social safety net programs and gender highlighted the need for greater consideration of intra-household dynamics in the design of social protection programs (Bardasi 2014). During program design, decisions have to be made about who to target, how much and how often to give cash transfers, and what measures should accompany cash transfers. These decisions become even more complex in the context of polygamous households. The conclusions above are meant to illustrate important links between intra-household dynamics and the design of cash transfer programs.
Paul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank, argued that the Doha Round presents an opportunity to rewrite the rules of an unfair trading system that holds back the potential of the poorest people. As important as aid is, as important as debt relief is, the opportunities generated by trade are far more significant. Unless the people of Africa and other poor countries have access to markets to sell their products, they will not escape poverty or be able to give their children a better future.