Items in this collection
PublicationLAC Digital Economy Country Diagnostic: Ecuador(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-02-12) World BankEcuador has made significant progress on the adoption of digital technologies over the past decade. Despite these advances, millions of Ecuadorians, particularly those in rural areas, continue to be excluded from the digital economy because of affordability constraints, uneven infrastructure, and gaps in digital skills. Accelerating the adoption of digital technologies and addressing inequities in digital access can help Ecuador achieve its development goals. This report provides recommendations to support the effective implementation of Ecuador’s Digital Transformation Agenda 2022–2025. Universal internet access and digital transformation can help the country promote productivity and competitiveness in the non-extractive sectors, foster sustainable growth, create better jobs, and bridge inequalities, particularly the urban-rural divide as concerns the indigenous populations. The government’s commitment to digital transformation to address its development challenges is evident in the newly passed agenda, which includes digital infrastructure as axis number one. This report provides Ecuadorian authorities with recommendations for implementing the agenda across six pillars: digital infrastructure, digital public platforms, digital financial services, digital businesses, digital skills, and the trust environment. Key recommendations include legal and regulatory reforms to address affordability barriers to internet access, foster fintech and e-commerce ecosystems, and enhance cybersecurity. Ecuador’s digital transformation will also require investments in fixed and mobile infrastructure and international bandwidth, as well as in digital public platforms, to improve user experience and interoperability. Guiding student progress in digital skills from primary to higher education and digitizing government payments are also key reform areas. PublicationCierre de Brecha Digital en el Departamento del Amazonas(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-10-16) World BankColombia ocupa la última posición en conexiones a internet por cada 100 habitantes entre los 38 países medidos por la Organización para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo Económicos (OCDE). La brecha de conectividad entre las áreas rurales y las áreas urbanas del país es considerable. El 52,9 % de los hogares en el área urbana y el 12,4 % de los hogares en el área rural tienen acceso a internet fijo. Los menores niveles de hogares con conexión a internet se encuentran en departamentos de las regiones de la Amazonía, la Orinoquía y el Pacífico. De conformidad con el Plan Nacional de Desarrollo 2022-2026 “Colombia Potencia Mundial de la Vida”, el Gobierno de Colombia (GdC) está trabajando en múltiples frentes orientados a cerrar la brecha digital y a conectar el 85 % del país. El estudio para el cierre de la brecha digital en el departamento del Amazonas se basa en las prioridades estratégicas del Plan Nacional de Desarrollo (PND). PublicationDigital Economy for Latin America and the Caribbean - Country Diagnostic: Colombia(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-06-21) World BankThis report analyzes the current state of, challenges to, and opportunities for the development of a digital economy and proposes six policy priorities for the Government of Colombia (GoC). The report is based on the World Bank’s Digital Economy Assessment methodology, which analyzes the digital economy across six pillars or foundational elements: digital infrastructure, digital platforms, digital financial services, digital businesses, digital skills, and trust environment. PublicationDigital Economy for Latin America and the Caribbean: Country Diagnostic - El Salvador(Washington, DC, 2022-04) World BankThe widespread adoption of digital technologies is transforming how individuals, businesses, and governments interact, as well as creating new opportunities for boosting shared prosperity and reducing poverty. Digital technologies are playing an increasingly important role in El Salvador’s economic development and will play an even larger role as the global economy continues to digitize. Digital transformation can help El Salvador address its persistent growth challenges and explore new avenues toward green, resilient, and inclusive development. This report builds on the strategic priorities of the digital agenda (DA) 2020-2030, assesses the state of digital economy development in El Salvador, and provides detailed analysis and policy recommendations to inform the reform agenda in the country. The report provides a comprehensive overview El Salvador’s digital economy development across six foundational elements of a digital economy: digital infrastructure, digital platforms, digital financial services, digital businesses, digital skills, and trust environment. The diagnostic and recommendations are based on analysis of secondary data, structured interviews, surveys, and focus group discussions with key government and private sector stakeholders. The findings of the report are organized in six chapters - each dealing with a pillar of the digital economy. Policy recommendations are presented in the form of sequenced action plans that can inform relevant efforts by national authorities, the private sector, and development partners. The report summarizes the main findings on each digital economy pillar. PublicationGuidelines for a Strategy for Ports and Inland Waterways(Washington, DC, 2022-03-28) World BankArgentina has a fairly developed transport system, which in the case of cargo shows a performance in progressive decline, with remarkable differences between components, logistics chains, and regions. Water transport, a key sector for the country’s connectivity with world markets, encounters difficulties when it comes to facilitating international trade. Two of these difficulties are of a structural nature, the first related to Argentina’s location in global maritime networks, far from key markets and major cargo corridors. The second concerns the limitations inherent to the waterways accessing ports with the largest movements of agri-bulks and containers, on the Río de La Plata and the Lower Parana River. Ports and waterways were subject to far-reaching reforms in the 1990s, fostering the greater participation of the private sector through dredging and port terminal operation concessions. At present, the contractual terms of these reforms are coming to an end, so the government now has the opportunity to redefine them, within the framework of a global context where maritime navigation - and cargo logistics in general - faces major changes and challenges. This is thus an auspicious moment to redefine strategies for ports and inland waterways, looking at safeguarding the country’s maritime connectivity and fostering greater competitiveness in international trade, whose growth is intrinsic to economic development and poverty reduction. PublicationIdentification of Business Models to Accelerate E-Bus Introduction in Uruguay(Washington, DC, 2022) World BankThis report is the product of the technical assistance to develop a business model to finance and scale up e-mobility in Uruguay provided by the World Bank and funded by the Mobility and Logistics (MOLO) Trust Fund. The report systematically analyzes international experiences and synthesizes them as stylized business models. Combining key learnings from other countries and an in-depth assessment of the regulatory and fiscal framework in Uruguay, the report formulates five alternative business models. In a next step, it evaluates these models under different scenarios regarding their expected financial and fiscal impacts. Combining key learnings from other countries and an in-depth assessment of the regulatory and fiscal framework in Uruguay, the report formulates five alternative business models. In a next step, it evaluates these models under different scenarios regarding their expected financial and fiscal impacts. The Uruguayan experience in terms of e-bus deployment since 2019 has shown to be effective based on an integrated assets model (Bus service providers (BSPs) own chassis, batteries, and charging stations), financed through a combination of a fleet renewal trust fund from the Municipality of Montevideo and an investment subsidy from the Government of Uruguay. Beyond the public investment subsidy, the Municipality of Montevideo trust fund for fleet renewal has managed to get financing and guarantees at a moderate interest rate, helping to mitigate the high investment cost of e-buses. PublicationArgentina: Valuing Water(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-08-17) World BankThis report assesses water security in Argentina, using a conceptual framework developed by the World Bank. The effects of the pandemic reinforce the importance of safe access to water, hygiene, and sanitation, both as the first barrier against virus transmission and as an essential factor during recovery to mitigate secondary impacts on livelihoods and community well-being. The clear need to ensure that water is available in sufficient quantity and quality for human and productive uses, together with controlling the effects of the excess of water, highlights its central role in the economy, and in particular in securing the well-being of vulnerable communities. Argentina is already taking key steps to close water security gaps. It is increasing access to water and sanitation services with a focus on the most vulnerable; defining planning instruments such as national water plans; reinforcing tools such as the national information system for water and sanitation, the national water network information system (SNIH) and management and results plans (PGRs) for public service companies; expanding the regulatory framework with law 27,520 on minimum budgets for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change; and creating new entities such as the national directorate of drinking water and sanitation (DNAPyS). This study builds on these efforts and recommends steps to take toward becoming a more water-secure country by 2030. PublicationJobs and Distributive Effects of Infrastructure Investment: The Case of Argentina(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06) World BankThis paper assesses the short-term job generation potential of infrastructure investments in Argentina. The analysis is based on a 2017 Input-Output model with a breakdown of the construction sector into multiple infrastructure subsectors. The disaggregation was possible with a novel database with cost structures for about 70 infrastructure projects. The analysis reveals significant heterogeneity across subsectors of infrastructure investment, with job generation potential ranging between 15,000 and 49,000 annualized direct, indirect and induced jobs in the short-term per US1 billion dollars invested, depending on the type of infrastructure project considered. The results show that public housing and rural road maintenance, followed by railway construction, water and sanitation and urban infrastructure have the highest potential to generate jobs in the short-term. On the other hand, road construction and energy distribution are activities with lower short-term generation potential, but with higher long-term impact on GDP growth according to their elasticities estimates in the literature. The analysis reveals the characteristics of the projects that are determinants of the degree of job generation potential, these include: labor intensity, split between skilled and unskilled labor, ratio of imports to total investment, technology, among others. Infrastructure investment in sectors with high potential for employment generation compares favorably with pure demand stimulus check programs in terms of the effects on income growth for the poor and across all quintiles. However, infrastructure investment in sectors with low employment potential tend to have relatively more limited distributive effects. It is argued that to optimize job generation potential of infrastructure investment in the short-term as a fiscal stimulus, and in the long-term as a foundation for future growth, interventions must be ready for implementation, with low risk of delays, and selected based on sound economic analysis. Also, policymakers must pursue projects with high economic returns to enable a more productive and competitive economy and look for opportunities in which public sector investment can crowd in rather than crowd out private sector investment. PublicationImproving Climate Resilience of Federal Road Network in Brazil(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-05) World BankAlthough Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, it has a relatively low number of natural hazards. However, its exposure to natural hazards has increased relative to other countries because of insufficient preventive actions in the past, resulting in more damage from natural hazards to both infrastructure and human lives than countries of comparable size would incur. Brazil faces an increasing risk of natural disasters, in particular floods and landslides. The objective of the study is to strengthen capacity of geohazard disaster resilience of federal highway infrastructure in Brazil through reviewing disaster risk management (DRM) capacity for federal road infrastructure and case studies of applying innovative methodologies for assessing disaster risk and evaluating economic benefits of resilience countermeasures. Although floods and landslides are the most recurrent natural disasters in Brazil, this report focuses on the latter, leaving floods for future studies. This report carefully describes how three innovative methodologies that, if properly applied, could improve the effectiveness of landslide risk management, thus reducing economic and human impacts. The report begins with diagnostics of the institutional capacities of geohazard risk management at the federal government level in Brazil. Chapters 1 and 2 include the backgrounds of natural disasters, road systems, and geohazards on roads in Brazil and a review of the road geohazard risk management with overviews of the following areas: institutional capacity and coordination, system planning, engineering designs, operation and maintenance, nonstructural measures, and contingency programming. Then, Chapters 3 and 4 describe the case study of application of the three innovative DRM assessment methodologies. Finally, Chapter 5 shows the suggestions and recommendations for the next steps. PublicationMore, Better or Different?: Investing in Paraguay’s Roads(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019) World BankParaguay is a middle-income, landlocked country with a population of about seven million. The nation is highly dependent on its transport and logistics infrastructure to connect to regional markets and international seaports. In road quality and connectivity, on the other hand, Paraguay trails its neighbors and other middle-income countries. According to the Global Competitiveness Indices, Paraguay is in the bottom third of indexed countries for road connectivity and quality. The government has attempted to address perceptions on quality and connectivity through higher budget allocations for the road sector. The higher road sector budget has been directed to expansion and preservation of the paved roads since 2012 and has, on the whole, allocated sufficient funds for their maintenance as estimated by this Public Expenditure Review (PER). Despite this there has been a slight decline in the overall quality of the network due to over and under funding of roads geographically and by functional classification. This PER is structured as follows: Chapter 2 provides some background on the Paraguayan economy, the country’s road network (primary, secondary, and tertiary) features and analysis, and an overview of the government institutions responsible for the network; Chapter 3 describes how Paraguay budgets and manages its road sector, what the funding sources are, and how efficiently the expenditures are being spent; Chapter 4 assesses Paraguay’s goals for its road sector, the effectiveness of its budget execution and sustainability of its funding, and its sector monitoring practices; and Chapter 5 concludes with the main findings and recommendations.