Africa Region Findings & Good Practice Infobriefs
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These briefs report on ongoing operational, economic, and sector work carried out by the World Bank and its member governments in the Africa Region.
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Decentralizing Infrastructure Services : Lessons from the East Asia Experience(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-02) Elisa MuzziniDecentralization is the transfer of responsibilities from the central government to subnational agencies empowered to act as increasingly autonomous entities within their geographical and functional domains. In theory, decentralizing infrastructure services can deliver efficiency gains when service benefits accrue mainly to the local population-such as in water and sanitation, urban transit, and waste management. Subnational agencies are indeed better placed than the central government to tailor infrastructure services to the needs of local constituencies (allocative efficiency) and deliver them at lower costs (productive efficiency). In practice, the economic benefits of decentralized infrastructure services are by no means a given, as they are contingent upon effective coordination among tiers of governments (regional coordination) and accountability mechanisms for results achieved.
Skills and Literacy Training for Better Livelihoods : A Review of Approaches and Experiences(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2002-06) Oxenham, JohnToo often, policy for vocational education in developing countries has only concerned itself with a literate minority within the labor force. This study helps to widen that view. From the perspective of " Education for All " and " Lifelong Education, " the report examines efforts to combine vocational training with literacy education, to enable a very poor, illiterate labor force, especially rural women, to develop more productive livelihoods and take on increasingly active roles in transforming their families and communities. The aim is to assess whether and how official policy should support such efforts. Based on documentary evidence from several countries, particularly Guinea, Kenya, Senegal, and Uganda, the report suggests that vocational education policy should encompass out-of-school, and illiterate youth and adults, but to be effective would require gradualism, decentralization, capacity building, flexibility, and components of savings, credit, and enterprise development.
Promoting Good Governance with Social Funds and Decentralization(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2001-04) Parker, AndrewBad governance undermines development. Two important types of World Bank support for local governance are social funds and broadly based support for governments committed to decentralizing responsibility and power to local governments and other local institutions. But there are concerns that these two approaches, which address different elements of governance, sometimes work at cross-purposes. A study was therefore commissioned to examine the interaction between social funds and decentralization in Bolivia and Honduras (advanced decentralization), Peru and Zimbabwe (some decentralization), and Cambodia, Malawi, and Zambia (little or no decentralization). This Note is based on the findings of the study.
Developing Financial Mechanisms for Long-Term Funding of Biodiversity Conservation(World Bank, Washington, DC, 1993-10) Larsen, JeriOn March 12, 1992, the Regional Environment Divisions and the Global Environment Facility Administration in the Environment Department sponsored a one-day workshop. Conservation professionals, financial and legal specialists, and Bank operational staff involved with biodiversity, particularly Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects, gathered to discuss trust funds, endowments, and foundations as a means of providing long-term, continuous funding for biodiversity conservation. Following this, another workshop focusing on trust fund design for GEF biodiversity projects was held on July 31, 1992. The paper previewed in this article outlines the main issues and operational lessons from both workshops. It is dividied into three subheadings. The first section deals with issues in setting up a long-term financial mechanism; the second section addresses special considerations for the GEF; and the third summarizes conclusions from both workshops.