Other Infrastructure Study

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Building the Resilience of WSS Utilities to Climate Change and Other Threats: A Road Map

2018-12-29, World Bank Group

Water supply and sanitation (WSS) utilities are expected to become increasingly susceptible to the expected impacts of climate change. WSS utility planners and engineers have dealt with natural climate variances and disaster planning as part of the design process for many years. However, the traditional methods for these plans have not considered the deep uncertainty surrounding many future conditions, which are further exacerbated by climate change. To help utilities incorporate resilience and robustness in their choices, this road map proposes a process in three phases that can inform the design of strategies necessary to WSS services provision. The road map builds on the understanding that climate change is most often an amplifier of existing uncertainties (many of which are threats), and, as such, should not be evaluated as a stand-alone impact. The approach reveals the strengths and vulnerabilities of investment plans concisely and helps utilities invest robustly by identifying near-term, no-regret projects that can be undertaken now, while maintaining flexibility in pursuing additional actions adaptively as future conditions evolve. These results can be achieved both with a qualitative exploration and a quantitative assessment, depending on the context and the resources available.

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Egypt: Enabling Private Investment and Commercial Financing in Infrastructure

2018-12-01, World Bank Group

In 2016 the Government of Egypt (GoE) has embarked on an ambitious and much needed transition towards a better economic policy. While the macroeconomic stability and market confidence have been largely restored, the overall fiscal situation remains challenging. With limited fiscal space, solely relying on public resources to fund infrastructure investments, will no longer be a viable strategy to meet the country's needs. Building on the success of attracting private investment in renewables and natural gas sector, there is significant potential for replicating the success across other infrastructure sectors. Egypt has recognized that in order to raise competitiveness, increase investments in human capital, and sustain the benefits of the homegrown reform; it will need to continuously shift its development model towards creating an enabling environment for the private sector to invest more, export more and generate more jobs. Starting with Energy, Transport, Water and Sanitation and Agriculture, this report highlights the tremendous potential and opportunities available in each of these sectors. Additionally, it also presents a roadmap for sectoral transformation, whilst highlighting the cross-cutting enabling and functional activities required to facilitate this transition.

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Romania Water Diagnostic Report: Moving toward EU Compliance, Inclusion, and Water Security

2018-06, World Bank Group

This diagnostic report was prepared by the World Bank to support its water sector dialogue with the Government of Romania. It aims to provide stakeholders, especially from the Romanian Government and the European Commission, with a comprehensive stock-taking of the situation in the Romanian water sector in 2017, 10 years after the country joined the EU. The report documents the current situation, discusses the main lessons learned from reforms in water resources management, water supply sanitation and irrigation, and identifies the key water challenges faced by Romania. While not pretending to cover all possible water-related issues (due inter alia to limited access to some information), it seeks to identify the key policy issues and indicate what steps the government could consider in the near future. The situation in the water sector in Romania is analyzed through the lens of water security, with a focus on compliance with EU water legislation and the inclusion of the poor. Water security is a broad concept that encompasses ensuring sustainable use of water resources, delivering affordable services to all, and mitigating water-related risks in a context of change — the goal being to build a water secure future for the people, the economy and the environment in a context of global changes. In the case of Romania, the over-arching concept of water security is closely linked to compliance and inclusion.

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Resilient Water Supply and Sanitation Services: The Case of Japan

2018-01, World Bank

Natural disasters have increasingly damaged water supply and sanitation (WSS) facilities and infrastructure, leaving entire communities without safe and reliable drinking water and the appropriate disposal of wastewater. These emergency events could arise from inundation of facilities, loss of electricity, and exposure and disruption of infrastructures. Less severe impacts can arise from increased siltation of reservoirs and slow-onset events such as droughts, thus having longer-term effects on the resilience and reliability of services. These WSS service failures or interruptions could set off a cascading effect across interconnected infrastructure systems including public health and fire services, which in turn could pose both direct and indirect economic impacts. Japan has built the resilience of its WSS services through an adaptive management approach based on lessons learned from past natural disasters. This experience offers key insights for low- and middle-income countries seeking to sustain and build resilience of WSS services.

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Information and Communications Technology Sectoral Analysis: Nepal

2018-12, World Bank

Nepal’s information and communications technology (ICT) services are nascent, informal and centered in Kathmandu. The supply of skilled manpower is not well-oriented to the needs of ICT firms. Similar to other sectors, Nepal’s ICT sector also faces severe cross-cutting business climate challenges, the most critical relating to institutions and infrastructure. Limited access to finance and excessive barriers to foreign investment and foreign-exchange transactions also hamper the ICT sector. Reform efforts should focus on improving access to skills, infrastructure and finance, together with regulatory simplification. The education sector reforms are required to increase the pool of skilled manpower for the ICT sector. This report provides recommendations on key horizontal and cross-cutting challenges that are essential to develop the ICT sector in Nepal. Furthermore, it provides a strategic segment analysis applicable to a small number of niche ICT firms that can develop specialized software and services in focused sectors such as tourism and mountaineering.

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Investing in Logistics for Sustainable Economic Growth: Background Studies for the Preparation of Cambodia Logistics Master Plan

2018-10, World Bank Group

The World Bank prepared three background studies as inputs for the development of the Cambodia Logistics Master Plan led by the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) in 2017–2018. These studies benefit from a close coordination and collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) that focused its assessment on transport infrastructure and connectivity. The key findings and recommendations are summarized into four parts in respect of the three background studies: (a) an update of trade competitiveness, (b) a review of the legal and regulatory framework of the logistics sector in Cambodia, and (c) a design of the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework for the proposed Cambodia Logistics Master Plan.

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Converting Disaster Experience into a Safer Built Environment: The Case of Japan

2018-05-23, World Bank

Globally, up to 1.4 million people are moving into urban areas per week, and estimates indicate that nearly 1 billion new dwelling units will be built by 2050 to support this growing population. The way we build our cities today directly impacts the safety of future generations. Building code and regulation have proven to be cost-effective tools to promote healthy, safe sand resilient cities. Japan’s effective use of building regulations to reduce risk is a compelling success story and provides a number of relevant lessons for low- and middle-income countries. Japan has proven that effective disaster risk reduction is possible, even in the face of highly destructive disasters. Among other measures, its building regulations have played a crucial role.

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Innovative Business Models for Expanding Fiber-Optic Networks and Closing the Access Gaps

2018-12, World Bank Group

The increasing importance of the Internet, not only for tasks related to information search, storage, and sharing, but also for connecting people and business, domestic and international trade, education, entertainment and social interactions, has led governments around the world to include Internet connectivity in their priority policy agendas and infrastructure plans. Today, access to the Internet is no longer a luxury, but is increasingly considered an essential service, as important as building transportation and utility networks. However, more than four billion people, overwhelmingly in developing countries, still lack Internet access. For the past decade, policy makers have sought ways to best create an enabling environment to direct national resources and engage the private sector to effectively expand access to the Internet. In doing so, policy makers and regulators face a unique combination of priorities, resources, market structures, and geographies that will affect their national plans. Experience shows that no one-size-fits-all approach exists, but past and current experience can be analyzed for common factors contributing to success or failure to support similar endeavors in the future. This report reviews and provides guidance on innovative business models and approaches to the deployment of high-speed broadband networks and highlights global trends related to terrestrial spectrum resources that can be leveraged to meet expected future demand and close existing Internet access gaps. It is intended to serve as a reference tool to help policy makers and regulators assess alternatives for infrastructure deployment and adopt decisions tailored to their country’s circumstances and needs.

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Leveraging Technology to Support Construction Regulation and Permitting Reform: Insights from Recent Country Experience

2018-06, Molfetas, Aris, Wille, John

Good regulations, combined with sound enforcement mechanisms and an efficient, transparent, and affordable permitting process, can ensure safety standards for the community, facilitate investment in new building stock, and contribute to capital formation. A recent study shows that long delays in obtaining permits can lead to higher transaction costs and fewer transactions. Similarly, an earlier study in the United States (US) found that accelerating permit approvals by 3 months in a 22-month project cycle could increase construction spending and property tax revenue. Unpredictable, lengthy, and expensive permitting procedures influence entrepreneurs' decision making. A recent competitiveness report on the US, for example, found that construction costs and the permitting process were among the top 20 factors in determining the location of a start-up. Given the relevance of this area for both communities and investors, governments have sought to leverage technology to enhance permitting service delivery and improve availability of zoning requirements and building regulatory information.

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Mobilizing Private Finance for Development in Latin America and the Caribbean

2018-02, Abousleiman, Issam A., Thompson Araujo, Jorge, Abousleiman, Issam A., Thompson Araujo, Jorge

The Latin America and the Caribbean Region (LAC) has the largest stock of active PPP investments and the largest pipeline of infrastructure projects by volume globally, reflecting the central role of the private sector in the regional development agenda. Looking ahead, the region is making efforts to close the estimated US$180 billion per year investment gap with further private sector resources by: (i) improving the enabling environment for private investments to take place; and (ii) developing a robust pipeline of bankable projects. The WBG is well-placed to assist the region with financial support and knowledge services, as illustrated by the examples selected for part three of this report.