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Topic:Environment and Natural Resources
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Ukraine: Lessons to inform the (hopefully) not too distant future

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Orange sunset and cloud over cityscape Kiev, Ukraine, Europe
An evaluation of a decade of World Bank Group support for Ukraine has important lessons for eventual stabilization and reconstruction. An evaluation of a decade of World Bank Group support for Ukraine has important lessons for eventual stabilization and reconstruction.

Україна: Досвід, який стане підґрунтям для прийняття рішень у (сподіваємося) недалекому майбутньому

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Orange sunset and cloud over cityscape Kiev, Ukraine, Europe
Аналіз допомоги, яку Група Світового банку надавала Україні протягом останніх десяти років, визначає важливі уроки для подальшої стабілізації та відбудови Аналіз допомоги, яку Група Світового банку надавала Україні протягом останніх десяти років, визначає важливі уроки для подальшої стабілізації та відбудови

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.

The World Bank Group in Ukraine, 2012–20

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Ukraine CPE
This evaluation reviews the effectiveness of the World Bank Group’s partnership with Ukraine during 2012–20 and contains lessons that can inform the Bank Group’s support for recovery and reconstruction in the country. This evaluation reviews the effectiveness of the World Bank Group’s partnership with Ukraine during 2012–20 and contains lessons that can inform the Bank Group’s support for recovery and reconstruction in the country.

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.

🎧 Lessons Unwrapped from Tackling Plastic Waste

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Lessons Unwrapped from Tackling Plastic Waste, Featuring Steve Fletcher and Jeff Chelsky
Every year, the world generates 2 billion tons of trash, including 400 million tons of plastic. Most of this waste is mismanaged, piling up and flowing into our oceans, adding to greenhouse gas emissions and land and water pollution. A long-term solution requires the world to shift to a circular economy. What does circularity entail? What can we learn from global efforts to tackle solid waste, Show More Every year, the world generates 2 billion tons of trash, including 400 million tons of plastic. Most of this waste is mismanaged, piling up and flowing into our oceans, adding to greenhouse gas emissions and land and water pollution. A long-term solution requires the world to shift to a circular economy. What does circularity entail? What can we learn from global efforts to tackle solid waste, and in particular plastics? Host Jeff Chelsky talks trash with Steve Fletcher, Professor of Ocean Policy and Economy at the University of Portsmouth, to take stock of lessons from a waste crisis that is disproportionately affecting people in poverty. Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher. Related Resources IEG Evaluation: Transitioning to a Circular Economy: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group's Support for Municipal Solid Waste Management (2010-20) Blog: Towards a circular economy: Addressing the waste management threat

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

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