EXPLORING THE FINANCIAL HEALTH OF FAMILIES IN CHINA
Considering China's rapid development over the last thirty years, new and distinct financial groups have emerged among China's 1.4 billion residents. A Capstone team explored the Composite Financial Status (CFS)-a measure of overall financial health-of families in China using datasets from the Chinese Household Income Project and the China Family Panel Study. CFS uses a household's income level and asset holdings to gain a robust picture of a household's financial well-being. The four CFS categories include poor, transient poor, transient rich, and rich. The team's research identified the distinctions between the different financial status categories, analyzed demographic characteristics, and explored the personal outcomes associated with membership in each of the categories.
ADAPTING TO CLIMATE CHANGE
The Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank evaluates the development effectiveness of the Bank. Climate change and disaster risk pose significant threats to development across the globe. The Capstone team created a learning product on climate risk screening for the IEG to complement the World Bank's development of reference guidelines for climate risk management. The team's work supported the IEG's activities by seeking to evaluate the climate and disaster risk screening process. The team reviewed the projects under the International Development Association portfolio and surveyed Task Team Leaders and other project managers. The team's research culminated in the development of case studies and the identification of risk assessment priorities for projects approved under the risk screening mandate in high-risk sectors.
DHANBAD URBAN ROADS PROJECT
Dhanbad, known as the Coal Capital of India, is one of the largest industrial towns of Jharkhand State. A proposed loan from the World Bank aims to improve the city's road network and public transport systems. The government of Jharkhand prepared the Comprehensive Mobility Plan for Dhanbad, a master urban infrastructure development project. The World Bank South Asian Regional Unit enlisted a Capstone team to review the Comprehensive Mobility Plan and associated project report containing the scope and magnitude of the proposed road improvements. The team traveled to Dhanbad where they conducted multiple site visits and interviews with key stakeholders. The team used the gathered data to identify areas for improvement and advance project goals. The team's research supported the development of innovative initiatives-such as contextual planning, multi-purpose programming, solar lighting, and other urban design solutions-that will help tackle the social and environmental challenges of implementing the Dhanbad Roads project.
ASSESSING ENGAGEMENT IN MIDDLE-INCOME COUNTRIES
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) aims to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person's potential is fulfilled. To accomplish this, UNFPA works to ensure that all individuals, especially women and young people, can access high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare services so that they can make informed and voluntary choices about their lives. UNFPA enlisted a Capstone team to explore how the UNFPA can enhance its engagement in middle-income countries (MICs) by establishing a new vision and path to Sustainable Development Goal targets. The team conducted desktop research, analyzed program data, interviewed UNFPA officials, and reviewed development strategies to provide recommendations for upstream policy and advocacy engagement in MICs. Rather than taking a universal approach, the team recommended that the UNFPA engage with each MIC differently, specifically by considering the political and cultural environment, to bring about targeted and effective changes. The project contributed to UNFPA's new strategic plan for 2018 - 2021.
ADVISING ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Swaziland supports the government in policy areas of poverty alleviation, the provision of equitable social services, and good governance. As a global knowledge network, UNDP advocates for sustainable human development and connects countries to experiences and resources to build better live. The Capstone team assisted UNDP, the larger United Nations Country Team, and Swaziland's government with aligning the country's national development plan and strategies with the global 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The work included researching global best practices for sustainable development initiatives, collecting data on existing work in Swaziland related to the sustainable development goals, and identifying important gaps and challenges in planning and implementing a national development strategy. The team conducted in-depth research on sustainable development initiatives related to health and climate change, which are top priorities in the country. The team's research culminated in an advisory report that showcased a localized monitoring and evaluation framework.