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April 2019

Accelerating Pakistan’s structural transformation

Siddharth Sharma's picture
Pakistanat100 Shaping the Future report
Photo: World Bank

This blog is part of a series that discusses findings from the  report, which identifies the changes necessary for Pakistan to become a strong upper middle-income country by the time it turns 100 years old in 2047. 

Structural transformation is central to how countries grow rich. .

Then, within industries, a process of creative destruction helps weed out unproductive firms and gives rise to more efficient and innovative ones.

Of course, no two countries have the same growth path. But those that succeed at sustaining growth do so by moving resources to more productive areas and building firm capabilities.

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The economy is less agricultural, more urban and services-oriented than before. Traditional industrial clusters have started exporting new products, while new industries such as information, communications and technology (ICT) are emerging.

Relative to the historical norm for countries at similar levels of per capita GDP, while Pakistan’s agricultural sector is of typical size, its manufacturing sector is small, and the services sector large.

GovTech: Putting people first with simple, efficient and transparent government

Nicholas Nam's picture



Rapid technological change and growing expectations of citizens are elevating the importance of digital innovation for governments around the world. The World Bank Group, working together with other stakeholders, has a role to play in ensuring client countries have access to knowledge, the solutions, and the expertise required to bring about digital transformation of government services.

El Salvador: small country, giant steps to control tobacco use

Patricio V. Marquez's picture



In a recent visit to El Salvador, the smallest, yet beautiful most densely populated country in Central America, I attended an international event organized by the Secretariat of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) for the FCTC 2030 project.  During this event, I had the opportunity to learn from government officials and the Solidarity Fund for Health (FOSALUD) team about the significant tobacco control steps taken by the country.  

According to data presented at the event, 1 in 10 adults in El Salvador smoke; the prevalence of current cigarette consumption is 17 percent among men, 2 percent among women, and 10 percent among young people.  Data from the IHME Global Burden of Disease study indicate that, in 2016, of the more than 1,600 tobacco-attributable deaths in El Salvador, almost half of them were premature deaths (before the age of 70 years). This contributed to an estimated 34,000 years of life lost due to tobacco-related premature mortality and disability. Besides these impacts, an with the support of the FCTC Secretariat, UNDP and PAHO/WHO, estimates that tobacco use causes significant economic losses, including both health care costs (US$115.6 million) and loss of productivity (US$148 million), amounting to US$264 million or 1 percent of El Salvador’s GDP.

Rebuilding communities after disasters – four and a half lessons learned

Abhas Jha's picture

Rebuilding after Cyclone Idai. (Photo: Denis Onyodi / IFRC/DRK/Climate Centre via Flickr CC)

The death toll from Cyclone Idai that ripped into Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi in March 2019 is now above 1,000, with damages . In 2018, more than 10,000 people lost their lives in disasters ). Approximately 79 percent of fatalities occurred in the Asia Pacific region, including the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island. In fact,

From Data Day to a Data Decade

Carolina Sánchez-Páramo's picture

The World Bank’s inaugural Data Day had something for everyone and was a huge win for data: more than 1,000 participants voted with their feet and their time to show their commitment for data—and that’s a commitment we share. Here’s what we learned from our first Data Day:

More and better data coverage

We know that it’s impossible to monitor, let alone achieve, the Sustainable Development Goals without high-quality data from low-income countries. However, scarce and poor-quality data are a critical impediment to evidence-based policymaking and monitoring, particularly in those countries where information and policy focus are most needed. Overall, there is a need for comprehensive data to deepen the understanding of how poverty affects individuals and to assess how social programs can be better tailored to meet their needs. Countries should have the right policy environment for evidence-based policy making and monitoring, including the production and use of development data.

Bricks-and-mortar learning is obsolete

Nhi Doan's picture
© pickingpok/Shutterstock
© pickingpok/Shutterstock

In Sociology, I took a sip of my future.

Outside the classroom, my digital native self was poised to go online. Hungry to explore Goffman’s concept of dramaturgy and the implications of deviance, I would dig up CrashCourse videos, The Atlantic articles, edX courses, and everything in between. In these endeavors, a curious mélange of theory and application was always to be found: long and short reads of various styles, pop quizzes, data visualizations, videos, and global discussion forums fused together to make a compelling narrative, which screams “you’re the special one!” Like fellows of my own cohort, I bounce back and forth between the real world and the data-saturated virtual world, being fueled with an insatiable zeal for knowledge that is new, egalitarian, and individually curated.

Inside, however, the axis was flipped. In temporarily tuning out of online information consumption, I tuned in to the intimate experience of being human — talking, collaborating, inquiring, creating, storytelling. If anything, this class instilled in me a sense of mental flexibility, such that I could navigate tomorrow’s uncertain world with almost everything unconceived.

The future is in the decisions we make now

Ishita Gupta's picture
© Alexander Supertramp/Shutterstock
© Alexander Supertramp/Shutterstock

 Only attending school four days a week, most of your time is spent outdoor learning spaces. With the help of Blended E-learning, you can study on your own, focusing time on strategic topics through a plan personalized for you. Your AI learning assistant grades and offers feedback on your assignments, guiding you through difficult problems step by step, reteaching you concepts from scratch if necessary.
 
In geography class, you put on a virtual reality headset. Suddenly you are transported to the Andes in South America. Mesmerized by the colossal formations all around, you take notes on which materials constitute the vibrant spectrum of rock layers. History debates come alive as you and your classmates reimagine the Paris Peace Conference, sitting in the Palace of Versailles.
 
The possibilities are truly endless.

We need a reskilling revolution. Here's how to make it happen

Børge Brende's picture
As the world of work changes, so must our approach to education and skills. Photo: Reuters

As the world faces the transformative economic, social and environmental challenges of , it has never been more important to invest in people.

Valuing not only serves to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to respond to systemic shifts, it also empowers them to take part in creating a more equal, inclusive and sustainable world.

How digital remittances can help drive sustainable development

Marco Nicoli's picture
 Sarah Farhat/The World Bank
The Plateau area, business and administrative center of Dakar.
Photo: Sarah Farhat/The World Bank

More people in the world have access to financial accounts and tools than ever before. With this access, new products and services are being developed to facilitate convenient usage of these accounts. Taking this a step further, healthy financial inclusion incorporates customers’ ability to balance income and expenses, build and maintain reserves, and to manage and recover from financial shocks using a range of financial tools. The most useful financial services are those that provide customers with convenience, and support resilience through enhanced ability to weather shocks and pursue financial goals; effectively supporting the financial health of the user.

Remittances are an essential source of income for millions of families, many of whom are low income. Global migration is increasing - over 258 million people currently live outside their country of birth, up from 173 million in the year 2000 – and is trailed by a steady stream of transactions. . As the first financial product used by many lower income people, remittances often act as a stepping stone to accessing a menu of financial services; as such, they are a cornerstone of financial health.

Humans of Field Work

Florence Kondylis's picture

Enumerators play a crucial role in the success of field-based impact evaluations. Despite the central role they play in the research process, enumerators are rarely in the spotlight. We recently interviewed a few enumerators working with us on a high-frequency market survey in Rwanda in the context of a rural feeder road upgrading project.


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Annette Dixon
World Bank Vice President, Human Development

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