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Test your knowledge

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Read the transcript

  • 00:01 MR. DAVID THEIS: Good morning, afternoon,  or evening, depending on your time zone.  
  • 00:05 I'm David Theis, the World Bank's Press  Secretary, and thank you for joining  
  • 00:08 our virtual 2022 Spring Meetings press conference  with World Bank Group President, David Malpass. 
  • 00:14 Mr. Malpass will give opening remarks and  then we will turn to your questions.
  • 00:18 And as I mentioned previously, because he values  transparency,
  • 00:20 you could also follow the World Bank President on Twitter, @DavidMalpassWBG
  • 00:25 and you'll find that on the chat, as well.
  • 00:27 Thanks to those who sent questions in advance,  and we'll be looking for more questions online  
  • 00:31 in real time. We may edit for clarity or length;  so, appreciate your understanding that, and hoping  
  • 00:36 everyone is keeping well.
  • 00:37 Mr. Malpass.
  • 00:40 MR. DAVID MALPASS: Thank you very much, David.  Hi, everyone. It's already been a busy week. The  
  • 00:44 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and IMF  have started, and people are convening at a time  
  • 00:50 of crises. We are facing COVID-19, inflation, and  the war in Ukraine. On our growth outlooks, we've  
  • 00:59 lowered our forecast for global economic growth  and I saw the IMF also downgraded their outlook.  
  • 01:02 China's COVID-related shutdown is part of that and  may weigh on the world economy in 2022. Above all,  
  • 01:10 the war and its consequences are putting stress  on poor people around the world. It's adding to  
  • 01:19 the debt burden, an overburden in many countries,  and also the fragility of the world environment.  
  • 01:26 One of the key transmission mechanisms is  the shortages of food, energy and fertilizer.  
  • 01:34 Fertilizers and energy are critical for the  crop cycle so they're building on each other and  
  • 01:40 creating a food insecurity crisis that that will  last at least months and probably into next year.  
  • 01:50 Food prices are up already 37% year-over-year.  There's been a shift in relative prices with food  
  • 01:58 up more than CPI (Consumer Price Index). That's  significant because it measures how much it hits  
  • 02:04 the poor, who have to spend more on food in their  daily budget. When you have food prices going up  
  • 02:11 more than CPI, it puts on display the burden  and inequality of the various global crises. 
  • 02:20 The World Bank Group has been acting fast in  the face of the crises: first the COVID-19  
  • 02:26 surge financing in over the last two years, which  was one of the fastest and largest in our history.  
  • 02:33 And we are now putting money into Ukraine  and have moved quickly both to commitments  
  • 02:40 and disbursements, including nearly $1.5 billion  dollars that I announced in Poland last week. 
  • 02:50 That is part of a surge in  World Bank Group financing,  
  • 02:55 that we expect to carry out over the next 15  months, which should reach $170 billion dollars.  
  • 03:04 It would be the largest set of commitments by  the World Bank Group ever. We're also working  
  • 03:09 on other key issues facing developing countries.  Vaccines are important, and we're continuing  
  • 03:16 to push forward. We will have committed $11  billion dollars in vaccination programs in 81  
  • 03:26 countries by the end of June. We are working  on debt transparency and debt sustainability  
  • 03:33 solutions for developing countries, which  affects both low- and middle-income countries. 
  • 03:41 We're also working actively on climate, through  our Climate Change Action Plan and the formation  
  • 03:47 of Country Climate and Development Reports  (CCDRs), which will identify the high priority  
  • 03:55 items country by country, in their efforts  to mitigate and to adapt to climate change. 
  • 04:02 The world needs to take important steps to  address the current set of crises. One is to  
  • 04:10 allow more trade. Market opening steps are very  important. I was intrigued to see and welcomed  
  • 04:19 India's moves yesterday and today to begin to sell  from its stockpiles. I think market opening steps  
  • 04:27 by many of the advanced economies could add a lot  to the global supplies and alleviate some of the  
  • 04:38 impact on the poor countries. And they themselves  need to build up their systems to produce more.  
  • 04:46 One of the drawbacks is that, in recent years,  there's been a shortage of investment, especially  
  • 04:51 in the developing world. We need to find  policies going forward that will add investment. 
  • 04:58 One of the solutions for the world is to recognize  that markets are forward looking. If you announced  
  • 05:03 policies today, it has an immediate impact  on where people begin to invest. I think  
  • 05:10 the world can take steps to say that the  capital allocation of global resources can  
  • 05:16 be improved. What we have now is a capital  allocation that leads to deep inequality.  
  • 05:24 And in fact, the inequality is growing worse.  That means more countries falling further behind,  
  • 05:31 not making advancements, and not having the  investment that is needed. Some of that owes to  
  • 05:38 the macro policies of the advanced economies.  They've been borrowing very heavily from the  
  • 05:44 global capital markets, which leaves less  for other countries. That can be improved. 
  • 05:50 And as central banks raise interest rates,  it's important for them to use all their tools  
  • 05:57 and not be undercut by government demand stimulus.  The central banks can use tools that add to supply  
  • 06:05 and that allow capital allocation to be improved.  I think that's going to be vital. They've been  
  • 06:12 talking about, not just interest rates, but also  shrinking the balance sheet, which I think would  
  • 06:18 have a stimulative effect on the global investment  climate, because it would occupy less of the  
  • 06:29 capital at the central banks from the current  situation. Also, they have regulatory policy tools  
  • 06:36 that can be used to allow and encourage more  investment in small businesses, in new businesses,  
  • 06:43 that will be the dynamic portion of a new economy. Again, I stress markets are forward looking.  
  • 06:50 Announcements on currency stability have  an impact and announcements on capital  
  • 06:54 allocation have a positive impact, as the  world tries to confront these various crises. 
  • 07:01 I want to mention one more thing and then turn  to your questions. The debt crisis itself is a  
  • 07:09 topic of extensive conversation this week, both  at the IMF, at the World Bank, and among the G-20,  
  • 07:17 and other shareholder groups that are forming this  week. It’s vital and we know what the data shows:  
  • 07:26 a huge buildup of debt, especially in the poorest  countries. It's important that the resolution  
  • 07:33 process starts early. If you wait, the resolutions  are much more difficult to carry out. Sri Lanka is  
  • 07:44 facing that problem now. It's important to form  the creditor committees early. There was a call  
  • 07:51 today for China to form the creditor committee for  Zambia, which would help with the implementation  
  • 07:59 of the Common Framework. And so, I've mentioned  that as interest rates rise, the debt pressures  
  • 08:07 are mounting on developing countries, and  we need to move urgently towards solutions.  
  • 08:15 Thank you and I'll turn to questions. MR. THEIS: Thank you very much. Great. 
  • 08:19 Okay, looking at the chart, we've got  the first question coming from Maoling  
  • 08:22 Xiong of Xinhua News Agency in China. Last week, you, along with the heads of  
  • 08:27 IMF--you and World Food Program and WTO--called  for urgent coordinated action on food security to  
  • 08:33 help vulnerable countries. How severe is the food  problem and do you expect some sort of agreement  
  • 08:37 coming out of the Spring Meetings? Thank you. MR. MALPASS: The food problem is severe.  
  • 08:43 I mentioned the rise year-over-year  in prices; that's one aspect of it. 
  • 08:47 It's worse than that in a way because the prices  crowd out the poorest. And so, it hits people in  
  • 08:57 poor countries and especially in rural areas  the hardest. There's also the tendency to move  
  • 09:03 towards less nutritious food. If other food is not  available in the diet, people turn to rice, which  
  • 09:10 often doesn't have the nutrition that's needed.  This is clearly a severe crisis and it's added to,  
  • 09:19 or compounded by, the shortage of fertilizer that  makes it hard to have a strong growing cycle. 
  • 09:25 On the positive side, markets react quickly, and  we are entering this cycle of food insecurity  
  • 09:34 with large global stockpiles. As those are  released, I think there can be progress. And also,  
  • 09:44 the supply of food, of fertilizer and of energy  can be increased substantially by countries  
  • 09:53 if they choose to do that. I think  it's important to start early. 
  • 09:58 As far as this week's meetings, there was  substantial discussion yesterday. I don't  
  • 10:05 expect an international agreement on food. What I  hope and expect is that many countries will step  
  • 10:11 forward with individual solutions to alleviate  the food crisis and the fertilizer crisis. 
  • 10:19 Thanks. MR. THEIS: Thank you  
  • 10:21 very much. Next question in is from  George Wiafe from Joy FM in Ghana. 
  • 10:26 Given the impact of rising food prices due to  the Russia-Ukraine War, should Ghana and other  
  • 10:30 countries go for improved revenue mobilization,  rather than issuance of euro bonds to correct  
  • 10:35 their deficit position? Thank you. MR. MALPASS:  
  • 10:41 Countries should put in place policies  that are strong and that attract investment  
  • 10:48 by their own citizens and by foreigners. Some of  those can be revenue mobilization policies but,  
  • 10:56 very important, they should be growth policies  and they should attract private sector investment.  
  • 11:02 There's been a tendency to have too much emphasis  on government-led investment, which doesn't end up  
  • 11:09 adding to the competitiveness and the productivity  as much as it should, if it were less centralized.  
  • 11:16 I think those steps are important. As far as euro bonds, the challenge is for  
  • 11:23 governments to use the proceeds very effectively  now if they borrow. A giant conflict of interest  
  • 11:32 is that sitting governments are able to  borrow, and then future governments and the  
  • 11:36 people of their countries have to pay back the  borrowing. Remember, when you borrow principle,  
  • 11:41 you only get to do it once, even if you roll over  at zero percent interest rates into the future,  
  • 11:47 which isn't actually available for developing  countries--if you roll over at a low interest rate  
  • 11:53 you still are not able to borrow the principle  again. It's only a one-time supply of money, and  
  • 12:00 that has to be used very effectively. And my worry  is that hasn't been the case in certain countries,  
  • 12:07 and they're left with unsustainable debt. As I  mentioned in the opening remarks, it's important  
  • 12:13 that we have prompt, early resolution processes  for unsustainable debt. And we're working on  
  • 12:19 that with the IMF, collaborating and encouraging  the G20 to move quickly in that regard. Thanks. 
  • 12:27 Thanks. MR. THEIS:  
  • 12:28 Thank you. And we have a question in from Ukraine,  from Dmitry Anopchenko from Inter TV Ukraine. 
  • 12:34 How is the World Bank going to support  Ukraine during this challenging time? 
  • 12:37 I know you touched upon that but  perhaps you want to expand. Thanks. 
  • 12:40 MR. MALPASS: We wanted to have immediate support  to help Ukraine continue some of the government  
  • 12:51 services. We were able to mobilize nearly  a billion dollars in emergency financing  
  • 12:58 soon after the Russian invasion of Ukraine,  and that helped pay hospital workers and  
  • 13:04 pensions and other government services. Last week, we announced another $1.5 billion  
  • 13:10 of support for essential government services.  And this week, on Thursday, we'll have a meeting  
  • 13:18 with Ukraine and supportive countries to look for  assistance that will both consider the near term  
  • 13:29 and also the longer-term needs  of the people of Ukraine. 
  • 13:34 I was in Poland last week, and Romania, and  commended the governments and the people of those  
  • 13:41 countries for their support of refugees coming  from Ukraine. And I have been pleased to see  
  • 13:49 some of those refugees going back to Ukraine--as  western Ukraine stabilizes some. So, we can be  
  • 13:58 encouraged by that trend, but we can also be  aware that the war continues and there are  
  • 14:07 millions and millions of displaced  persons in Ukraine that need assistance.  
  • 14:11 We'll be working on that all this week. MR. THEIS: Thank you. Next question in  
  • 14:18 from Yolanda Morales of El Economista in Mexico. 
  • 14:21 The Mexico City Government has said that they  asked the World Bank for technical support to  
  • 14:25 reactivate their economy. Can you share with us if  the World Bank will help cover the inflation shock  
  • 14:30 for families in Mexico? Thank you. MR. MALPASS:  
  • 14:34 We have World Bank representatives in Mexico.  They've been meeting with Mexican officials  
  • 14:41 to look for ways to work with national but also  subnational city kinds of governmental entities.  
  • 14:50 We're ready to support that kind of effort. What we encourage, and want to look for,  
  • 14:55 is targeted support for those most in need.  This is--many countries have systems that  
  • 15:03 can be effective in that regard and we  recognize that, as food prices go up,  
  • 15:08 it hits the poor the most. I saw Ramírez de la  O this morning, with the Mexican Government,  
  • 15:16 and he spoke very effectively on the challenges  facing Mexico, that Mexico has been fiscally  
  • 15:25 conservative and yet is facing the inflation  challenges that the whole world is facing. And so,  
  • 15:35 there can be, I think, efforts to support people  within Mexico, and we are interested in working  
  • 15:43 with governmental entities on that. Thank you. MR. THEIS: Thank you very much. 
  • 15:49 Next question is from Obinna Chima  from Thisday Newspapers in Nigeria. 
  • 15:54 The World Bank had been advising  Nigeria to end the petrol subsidy,  
  • 15:58 but the country has budgeted 4 trillion  naira for petrol subsidies in 2022.  
  • 16:03 What is your take on that and do you think  it will be a drag on the economy? Thank you. 
  • 16:12 MR. MALPASS: Generalized subsidies  have significant negatives. One is,  
  • 16:20 they are expensive because they go to  everyone, and they're often taken--more  
  • 16:26 used by people with upper incomes than by  people with lower incomes; they're not targeted. 
  • 16:32 So, we encourage, when there needs to be  a subsidy for either food or for fuel,  
  • 16:39 that it be carefully targeted, well  targeted for those most in need. And  
  • 16:48 we have encouraged Nigeria to  rethink its subsidy effort. 
  • 16:53 Also, two other things that I'll mention on  Nigeria that are important. It runs a multiple  
  • 16:58 exchange rate system, which is complicated and is  not as effective as it would be if there were a  
  • 17:06 single exchange rate. The most useful thing for  development is to have a single exchange rate  
  • 17:13 that's market-based, that is stable over long  periods of time. That attracts investment and  
  • 17:20 it also means that there is discipline within  the country's fiscal policies. That would help. 
  • 17:26 And then, Nigeria also has trade barriers that  distort trade flows, and that could be improved  
  • 17:37 substantially in order to help the people  in Nigeria move forward. I do take note of  
  • 17:44 the complicated situation that they face. There  are weapons flowing in through northern Africa  
  • 17:50 that find their way to non-Nigerians that create  violence in Nigeria. This is a very challenging  
  • 17:59 situation that the government faces. And I  think we, all over the world, people should have  
  • 18:06 an understanding of the fragility that's facing  several parts of the world, but in particular the  
  • 18:14 Sahel and the Sub-Saharan African area where the  weapons flow from outside of Africa is putting a  
  • 18:24 grave burden on governments around the continent. Nigeria has huge opportunity because of its  
  • 18:34 natural resources and because of its people,  and I think could see its growth accelerate with  
  • 18:40 improvements in policy. Thanks. MR. THEIS: Thank you. Next question  
  • 18:46 in from Morocco, from Youssef Lakhdar of  Hespress, and this translated from Arabic. 
  • 18:51 What should oil-importing states such as  Morocco do at the present time to overcome the  
  • 18:55 repercussions of the war in Ukraine? Thanks. MR. MALPASS: I was in Morocco a month ago,  
  • 19:03 and it's a challenging situation because of the  suddenness of the increase in world energy prices.  
  • 19:09 Morocco needs energy in order to make fertilizer.  It needs fertilizer in order to make crops,  
  • 19:15 including wheat, and that's critical in the  diet--the staples of people living in Morocco. 
  • 19:22 And so, it creates a deep challenge both fiscally  and socially to be able to replace the energy  
  • 19:34 sources. The suddenness of this energy shock is  hitting countries around the world. Morocco is  
  • 19:43 in no way alone. There are many countries  in similar situations. They have reacted  
  • 19:48 quickly and early, and so I think that's a  plus. Countries are looking for contracts  
  • 19:56 that they can use to lock in future energy  supplies, even if there is an elevated price.  
  • 20:03 I think the biggest point for the world is  to allow the supplies that exist, and that's  
  • 20:13 supplies of liquified natural gas, for example,  to flow to poorer countries, not be taken up by  
  • 20:24 supplies--by stockpiles, but allow it to flow  to the poorer countries that need it now.  
  • 20:31 And then, look for new supplies and produce  the new supplies going into the future.  
  • 20:36 This needs to be treated as a long-term challenge  for the world to increase the supply of energy. 
  • 20:44 I do take note of the SDG 7, the Sustainable  Development Goal 7 of the United Nations,  
  • 20:51 which calls for electricity access for people  around the world. And we still have 800 million  
  • 21:00 people who don't have access to electricity. There  needs to be a large buildout of baseload capacity  
  • 21:09 and grid capacity in many parts of the world  in order to increase electricity access,  
  • 21:15 and that also enables the use of renewable energy  sources. There needs to be substantial investment  
  • 21:24 in the backbone of the global electricity  system in terms of baseload and grid  
  • 21:30 in order to get through to the  other side of this energy crisis. 
  • 21:34 Thanks. MR. THEIS: Thank you. Next question  
  • 21:37 in from Erdenechimeg Batbold of Gogo, Mongolia. The World Bank announced a $170 billion crisis  
  • 21:44 response package. How will this  financing help smaller countries  
  • 21:47 facing debt burdens such as Mongolia? And the FT has added a similar question,  
  • 21:51 can you provide details of the $170 billion  plan? That was Jonathan Wheatley. Thank you. 
  • 21:55 MR. MALPASS: Thank you. The World Bank  operates through country programs and  
  • 22:04 regional programs. They're built up by  Country Directors, by Regional Directors,  
  • 22:12 and by Practice Group Directors in order to have  the most effective programs for the countries. 
  • 22:18 So, whether it's Mongolia or whether it's Nigeria  or Ghana, the countries that we mentioned today,  
  • 22:27 the keystone is to have plans and programs for  the country that benefit the people and allow the  
  • 22:36 poverty to be alleviated and the median income to  go up. What is it that will cause more investment  
  • 22:45 in the country, that is productive? And we look  for those programs and then try to rapidly expand  
  • 22:53 the programs in those countries that are  making progress toward beneficial results. 
  • 23:01 Oftentimes, in a crisis like this one, we  will be allocating more money to social  
  • 23:08 protection programs; that means these targeted  subsidies for the poorest so that they can  
  • 23:17 have a path through the crisis and then have  new businesses that start, new jobs that start  
  • 23:26 on the other side of the crisis. That  will be the focus around the world. 
  • 23:33 The $170 billion includes money from IDA, which we  are grateful to the donors of IDA. It's one of the  
  • 23:40 world's--probably the world's biggest trust  fund that's aimed at the poorest countries.  
  • 23:46 And it's effective and was just replenished  last December and it will be starting--the  
  • 23:53 new replenishment - starting operation on July 1.  It will make available some $93 billion in the 12  
  • 24:01 months--excuse me, in the 3 years starting July  1. Within the $170 billion, we expect to be able  
  • 24:10 to spend $50 billion of that in commitments  in the current fiscal quarter, and then  
  • 24:16 to draw on sources from IDA19 and IDA20, and also  from IBRD resources, and there's a big component  
  • 24:25 from IFC, the International Finance Corporation,  which is the private sector arm of the World Bank  
  • 24:30 that makes debt and equity investments into  companies in developing countries. And MIGA,  
  • 24:38 as well, the guarantee authority of the World  Bank, can be useful in the recovery process from  
  • 24:48 these multiple overlapping crises. Thanks. MR. THEIS: Thank you. Just in from Yuka  
  • 24:54 Hayashi of The Wall Street Journal. IMF officials have warned about the  
  • 24:58 fragmentation of the world economy this week.  What would be the impact of such a development  
  • 25:02 on the global economy and developing nations? MR. MALPASS: It is vital in global growth that  
  • 25:09 there continue to be trade and cross-border  trade flows and cross-border investment flows.  
  • 25:17 I'll make the bigger picture that  this is even true within countries. 
  • 25:22 If you tried to grow your country by just the  resources of one city, it wouldn’t be nearly as  
  • 25:29 effective as if you could move capital around  within your country and trade across borders.  
  • 25:35 In the United States, there's the Interstate  Commerce Clause that encourages trade throughout  
  • 25:40 the United States. Well, the same applies  across national borders. Neighbors are some  
  • 25:47 of the best trading partners, and that openness  is important. I wanted to give that background,  
  • 25:54 because trade and investment needs to cross  borders, and fragmentation would subtract  
  • 26:01 from the productivity of global capital. Now, I think there will be a strong effort  
  • 26:08 to have less dependency on Russia for energy  supplies and on China for the supply chain.  
  • 26:17 There had been an over-dependence on  that, and that could be good for China.  
  • 26:22 As specific supply chains are less dependent on  China, it allows China to move into other sectors  
  • 26:31 and to look forward to the markets of the future. I don't see this as a negative step; it is a  
  • 26:37 necessary step for the world to look at regional  trade growth. Near-shoring is important for the  
  • 26:46 United States. Mexico and Canada are key markets,  powerful markets, and vice versa. For Mexico,  
  • 26:52 a powerful trading partner is the United States.  That can be built on and made into an even bigger  
  • 26:58 trading relationship. I'm quite sure that the  world will continue trading and we need to—there  
  • 27:07 is strong sentiment this week to  keep markets open and, in fact,  
  • 27:14 expand the market access during this crisis.  That's the right response to the crisis. 
  • 27:20 I did a joint statement with IMF, with WTO,  and with the World Food Program late last week  
  • 27:30 stating these views, that it's important that the  world increase supply and not close markets, not  
  • 27:37 fragment markets, as we move through this crisis. MR. THEIS: Thank you. And we have time for one  
  • 27:43 more question, from Kosuke  Takami from Nikkei Asia. 
  • 27:46 Earlier this week, you said that there had been  a misallocation of capital by central banks.  
  • 27:51 Can you please clarify how you feel they  are misallocating capital? Thank you. 
  • 27:54 MR. MALPASS: Prior to 2008, central  banks--the large central banks,  
  • 28:00 in general, did not own bonds. They  would own bills, short-term instruments. 
  • 28:07 As they have moved into the ownership of  long-duration assets, it fundamentally changes  
  • 28:13 the allocation of capital around the world, away  from small businesses toward large businesses.  
  • 28:18 We see this also in the inequality statistics  that have worsened over the years, and also in the  
  • 28:26 slowness of nominal growth rates, even  as the central banks were putting forward  
  • 28:35 growth in their balance sheets. It didn't work  to stimulate nominal growth and we have been  
  • 28:42 left with median incomes often stagnant. This is not unique to central banks. The  
  • 28:48 fiscal policies have also contributed to  this concentration of wealth at the top,  
  • 28:53 which is a misallocation of capital. If you  encourage the people that have the most capital  
  • 29:00 to take on more debt and more capital, it  can't be an optimal allocation of capital.  
  • 29:07 I hope, as we look at the resolution to the  current crisis, one of the key steps will be  
  • 29:13 for the central banks and the fiscal authorities  to use their tools to improve the allocation,  
  • 29:21 to allow an allocation of capital that goes  more towards small businesses, new businesses,  
  • 29:27 and developing countries. This is critical to  solving, to reducing the inequality problem,  
  • 29:35 to reducing the fragility problem that  is facing countries around the world. 
  • 29:40 I have been pleased to see in recent days the talk  of the central banks moving beyond just interest  
  • 29:48 rate increases and looking at balance sheet  shrinkage as one of their tools. There has also  
  • 29:56 been mention this week of using the regulatory  tools so that capital could be better allocated to  
  • 30:02 small business. And I think there should also be  discussion of the duration of central bank assets.  
  • 30:09 It has been very long duration which, itself,  then directs capital away from small businesses  
  • 30:16 toward big businesses and governments which is,  again, not optimal from a growth standpoint. 
  • 30:22 Thanks. MR. THEIS: Thank you very much.  
  • 30:25 And this concludes the press conference opening  the 2022 Spring Meetings. Thank you, Mr. Malpass. 
  • 30:31 MR. MALPASS: Thanks, everybody.  Good to talk with you. Thank you.


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Ask the Expert

Executive Vice President European Wind and Solar, Statkraft, and former CEO of Golden Ocean

Read the Q&A below


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  • MAR 31, 2022 9:19 AM

    Thank you to everyone who posted a comment, question, or idea! We didn't have enough time to get to all of them during the live event. You can continue the conversation with us in the following ways:

    Huge thanks to our panelists and moderators who generously shared their insights with us today. Please check back soon for a recording of the event, which will be made available on this page.

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    Jing Guovia YouTube edited by World Bank Live

    • MAR 31, 2022 9:18 AM

      In order to divert some assistance that households of the registry should receive, is it possible that enumerators or other actors in the field to manipulate the list of households, without the knowledge of government officials or the registry administrators ? If yes, how can this be avoided?

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      Phillippe Leite

      @Ababacar - Good principles of human centered design and delivery systems can help people know what programs are relevant for them, keep their transactions costs down, combat stigma and thus reduce errors of exclusion. In addition, good systems to detect error and fraud are needed. These topics are covered in chapter 4.

      Mar 31 2022 9:18 AM

      • MAR 31, 2022 9:16 AM

        Social protection programs are implemented by governments to achieve broad range of economic and social outcomes - including poverty reduction, inequality reduction, human capital development, gender equality and social inclusion. Just targeting the (monetary) poor HHs may be too narrow of an approach if we take into consideration the wider social impact and socially vulnerable groups - does the book discuss targeting with respects to all these broader social outcomes, not only poverty reduction?

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        Tomoo Okubo

        Matthew Wai-Poi

        @TomooOkubo - There is an extended discussion on welfare - both monetary and non-monetary - in chapter 3.  On the specifics of targeting methods (chapter 5), the book focuses on targeting monetary welfare and poverty because this is a more complex activity (chapter 6).  However, much of the discussion on delivery systems (chapter 4) is just as relevant to programs which have non-monetary eigibility criteria.

        Mar 31 2022 9:16 AM

        • MAR 31, 2022 9:13 AM

          In various country contexts I have lived and worked in, the vast majority of the population is poor, or at risk of falling into poverty. In Somalia for example, about 90% of the population is poor, or at high risk of falling into poverty with any given shock. As you also noted earlier, poverty is dynamic, and there is no one fixed group that are "the poor". Indeed poverty is a moving target, and mounting evidence shows how PMT produces high targeting errors. As such, in contexts where the vast majority are poor, or in all other contexts where poverty is a rapidly moving target, is it fiscally responsible to encourage governments to allocate precious resources to continue to try to target poverty? The complexity in doing so comes at a high cost, not only fiscally, but often politically due to the errors. At the same time, the World Bank has clearly stated its support for universal social protection as central to ending poverty. In particular for governments with limited fiscal space, would it be more fiscally responsible to introduce, for example, a child benefit with limited age-based eligibility to for example, the first 1,000 days or greater depending on budget? Surely this is also much more cost effective for countries to manage, and is a direct investment in human capital. Given the mounting evidence on the shortcomings of PMT, and these associated high costs, what more cost effective approaches does this book promote and how do they link with the World Bank's commitment to promote universality?

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          Chad Anderson

          Phillippe Leite

          @ChadAnderson - Targeting supports the vision of Universal Social Protection, especially in fiscally constrained countries with high poverty and great need. It is true that in such cases many people need support. Nonetheless, it is likely that some households have greater need than others and that we might want to reach them first. Targeting helps in sequencing progress towards USP in the fairest manner.

          In situations of great need and low budget, some countries use a rationing device. For example, public works programs sometimes have a lottery to decide who can participate, if there is more demand than there is places. Having age limits on eligibity is another way in which targeted programs can be shared more widely amongst all who need them,

          Which targeting method a country uses will depend on the program objectives and country context. PMT may be the best option in one situation but not in another.

          Finally, your question gets a a very important point: no targeting method can overcome an underfunded social protection system. Countries need to invest in greater revenue collection in order to finance needed investments in human capital, infrastructure and job creation, and social protection. Social protection is particularly important in helping mitigate the impact of new taxes - often VAT or GST on the poor.

          Mar 31 2022 9:13 AM

          • MAR 31, 2022 9:13 AM

            Regardless of the targeting method, robust social protection delivery systems are pivotal to the success and impact of social protection programs. Laura Pabón Alvarado shares how Colombia is making a move from periodic survey sweeps to a more dynamic system.

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            Jing Guo

            • MAR 31, 2022 9:11 AM

              For the various listed targeting methods, what is the average targeting and operation cost in relation to total beneficiary amounts that goes to the poor, especially for a small target group. in relation to universal social protection.

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              Matthew Wai-Poi

              @BK - The average cost of targeting is around $1-3 per beneficiary or less than 2 percent of benefit values, so relatively small.  Universal Social Protection will likely have multiple programs for different needs and purposes; the more programs which use a targeting system, the more the costs fall.

              Mar 31 2022 9:11 AM

              • MAR 31, 2022 9:08 AM

                Hello everyone, please send your questions through the live chat on this page and join the conversation by using the hashtag #TargetedProtection on social media. You can read more about our new report Revisiting Targeting in Social Assistance: A New Look at Old Dilemmas here: press releasepublication page, and two page summary. You will be able to download the report very soon. Apologies for the delay and technical glitch. 

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                Jing Guo

                • MAR 31, 2022 9:04 AM

                  Senegal has just passed legislation mandating the use of the registry for 30 programs. Ousseynou Diop discusses why it is an important step for Senegal.

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                  Jing Guo

                  • MAR 31, 2022 9:03 AM

                    "Better social protection systems help citizens better weather the shocks of COVID," said Dr. Rema Hanna.

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                    Jing Guo

                    • MAR 31, 2022 9:00 AM

                      Rema Hanna shares her research on the costs of targeting. The new publication shows that while targeting has costs, they are often moderate or manageable.

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                      Jing Guo

                      • MAR 31, 2022 9:00 AM

                        Targeting households in poverty is complex enough.
                        It is even more difficult to target households that are not poor, but have suddenly fallen into poverty or vulnerability as a result of a shock.
                        What means or methodologies do social registries have to quickly and effectively target beneficiaries of emergency shock response programs?

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                        Matthew Wai-Poi

                        @Abdou - Having a dynamic social registry helps with every day shocks for individuals, which we discussed earlier.

                        Building on the answer to the last question, the best way to handle shocks is to be prepared for them ahead of time.  Social registries which already have up to date information on much of the population (even those who are not current beneficiaries) can quickly provide support when shocks happen.  Jordan is a good example during COVID; the majority of its citizens were already in the social registry, so the country was able to not only provide additional support to existing beneficiaries but also to expand to many more vulnerable households to help them as well.

                        Even if there is not social registry or it is out of date, new technology means targeting affected households during shocks can be done quickly.  The book includes the example of Togo, which used mobile phone data to help target the country's COVID social protection response.

                        Mar 31 2022 9:00 AM

                        • MAR 31, 2022 8:59 AM

                          Thanks for tuning in, everyone. Please send your questions through the live chat on this page and join the conversation by using the hashtag #TargetedProtection on social media. Don’t forget to participate in our polls. Please read more about our new report Revisiting Targeting in Social Assistance: A New Look at Old Dilemmas here: press release and publication page. You will be able to download the report very soon. Apologies for the delay and technical glitch. 

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                          Jing Guo

                          • MAR 31, 2022 8:53 AM

                            Do social assistance assists in convergence situation of society ?

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                            RONJON HANDIQUE

                            Phillippe Leite

                            @RONJONHANDIQUE - See some discussion on this on the WB SPJ website or in the WB SPJ strategy)

                            Mar 31 2022 8:53 AM


                            Is the new publication - Revisiting targeting in social assistance new look at old dilemmas - available for download?

                            Mar 31 2022 8:57 AM

                            Jing Guo

                            @Gbenga - Our apologies for a technical glitch. We are working on the link for downloading the report. Thanks for your patience. In the meantime, please read the press release and publication page for more information. 

                            Mar 31 2022 8:57 AM


                            Could you explain a bit more how shock-responsive mechanism/s can anticipate expansion of eligibility and/or services (such as people who may be above poverty line) becoming more vulnerable when an extreme event is anticipated?

                            Mar 31 2022 9:16 AM

                            Phillippe Leite

                            @Janot - Helping to manage shocks is such an important area for SP programming in recent years that the term Adaptive Social Protection (see  more in ASP book)  has been coined to draw attention to the need to ensure that individual programs and the mix of programs are fit for the task. In chapter 3 and 5 we discuss how delivery system and targeting are to be adapted to shocks. But one important aspect is the need to prepare to handle eligibility determination for social protection responses to natural disaster/ shocks. A first step in planning for agile responses to natural disaster is assessing hazards ex ante. Hazard assessments should consider the risks related to the most likely or most severe hazards that might affect people or their assets, the expected impacts on consumption or income and its distribution across regions or the welfare distribution.

                            Mar 31 2022 9:16 AM

                            • MAR 31, 2022 8:52 AM

                              The new report highlights the importance of including people from traditionally excluded groups, such as people living in remote areas or people who have been displaced. Laura Pabón is sharing examples of how the social protection programs in Colombia supported targeting and inclusion of these groups.

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                              Jing Guo

                              • MAR 31, 2022 8:50 AM

                                How does Targeting work in relation to the urgency of Shock response in cases of emergency situation case COVID 19 example? And how would targeting work when there are disasters or social distancing and lockdowns?

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                                Matthew Wai-Poi

                                @BK - The book has a long discussion of targeting with shocks (see chapters 3 and 5). Income dynamics and shocks are significant and pose difficult challenges for targeting, and some targeting methods are more agile than others. Even in 'normal' times, the dynamics of welfare and poverty are considerable; shocks can dramatically amplify this. Shock responses require thinking through who gets the priority for assistance - those who were poor even before the shock? those made poor because of it? those with large losses even if they remain above the poverty line? Some targeting methods lend themselves more easily to handle some sorts of income dynamics or shocks than others. In chapter 5 we provide a summary of how each method works, and pros and cons for shocks.

                                Mar 31 2022 8:50 AM

                                • MAR 31, 2022 8:47 AM

                                  Its interesting the online survey didn’t include the categorical targeting of children as a targeting approach. Pros a) children are more likely to be in poverty, especially large families; b) it can be progressively realized as age ranges covered increase; c) its in line with the WBs human capital approach and children realizing their potential and knock on benefits on economies and intergenerational poverty. It will also be much more administratively feasible than HH welfare-based targeting which requires up-to-date quality data and can promote social cohesion, particularly where geographic targeting may be challenging. Would be interested to hear your thoughts!

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                                  David Stewart

                                  Phillippe Leite

                                  @DavidStewart - 

                                  Thanks for the question and for highlighting categorical targeting. The publication talks a lot about categorical targeting (see overview/message 8, chapter 3 and chapter 5). The publication reviewed countries/programs internationally, finding three quarters used categorical targeting, either stand-alone or with another method. Many programs are inherently categorical in design. In looking at the types of programs coded as using categorical targeting, we see a predominance of those related to age, such as family and child allowances, nutrition programs, school feeding, scholarships, provision of school supplies, old age pensions, and burial grants. We found out that categorical targeting is also used in 43 percent of programs that are not inherently categorical such as poverty alleviation programs, targeted subsidies, or emergency support. see chapter 5).

                                  In addition, we also suggest that sometimes demographic targeting may be a very good fit for a program’s objectives, not necessarily as an inherently individual or age-related service or benefit, but as a pragmatic way of serving poverty reduction or risk management functions (see discussions in chapters 1 and 5)

                                  Categorical targeting may well be a good choice in many instances, although we do also note that while many households in a category (such as having children) are poor, there are often many poor households in a country who are not in the category. Thus w emphasize that objectives and social and political context are likely to influence choices among targeting methods. There is no absolute ranking of methods, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ targeting method and customization is key.

                                  Mar 31 2022 8:47 AM

                                  • MAR 31, 2022 8:47 AM

                                    The new report highlights the importance of including people from traditionally excluded groups, such as people living in remote areas or people who have been displaced. Ousseynou Diop is sharing examples of how the social protection programs in Senegal supported targeting and inclusion of these groups.

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                                    Jing Guo

                                    • MAR 31, 2022 8:46 AM

                                      Thanks for tuning in, everyone. Please send your questions through the live chat on this page and join the conversation by using the hashtag #TargetedProtection on social media. Don’t forget to participate in our polls. Please read more about our new report Revisiting Targeting in Social Assistance: A New Look at Old Dilemmas here: press release and publication page.

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                                      Jing Guo

                                      • MAR 31, 2022 8:42 AM

                                        Is the publication available? If yes, how can I access it? Thanks.

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                                        Jing Guo

                               - We are working on the link for downloading the report. Thanks for your patience. In the meantime, please read the press release and publication page for more information. 

                                        Mar 31 2022 8:42 AM

                                        • MAR 31, 2022 8:40 AM

                                          What are the main challenges of the social information systems to improve targeting in a context of rapid changes?

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                                          Phillippe Leite

                                          @Jefreylizardo - The frequent recurrence of shocks and crises pose an important challenge; how can SP systems be adequately flexible and dynamic?New data and technology allow for better system interoperability and data integration and offer the promise of significant improvements in targeting accuracy. But at same time they raise concerns about data privacy and data protection (see discussion in overview/message 9 and in chapters 4, 6 and 8). Moreover, recurring shocks require better thinking and planning, Efforts to target social assistance have evolved over time – often improving aspects of delivery systems or data collection and use through constant monitoring and periodic process evaluations.

                                          Mar 31 2022 8:40 AM

                                          • MAR 31, 2022 8:40 AM

                                            Rema Hanna continued on to talk about role of new technology in improving targeting and social protection performance from a global perspective. 

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                                            Jing Guo

                                            • MAR 31, 2022 8:35 AM

                                              I would like to learn more about the WB's gender and intersectionality approach in the Social Protection work/reaching those most in need.

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                                              Matthew Wai-Poi

                                     - The World Bank uses social protection programs to empower women and girls, who are disproportionately affected by many development challenges - they predominate among the elderly and are over-represented in informal employment, often excluded from more productive opportunities in the labor market; they suffer disproportionally from fragility and conflict.

                                              We promote investments in human capital, including skills training, to enhance the productivity of women in jobs self-employment. Women's economic empowerment is crucial to improving access to productive assets and markets, and enhance decision-making power, as well as childcare services and labor market intermediation to connect women with job opportunities.

                                              Considering gender more broadly, Gender Based Violence, which has increased during the pandemic, requires specific responses to reduce poverty and stress. We also invest in gender-smart delivery systems and human-centered programs to overcome or minimize the consequences of specific mobility and access challenges.

                                              Mar 31 2022 8:35 AM


                                              As a follow up to that, how is the World Bank supporting women with disabilities? People with disabilities have diverse requirements and it is important for schemes to be targeted so they can cover specific disability costs - how to ensure this targeting is improved and not linked to inability to work?

                                              Mar 31 2022 9:05 AM

                                              Matthew Wai-Poi

                                     - We discuss the importance of having an inclusive system for special groups, including people with disability. To improve targeting outcomes for this group the outreach, communication and intake and registration process must be adapted to their needs as well. See discussion in chapter 4 and on box 5.5. More on the World Bank vision on the topic of disability see

                                              Mar 31 2022 9:05 AM


                                              As a follow up to that, how is the World Bank supporting women with disabilities? People with disabilities have diverse requirements and it is important for schemes to be targeted so they can cover specific disability costs - how to ensure this targeting is improved and not linked to inability to work?

                                              Mar 31 2022 9:41 AM

                                              Phillippe Leite

                                     - The book discuss a lot the importance of having a good and inclusive system for special groups, including people with disability. To improve targeting outcomes for this group the outreach, communication and intake and registration process must be adapted to their needs as well. See discussion in chapter 4 and on box 5.5. More on the World Bank vision on the topic of disability see

                                              Mar 31 2022 9:41 AM

                                              • MAR 31, 2022 8:33 AM

                                                Laura Pabón Alvarado, acting Deputy Director of Prospective and National Development, Colombia is discussing how her country’s adjustments from more basic to more sophisticated methods for estimating welfare have helped improve social protection outcomes.

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                                                Jing Guo

                                                • MAR 31, 2022 8:32 AM

                                                  Has the book also illustrated the targeting process and good practices post the covariate shock (as a part of SRSP)?

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                                                  Binod Koirala

                                                  Phillippe Leite

                                                  @BinodKoirala - the book has a fuller treatment of targeting in shocks context. see chapter 3 and chapter 5

                                                  Mar 31 2022 8:32 AM

                                                  • MAR 31, 2022 8:29 AM

                                                    Hello everyone, our apologies for a technical glitch in accessing the report. We are working on it now and the report will be available to you very soon.

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                                                    Jing Guo



                                                      • MAR 31, 2022 8:25 AM

                                                        Ousseynou Diop, Director of Single National Registry, General Delegation for Social Protection and National Solidarity in Senegal shares how Senegal’s social registry system is evolving to better serve social protection for both chronic poverty and adaptive social protection.

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                                                        Jing Guo

                                                        • MAR 31, 2022 8:22 AM

                                                          Rema Hanna, Jeffrey Cheah, Professor of South‐East Asia Studies and Chair of the International Development Area of the Harvard Kennedy School, kicks off the panel discussion by talking about the advantages and disadvantages of different targeting methods and why it is important to adjust targeting to contexts.

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                                                          Jing Guo

                                                          • MAR 31, 2022 8:17 AM

                                                            Thanks for tuning in, everyone. Please send your questions through the live chat on this page and join the conversation by using the hashtag #TargetedProtection on social media. Don’t forget to participate in our polls.

                                                            To download the new report, please click here: Revisiting Targeting in Social Assistance: A New Look at Old Dilemmas.

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                                                            Jing Guo

                                                            • MAR 31, 2022 8:16 AM

                                                              Margaret Ellen Grosh said that social protection interventions often need to assist the poorest and most vulnerable populations first when resources are limited. Yet, there is no single targeting method that fits every situation, and context and policy objectives must drive choices.

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                                                              Jing Guo



                                                                • MAR 31, 2022 8:12 AM

                                                                  In my country the experience I have with regards to the social protection fund distribution is that it only lands in the hands of people who already have, those with connections to the people in authority, and those who are the statesman favorite. Less of those of are not even aware of the existence of such programs. How do you ensure that the intended end beneficiaries of this distribution are first in line to say thanks to you?

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                                                                  Phillippe Leite

                                                                  @Mathias - To help ensure that the poorest and most vulnerable are included in the program, communications and outreach are necessary. Good principles of human centered design and delivery systems can help people know what programs are relevant for them, keep their transactions costs down, combat stigma and thus reduce errors of exclusion. In addition, good systems to detect error and fraud are needed. These topics are covered in chapter 4.

                                                                  Mar 31 2022 8:12 AM

                                                                  • MAR 31, 2022 8:07 AM

                                                                    Can dynamic inclusion in social registries help in substantially reducing the otherwise high levels of exclusion errors characterizing social registries?

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                                                                    Matthew Wai-Poi

                                                                    @umerkhalid - The book discusses the importance of good delivery systems (chapter 4) for improving targeting outcomes. International experience shows that strengthening delivery systems is  critical for social protection programs, especially targeted ones.

                                                                    Dynamic inclusion - having information updated on a rolling basis by bringing data in from other public systems and a open/continuous registration process rather than a census-sweep update every 4-5 years - is very important. People's circumstances change over time - people get married, have children, get a new job. This can change eligibility for different programs. By having social registries regularly updated, inclusion and exclusion error over time can be minimised.  Dynamic updating can be improved through linking social registries to more and more other administrative databases.

                                                                    Mar 31 2022 8:07 AM

                                                                    Gloria Chepkoech

                                                                    Updating social registries frequently to ensure dynamicism is costly and might face the hurdle of financial and human resource capacity constraints to conduct such massive registration/verification exercises. Does the report include proposals on on-demand registration/ costing analyses for such a recertification or update exercise?

                                                                    Mar 31 2022 8:30 AM

                                                                    Matthew Wai-Poi

                                                                    @GloriaChepkoech - Indeed, it is commonly said that household-specific eligibility assessments and social registries have prohibitively expensive administrative costs. The book reviews the available cost data and shows that the administrative costs associated with targeted programs represent a small share of total program costs, and the costs of social registries which are used by multiple programs per country to determine eligibility are also found to be small compared to total program costs - $1-3 per beneficiary or less than 2 percent of the value of the benefits (see more in chapter 2). Moreover, targeting methods are changing as new data and technology as well as other innovations emerge (the book highlights cell phone use as one example), which in turn are likely to reduce expenses further (see more in chapter 6).

                                                                    Mar 31 2022 8:30 AM

                                                                    • MAR 31, 2022 8:06 AM

                                                                      Margaret Ellen Grosh, Senior Advisor at the World Bank and an author of the report, presents the main findings of the new publication, Revisiting Targeting in Social Assistance: A New Look at Old Dilemmas.

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                                                                      Jing Guo

                                                                      • MAR 31, 2022 8:05 AM

                                                                        How do you ensure that the social protection resources reach the intended beneficiary? Thank you

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                                                                        Jennipher Busiku

                                                                        Phillippe Leite

                                                                        @JennipherBusiku - All methods will have some targeting errors and fitting any method to the context is important (see chapter 5), but the book also discusses in depth the importance of good delivery systems (chapter 4) for improving targeting outcomes.. International experience shows that building capacity in delivery systems and customizing the use of data and inference to purpose and context are critical for implementing all social protection programs, especially targeted ones. Moreover targeting methods are changing as new data and technology emerge (see chapters 5 and 6). Hence, efforts to target social assistance have evolved over time, often improving aspects of delivery systems or data collection and use. Constant monitoring and periodic process evaluations can inform policy adjustments and drive good targeting outcomes.

                                                                        Mar 31 2022 8:05 AM




                                                                          • MAR 31, 2022 8:05 AM

                                                                            Michal Rutkowski, Global Director for Social Protection and Jobs at the World Bank, is kicking off the event. He said that “The task of prioritizing access to social protection programs among individuals or groups—or targeting—is done in every country…  debates around decisions about how broadly or narrowly to target, the choice of targeting method, and the many ways that a method can be customized … are perennial in the field of social protection.”

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                                                                            Jing Guo

                                                                            • MAR 31, 2022 8:01 AM

                                                                              Welcome everyone! I’m Jing Guo with the World Bank, and I will be moderating today’s live chat together with our experts Matthew Wai-Poi, Lead Economist and Phillippe George Leite, Senior Social Protection Economist.

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                                                                              Jing Guo

                                                                              • MAR 31, 2022 7:47 AM

                                                                                Hello everyone, and welcome to our event, Targeting Social Protection: How to Reach Those in Need. We'll start the event in a few minutes. Please stay tuned and submit your comments and questions using the live chat.

                                                                                You can join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #TargetedProtection. This event will also be live-streamed on our World Bank TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn channels.

                                                                                Our new report, Revisiting Targeting in Social Assistance: A New Look at Old Dilemmas, which was just published, provides the latest, comprehensive analysis of the benefits and costs of social protection targeting and evaluates the pros and cons of various targeting methods based on global experience in over 130 countries. 

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                                                                                Jing Guo

                                                                                • WB

                                                                                MAR 2, 2022 3:41 PM

                                                                                Hello everyone! Please submit your questions and comments now, using the chat feature. We look forward to interacting with you LIVE on March 31st!

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                                                                                World Bank Live


                                                                                Aid distribution sometimes don't bring fruitful results in sustainable manner. What if building manufacturing eco-friendly sites to improve and empower people in fragile communities. Hand in hand with education facilities to develop locals capacities in required areas of industry inquiry. This should help scaling innovations in learning organisation and bridge the poverty gap and results in no one left behind with improved life and household.

                                                                                Mar 31 2022 8:18 AM

                                                                                Phillippe Leite

                                                                       - Indeed. A good social protection system must have a multitude of social programs designed in coordination with sectors such as education, health, water and sanitation, agriculture, labor, etc as social protection and poverty are multi-dimensional. For example, the unemployed may benefit from both unemployment insurance and active labor market programs, while training and mentoring combined with economic inclusion activities can raise incomes of the poor or decrease their variability. However, this book focuses on the monetary dimension of welfare because it has greater implications for targeting and does not enter in the discussion of types of programs needed in a country. (See more discussion on this on the WB SPJ website or in the WB SPJ strategy)

                                                                                Mar 31 2022 8:18 AM

                                                                                Franck Young

                                                                                How is social protection essential to improve access to social assistance,...?

                                                                                Mar 31 2022 8:24 AM

                                                                                Phillippe Leite

                                                                                @FranckYoung - The book highlights that there is a strong consensus around the need to reduce poverty and inequality and a drive toward Universal Social Protection (USP). That consensus is reflected in many national policy statements (with some constitutions even mandating USP) and in the rapid expansion in social protection programming and innovations seen in recent years. Hence targeted social protection interventions, which include social assistance, can play a valuable role in helping achieve USP; evidence in the book shows that concentrating a greater share of benefits on the poorest people is more cost effective than expanding coverage more broadly, leading to greater impacts and promoting human rights, equity and inclusion. (See more in chapter 1) .

                                                                                Mar 31 2022 8:24 AM

                                                                                David Stewart

                                                                                Great presentation – could you say a little more about demographic targeting of children. Pros a) solid poverty proxy, children are more likely to be in poverty, especially large families; b) it can be progressively realized as age ranges covered increase; c) its in line with the WBs human capital approach addressing intergenerational poverty and positive knock ons; d) can bring strong political support. e) administratively simple. Would be interested to hear the panels thoughts!

                                                                                Mar 31 2022 8:47 AM

                                                                              Read the chat below!

                                                                              The Event has concluded

                                                                              Read the Q&A below

                                                                              For this Q&A, a great number of questions were submitted in advance. We asked the audience to help us select the questions that should be put to our experts. The star symbol ✮ indicates the most upvoted submissions.

                                                                              Amy (Moderator) Greetings! Thank you for participating in our event, The Digital Revolution: Fostering Inclusion and Resilient Growth.

                                                                              Please continue to submit your questions and comments here on World Bank Live. You can also follow the discussion on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, using #PowerOfDigital.

                                                                              My name is Amy Adkins Harris. Joining me in the live-blog is Casey Torgusson, an expert with the World Bank's Digital Development Global Practice, who is on hand to answer your questions. We will begin shortly.

                                                                              Amy (Moderator) @LanaWong01 introduces our first panel discussion, featuring @OmobolaJohnson and @MichaelMiebach.

                                                                              Aswini Ramkumar How do you reduce digital divide among those with no network access

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank It's important to address both the supply and demand side market failures that result in a lack of network access. On the supply side a regulatory environment that encourages competition and private investment in networks and services is critical but in some cases that is not enough. Public financing or other guarantees or incentives may also be required to bridge the commercial viability gap in areas of low population density or low incomes. Subsidies to address affordability gap for connectivity services or digital devices can also help. Building digital literacy and availability of useful digital services and content can also improve the value proposition to end users. This report provides a global overview of innovative business models for network deployment and closing the access gap:

                                                                              Lekan Alao How can the availability of digital equipments be extended to the reach of the lowly placed individual users & investors in developming countries who are handicapped by its scarcity? Thank you. Have a happy spring session.

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank This is an important question as the global access gap is increasingly becoming one of affordability of services and access to devices rather than network coverage. Private sector innovation continues to drive down the cost of devices, but support from governments and financial instiutions to assist the most vulnerable can also help through direct subsidies, guarantee schemes to allow providers to allow users to pay for devices over time and other mechanisms. This is an active area of research at the Bank and we hope to have more evidence to share from ongoing pilots soon.

                                                                              Runa What would the world say in next 10 years related to digital revolution and what sort of jobs would be in demand?

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank It's difficult to predict 10 years into the future given the rapid pace of technology and technology enabled business model evolution, however the World Development Report 2019 - The Changing Nature of Work gives a comprehensive overview of the changing landscape and what Governments, Businesses and Individuals can do to prepare and thrive:

                                                                              Muhammad Khalid KHan Hurdles are unmatched from country to country. Digital transformation is having strong links with financial inclusion and capacity building. How to create more symbiotic relationships for achieving maximum participation of stakeholders.

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank "Killer use cases" such as digital financial services are both the result of prior investments in digital infrastructure and skills and key drivers of future demand. Similarly with e-commerce and online work platforms, video and text communications, social media, e-learning, ride hailing, mapping and navigation, digital identification, etc. Governments can play a role by fully digitizing and automating public services to both take advantage of innovations such as digital payments and digital ID to help further drive these synergies. Synergies between energy and digital access can also be captured to lower deployment costs of the infrastructure and services and to ensure the customers' ability to charge devices and easily pay their utility bills.

                                                                              Pragya Prasad How the preconditions such as physical infrastructure for effective performance of digital technology is managed and monitored ?

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank When looking to support national level digital transformation and development of digital economies, we typically focus on five key foundations including digital infrastructure, digital skills, digital government platforms/services, digital financial services and digital business. These need to be complemented by cross-cutting enablers such as cybersecurity, data protection and privacy and digital inclusion. With respect to digital infrastructure, a number of institutions such as the ITU and GSMA offer publicly available global indices of digital infrastructure and access data to help assess and benchmark performance, while national telecoms regulators typically have the most up to data data and the mandate for industry accountability alongside the policies set by relevant Government ministries.

                                                                              AKINRADEWO A.M.OROBOLA  How can we make technology and innovation more sustainable in a Community that has no access to digital infrastructures? why those who have access are faced with high cybercrime due to poverty, lack of employment and other digital factors?

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank Cyber risks are growing rapidly and its increasingly difficult for governments and individuals to keep up. For individuals and institutions, basic cyber awareness is often the most effective defense, though this is not enough. This is a growing area of focus and support from the World Bank in our investment and technical assistance projects and through a recently launched Global Fund for Cybersecurity.

                                                                              Emmel Blamoh Sonpon My question has to do with the internet, Africa as we know it communication roads are a very challenging issues on the continent. My question now is how can internet be assessable to the entire continent to fully enable completely digitally transform Africa to meet global demand in the space of online activities like jobs education e-commerce etc.

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank Access to the internet is essential for individuals and businesses to thrive in a digital world. Tackling the coverage and access gaps requires a mix of good regulation, business model innovation and sometimes public investment to expand the reach, lower the costs and improve the performance of networks and services and to ensure affordability and skills to use it among the population. For ideas on innovative business models for network deployment and access see:

                                                                              Jihad Ghadieh What is the impact of digitization in the public sector on the labor force, especially when the government may minimize the number of personnel required to complete the task by using digitization?

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank Digitization can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public administration and service delivery - driving time and cost savings and improving the user experience. This is likely to increase the demand and workforce required to support IT functions and the digital skills required for all public employees. In general, increased digitization and automation has not led to a reduction in workforce needs as it leads to expanded markets and a wider range of service offerings. See the World Development Report 2019 - The Future of Work for more insights:

                                                                              Samuel umoh For Internet to be a thing of all, we must consider creating educational environment within our localities, mostly in remote areas like sub-saharan Africa and othe relevance areas.

                                                                              justusnjuki I'm in Nairobi,Kenya and am happy to know that Mathare is in limelight. Great insights there. Thank you!

                                                                              Tapiwanashe Hadzizi How best can we integrate the concept digital inclusion, despite the notion of digital inequality in rural/countryside Africa, were most of our people resides, but fairly one way or the other, they have access to the internet, smart phone and social media?

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank Digital Inclusion is incredibly important given the huge benefits that accrue to the “digital haves” and the growing inequality that can result for the “digital have nots” as communications, commerce and services move increasingly online.  Inclusion has may aspects but some of the most important are affordability of digital communications services and digital devices, expanding digital literacy and improving the “value proposition” for individuals and businesses to invest their incomes in purchasing services and devices and investing time and energy in building digital skills by ensuring that highly useful digital content and services are available in local languages and digital marketplaces.  Much of this needs to be driven by private sector innovation and investment but governments must do their part to ensure a conducive legal, regulatory and tax environment and play a role in bridging the affordability and skills gaps in rural areas and among the left behind populations

                                                                              gditlhokwa The best approach to re-thinking digital inclusivity is fostering digital literacy to empower especially, the rural communities with the digital skills they need to become part of the global digital economy. It has become one of the biggest challenges in the sub-Saharan countries to close the digital gap within their own spaces. One of the major hiccups to this is the fact that mostly, government alone is expected to come up with turn-around strategy for this “inclusivity”. However, the full involvement of the private sector and other entities is paramount through a multi-stakeholder approach. The future of investment should be in the digital skills for a revitalized and inclusive digital global economy.

                                                                              Amy (Moderator) There is still time to cast your vote before we share the results of our interactive poll! @lanawong01 and @matisridhar will share the final results.

                                                                              And now for a conversation with @DavidMalpassWBG and @PaulKagame.

                                                                              AngiePH Can we provide comments on the questions posted by the attendees?

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank It's impor

                                                                              Amy (Moderator) Absolutely! Please include the question in your comments.

                                                                              Henriette Kolb Michael, thanks for your inspirational leadership when it comes to ESG link to bonus pay. How do you think more broadly about building trust in corporate setting. Interesting new study by Deloitte:

                                                                              Ismaila A. Hassan In an environment where the energy to power and drive the digital tech transformation across the broader economy is unreasonable, what can we take first hand to remedy the situation?

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank Energy access is an essential part of the equation to digital access – to both power networks and datacenters and to charge devices. However, digital technologies are not just dependent on energy but can be part of the solution to energy gaps. For example, the “pay-as-you-go” business model powered through mobile money and mobile communications/operations technology has unlocked growth of the off grid solar sector across many parts of Africa and increasingly globally. Digital technologies can also make on-grid solutions cheaper, cleaner and more efficient – utilizing fiber networks along power transmission lines to carry commercial communications traffic, create smart grids, and utilizing mobile technologies to power smart meters and digital payments to digitize customer management and tariff collection to reduce losses and lower the cost of energy service delivery.

                                                                              Mobolaji Are we going to have consider cybersecurity as well discuss and pursue digital transformation so that we avoid the associated cybersecurity issues that will arise from successful DT.

                                                                              Uwe Christian Martinz We are working on a National Connectivity / Digitalization project in El Salvador. We see BB Connectivity as a key requirement, but the digital services layer on top as the real aim of any sustainable, transformation model. We are working on fintech options for financial inclusion for the informal sector of El Salvador (+75% of population). Michael Miebach´s view on this, safety aspects etc. and Master Cards initiatives are 100% aligned with our view of how this needs to be addressed. I would love to have a more detailed conversation with Michael on concrete projects for the Central American Northern Triangle and opportunities of cooperation with Master Card.

                                                                              Eugene Rhuggenaath How are traditional commercial banks contributing to financial inclusion and closing the digital divide in developing countries, and remote, rural communities?

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank Sharing on behalf of IFC colleagues: Many traditional commercial banks are rolling out their own digital strategies so that people in remote areas can reach financial services without having to go to brick and mortar branches.

                                                                              Josephine Davies All the great opportunity in other counties, Why others can have accesses and some more are left out . Country like Sierra Leone will like to partner and compete also please that happen for us .

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank Many developing countries lag behind developed countries in terms of digital infrastructure development, digital inclusion and development of digitally enabled industry and jobs. A key consideration to improving competitiveness is the size of the digital markets. By integrating digital infrastructure, data and services markets with neighboring countries and ensuring adoption and harmonization of best practices to strengthen the legal and regulatory enabling environments, and collaborating to develop a larger pool of digitally skilled citizens, developing regions can greatly increase their attractiveness as digital investment destinations and create a larger “domestic” market for their digital firms and digital workers to offer their products and services before having to compete with the global giants.

                                                                              Amy (Moderator) Our next panel discussion features @MezzourGhita, @carmeartigas, and Enkh-Amgalan Luvsantseren, Mongolia’s Minister of Education and Science.

                                                                              Jorge Roques How should we advocate for digital inclusion when, for so many communities, there are still gaps in more basic needs such as food, water and electricity.

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank It’s important to consider digital technologies and digital access as a tool for achieving wider socio-economic development goals more cheaply, efficiently and effectively. It can help improve agricultural productivity, access to markets and logistics of food delivery, improve the efficiency of energy services delivery and grid management while enabling affordable off grid solar solutions, and improve management of water infrastructure and water resources.

                                                                              Abdel Lawani I think that the poll encapsulates the need to in foster digital inclusion. In my view digital infrastructure is the first priority, followed by digital identity promoted by the government, in order to increase financial inclusion and payment through fintech. I would advocate for more affordable devices, local languages, use of audio and video messages in order to increase adoption by the underserved. I would be very happy be to hear about various initiatives of the World Bank that could support startup, companies and government toward that objective. Thank you

                                                                              Fariha irfan My name is fariha Irfan .want to b part of world Bank digital development I m enterpnure and leading women based business.

                                                                              Soraya  What financial service does the unbanked impoverished communities that makes up most of the 1.7 billion unbanked people need .... what financial services will assist them when all the need is to be paid the measly salary they earn to put bread on the table. The only thing the unbanked will bring is more profits for banks whether digital or not

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank Submitted on behalf of IFC colleagues: The unbanked also have complicated financial lives, they need to save for items like school fees, and large purchases, or cover short term financial credit needs to cover unexpected larger purchases. Financial services can help with these savings like product too, and also better terms for short term borrowings rather than taking from loan sharks with high interest rates.

                                                                              Chabwela While we have developed, developing and LDCs, I bring your attention to LDCs and DCs that are fragile, such as South Sudan. Through South-South cooperation, South Sudan can be aided to catch up! The AU is only as strong as its weakest link. The digital divide can also be perceived from a nation to nation angle.

                                                                              gihanad Great inspiration from H.E Paul Kagame. Rwanda is an example of how political will and the top leadership of the country has embraced digitalization has enabled public service delivery. Keep up the great work, Mr.President!

                                                                              TeddyAddah A country like Ghana is taking advantage of the digital revolution to overburden the population with unnecessary e-taxes. Closing up the digital divide is a gradual process. African governments should look for different sources of generating revenue until the total migration is complete. A lot of people are declining from digital financial transactions and the usage of e wallets. I work directly with smallholder farmers. However the e-lavey tax passed in Ghana is making it difficult to digitize the transaction and operation of smallholder farmers.

                                                                              Epa Ndahimana The coverage of internet put aside; the question we should ask should be if many citizens in Sub-Saharan Africa have the financial capacity to afford the cost of internet and digital services?

                                                                              Daniel Kabasha The average of connected citizen allover african countries is too low, specialy in my Country the Democratic Republic of Congo where access to internet is an expensive deal. How do World Bank and other countries like Rwanda help so that all contries may have access to internet for digital transformation?

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank There are many entry points to increasing investment in digital infrastructure and lowering the costs of delivering and accessing digital connectivity services. Optimizing the legal, regulatory and policy environment is often the most important in order to drive private sector led investment, competition and business model and technology innovation. Governments can also encourage investment and improved affordability through public private partnerships, coverage obligations, tax exemptions, spectrum policies, support to improve affordability of connectivity services and devices for disadvantaged households and individuals. For landlocked countries such as DRC, the policies and infrastructure of neighboring countries is also critical to ensure competitive, low-cost transit services to carry internet traffic to global submarine cables.

                                                                              Amy (Moderator) Stay tuned for a Q&A with World Bank Group experts Doyle Gallegos and Leila Search, who will answer some of your questions!

                                                                              Want to see digital revolution in action? Stay tuned for a short video from Cabo Verde, West Africa.

                                                                              Khondker Zakiur Rahman Where inequality is high and it is increasing how it can be possible to ensure resilient growth?

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank Universal access to the internet and digital literacy are key tools for addressing overall inequality and ensuring that digital technologies don’t exacerbate inequality.  It can be a leveler in terms of access to services, job and livelihood opportunities for otherwise excluded groups.  It can also help diversify an economy away from resource intensive industries vulnerable to climate change or other shocks.  However, it won’t happen on its own – governments need to adopt an explicit focus and interventions to achieve universal access and the World Bank stands ready to help.

                                                                              Seth Ayim My name is Seth Ayim, Technology Interventions Program Manager at TechnoServe, BeninCaju Labs. My question how you ensure technology interventions developed by international development communities are sustainable when the project is over a

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank Sustainability is a continual challenge. Part of the solution is for Governments to prioritize interventions that can be sustainably carried forward by private sector actors after an initial assist in terms of financial, policy or regulatory support from Governments. For provision of digital public goods (connectivity and services for public administration, schools, hospitals, digitized access to public services, etc.), it will be important to build in recurring financial support through general budgets over time to ensure that there is capacity to carry on successful interventions once specific projects close. Likewise it is important to build capacity within government and other institutions that will persist beyond project closure. Tools such as universal service funds can also be re-tooled to support ongoing operations and maintenance gaps and demand side barriers to keep rural networks functioning and to continue to make devices and access affordable.

                                                                              tawa Hello i come from Sub Sahara Africa are there programs in place to help startups in fintech that are ideation stage

                                                                              Casey Torgusson / World Bank Submitted on behalf of IFC Colleagues: There are many programs out there that are incubating and accelerating start-ups, including fintechs in SSA. This is a mapping we have done at IFC of all the programs that helping start ups from the idea stage to the growth phase in SSA:

                                                                              AKINRADEWO A.M.OROBOLA Thank you WBG and big thanks to all the speakers, wonderful presentation.  

                                                                              Transmisión en vivo, 10 - 16 de octubre, 2022. Reuniones Anuales 2022.

                                                                              Acompáñenos en una serie de eventos en vivo sobre los desafíos de desarrollo más apremiantes de la actualidad.

                                                                              10 de oct.: Conversación de apertura
                                                                              11 de oct.: El crecimiento inclusivo
                                                                              11 de oct.: Los alimentos y la energía
                                                                              12 de oct.: Mesa Redonda Ministerial sobre Ucrania
                                                                              12 de oct.: Invertir en educación
                                                                              13 de oct.: Conferencia de prensa
                                                                              13 de oct.: Las personas y el clima
                                                                              15 de oct.: Cónclave sobre capital humano

                                                                              Estos eventos se transmitirán en directo en inglés con interpretación simultánea en árabefrancés y español.