World Development Report 2007

Written on September 19, 2006 by Max Oliva in Development

Max Oliva, Associate Director of IE’s Social Impact Management
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The World Development Report 2007 from the World Bank has just come out. This year’s main theme is youth, considered as people between the ages of 12 to 24. It goes into the challenges and opportunities for the development policies of supporting young people’s transition to adulthood.
Developing countries which invest in better education, healthcare, and job training for their record numbers of young people could produce surging economic growth and sharply reduced poverty.
With 1.3 billion young people now living in the developing world-the largest-ever youth group in history-the report says there has never been a better time to invest in youth because they are healthier and better educated than previous generations, and they will join the workforce with fewer dependents because of changing demographics. However, failure to seize this opportunity to train them more effectively for the workplace, and to be active citizens, could lead to widespread disillusionment and social tensions.
Are education systems preparing young people to cope with the demands of changing economies? What kind of support do they get as they enter the labor market? Can they move freely to where the jobs are? What can be done to help them avoid serious consequences of risky behavior, such as death from HIV-AIDS and drug abuse? Can their creative energy be directed productively to support development thinking?
The theme for the 2008 WDR report is Agriculture for Development. Are there any links or perhaps synergies which can be generated with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its latest $150 million investment to help spur the “Green Revolution” in Africa?
Read the World Development Report 2007


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