LAC Occasional Paper Series

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The LCSSD Occasional Paper Series is a publication of the Sustainable Development Department (LCSSD) in the World Bank’s Latin America and the Caribbean Region. The papers in this series are the result of economic and technical research conducted by members of the LCSSD community. The series addresses issues that are relevant to the region’s environmental and social sustainability; water, urban, energy and transport sector development; agriculture, forestry and rural development; as well as cross-cutting topics related to sustainable development such as climate change; logistics; crime and violence; and spatial economics. While all papers in this series are peer reviewed and cleared by the LCSSD Economics Unit on behalf of the Director of LCSSD, the findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this paper, as in all publications of the LCSSD Occasional Paper Series, are entirely those of the authors and should not be attributed in any manner to the World Bank, to its affiliated organizations or to members of its Board of Executive Directors or the countries they represent. The World Bank does not garantee the accuracy of the data included in this paper and accepts no responsibility for any consequences of their use.

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  • Publication
    Environmental Health Costs in Colombia : The Changes from 2002 to 2010
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-06) Golub, Elena; Klytchnikova, Irina; Sanchez-Martinez, Gerardo; Belausteguigoitia, Juan Carlos
    Despite considerable progress in the area of environmental management over the last decade, Colombia still faces significant impacts from population exposure to urban air pollution, inadequate access to water supply and sanitation, and indoor air pollution from solid fuel use. This study estimates that the total health cost attributable to these three factors amounts to about 10.2 trillion Colombian Pesos (COP) annually, or about 2 percent of GDP in 2010. In terms of mortality, about 7,600 annual premature deaths can be attributed to these environmental factors. This study updates some of the estimates of environmental health costs reported in the 2005 Colombia Country Environmental Analysis environmental priorities and poverty reduction . Specific policy recommendations and targeted interventions can be derived from future analysis of environmental health costs at subnational level, cost-benefit analysis of specific policy interventions, and an analysis of the burden of health costs disaggregated by population groups and poverty levels. Disaggregated statistics on health outcomes, fuel use, and access to infrastructure services, epidemiological studies, and air quality models (urban and industrial areas) are required for such analysis. Disaggregated assessments and cost benefit analysis, recommended for future studies, will facilitate an evaluation of policy and investment outcomes in terms of their impacts on the most vulnerable groups and the extent to which they are well targeted and benefit the poor.
  • Publication
    Developing a Program for Contaminated Site Management in Low and Middle Income Countries
    (World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2014-05) Kovalick, Walter W., Jr.; Montgomery, Robert H.
    Contaminated sites associated with economic growth and development and increased urbanization pose a growing public health and environmental problem. Emissions and discharges, particularly uncontrolled ones, onto land can pollute the soil and the groundwater beneath, and can also affect surface water quality and sediments in nearby rivers and streams. This document is intended to summarize the rationale and the major policy, regulatory, implementation, and organizational issues involved in creating a contaminated site program, especially for low and middle income countries. The document offers alternatives regarding the design and implementation of such a program. It provides an action agenda of short- and longer-term activities to be considered when establishing a contaminated site program. In addition to providing some optional approaches for the many policy and programmatic issues, the document provides numerous references from the experience of other country programs to draw upon in considering program options. The document is intended to help support World Bank staff or other international financial institutions and assistance agencies in their dialogues with governmental officials in low and middle income countries regarding specific options and steps on developing or implementing contaminated sites programs in their countries. It is also relevant for governmental agencies in these countries responsible for site contamination and pollution management, land use planning, and site development at local and national levels. The document is organized in the following chapters: chapter one gives introduction. Chapter two is setting policy and legislative framework which highlights the development of policy and legislative purpose, principles, strategy and design, and related legislation. Chapter three is regulatory issues which presents major topics that may be the subject of regulations by a ministry or agency. Chapter four is contaminated site program management which presents management, organizational, and operational issues, including issues of coordination and partnerships within branches of government and with other stakeholders. Chapter five is action agenda for contaminated site program which provides the development of an action agenda of short- and longer-term actions to be considered in forming a contaminated site program, including creation of a national management plan for contaminated sites.
  • Publication
    Determinants of Agricultural Extension Services : The Case of Haiti
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-05-24) Arias, Diego; Leguía, Juan José; Sy, Abdoulaye
    The Haitian population is among the poorest in the world, with over 78 percent living on less than United States (U.S.) 2 dollar a day and over 50 percent living on less than U.S. 1 dollar a day. This paper extracts relevant lessons from historical data on factors influencing the receipt of extension services in Haiti, taking stock of the use of agricultural extension services prior to the 2010 earthquake. The goal is to influence future policies and development projects involving the provision of extension services as well as the type of extension services offered. This paper uses data from the 2010 agricultural census and examines the characteristics of farmers in Haiti receiving extension services by gender, education, agricultural training, farm size, and type of crop. Through in-depth study of each variable and a review of trends in the receipt of agricultural extension services, the study analyzes the equilibrium between the demand for and supply of extension services to particular farmer groups. The study draws the following nine key conclusions: (1) the proportion of households receiving agricultural extension services in Haiti is non-negligible; (2) location is an important determinant of the recipients of agricultural extension services; (3) there are no statistical differences between men and women in terms of receipt of extension services; however, the impact of agricultural training and farm size change when the head of household is a woman; (4) education level has a positive, yet small, effect on receiving extension services; (5) prior agricultural training is a major determinant of the recipients of extension services; (6) rehabilitation of the Ecoles Moyennes Agricoles (EMAs) for vocational and farmer field education on a nationwide scale will increase the demand for extension services, especially among small farmers; (7) farmers with larger farms receive more agricultural extension services; (8) coffee producers make more use of extension services than other farmers; and (9) promoting a hybrid system of extension may be more efficient than supporting only public or Non-governmental organizations (NGO) provided extension services.
  • Publication
    Improving Agricultural Productivity and Market Efficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean : How ICTs Can Make a Difference?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-03) Goyal, Aparajita
    Agricultural growth rates in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region have been much slower than the rest of the developing world. In the regions of East Asia, South Asia and Middle East and North Africa, the annual growth of agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1980-2004 exceeded 3 percent, while growth in Sub- Saharan Africa averaged almost 3 percent. This paper attempts to present an overview of the agricultural sector in LAC, discuss its distinctive features, and the potential role of Information and Communication Technology's (ICTs) in improving agricultural productivity and market efficiency in this region. The discussion in this paper will refer to the evidence provided by studies that evaluate the impact of ICTs interventions. While the emphasis will be put on the studies that evaluate interventions in the LAC region, there will also be references to studies in other developing economies whenever these are pertinent to the LAC context. The commercialization of agricultural products has suffered important transformations in recent decades, posing big challenges for farmers in the LAC region. Finally, the adoption of agricultural technologies will also be constrained by insecure land rights. Investing in technologies with long-run returns will not be attractive if farmers are uncertain about their property rights in the future (Jack, 2011). This is certainly an issue in several countries in LAC, where land conflicts, expropriation and de facto ownership are common.
  • Publication
    Integrating Central American and International Food Markets : An Analysis of Food Price Transmission in Honduras and Nicaragua
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-03-17) Arias, Diego; De Franco, Mario A.
    In 2004 the Central American countries of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic signed the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) with the United States and are currently negotiating another agreement with the European Union and others. This study examines the dynamics among international and domestic food markets by assessing the transmission of international prices to domestic prices of key agriculture commodities in Honduras and Nicaragua. It analyzes to what degree, if at all, a change in the international price of a given food product influences the domestic price of that same good, at the level of the consumer and producer and in different regions in each country. This analysis provides important evidence of the price dynamics that guide public policy recommendations for a complementary agenda of agriculture trade liberaliza-tion in the region. There are two methods for analyzing the relationship between international and domestic prices. The first is to conduct a price wedge analysis-to evaluate the difference between international and domestic prices. The second method is to conduct a price transmission analysis by analyzing the variation in the percent growth of international versus domestic prices. Evidence from Nicaragua suggests that for most of the agriculture supply chains studied (except for beans) there is little competition in the country's domestic market structure. A few Nicaraguan companies own the majority share of the market, both to purchase and export agricultural products and to import and sell food domestically. Obtaining information about the structure of domestic agriculture and food markets could shed light on country-specific impediments from domestic market structure to increasing agriculture growth, reducing poverty, and improving rural competitiveness. Information on domestic market structure was difficult to obtain for this study, particularly for Honduras. But, even in a context where the domestic market structure concentrates purchasing and selling power in a few agribusiness companies, price transmission could be high.