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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

Towards a circular economy: Addressing the waste management threat

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A view of garbage field in trash dump or open landfill, food and plastic waste products polluting in a trash dump, Workers hands sorting garbage for recycling.
Municipal solid waste poses a growing threat that surpasses local and regional boundaries. It has become a global challenge, with mounting public health, environmental, social, and economic costs. A new report from the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) finds that the World Bank Group is a leader in addressing the challenge of municipal solid waste, but investments are low compared to other Show MoreMunicipal solid waste poses a growing threat that surpasses local and regional boundaries. It has become a global challenge, with mounting public health, environmental, social, and economic costs. A new report from the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) finds that the World Bank Group is a leader in addressing the challenge of municipal solid waste, but investments are low compared to other sectors, and the drive toward the long-term solution of a circular economy is not yet an overarching goal. Improper waste management leads to soil, air, and water pollution and attracts disease vectors. Mismanaged waste can clog stormwater drains, resulting in flooding that creates unsanitary and toxic conditions, disproportionately affecting poor people, who are more likely to live near or work at waste disposal locations. Burning waste releases toxins and particulate matter in the air that can cause respiratory and neurological diseases, among other health issues. Globally, inadequate solid waste management contributes to climate change—accounting for about 5%of global carbon emissions—and to plastic pollution, which has caused damages to the marine environment estimated at $13 billion per year. About 80% of ocean plastic comes from poorly operating Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM) systems. Even more alarming is the fact that solid waste generation is growing exponentially. It is set to double in large and medium-sized cities and triple in the poorest countries by 2050. This is especially worrying since low-income countries have few sanitary landfills or recycling facilities and no incineration capabilities. Consequently, most of their waste is managed improperly, remains untreated, and is disposed of in open dumps. IEG’s report Transitioning to a Circular Economy: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group's Support for Municipal Solid Waste Management (2010-20) assesses how well the World Bank Group has supported client countries in managing municipal solid waste, and points to sustainable solutions to the challenge while also identifying constraints to their implementation. Addressing the challenge. A focus on financing and synergies There is an urgent need to transition from the traditional linear economic model (take-make-dispose) and adopt widely accepted sustainable alternatives such as the waste hierarchy and circular economy approaches. A waste hierarchy approach prioritizes waste prevention, reuse, recycling, and recovery before disposal. A circular economy closes the loop between extraction, manufacturing, and disposal by advocating for designing products to reduce waste, using products and materials for as long as possible, and recycling materials from end‐of‐life products back into the economy. This is certainly not an easy transition as it requires greater financing to improve the capacities and systems for solid waste management and concerted action among local, regional, national, and international actors. Financing from multilateral development institutions and the private sector for MSWM is low compared to other urban services. The International Solid Waste Association found that, between 2003 and 2012, the share of solid waste management in all official development finance was only 0.32%. Furthermore, The Public‐Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility database shows that in 2020, MSWM received $1 billion in private investments—compared with $4 billion for water supply and sanitation. None of these funds were directed towards low-income countries, where they are needed most. Improved synergies between local, regional, and national governments are also critical to ensure financing and service provision efforts—administered locally—are aligned with policy setting and regulatory priorities— set at the regional and national levels.   Additionally, government collaboration with the private sector, civil society, and non-governmental organizations would also lead to higher efficiency in service delivery, improved practices, and improved accountability of service providers. It would also increase support for the informal waste picker community, which is crucial in collecting and reclaiming recyclable and reusable material. The World Bank Group’s work on Municipal Solid Waste Management The World Bank Group (WBG) leads Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) in financing and knowledge of solid waste management. The Bank Group has also recognized and advocated for waste hierarchy and circular economy approaches for MSWM, however, it has yet to mainstream these approaches into many country strategies and operations. The Bank Group mainly focuses on infrastructure and service delivery and has been generally effective, although success can be undermined by challenges in achieving the financial sustainability of projects. The WBG does not, however, consistently provide for some elements essential to integrated waste management, including revising policies, planning for cost recovery, involving the private sector, incorporating behavioral factors, and considering waste pickers. The most common infrastructure activities supported by the WBG have been closing informal dumpsites, rehabilitating sanitary landfills, or building new ones. There has been relatively less emphasis on waste reduction, separation, recycling, and recovery. The cost of inaction is high for people and the planet. World Bank Group actions going forward WBG institutions have the potential to face this challenge in coordinated action and to partner with other development finance institutions in helping countries achieve the necessary institutional strengthening and required funding. The WBG has room to increase private capital mobilization for MSWM, as only 27% of its projects included efforts to incentivize private sector participation. The Bank Group can also address the growing waste management challenge in low-income countries more frequently. These countries received less than 2% of World Bank lending and no investments from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The World Bank Group has agreed to implement IEG’s recommendations and is therefore reaffirming its commitment to adopting and implementing waste hierarchy practices, in line with client needs and capacities. This commitment includes identifying and working to address constraints to investments in MSWM in lower-income countries; and building on its leadership position, by collaborating and convening with developmental partners to improve the management of municipal solid waste and set a course for the circular economy. Pictured above: view of a garbage field in trash dump or open landfill, food and plastic waste products polluting in a trash dump, Workers hands sorting garbage for recycling. Photo credit: Shutterstock/Attraction Art

Transitioning to a Circular Economy

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People pick through a garbage dump.  Image credit: Stockbyte via Getty Images.
This evaluation assesses how well the World Bank Group has supported client countries to manage municipal solid waste using an integrated approach to advance development and sustainability goals—including SDG 11 for sustainable cities and SDG 12 for reducing waste. This evaluation assesses how well the World Bank Group has supported client countries to manage municipal solid waste using an integrated approach to advance development and sustainability goals—including SDG 11 for sustainable cities and SDG 12 for reducing waste.

Defueling conflict: building peace through natural resource governance

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Photo: a forest guard in Tahoua, Niger. Credit: Rafe H Andrews, Dawning.
There is increasing evidence that the negative impact of climate change on natural resource access can drive conflict. Effective natural resource management is crucial to building resilience and reducing fragility.There is increasing evidence that the negative impact of climate change on natural resource access can drive conflict. Effective natural resource management is crucial to building resilience and reducing fragility.

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.

Preserving rangelands for people and climate: Lessons from Mongolia

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Jalamchagna Dolgoon, 30, and his friends rest while their cows drink from at a water pump in the countryside surrounding Khairkhandulan Photo Credit: DAWNING, Rafe H. Andrews, Raul Roman
In Mongolia, the word “rangeland” is synonymous with “homeland.” It is a clue to the importance of rangelands in a country where a quarter of Mongolians are herders, and the wider livestock economy provides sustenance, income, and wealth to nearly half of the population. For many nomadic societies herding is at the core of their life. Around the world, rangelands support the livelihoods, social Show MoreIn Mongolia, the word “rangeland” is synonymous with “homeland.” It is a clue to the importance of rangelands in a country where a quarter of Mongolians are herders, and the wider livestock economy provides sustenance, income, and wealth to nearly half of the population. For many nomadic societies herding is at the core of their life. Around the world, rangelands support the livelihoods, social traditions, and resilience of 500 million people, primarily in low-income countries. Yet the rangelands that these communities rely on for their livelihoods face a combined threat of overexploitation and climate change. The quickening pace of rangeland degradation in Mongolia is driven by increased livestock numbers and reduced livestock mobility. In a 2018 report, 12% of Mongolian rangelands were heavily degraded and potentially irreversibly damaged, and another 16% would take up to 10 years and significant effort to recover. This continuing trend has been exacerbated by erratic weather patterns associated with climate change. This includes the increasing frequency and duration of extreme events like drought, floods, wildfires and dzuds (severe winter weather disasters that can lead to catastrophic livestock mortality), that are harming both rangelands and herder livelihoods. This dual threat is impacting rangelands around the world, especially in drylands, where most rangelands occur, and where 73% are degraded. Evolution of livestock sector in Mongolia Following liberalization in the 1990s, the livestock sector in Mongolia witnessed a dramatic increase of the national herd size and a change in herd composition in favor of goats (for cashmere). This was coupled with an increasing concentration of livestock in areas close to markets and services, and a decrease in nomadic practices and animal mobility. These changes have also included increased out-of-season grazing, trespassing on reserved pastures, and an associated rise in local conflict.   IEG recently conducted an assessment of World Bank support for natural resources management, such as rangelands, to assess the impact of these programs on the vulnerabilities of the millions of resource-dependent people. In addition to supporting livelihoods, rangelands have a vital role to play in mitigating climate change as they are natural carbon sinks, sequestering substantial amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the form of soil organic carbon. In drylands, the soils already store more than one third of the world’s soil carbon, with even higher potential under improved management. While evaluating the World Bank’s support for addressing the natural resource management and vulnerability nexus, IEG conducted an extensive field assessment in Mongolia. The following lessons emerged from this experience that can help inform future investments in rangelands: 1. Solutions need to be best fit for the local context to ensure sustainable and equitable outcomes Rangelands are often common pool resources: accessible to everybody, policed by nobody. A common approach to addressing the degradation of common pool resources is to give people individual ownership to increase their incentive to not overexploit the resource. Enclosures (i.e., fencing land and assigning individual plots) were used by the World Bank in Inner Mongolia, China, but this practice had unintended outcomes. In some cases, it increased degradation as restricted herder movement caused continued overgrazing in already overexploited pastures. It also increased inequality as powerful herders managed to claim the best land when it was divided. This approach fundamentally changed local nomadic culture while yielding disappointing productivity and restoration benefits because it was not aligned with local socio-ecological conditions. In Mongolia, the World Bank instead appropriately used Community-Based Rangeland Management (CBRM). CBRM supports local agreement on livestock mobility and storage-related practices, including seasonal pasture rotation that allows for rest and recovery without fencing. The approach is rooted in adaptive strategies that are traditionally used by Mongolian herders to prepare for and respond to pasture and climatic conditions. 2. Governments need to establish an incentive structure that addresses the drivers of degradation and encourages ecologically responsible behavior The governance of natural resources such as rangelands remains a challenge globally. In Mongolia there is little governance of the rangelands: there is no institution responsible for pasture management, and implementation of the existing land law is weak. Additionally, until very recently, there was no taxation of the livestock sector, and thus no disincentives against overexploitation. In the absence of incentives for sustainable management of open access rangelands and disincentives against overexploitation, herders are driven to ever-increasing herds to meet their consumption needs. Extensive interviews in Mongolia found that most herders are aware of pasture degradation, including their own part in it, but they feel the current system leaves them no choice in this tragedy of the commons. They expressed support for a grazing fee or livestock tax, which would incentivize all herders to favor the common good over individual short-term self-interest. Strong institutions at the central and local level, complemented with appropriate governance measures, are crucial to create the incentive structures that help herders make decisions that support healthy rangelands and their own long-term self-interest. Since July 2021, the Government of Mongolia has implemented a tax on livestock ownership, the revenue of which should be directed to rangeland and livestock management activities. Although a noteworthy development, successfully implementing and enforcing this law will require substantial political will and local governance capacity. As of now, it is too early to tell whether it will prove effective in incentivizing smaller herds and facilitating rangeland recovery. 3. Markets must be reshaped to put a premium on quality over quantity to support both rangeland health and improved livelihoods In developing countries, and especially among nomadic herders, livestock supply chains are fraught with technical challenges in meeting basic quality, animal health, and sanitation standards. In Mongolia, as elsewhere, this undermines market access, including export potential. Specifically, the livestock sector suffers from unpredictable trade policies when China closes its border to Mongolian livestock products for fear of livestock diseases. Without access to markets that place a premium on quality, demand is lacking for the high-quality or sustainably produced livestock products that could incentivize better livestock management and smaller herds. This in turn traps poor herder households in a low investment, low productivity, and low-income cycle. Therefore, value chain approaches that address market access, trade facilitation, livestock extension services, and price-quality relationships, are a key part of protecting rangelands and improving livelihoods. Rangelands are currently neglected in the growing global restoration agenda, yet they are a major store of carbon and offer great possibilities for achieving both environment and development goals. By addressing the local incentive structures, markets and socio-cultural practices through the use of best fit solutions, which are also adapted to local socio-ecological conditions, rangeland regeneration and the protection of local livelihoods can go hand-in-hand to achieve development, biodiversity and climate outcomes. Sources can be found in the corresponding sections of the assessment of World Bank support for natural resources management. Note: On Nov. 17, 2021, the blog was edited to include a link to a 2018 report, as well as to provide an update about a tax on livestock ownership implemented in July of 2021. Pictured at top: Jalamchagna Dolgoon, 30, and his friends rest while their cows drink at a water pump in the countryside surrounding Khairkhandulan Photo Credit: DAWNING, Rafe H. Andrews, Raul Roman  

Addressing Gender Inequalities in Countries Affected by Fragility, Conflict and Violence: An Evaluation of WBG Support (Approach Paper)

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The WBG recognizes that achieving gender equality is particularly challenging in those settings, but it is critical to make progress in peace building and resilience to crisis. Addressing gender gaps is a priority in FCV-affected countries because fragility and conflict disproportionally affect women and girls and exacerbate gender inequalities. The World Bank Group recognizes that effective Show MoreThe WBG recognizes that achieving gender equality is particularly challenging in those settings, but it is critical to make progress in peace building and resilience to crisis. Addressing gender gaps is a priority in FCV-affected countries because fragility and conflict disproportionally affect women and girls and exacerbate gender inequalities. The World Bank Group recognizes that effective responses to gender inequalities in FCV-affected countries need to be context-specific, country-owned, systemic, and sustainable. The goal of this formative evaluation is to provide lessons on what worked well, less well, and why, regarding the World Bank Group’s support to FCV-affected countries to achieve transformational change towards gender equality in two areas: women’s and girls’ economic empowerment and gender-based violence.

Reducing Disaster Risk from Natural Hazards – An Evaluation of World Bank Support 2010-20 (Approach Paper)

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Disasters caused by natural hazards are a threat to development, and their costs are rising. Climate change is exacerbating the costs of disasters and putting more people at risk from more powerful, more frequent, and more severe storms, floods, and droughts. People in developing countries, and particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, are most at risk of losing their lives and livelihoods Show MoreDisasters caused by natural hazards are a threat to development, and their costs are rising. Climate change is exacerbating the costs of disasters and putting more people at risk from more powerful, more frequent, and more severe storms, floods, and droughts. People in developing countries, and particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, are most at risk of losing their lives and livelihoods from disaster-related events. Reducing disaster risk from natural hazards, the focus of this evaluation, can reduce the negative effects that disasters have on society and people’s lives. DRR is at the core of the World Bank’s approach to support green, resilient, and inclusive development. The purpose of this evaluation is to learn how the World Bank has helped client countries undertake DRR from natural hazards and how and how well it has achieved DRR outcomes. The evaluation will focus on disaster risks caused by natural hazards rather than other types of hazards or chronic stresses.

Addressing groundwater depletion: Lessons from India, the world’s largest user of groundwater

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pictured above: Women draw water from a well in the drylands of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India. By Yavuz Sariyildiz via Shutterstock (November 9, 2014).
India is home to 16% of the world’s population, but only holds 4% of the world’s freshwater resources. Not only is water scarce in India, but the extraction of groundwater has been on the rise for decades. Since the 1960s, the government’s support for the “green revolution” to ensure food security has increased the demand for groundwater for agriculture. Rapid rural electrification combined Show MoreIndia is home to 16% of the world’s population, but only holds 4% of the world’s freshwater resources. Not only is water scarce in India, but the extraction of groundwater has been on the rise for decades. Since the 1960s, the government’s support for the “green revolution” to ensure food security has increased the demand for groundwater for agriculture. Rapid rural electrification combined with the availability of modern pump technologies has led to an increase in the number of borewells to meet that demand. Over the last 50 years, the number of borewells has grown from 1 million to 20 million, making India the world’s largest user of groundwater. The Central Groundwater Board of India estimates that about 17% of groundwater blocks are overexploited (meaning the rate at which water is extracted exceeds the rate at which the aquifer is able to recharge) while 5% and 14% , respectively, are at critical and semi-critical stages. The situation is particularly alarming in three major regions – north-western, western, and southern peninsular. Groundwater pollution and the effects of climate change, including erratic rainfall in the drier areas, put additional stress on groundwater resources which serve about 85% of domestic water supply in rural areas, 45% in urban areas, and over 60% of irrigated agriculture. Current overexploitation rates pose threats to livelihoods, food security, climate-driven migration, sustainable poverty reduction and urban development. The World Bank has been working with the Government of India to enhance groundwater management in affected areas. The lessons below stem from the experience of World Bank groundwater management projects in India, and are part of a broader IEG evaluation of the World Bank’s support for sustainable and inclusive natural resource management.   Integrated demand and supply side solutions offer the best option for sustainable use. IEG case studies in Rajasthan, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh showed that the success of supply-side measures, such as watershed management programs, aquifer recharging and tank rehabilitation activities, did not lead to sustainable use in the absence of demand-side action. Measures such as surface water harvesting through farm ponds and check-dams, the installation of water-efficient irrigation systems (e.g. more efficient drips and sprinklers) and growing less water intensive crops, need to be integrated on the demand side for improved management and reduced depletion. Weak regulatory action to limit demand for groundwater can hinder the success of programs in reversing groundwater depletion. Weak regulations result in the expansion of groundwater irrigated areas and drilling of additional wells. This can more than offset water savings created by demand-side measures, or the water increases created by supply-side measures, leading to further depletion. The government of India regulates groundwater exploitation in water-stressed states through “notification” of highly overexploited blocks that restrict development of new groundwater structures (except those for drinking water). However, only about 14% of the overexploited blocks in the country are currently notified. Local level regulatory action in all threatened blocks before they reach the “overexploited” stage is vital to avert depletion. Strengthening community participation and rights in groundwater governance can improve groundwater management. World Bank projects in peninsular India, where more spread out and specifically defined hydrological sites prevail, were successful on several fronts by implementing the Participatory Groundwater Management approach (PGM). The PGM approach empowers communities in a defined aquifer area by providing governance rights, community awareness, capacity development, and knowledge and motivation for social regulation and the implementation of coordinated actions. However, there are limits to the success of the PGM approach. It did not work when local institutions were weak, supply-side interventions failed to replenish groundwater or when tanks failed to store water due to recurrent droughts, leading to increased overexploitation. The approach is also unlikely to work in areas with extensive alluvial aquifers that require coordination among large numbers of users. World Bank interventions support local institutional capacity for groundwater governance, but such institutions are often not viable after the end of the project. Two local institutions are mainly involved in groundwater management in India: Water User Associations (WUA) and groundwater management committees (GWMC). WUAs are formal institutions with a wider mandate to manage irrigation systems (surface and groundwater) and have budget allocations for maintaining the systems and collecting user charges. In contrast, GWMCs are informal groups created through World Bank–supported projects to facilitate PGM. These committees become dormant and dysfunctional once projects close. The key institutional challenge for groundwater governance is strengthening local institutions and helping the informal groups to remain viable during the post-project phase. Power subsidies for pumping groundwater accelerate the depletion of aquifers in stressed areas. Several states affected by depletion of groundwater provide free or heavily subsidized power (including solar pumps) for pumping groundwater for irrigated agriculture. This creates perverse incentives that enable overexploitation and depletion of scarce groundwater resources. In the long-run, sustainable groundwater management will depend on cross-sectoral reforms to address the water-energy-agriculture nexus and providing the right incentives to resource users. This requires better coordination of policy, market and regulatory measures as well as repurposing current distortive public support to more climate-smart solutions. Strengthening World Bank analytical support and investments in these directions would be useful for future. Groundwater extraction has allowed rural families to reduce short-term vulnerability but may incur trade-offs and increase the risk of depletion and ultimately increase vulnerability in the long term. Increased access to groundwater resources and extraction allows households to boost agricultural production in the short term. Many farm households owning wells indicated that their vulnerability is lower partly because of income growth and diversification and buffers provided by social safety nets. However, without sufficient regulation or replenishment of aquifers, the increased access to and use of groundwater for irrigation could lead to declining water tables and increasing water scarcity, which risks escalating long-term vulnerability. pictured above: Women draw water from a well in the drylands of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India. By Yavuz Sariyildiz via Shutterstock (November 9, 2014).

World Bank Group Support to Energy Efficiency: An Independent Evaluation of Demand-side Approaches (Approach Paper)

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Energy efficiency contributes, first and foremost, to addressing climate change, but it also to addressing three other critical development challenges: firm productivity, energy security, and household energy affordability and access. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess how well the World Bank Group is supporting client countries to scale up demand-side energy efficiency to achieve Show MoreEnergy efficiency contributes, first and foremost, to addressing climate change, but it also to addressing three other critical development challenges: firm productivity, energy security, and household energy affordability and access. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess how well the World Bank Group is supporting client countries to scale up demand-side energy efficiency to achieve development outcomes. This evaluation will cover IBRD, IDA and IFC, including lending, advisory, analytics and knowledge products for the period FY2011–20 and build on the findings of the previous IEG evaluations on related energy topics.