Click here for search results

Newsletter

Site Tools

Human Development and Public Services

Untitled Document

Overview

This research program spans the full gamut of human development — education, health, labor markets, and social protection. It examines the performance of the sectors in terms of levels and inequalities in utilization, quality and outcomes, as well as methods for improving performance, whether aimed at households, service providers, politicians and policymakers, or donors.    More »

DECHD Icon

Using provider performance incentives to increase HIV testing and counseling services in Rwanda
de Walque, D., Gertler, P.J,, Bautista-Arredondo, S., Kwan, A., Vermeersch, C., de Dieu Bizimana, J., Binagwaho, A., Condo, J.

Universal health coverage (UHC) has been defined as the desired outcome of health system performance whereby all people who need health services (promotion, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliation) receive them, without undue financial hardship. UHC has two interrelated components: the full spectrum of good-quality, essential health services according to need, and protection from financial hardship, including possible impoverishment, due to out-of-pocket payments for health services.

Monitoring Progress towards Universal Health Coverage at Country and Global Levels
Boerma, T., P. Eozenou, D. Evans, T. Evans, M. P. Kieny, A. Wagstaff

Universal health coverage (UHC) has been defined as the desired outcome of health system performance whereby all people who need health services (promotion, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliation) receive them, without undue financial hardship. UHC has two interrelated components: the full spectrum of good-quality, essential health services according to need, and protection from financial hardship, including possible impoverishment, due to out-of-pocket payments for health services.

Progress on Global Health Goals: are the Poor Being Left Behind?
Adam Wagstaff, Caryn Bredenkamp and Leander R. Buisman

We examine differential progress on health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) between the poor and the better off within countries. Our findings are based on an original analysis of 235 DHS and MICS surveys spanning 64 developing countries over the 1990–2011 period. We track five health status indicators and seven intervention indicators from all four health MDGs. In approximately three-quarters of countries, the poorest 40 percent have made faster progress than the richest 60 percent on MDG intervention indicators.

The Law’s Majestic Equality? The Distributive Impact of Judicializing Social and Economic Rights
Daniel M. Brinks and Varun Gauri

While many find cause for optimism about the use of law and rights for progressive ends, the academic literature has long been skeptical that courts favor the poor. We show that, with the move toward a robust “new constitutionalism” of social and economic rights, the assumptions underlying the skepticism do not always hold. Our theories must account for variation in the elite bias of law and litigation.

More»

How Effective Are Efforts to Raise Voluntary Enrollment in Health Insurance?
Winter 2015
An experiment in the Philippines suggests that achieving universal health coverage through voluntary enrollment will not be easy.

How Insecure Property Rights Affect Migration in China
Winter 2015
Land tenure insecurity reduced the rate of migration from rural to urban areas in China during the 1990s and early 2000s.

Can incentives lead to sustained impacts? The case of rewarding safe sex.
Damien de Walque, January 2015
Economists believe that incentives matter and that they can be used for changing people’s behaviors. Incentives are used for encouraging school attendance and performance or for increasing the coverage and quality of health care delivery. But a recurrent question is what happens once the incentives are discontinued? Are the incentives’ effects going to be sustained even after their payment is stopped because individuals would have been nudged towards a different behavior? Or are those effects going to die down and disappear once incentives are removed? The answer to that question has obvious consequences in terms on long run sustainability and cost effectiveness of incentive schemes.

Deworming improves child cognition. Eventually
Owen Ozier, October 16, 2014
You could be forgiven if you found deworming to be something of an enigma. Some have hailed it as one of the most cost effective interventions for improving school participation in developing countries. Yet two recent review papers, drawing together the lessons from many studies, find insignificant effects of deworming on learning specifically and only uncertain evidence on cognition more generally. How could this be?

More »

Youth Employment in SSAYouth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa
January 2014 - The report examines obstacles faced by households and firms in meeting the youth employment challenge. It focuses primarily on productivity, in agriculture, in nonfarm household enterprises (HEs), and in the modern wage sector, because productivity is the key to higher earnings as well as to more stable, less vulnerable, livelihoods. To respond to the policy makers' dilemma, the report identifies specific areas where government intervention can reduce those obstacles to productivity for households and firms, leading to brighter employment prospects for youth, their parents, and their own children.

Order | Download


Risking Your Health: Causes, Consequences, and Interventions to Prevent Risky Behaviors
November 2013 – Individuals all over the worlds engage in behaviors that are risky for their health: smoking, drugs, alcohol, unhealthy food, and risky sexual encounters. They increasingly affect the health of individual and their populations. This report examines the causes, consequences and interventions to prevent these growing threats.

Order | Download


The Elderly and Old Age in Rural ChinaThe Elderly and Old Age Support in Rural China
March 2012 - This book examines projected demographic changes that will affect the economic well-being of China’s rural elderly over the next 20 years, taking into account both China’s sharp demographic transition and the continued migration of young adults to cities. The projected old age dependency ratio of 34 percent in China’s rural areas by 2030 suggests that support of the elderly is likely to be an increasing burden on China’s families.

Order | Download


More»

Report cards: the impact of providing school and child test scores on educational markets
Andrabi, Tahir, Das, Jishnu, Khwaja, Asim Ijaz
This paper studies study the impact of providing school and child test scores on subsequent test scores, prices, and enrollment in markets with multiple public and private providers. A randomly selected half of the sample villages (markets) received report cards. This increased test scores by 0.11 standard deviations, decreased private school fees by 17 percent, and increased primary enrollment by 4.5 percent. Heterogeneity in the treatment impact by initial school quality is consistent with canonical models of asymmetric information. Information provision facilitates better comparisons across providers, improves market efficiency and raises child welfare through higher test scores, higher enrollment, and lower fees.
Working Paper 7226, March 2015

Using lotteries to incentivize safer sexual behavior: evidence from a randomized controlled trial on HIV prevention
Martina Björkman Nyqvist, Lucia Corno, Damien de Walque, Jakob Svensson
Financial incentives are a promising HIV prevention strategy. This paper assesses the effect on HIV incidence of a lottery program in Lesotho with low expected payments but a chance to win a high prize conditional on negative test results for sexually transmitted infections. The intervention resulted in a 21.4 percent reduction in HIV incidence over two years. Lottery incentives appear to be particularly effective for individuals willing to take risks. This paper estimates a model linking sexual behavior to HIV incidence and finds that risk-loving individuals reduce the number of unprotected sexual acts by 0.3/month for every $1 increase in the expected prize.
Working Paper 7215, March 2015

Rewarding safer sex: conditional cash transfers for HIV/STI prevention
Damien de Walque, William H. Dow, Rose Nathan
Incentive-based policies have been shown to be powerful in many areas of behavior, but have rarely been tested in the sexual domain. The Rewarding Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevention and Control in Tanzania (RESPECT) study is a randomized controlled trial testing the hypothesis that a system of rapid feedback and positive reinforcement that uses cash as the primary incentive can be used to reduce risky sexual activity among young people, male and female, who are at high risk of HIV infection. The study enrolled 2,399 participants in 10 villages in rural southwest Tanzania. The intervention arm received conditional cash transfers that depended on negative results of periodic screenings for sexually transmitted infections, an objectively measured marker for risky sexual behavior.
Working Paper 7099, November 2014

Village Political Economy, Land Tenure Insecurity, and the Rural to Urban Migration Decision: Evidence from China
John Giles and Ren Mu
This paper investigates the impact of land tenure insecurity on the migration decisions of China's rural residents. A simple model first frames the relationship among these variables and the probability that a reallocation of land will occur in the following year. After first demonstrating that a village leader's support for administrative land reallocation carries with it the risk of losing a future election, the paper exploits election-timing and village heterogeneity in lineage group composition and demographic change to identify the effect of land security.
Working Paper 7080, November 2014

More»

Publications (2008-2015)

Boogle map of the countries covered by selected research
The map shows research on human development by research department staff, 2008-2015.

Newsletter


Research Manager

Adam Wagstaff
Adam Wagstaff





Last updated: 2015-04-13




Permanent URL for this page: http://go.worldbank.org/ZS9Q2S5IN0