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Blog » Extracts about JDs drawn from the `Year in Review’ Message from Practice Manager, Ian Walker

Extracts about JDs drawn from the `Year in Review’ Message from Practice Manager, Ian Walker

Created Jul 16 2020, 10:40 AM by Teuta Gashi




Extracts About JDs Drawn From The `Year in Review’ Message From Practice Manager, Ian Walker

As we reach the end of the World Bank’s financial year FY20 I thought it a good time to share some reflections about how the year has gone for the Jobs Group.

I’d like to thank everybody in the Jobs Group and all our partners in the Bank and beyond for their hard work and achievements before and during the Covid19 crisis.

Of course, it has been a surreal year. We spent the last three months in the lockdown saturated with Webex meetings and Zoom videos, wondering when and where things will get back to normal, assessing what might happen to job security and incomes, what should be done to protect workers and jobs, and what the new normal might be going to look like for the workers in our client countries.

But before the Covid crisis started, we notched up some important advances. In the field of  Jobs Diagnostics I’d like to highlight the roll out of our new Global Jobs Indicators Database -JoIn, which is coupled with a set of powerful diagnostic tools, working off data for 150 countries, drawn from over 1200 household surveys, and reflecting more than 60 disaggregated indicators of employment and earnings. It is hosted as a Data Catalog by the Development Economics Data Group (DECDG) at the bank and is available here to users as a global public good. A new version will be launched in September, along with new Jobs Diagnostic Tools.

Our inaugural Jobs Diagnostics and Solutions Training Course was delivered as part of the World Bank’s Core Courses Program in Autumn, and is now being prepared for a virtual re-run later this year. We had a very positive response from many participants from client countries and partner organizations. The data-driven, evidence-based approach, which is reflected in our Jobs Diagnostic Guidelines, is spreading to more countries and more development partners. Many thanks to the dedicated teams who have worked on Jobs Diagnostics support through Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Central & South America.

I also would like to thank our team working on the economics of Jobs and Structural Change and the excellent publication “Pathways to Better Jobs” which highlights the key findings from that work. These are helping us to understand what really matters to make jobs outcomes better in low and lower middle-income countries.

Beyond Diagnostics, I’d like to acknowledge the work of our Jobs Group team on the economics of providing public support to better jobs, which has improved our understanding of the phenomenon of jobs linked externalities. These market failures slow jobs transformations in many low-income countries and they provide a public policy justification for supporting investments that create “Better Jobs for More People” – which is the motivating slogan of the Jobs and Economics Transformation special theme of IDA 19.

These analytical advances are also feeding through into operational impacts.

Some of the things that we have done include: the great Policy note on policy responses to the crisis on how to support jobs and households and workers through the incomes during the crisis in the formal sector and in the informal sector ( what can be done, how the policy would change as we move through the different phases of the crisis).

There’s a great Blog Series supporting that policy note that I encourage everybody to look at.

In addition:

  • The Jobs Group has led the way in strengthening the evidence base on the drivers of better jobs – which is crucial for supporting an effective operational response.
  • Jobs Diagnostics (JDs) integrate macro, labor supply and firm-side data to provide insights on jobs challenges (especially for women and youth). They have been completed for over 40 countries in LIC and LMIC settings.
  • The global Jobs Indicators database, JOIN has data on 150 countries from 1200 surveys over 30 years which facilitates cross-country and time series analysis and persuasive analytics, such as the recent “Pathways to Better Jobs” report. It is also open to users outside the Bank – so it’s a true Global Public Good.
  • Through the COVID crisis Jobs Watch initiative the Jobs Group works with EFI to collect and analyze real time data on jobs, welfare dynamics and policy responses to the pandemic.


  • The Jobs Group and Jobs Umbrella MDTF are supporting the operationalization of JET across the WBG through lending operations that address specific constraints to better jobs.
  • The Supporting Effective Jobs Lending at Scale (SEJLS) grant program helps pipeline lending operations put creating better jobs at the heart of program design and results measurement. Examples include: Agriculture GP operations in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Uzbekistan; Environment GP projects in Bangladesh and Cambodia; FCI operations in Bangladesh, Malawi, Madagascar and Tajikistan; a Poverty GP project in Albania; SPJ operations in Ghana, Indonesia and Turkey; and a URL project in Egypt.


  • Finally, as the presentation showed, policy lending is at the center of the JET agenda and the Jobs Group has also played an important role there. Recent examples of successful Development Policy Operations supported by the Jobs Group team include: the Jordan Equitable Growth and Job Creation DPO; and the Bangladesh Jobs DPO.


 I want to express  my sincere gratitude to all CoP members for your engagement and contribution to the CoP knowledge sharing and collaboration initiatives. We recognize your efforts either by participating in knowledge activities, championing our CoP or continuously inspiring us with your presence and engagement.

Thank you for being a part of this journey! I look forward to a successful upcoming year.



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