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Evaluation Insight Note: Transport Decarbonization

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The tramway service between Rabat and Salé. Photo: Arne Hoel/World Bank
Evaluation Insight Notes (EIN) offer new insights from existing evidence on important strategic and operational issues. This first EIN identifies patterns in the World Bank’s transport decarbonization work and finds opportunities for bolder actions.Evaluation Insight Notes (EIN) offer new insights from existing evidence on important strategic and operational issues. This first EIN identifies patterns in the World Bank’s transport decarbonization work and finds opportunities for bolder actions.

Scaling Up Action On Disaster Risk Reduction: A Critical Step For Climate Change Adaptation And Building Resilience

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Scaling Up Action On Disaster Risk Reduction: A Critical Step For Climate Change Adaptation And Building Resilience
Discussion on what it will take to scale up disaster risk reduction to build resilience and meet the challenges aheadDiscussion on what it will take to scale up disaster risk reduction to build resilience and meet the challenges ahead

Evaluation of World Bank Group Support to Creating an Enabling Environment for Private Sector Participation in Climate Action, Fiscal Years 2013–22 (Approach Paper)

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The objective of the evaluation is to derive lessons from Bank Group experience in improving the enabling environment for private sector participation in climate action. The evaluation will assess the relevance and effectiveness of Bank Group support to enabling private sector participation in climate action, including the drivers that led to positive results. It aims to identify lessons Show MoreThe objective of the evaluation is to derive lessons from Bank Group experience in improving the enabling environment for private sector participation in climate action. The evaluation will assess the relevance and effectiveness of Bank Group support to enabling private sector participation in climate action, including the drivers that led to positive results. It aims to identify lessons applicable to the World Bank, IFC, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) by obtaining evidence-based findings on what works, why, and for whom. Such lessons can inform the implementation of the Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) 2021 and subsequent Bank Group activities. The focus on the enabling environment has been chosen because researchers, policy makers, and climate action practitioners realized that creating an enabling environment is a key priority for the private sector to engage in climate action. The need to enhance the enabling environment for private sector participation in climate action is critical to meet the trillions in investments needed to address climate change and achieve Paris Agreement goals.

Reducing Disaster Risks from Natural Hazards

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Businessman with red umbrella among others. @Shutter_M/Shutterstock
This evaluation focuses on the World Bank’s support for reducing disaster risks caused by natural hazards. Expanding disaster risk reduction plays a central role in achieving the World Bank’s goals for climate change adaptation and resilience. This evaluation focuses on the World Bank’s support for reducing disaster risks caused by natural hazards. Expanding disaster risk reduction plays a central role in achieving the World Bank’s goals for climate change adaptation and resilience.

Country Program Evaluation - Papua New Guinea: An Evaluation of World Bank Support FY08–22 (Approach Paper)

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This Country Program Evaluation (CPE) will assess the World Bank Group’s engagement in Papua New Guinea between FY08 and FY22. The Papua New Guinea has an abundant resource endowment of oil and mineral wealth, but this wealth has not translated into significant welfare gains for most citizens. Papua New Guinea’s fragmented geography and frequent exposure to disasters caused by natural hazards Show MoreThis Country Program Evaluation (CPE) will assess the World Bank Group’s engagement in Papua New Guinea between FY08 and FY22. The Papua New Guinea has an abundant resource endowment of oil and mineral wealth, but this wealth has not translated into significant welfare gains for most citizens. Papua New Guinea’s fragmented geography and frequent exposure to disasters caused by natural hazards present significant challenges for delivering services to citizens. The evaluation is designed to derive lessons from Bank Group engagement in Papua New Guinea to inform the next Country Partnership Framework (CPF). The CPE will also provide lessons on the implementation of the International Development Association special themes of climate change, gender, and fragility, conflict, and violence and of the cross-cutting issues of debt sustainability and governance and institutions. Lessons may also be of relevance to other resource-rich countries.

Building the evidence for more effective disaster risk reduction

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Indigenous Fijian girl walking on flooded land in Fiji. On Feb 2016 Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston was the strongest tropical cyclone in Fiji Islands in recorded history.  Image credit: Shutterstock/ChameleonsEye
After a long hiatus due to the COVID crises, governments will come together in Bali this week to discuss progress on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.  Organized by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and hosted by the Government of Indonesia, the seventh session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction comes at a crucial time: Show MoreAfter a long hiatus due to the COVID crises, governments will come together in Bali this week to discuss progress on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.  Organized by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and hosted by the Government of Indonesia, the seventh session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction comes at a crucial time: while countries struggle to address the compounded threats of food, fuel and financial insecurity in the midst of a pandemic, many must also still contend with the threat of natural hazards and the terrible costs they exact. Almost 25 million people were internally displaced by natural hazards in 2021. Climate change is exacerbating the risks to lives and livelihoods from more severe droughts, floods, and storms. As with the shocks from the pandemic and the Ukraine crisis, it is poorer countries and their populations that are most vulnerable to the impacts of natural hazards. Building resilience to the risks posed by natural hazards remains vital for protecting people and preserving development gains and creating the conditions for sustainable development. An upcoming evaluation from the Independent Evaluation Group will offer an assessment of how and how well the World Bank has helped countries address risks of disasters caused by natural hazards. Disaster risk reduction (DRR) is at the core of the World Bank’s approach to support green, resilient, and inclusive development, and in particular to support countries to address climate change through adaptation and resilience. The World Bank has supported hundreds of projects supporting DRR, including through physical investments in risk mitigation and resilient infrastructure, support for policy strategy and institutional reform, disaster preparedness including early warning systems, and disaster risk finance. The evaluation – scheduled to be released in October of this year ahead of the Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group  – seeks to identify the factors that contributed to success and failure, as lessons to build on for more effective support to countries to reduce disaster risk from natural hazards. Underinvestment in DRR has been a global challenge. Along with a shift in mindset from disaster recovery to risk reduction, DRR requires a complex combination of building institutional capacities, the design of new policies and new investments. The evaluation undertook a series of case studies on engagements where the World Bank sought to use its upstream analytics and technical assistance, its convening power and partnerships with others, and its lending instruments to catalyze action on DRR. The goal was to zero in on the ingredients for especially effective approaches and glean lessons to guide future engagement with countries on DRR. The evaluation also raises key questions about the extent to which the World Bank has targeted risk reduction support to the most serious hazards in each country, and the way the World Bank has influenced disaster vulnerable countries to undertake disaster risk reduction activities. The assessment also examines the way in which the World Bank’s t approaches have evolved in line with identified good practices, and how effective it has been in reducing disaster risk- including for the groups who are disproportionately vulnerable. Understanding the effectiveness of the World Bank, or any institution’s contribution to DRR, is no small task. DRR outcomes are inherently difficult to measure because they are a reduction in the negative effects of a probabilistic future shock. Avoided losses cannot be directly measured. Reduced expected mortality and damage are a function of both the probability distribution of natural hazards of varying intensities and the effectiveness of risk reduction activities. Yet the development case for DRR has never been more vital, even as countries face a daunting array of overlapping risks. While the upcoming evaluation looks deeply at disasters caused by natural hazards and builds the evidence for what works in motivating effective efforts to minimize their potential impacts, its findings should also be relevant for the broader and integrated efforts needed to address multiple and compound disaster risks, and support resilient development. Pictured above: Indigenous Fijian girl walking on flooded land in Fiji. On Feb 2016 Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston was the strongest tropical cyclone in Fiji Islands in recorded history. Image credit: Shutterstock/ChameleonsEye

The case for energy efficiency in low-income countries: Evidence from Malawi

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Digital mainlands from space. Cities and countries connected by plexus light lines. Virtual continents. Creative technology, ultra wide background. Concept of transferring information. Photo credit: S.Gvozd, Freelance illustrator & motion graphics, Shutterstock
More than half of sub-Saharan Africa struggles with energy access. An ongoing IEG evaluation of a World Bank project in Malawi indicates that energy-efficiency projects could potentially help meet the high demand for energy access in low-income countries.More than half of sub-Saharan Africa struggles with energy access. An ongoing IEG evaluation of a World Bank project in Malawi indicates that energy-efficiency projects could potentially help meet the high demand for energy access in low-income countries.

International Finance Corporation Additionality in Middle-Income Countries (Approach Paper)

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Accounting for almost half of global gross domestic product and 70 percent of the world’s population, middle-income countries (MICs) face multiple development challenges limiting achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including poverty and inclusion, climate change, financial access, and economic diversification and market development. The International Finance Corporation’s ( Show MoreAccounting for almost half of global gross domestic product and 70 percent of the world’s population, middle-income countries (MICs) face multiple development challenges limiting achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including poverty and inclusion, climate change, financial access, and economic diversification and market development. The International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) portfolio is focused heavily on MICs. Additionality is the unique support that IFC brings to a private client or client country that is not typically offered by commercial sources of finance (IFC 2019). This evaluation assesses the unique support and value addition (additionality) that the International Finance Corporation (IFC) provides to middle-income countries (MICs). It will cover IFC’s support of MICs through investment and advisory projects, and through its platforms and partnerships. The primary audience is the World Bank Group Board and IFC management and staff, however some findings of the evaluation will be relevant to a broader audience including multilateral and bilateral financing private sector activities, investors, and government officials and practitioners in client countries.

World Bank Group Engagement with Morocco 2011–21 (Approach Paper)

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This Country Program Evaluation aims to assess the World Bank Group’s contribution to Morocco’s development trajectory over the past decade (fiscal years 2011–21) and is timed to inform the next Country Partnership Framework and future Bank Group engagements in the country. The Country Program Evaluation will use a range of methods to assess how the Bank Group has supported Morocco’s efforts to Show MoreThis Country Program Evaluation aims to assess the World Bank Group’s contribution to Morocco’s development trajectory over the past decade (fiscal years 2011–21) and is timed to inform the next Country Partnership Framework and future Bank Group engagements in the country. The Country Program Evaluation will use a range of methods to assess how the Bank Group has supported Morocco’s efforts to tackle major constraints to achieving its objective of reaching upper-middle-income-country status. The evaluation will focus on three outcome areas: (i) fostering private sector–led growth that absorbs a growing labor force; (ii) strengthening inclusive human capital formation and addressing the obstacles to women and youth labor force participation; and (iii) reducing climate risks and natural resource depletion and addressing their combined effects on the most vulnerable people, especially in rural areas.

COP26 pledges: Can the private sector come through for climate action in emerging economies?

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COP26 pledges: Can the private sector come through for climate action in emerging economies?
The first week of COP26 ended with a loud and clear response from world leaders to the call for greater ambition and urgent climate action. Regardless of whether this enthusiasm is to be received with hope or with skepticism, it is important not to lose focus on the pressing theme of private capital mobilization (PCM) for climate action, without which it will be impossible to meet the Paris Show MoreThe first week of COP26 ended with a loud and clear response from world leaders to the call for greater ambition and urgent climate action. Regardless of whether this enthusiasm is to be received with hope or with skepticism, it is important not to lose focus on the pressing theme of private capital mobilization (PCM) for climate action, without which it will be impossible to meet the Paris Agreement. As US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, noted in her remarks “… as big as the public sector effort is across all our countries, the $100-trillion plus price tag to address climate change globally is far bigger… and the private sector needs to play a bigger role”. In fact, developed economies have not been able to meet the $100 billion a year commitment to finance climate needs in emerging economies. A major announcement at COP26 was the pledge of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) – a global coalition of over 450 finance firms across 45 countries, jointly managing $130 trillion - to align their financing activities to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Leaving aside fair questions as to whether it is enough or realistic, this pledge is indicative of the scale and ambition needed.. A similar pledge came earlier this year from the Climate Finance Partnership (CFP), a partnership between BlackRock and the governments of France, Germany, and Japan, as well as a number of leading U.S. impact investing organizations, to align resources towards net-zero emissions. Just as GFANZ and CFP, private sector players are making bolder commitments representing important opportunities. But how much of this financing will reach emerging economies? What can the World Bank Group (WBG) and partner organizations do to facilitate the flow of private capital to developing countries?  IEG recently published an evaluation on the WBG’s approach to capital mobilization which includes lessons that could shed some light on these questions. Coalitions such as GFANZ and CFP seek bankable projects, mostly in the infrastructure and energy sectors, requiring emerging economies to strengthen their policy and regulatory frameworks and raise industry standards in key sectors to attract investors. The WBG can continue to play a major role in addressing institutional barriers to private investment flows at the country level. Examples from Jordan and Ghana illustrate how WBG-supported policy and institutional reforms catalyzed private capital mobilization in the energy sector. In Jordan, the Bank Group’s technical assistance and its support to public sector management reforms strengthened the power utility financially, boosted the development of the wind power market, and facilitated private investments in renewable energy. In Ghana, the WBG supported reforms to strengthen the financial sustainability of the state off-taker in the power sector and promoted the introduction of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative standards, which facilitated private investments. With the release of its 2021-25 Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP), the WBG put forward strong commitments to mobilize more private capital for climate action and prioritize adaptation efforts, recognizing that developing countries are bearing the brunt of climate change effects. Avenues to mobilize private capital streams into adaptation are not near as wide and clear as they are for mitigation. In fact, only 2% of tracked adaptation finance comes from the private sector. Turning this around will require a great deal of innovation from the WBG and all other Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) to structure instruments and platforms that yield PCM deals for adaptation in emerging economies. Through its CCAP, the WBG is committing to linking climate and development goals and integrating climate objectives into all its work. Similarly, the Bank Group -and other DFIs – should seek to structurally expand PCM efforts across all sectors and regions by creating more incentives for teams to increase their financial structuring expertise and use of PCM mechanisms, even in sectors where financing is typically done through direct lending. The WBG, and other DFIs, have thus a critical role in ensuring pledges like that of the GFANZ and the CFP represent opportunities for emerging economies. Greater innovation is required to ensure valuable financial structuring expertise is mainstreamed and geared towards all sectors, including those associated with adaptation efforts. As the global development community moves forward with its efforts to mobilize private investment towards climate and development objectives, clarity regarding the standards and taxonomy surrounding climate finance should also be achieved. Avoiding confusion regarding the differences between climate finance, green finance, transformational finance, etc., can prevent these terminologies from becoming another obstacle for the flow of private capital to where its most needed. IEG is committed to building a strong body of evaluation evidence and gathering lessons, identifying what works and what doesn’t, as the WBG advances private capital mobilization towards achieving its green, resilient, and inclusive development objectives. Read: The World Bank Group’s Approach to the Mobilization of Private Capital for Development |  An IEG Evaluation