Ideas to Action:

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The cover of the note
September 23, 2020

COVID-19 and Violence against Women and Children: A Second Research Round Up

COVID-19 has raised the profile of violence against women and children (VAW/C) within the global discourse. Nine months after the emergence of COVID-19, global stakeholders continue to advocate for increased funding and action to mitigate against the risk of violence on vulnerable populations and support survivors. How much have we learned from research since the beginning of the crisis?

The cover of the report
September 16, 2020

Sound Banks for Healthy Economies: Challenges for Policymakers in Latin America and the Caribbean in Times of Coronavirus

The purpose of this report is twofold: to identify and discuss a set of challenges, and to develop key recommendations. The overarching goal is to provide support to policymakers in the region who may face difficult decisions to ensure that banks play a constructive role and support families and firms through and beyond the current crisis. 

The cover of the note
September 16, 2020

Closing Gender Pay Gaps

We convened a virtual roundtable to discuss how public and private sector actors can better understand and work together to narrow gender gaps in pay. To operationalize recommendations raised during the discussion, here we present 6 actions for governments that draw on principles of openness and 6 actions for businesses to champion.

Working Paper 550 cover
September 15, 2020

A Rosetta Stone for Human Capital

How can we accurately measure the global distribution of skills when people in different countries take different tests? We develop a new methodology to non-parametrically link scores from distinct populations. By administering an exam combining items from different assessments to 2,300 primary students in India, we estimate conversion functions among four of the world’s largest standardized tests spanning 80 countries.

September 10, 2020

Gender Equity in Development Finance Survey

By surveying DFIs, we aim to start building a baseline of their gender policies and practices, analyze the data, and make recommendations where stronger policies and practices are needed. The survey’s findings give DFIs an important opportunity to learn from one another and work towards standards for how they can best promote gender equity.

A cover image of a paper on private sector climate finance
September 9, 2020

Private Sector Climate Finance After the Crisis

Climate investments in the emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs) have so far fallen well short of what is required to meet targets set in the 2015 Paris Agreement. National commitments ahead of the 2021 UN climate summit will further underline the discrepancy.

Cover of working paper 546
September 2, 2020

Teacher Labor Markets in Developing Countries

The types of workers recruited into teaching and their allocation across classrooms can greatly influence a country’s stock of human capital. This paper considers how markets and non-market institutions determine the quantity, wages, skills, and spatial distribution of teachers in developing countries.

Cover of working paper 545
August 27, 2020

How Big Are Effect Sizes in International Education Studies?

In recent years, a growing literature has measured the impact of education interventions in low- and middle-income countries on both access and learning outcomes. But interpretation of those effect sizes as large or small tends to rely on benchmarks developed by a psychologist in the United States in the 1960s. In this paper, we demonstrate the distribution of standardized effect sizes on learning and access from hundreds of studies from low- and middle-income countries.

Cover of working paper 544
August 21, 2020

Contact and Commitment to Development: Evidence from Quasi-random Missionary Assignments

Public support for global development in rich countries is critical for sustaining effective government and individual action. But the causes of public support are not well understood. Does spending time living in a developing country play a role in generating individual commitment to development? Addressing this question is fraught with selection bias, as individuals are rarely exogenously assigned to spend time in different countries. In this paper I address this question using a natural experiment—the quasi-random assignment of missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to two-year missions in different world regions. I provide the first causal estimates of the effect of travel to a developing country on attitudes to global development.

A woman being tested for coronavirus. Adobe Stock.
August 21, 2020

Using COVID-19 Test, Trace, and Isolate Systems Effectively in Middle-Income Countries

The global public health response to COVID-19 is pivoting from high-income European countries to MICs predominantly in Asia and South America. Effective test, trace, and isolate systems may be particularly valuable in MICs, where social and economic circumstances do not support large and long-term lockdowns. But investing in such systems in MICs comes with a number of limitations and opportunity costs.

The cover of the report
August 19, 2020

Using Innovative Finance to Increase Refugee Resettlement

Today, 1.4 million refugees urgently await resettle­ment. Unlike the rest of the world’s 26 million refu­gees, they have been designated by the United Nations (UN) as having vulnerabilities that cannot be addressed in their host countries. They are therefore waiting to be moved from the country hosting them to a third country willing to grant them permanent settlement. But less than a tenth of these people will be resettled this year; people are joining the queue faster than they leave it. The global community is failing in its duty to ensure their safety.

A registration officer in Malawi's National Registration and Identification System
August 19, 2020

Malawi’s Journey Towards Transformation: Lessons from its National ID Project

This essay lays out the story of how the UNDP team with its development partners achieved universal ID registration in Malawi, the challenges we faced, the roadblocks, how UNDP coordinated with other stakeholders and community development partners, and highlights the synergies that helped us achieve success.

Tariq Malik
Cover of working paper 542
August 19, 2020

Education in Africa: What Are We Learning?

Countries across Africa continue to face major challenges in education. In this review, we examine 142 recent empirical studies (from 2014 onward) on how to increase access to and improve the quality of education across the continent, specifically examining how these studies update previous research findings.

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