World Bank Technical Papers

45 items available

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Informal documents that present knowledge acquired through that Bank's operational experience. They contain material that is practical rather than theoretical and include state-of-the-art reports and how-to-do-it monographs. They can also concern matters that cut across sectoral lines, such as the environment and science and technology. This series was superseded by the World Bank Working Papers series in 2003 and the World Bank Studies series in 2010.

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  • Publication
    Furthering Judicial Education : Proceedings of the Conference of Judicial Schools in Latin America
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002) Malik, Waleed Haider; Larios Ochaita, Carlos Esteban
    The conference meeting was organized by the Supreme Court of Justice of Guatemala, in partnership with the World Bank, where judicial school directors, judges, practitioners, law students, and officials from different countries participated. The meeting aimed to harness good practices, and knowledge for furthering judicial education, based on the premise that the knowledge, and skills of judges, of court staff, and of other justice sector professionals, and users, impact significantly on the performance of the judicial system. Discussions centered around different themes, that included concepts of judicial excellence, judicial ethics, and the role of human rights, e-learning, and distance education, in-service training and evaluation methodologies, attitudinal change in the courts, and the role of education and strategies to inspire future generations of law students, and professionals. The report comprises various facets of judicial education, its challenges, and opportunities.
  • Publication
    Sustainable Amazon : Limitations and Opportunities for Rural Development
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002) Schneider, Robert R.; Arima, Eugenio; Verissimo, Adalberto; Souza, Carlos, Jr.; Barreto, Paulo
    The report contributes to the debate surrounding land use in the Brazilian Amazon. It sets the context by reviewing the evidence concerning the deleterious effect of increasing levels of rainfall on agricultural settlement, and productivity. Next, it compares the economic future of an Amazonian community, under the traditional "predatory logging followed by ranching" model, and under sustainable logging. Last, the authors investigate the potential to create a system of national forests. The authors make four conclusions: 1) they demonstrate that increasing levels of rainfall, seriously undermine agricultural productivity, and sustainability. At the highest extreme, in the 45 percent of the Amazon with annual rainfall of over 2,200 mm, only forestry, and possibly some palm crops, are likely to be economically viable; 2) the authors assert that in this area of the Amazon, and much of the transition area (rainfall between 1,800 mm and 2,200 mm), sustainable forestry would provide more stable communities, and a higher standard of living than agriculture; 3) the authors conclude that regulatory competition, and a short local political time horizon, prevent sustainable forestry from being adapted, despite its better long-run performance; and, 4) some 10 percent of the Amazon could be put into national forests, in a way that would both meet current demand for Brazilian Amazonian timber, and reinforce the Amazon park system, which is expected to fully conserve 10 percent of the Brazilian Amazon.
  • Publication
    Brazil : Managing Water Quality - Mainstreaming the Environment in the Water Sector
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002) Margulis, Sergio; Hughes, Gordon; Gambrill, Martin; Azevedo, Luiz Gabriel T.
    This study examines how environmental issues have been addressed in the water sector in Brazil, within the context of activities of the Federal Government, generally, and those implemented under Bank sector operations, in particular. The core focus of the study lies in the management of water quality, as it affects both the users of raw water, and those who are primarily concerned with the disposal of wastewater. The report considers the following three sectoral areas concomitantly - water resources management, water supply and sanitation, and, the environment - thus limiting its review, and focus to those themes which are key to the over-arching issue of water quality. Water resources management in the country relied upon heavy investments in medium, and large scale projects that provided basic infrastructure for water uses. However, these have produced questionable impacts in terms of reducing poverty, and inequality. One of the reasons for this, has been the poor infrastructure management, which despite its importance, has been largely underestimated. While improvements in the utilization of existing infrastructure in the water sector remain critical, it needs to be complemented by incentives to both service providers, and water users. Moreover, low economic, environmental, and social returns from investments in the water sector, reflect the tendency to distract attention from the objectives in the design, and implementation of projects. Thus, an assessment of water quality goals is required, which should be based on systematic evaluations of the costs, and benefits of reaching alternative standards, and explicit social objectives.
  • Publication
    Measurement and Meaning : Combining Quantitative and Qualitative Methods for the Analysis of Poverty and Social Exclusion in Latin America
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-12) Gacitua-Mario, Estanislao; Wodon, Quentin; Gacitua-Mario, Estanislao; Wodon, Quentin
    This report consists of a collection of case studies from Latin America combining qualitative and quantitative research methods for the analysis of poverty within a social exclusion framework. The first chapter provides an overview of the differences between quantitative and qualitative methods, and the gains from using both types of methods in applied work. The other chapters are devoted to three case studies on reproductive health in rural Argentina, the targeting of social programs in Chile, and social exclusion in urban Uruguay. Each case study was prepared within the broader context of country-specific economic and sectoral work at the World Bank.
  • Publication
    Breathing Clean : Considering the Switch to Natural Gas Buses
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-10) Kojima, Masami
    In response to emerging epidemiological evidence of the toxicity of diesel vehicular emissions, there is growing interest in substituting conventional diesel with much cleaner natural gas in cities where ambient concentrations of particulate matter are markedly higher than what is internationally considered acceptable. This paper compares the performance of natural gas and conventional diesel buses, and outlines the barriers to the adoption of natural gas buses in developing countries. In the absence of emissions standards that effectively require natural gas, natural gas-fueled buses are unlikely to be adopted because they are more expensive to operate relative to diesel buses. The social case for replacing diesel with natural gas a fuel for buses rests on environmental grounds. If a local government decides that the reduction in air pollution associated with the substitution of conventional diesel with natural gas for use in buses is worth the cost, then it needs to adopt policies to encourage the switch to natural gas. These might include emissions standards for buses, or fuel and vehicle taxes that reflect marginal social costs. The contribution of exhaust emissions from buses to the ambient concentrations of harmful pollutants needs to be quantified so that associated health damage costs can be estimated.
  • Publication
    Institutional Environment and Public Officials' Performance in Guyana
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2001-05) Gokcekus, Omer; Manning, Nick; Mukherjee, Ranjana; Nallari, Raj
    The report presents the findings of a survey of public officials in Guyana, whose views were sought in a wide range of civil service issues - from personnel management, to rewards, and disciplinary actions, and, from budget environment to corruption. Answers were used to test some prior assertions about the public sector in the country, and, it is the respondents' belief that public sector jobs are attractive, though public employees are not fully prepared for their jobs through education, and training, nor is recruitment always based on merit. However, officials find policies consistent, but implement policies even if in disagreement with policy directions. Furthermore, decision-making is characterized by poor communication, and low employee participation. Nonetheless, officials surveyed showed insight about which reforms might enhance organizational performance, and, based on data analysis, quantification of how public officials assess the organizations' institutional environment, and performance was possible. Survey data demonstrated how widely varied the institutional environments of such organizations are, and, provided evidence that performance does depend upon institutional environment. The report prioritizes interventions according to the potential payoffs in different performance areas, suggesting performance monitoring is likely to be associated with significant positive change in performance.