World Bank's human capital project

Harry Anthony Patrinos, the Practice Manager for the Europe and Central Asia region of the World Bank's education global practice, came to the European Training Foundation in 2019 to present the World Bank’s Human Capital Project, and a recent policy research paper Measuring Human Capital (2019) of which he is co-author. 

During his Facebook Live interview Mr Patrinos described the outcomes of research using the Human Capital Index methodology, and its measurement of learning (Harmonized Learning Outcomes) in 164 countries, from 2000 to 2017. Many ETF partner countries feature in this research. Findings include, amongst others, increased enrollment in education worldwide but a stagnation in learning; and, positive and negative gender gaps whereby girls outperform boys on learning but underperform on years of schooling.

The Human Capital Project aims is to help people enhance their productivity and innovativeness through improvements in their skills, health, knowledge and resilience, as key drivers of sustainable growth and poverty reduction. The Project’s goal is to translate the school time of children into better learning so that they grow to be productive adults. Gaps in human capital investments need to be overcome, for which awareness raising on the costs of inaction is necessary. Country engagement is crucial in the Human Capital Project’s assessment and analytical work using Human Capital Index assessments results.

“Increased learning is needed for greater growth, and this must be inclusive learning for inclusive growth” according to Mr Patrinos. He highlighted four global trends influencing education: use of neuroscience for better understanding of learners to improve learning design; MOOCs – massive online learning opportunities – for greater learner outreach; use of technology, such as blockchain, allowing people to build and document their skills; and multilingual learning, which can widen access to quality education.

The next phase of the Human Capital Project is to work with countries to develop their human capital development plans, to assist implementation, and to identify opportunities for further research.

The European Training Foundation and the World Bank cooperate on Human Capital Development through country level knowledge sharing and exchange.


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