Digital Technologies and New Thinking about Inclusive Development

"Role of governments and multilateral organizations in the era of rapid advances in digital technology"

The rapid development of digital technologies around the world has both been an opportunity and a challenge for developing countries. While digital technologies have grown by leaps and bounds, the broader development benefits from using these technologies have lagged.

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Part 1: Opening Remarks by Carolina Sanchez-Paramo as part of the Poverty and global practice retreat


Part 2: Ceyla Pazarbasioglu discusses the issue of direction of technological change - whether technology will be human enhancing or human replacing.


Part 3: Founding Director of the Stanford Poverty and Technology Lab, Elizabeth Mason discusses how technology can be tranformative if we figure out the right delivery mechansims, the right micro targets and the right context.


Part 4: Ferid Belhaj talks about the youth bulge in MENA and discusses the need for a new economic model for job creation of young tech savvy population in MENA.


Part 5: Ceyla answers the question on the role governments have to play as the digital economy develops. 

Elizabeth Mason talks about poverty and technology lab, what works and what doesnt.


Part 6: Freid Belhaj discusses the role of Private Sector, and the interactions between private and public in context of MENA.


Question and Answer: What is the role of universal basic income in correcting loss of jobs due to automation? Reflections on the gig economy, borderless digital world and the pace of cross-border movement of labor force. 


Remarks by Keynote Speaker Joseph Stiglitz - Part 1: Will the digital technologies make it more difficult for developing countries to close the gap between them and the advanced countries? 


Remarks by Keynote Speaker Joseph Stiglitz - Part 2: Joseph Stiglitz talks about shaping the direction of innovation, implications of  "no 1st welfare theorem"  and some "bundled benefits" of new technologies such as social media and search engines. 


Remarks by Keynote Speaker Joseph Stiglitz - Part 3: Joseph Stiglitz addresses the topic of inclusion by highlighting the opportunties and risks of the new technologies. 

About the Presenters

Carolina Sánchez-Páramo

Carolina is the Senior Director of the Poverty and Equity Global Practice (GP) at the World Bank. During her tenure at the Bank, she has also worked on operations, policy advice and analytical activities in Eastern Europe, Latin America and South Asia, and was part of the core team working on the WDR2012, “Gender Equality and Development”. Her main areas of interest and expertise include labor economics, poverty and distributional analysis, gender equality and welfare impacts of public policy.

Ceyla Pazarbasioglu

Ceyla Pazarbasioglu is Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions (EFI) at the World Bank Group (WBG) since October 1, 2018. In this role, Ceyla provides strategic leadership to the best expertise from around the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) to help low- and middle-income countries build the foundations for inclusive and sustainable growth and, thereby, make progress towards achieving the World Bank Group’s twin goals of reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity. She oversees a portfolio of nearly $30 billion of operational and policy work and advisory engagements in the WBG Global Practices of Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation; Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment; Governance; and Poverty and Equity.

Elisabeth Mason

Elisabeth Mason is the Founding Director of the Stanford Poverty and Technology Lab (formerly Stanford Technology, Opportunity and Poverty Lab or STOP) and a Senior Advisor at the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality. Previously, Elisabeth was the Co-Founder and CEO of Single Stop, a national anti-poverty initiative. A native of East Harlem where she developed her passion for social justice, Elisabeth was named "New Yorker of the Year" in 2015 by NY1 for her groundbreaking work fighting poverty, which reached nearly 20 percent of low-income New Yorkers. Elisabeth is an expert on venture philanthropy, children’s rights, start-up organizations, and poverty-fighting programs. Under her leadership, Single Stop grew rapidly to serve over 1.5 million families, drawing down nearly $4 billion in impact in its first 8 years, and won numerous awards, including 2 White House Social Innovation Fund grants and Top Ten in Global Social Impact from Fast Company. At Atlantic Philanthropies, she helped develop a $1 billion, 10-year spend-down plan to help disadvantaged children. She was also a Managing Director for six years at the Robin Hood Foundation, a Senior Advisor at Innovative Philanthropy, and practiced law on Wall Street at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. Elisabeth holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Harvard and a Law Degree from Columbia.

Ferid Belhaj

Ferid Belhaj took up the position of World Bank Group Vice President for Middle East and North Africa on July 1, 2018. Prior to this, Mr. Belhaj served 15 months as the Chief of Staff of the President of the World Bank Group. From 2012 to 2017, Mr. Belhaj was World Bank Director for the Middle East, in charge of World Bank work programs in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Iran, based in Beirut, Lebanon. In this capacity, he led the Bank engagement on the Syrian refugee crisis and its impact on the region, including the creation of new financing instruments to help countries hosting forcibly displaced people; the ramping up of the Bank drive towards the reconstruction and recovery of Iraq during and after the ISIS invasion and the scaling up of the Bank's commitments to Lebanon and Jordan. Before taking up his Mashreq assignment, Mr. Belhaj served as World Bank Director for the Pacific Department (2009-2012), where he developed a regional strategy that scaled up Bank engagement in small and fragile states, and tripled lending operations of the International Development Agency, one of the five institutions under the umbrella of the World Bank Group that provides interest-free loans and grants for Low-Income Countries. From 2007 to 2010, Mr. Belhaj was the World Bank’s Special Representative to the United Nations in New York, where he engaged with various UN agencies on a range of programs, mainly climate change, the Millennium Development Goals, fragile and post-conflict states and the global financial and food crises. Ferid Belhaj served as World Bank Country Manager for Morocco (2002-2007), where he developed a new and multifaceted dialogue with one of the best performing Middle-Income countries. A Tunisian national, Mr. Belhaj joined the Bank in 1996 as Senior Counsel in the Legal Department, managing a number of legal and judicial reform projects. He also served as Bank Counsel for countries, including Egypt, Morocco, Iran, Algeria and Thailand.

Joseph Stiglitz

Joseph E. Stiglitz received his Ph.D from MIT in 1967, became a full professor at Yale in 1970, and in 1979 was awarded the prestigious John Bates Clark Award. He has taught at Princeton, Stanford, and MIT and was the Drummond Professor and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He is now University Professor at Columbia University and Chair of Columbia University's Committee on Global Thought. He co-founded and directs the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia. In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information, and he was a lead author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Stiglitz was a member of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1993-95, during the Clinton administration, and served as CEA chairman from 1995–97. He then became Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank from 1997–2000. In addition to writing widely used textbooks, Stiglitz founded The Journal of Economic Perspectives. His latest book, The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future, was published by W,W, Norton & Company in June 2012.