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Topic:Environment and Natural Resources
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Building Urban Resilience: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group’s Evolving Experience (2007-2017)

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Building Urban Resilience: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group’s Evolving Experience
This evaluation examines the World Bank Group’s evolving experience in building resilience in urban areas during the period 2007–17. The focus of this evaluation is the World Bank Group’s support to clients in building urban resilience—to cope, recover, adapt and transform—in the face of shocks and chronic stresses.This evaluation examines the World Bank Group’s evolving experience in building resilience in urban areas during the period 2007–17. The focus of this evaluation is the World Bank Group’s support to clients in building urban resilience—to cope, recover, adapt and transform—in the face of shocks and chronic stresses.

The Natural Resource Degradation-Human Vulnerability Nexus: An Evaluation of the World Bank’s Support for Sustainable and Inclusive Natural Resource Management (2009-2019) (Approach Paper)

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Renewable natural resources represent essential livelihood assets for many resource-dependent communities, many of whom are extremely poor. Chronic poverty, natural resource dependency, and degradation of natural resources are strongly interrelated. Climate change exacerbates the magnitude of the natural resource degradation challenge, especially for the most vulnerable populations. The World Show MoreRenewable natural resources represent essential livelihood assets for many resource-dependent communities, many of whom are extremely poor. Chronic poverty, natural resource dependency, and degradation of natural resources are strongly interrelated. Climate change exacerbates the magnitude of the natural resource degradation challenge, especially for the most vulnerable populations. The World Bank has long recognized the importance of natural resources for poverty reduction and sustainable development in its policies and strategies, addressing environmental degradation through multiple interventions. This is a forward-looking evaluation that will generate evidence about how well the World Bank has addressed natural resource degradation issues that threaten the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable resource dependent people – what works, where, why and for whom? The evaluation will inform policy discussions concerning what the Bank should do more of, less of, and differently, including on the implementation of the World Bank’s Climate Adaptation and Resilience Action Plan (FY21-25). Evidence gathered will inform the wider global development debate and policy dialogue on ways to address and alleviate the negative effects of the resource degradation-human vulnerability nexus, in affected areas.

Changes in Carbon Markets and Regulatory Systems from Kyoto to Paris and How the World Bank Group Responded to these Changes (Working Paper)

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This study provides a structured review of the existing literature on changes in international market mechanisms for greenhouse gas reductions and related regulatory systems. The assessment period 1997 to 2016 starts with the signing of the Kyoto Protocol and ends with the entry into force of the Paris Agreement. It can be differentiated into a period of emergence of market mechanisms until 2005 Show MoreThis study provides a structured review of the existing literature on changes in international market mechanisms for greenhouse gas reductions and related regulatory systems. The assessment period 1997 to 2016 starts with the signing of the Kyoto Protocol and ends with the entry into force of the Paris Agreement. It can be differentiated into a period of emergence of market mechanisms until 2005, a gold rush from 2006 to 2011, a fragmentation of markets lasting until 2015, and a brief post-Paris period of relaunch, of a new climate policy agreement. A key aspect of the review is how the World Bank Group responded to changes. The review includes about 300 peer-reviewed articles and about 40 articles from gray literature coming from highly-reputed sources. A large share of the literature examined covers the flexible mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol with a strong focus on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). This is a consequence of the unexpected success of the CDM in the carbon market, at least until 2011–12, as well as the transparency of the mechanism that has facilitated research. As topics and issues related to the international carbon market emerged, the Bank Group tried to address them, focusing on developing countries to enhance their participation in the market. However, there is only limited peer-reviewed literature that assesses the Bank Group strategies and operations. Key changes in markets and regulatory frameworks as well as the responses of the Bank Group can be grouped into four main periods that are briefly discussed below.

Lebanon: Cultural Heritage and Urban Development Project (PPAR)

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Lebanon has a rich and diverse cultural patrimony inherited from many civilizations that existed in succession on its territory. But this heritage has been damaged by disasters and conflict, and more recently by the rapid and unmanaged growth of Lebanon’s historic cities. The World Bank partnered with the Government of Lebanon and bilateral agencies in 2003 to implement the Cultural Show More Lebanon has a rich and diverse cultural patrimony inherited from many civilizations that existed in succession on its territory. But this heritage has been damaged by disasters and conflict, and more recently by the rapid and unmanaged growth of Lebanon’s historic cities. The World Bank partnered with the Government of Lebanon and bilateral agencies in 2003 to implement the Cultural Heritage and Urban Reconstruction Project (CHUD)-to help conserve and restore the country’s cultural patrimony in five of its historic cities – in Baalbek, Byblos, Saida, Tripoli and Tyre. CHUD’s objective was to create the conditions for increased local economic development and enhanced quality of life its historic centers and to improve the conservation and management of the country’s cultural heritage. The US$119 million project was financed with an IBRD loan,  parallel financing from the Governments of France and Italy, and with counterpart financing. Ratings for this project are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately satisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Assigning economic values of cultural heritage requires consideration of both its “use” and “non-use” values. (ii) Urban rehabilitation projects designed to expand public space require ex-ante and intermittent analysis of the risks associated with local economic displacement, due to restricted access and the changing preferences of upgraded space. (iii) Infrastructure-led urban rehabilitation of economically dense and culturally sensitive urban cores requires complementary investments in “soft skills” to ensure effective two-way communication about project aspirations and to adapt to citizen concerns. (iv) Cultural heritage and sustainable tourism investments must be designed to respect residents’ needs and aspirations and to protect communities’ residential right from unintended consequences.  

IEG Work Program and Budget (FY20) and Indicative Plan (FY21-22)

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To maximize its relevance and value added for the World Bank Group (WBG), IEG will align its work program with WBG strategic priorities. IEG also aims to maintain a clear line of sight with the WBG mission and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as with commitments made in the IBRD and IFC Capital Packages and in the context of IDA replenishments. Furthermore, IEG will keep an Show MoreTo maximize its relevance and value added for the World Bank Group (WBG), IEG will align its work program with WBG strategic priorities. IEG also aims to maintain a clear line of sight with the WBG mission and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as with commitments made in the IBRD and IFC Capital Packages and in the context of IDA replenishments. Furthermore, IEG will keep an increased focus on outcomes, countries, clients, and beneficiaries in its work, and aim to foster a greater outcome orientation throughout the WBG. To achieve this strategic vision, IEG will focus its work program on the key development effectiveness questions that the institution and its clients are most concerned about. For each of these questions, we will strive to answer “why”, “how, “where”, “when”, and “for whom” specific interventions or programs have achieved results or not. By working more closely with operational units and other evaluation initiatives across the WBG, we will seek to significantly enhance IEG’s value added for the Board and WBG management. The work program will be anchored around a series of “streams”, building evidence over time on connected themes and trying to bridge between project, country, sector and strategic impact: Fragility, Conflict and Violence (FCV), Gender, Maximizing Finance for Development, Human Capital, Climate Change, Growth and Transformation. In addition, IEG will work along an ‘effectiveness’ cross-cutting stream, aimed at examining systemic issues in WBG effectiveness, as well as working towards building a stronger outcome focus for WBG operations and strategies.

Tajikistan CLR Review FY15-18

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This independent review of the World Bank Group's Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY15-FY18.The government's National Development Strategy (NDS), 2006-2015, aimed at generating sustainable growth, improving public administration, and developing human resources. The CPS original design was broadly aligned with NDS through its three Show MoreThis independent review of the World Bank Group's Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY15-FY18.The government's National Development Strategy (NDS), 2006-2015, aimed at generating sustainable growth, improving public administration, and developing human resources. The CPS original design was broadly aligned with NDS through its three focus areas: (1) strengthening the role of the private sector; (2) social inclusion; and, (3) promoting regional connectivity. The CPS design also included cross-cutting areas in gender, governance, and climate change. The CPS sought to help Tajikistan transition to a new growth model. The cost of complying with business regulation dropped, although Tajikistan continues to rank the lowest in the Central Asia region per the 2019 Doing Business report. Tax e-filing has exceeded expectations, but taxpayer satisfaction with new procedures was not assessed. The World Bank collaborated effectively with development partners in areas such as energy, water, and governance. INT received ten complaints and launched three investigations which all closed as substantiated.IEG agrees with the lessons and highlights the following: (i) overambitious objectives and/or under-emphasis of institutional impacted the success of the CPS program; (ii) with greater ownership and commitment, the government can (and does) implement “transformational projects” and achieve significant results; and, (iii) uneven governance standards, weak administration capacities, and inadequate internal review practices are constraints to swift implementation and need to be anticipated and managed proactively.IEG adds two lessons: i) A country program should identify objectives that match the level of ambition of the program and its intended results and impact; and ii) Political economy analysis of the drivers of policy reform is necessary early on to accompany implementation of ambitious goals.

Croatia CLR Review FY14-17

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This review of the Croatia's Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group's (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period, FY14-FY17, and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of 2016.The World Bank Group program had three focus areas: (i) promoting fiscal consolidation, (ii) improving competitiveness to spur growth, and (iii) maximizing the benefits of EU Show MoreThis review of the Croatia's Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group's (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period, FY14-FY17, and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of 2016.The World Bank Group program had three focus areas: (i) promoting fiscal consolidation, (ii) improving competitiveness to spur growth, and (iii) maximizing the benefits of EU membership. These were broadly congruent with the government's 2013 Economic Program, which covered fiscal consolidation with a particular focus on pension reform and rationalizing hospitals; growth and competitiveness through a sustainable development strategy based on the knowledge economy; and absorption of EU funds available to Croatia. The CPS addressed key challenges facing the country, including EU accession, and was congruent with the Government's 2013 Economic Program and aligned with the WBG's twin goals. The analytical work undertaken by the World Bank contributed to the 2018 Systematic Country Diagnostic Study (SCD), and addressed fiscal issues as well as issues in the justice system, energy, and smart specialization. Portfolio performance was comparable with the ECA region and the World Bank, but some interventions were affected by changes in government priorities.

Jamaica: Inner City Basic Services for the Poor Project (PPAR)

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This is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) prepared by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group on the Inner City Basic Services for the Poor Project in Jamaica. This project was selected for a PPAR to provide insights into promoting urban resilience with a focus on informal settlements. The project represents an innovative experience for Jamaica in combining Show MoreThis is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) prepared by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group on the Inner City Basic Services for the Poor Project in Jamaica. This project was selected for a PPAR to provide insights into promoting urban resilience with a focus on informal settlements. The project represents an innovative experience for Jamaica in combining efforts to improve public safety and community capacity while upgrading urban infrastructure. The PPAR findings provide input to a major IEG evaluation on “Building Urban Resilience” (forthcoming, 2019). Ratings for the Inner City Basic Services for the Poor Project are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, World Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately unsatisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Addressing urban crime and violence through a two-pronged approach of improving basic infrastructure and promoting social inclusion can benefit from the combination of those individual activities that are most effective. (ii) The sharp disconnect between a centralized and well-resourced agency executing infrastructure investments in a decentralized urban situation; and a multiplicity of under-resourced service agencies and local governments in charge of infrastructure maintenance can undermine long-term development outcomes. (iii) In project design, the decision to add activities that are institutionally complex and require focused expertise requires careful consideration to avoid straining resources and effort during project implementation. (iv) To sustain the benefits from community-based and social services for children and youth, long-term engagement is crucial: institutional ownership should be specified, and resources for those activities must be anticipated and secured by the time project support is discontinued.

Armenia: Achievements and Challenges in Improving Health Care Utilization – A Multiproject Evaluation of the World Bank Support to the Health System Modernization (2004-2016) (PPAR)

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This is the multiproject Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) for the Adaptable Program Loan (APL) Health System Modernization series (comprising a first phase P073974, a second phase P104467, and an additional financing P121728). It evaluates the extent to which the APL series achieved its intended outcomes and offers an opportunity to draw lessons from the long-term engagement of the Show MoreThis is the multiproject Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) for the Adaptable Program Loan (APL) Health System Modernization series (comprising a first phase P073974, a second phase P104467, and an additional financing P121728). It evaluates the extent to which the APL series achieved its intended outcomes and offers an opportunity to draw lessons from the long-term engagement of the World Bank in reform of the Armenia health sector aiming to inform and guide future investments in the health sector. The APL series was selected for an indepth field-based assessment due to its potential for learning from long-term engagement of the World Bank in health sector reforms; its clustering nature that allows coverage of multiple lending operation in the same country; and the relatively low coverage of previous IEG project evaluations in the country. Ratings for the Health System Modernization Project I are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was negligible to low, Bank performance was satisfactory, and Borrower performance was satisfactory. Project II ratings are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was moderate, Bank performance was satisfactory, and Borrower performance was satisfactory. Lessons from both projects include: (i) An approach that exploits synergies and lessons from other World Bank engagements in the health sector is important for undertaking complex reforms and helping the government stay the course of the reform. (ii) Macro and micro health policies need to be combined in a manner that the unintended consequences of policy changes are not overlooked. (iii) A shortened period between the approval dates of successive phases of an APL can limit the opportunity to incorporate lessons from previous phases into the design of new ones. (iv) In country contexts with strong social and cultural factors affecting uptake of health care services, supply-side and systemwide policy reforms need to be combined with demand-side interventions addressing the health-seeking behavior of patients. (v) While investments in infrastructure are not enough for health system modernization, they can help ensure acceptance of the proposed organizational changes involving strong stakeholders in the hospital sector.

The Future of Carbon Markets for Climate Change Mitigation

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The Future of Carbon Markets for Climate Change Mitigation
Join us for a discussion about the future of carbon markets and carbon pricing solutions for global greenhouse gas emission reduction.Join us for a discussion about the future of carbon markets and carbon pricing solutions for global greenhouse gas emission reduction.