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 Muzzini
    Decentralization 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.
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    Developing Financial Mechanisms for Long-Term Funding of Biodiversity Conservation
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 1993-10) Larsen, Jeri
    On 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.