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Iraq Country Climate and Development Report

2022-11, World Bank Group

The Iraq Country Climate and Development Report (CCDR) is a core WBG analytical product. The report focuses on specific analytical components that are critical to addressing Iraq's most pressing development needs and climate challenges simultaneously. The Iraq CCDR advocates for energy transition as a lever to address Iraq’s deep energy sector's inefficiencies and cope with the vulnerabilities of the water-agriculture-poverty nexus. The Iraq CCDR presents a set of prioritized and sequenced policy recommendations, which aim to accelerate Iraq's green, resilient and inclusive development.

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Climate Change Institutional Assessment

2021-04-14, World Bank

Climate change poses particularly difficult challenges for public sector institutions. Climate change impacts all sectors of the economy and society. Action to address climate change requires coordination among multiple government and nongovernment actors. The extended time frame over which climate change unfolds requires a capability to plan, implement, and sustain a credible commitment to increasingly ambitious policies over multiple political cycles. There will be winners and losers. Policies may be contested. The Climate Change Institutional Assessment (CCIA) identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the institutional framework for addressing these climate change governance challenges. The audience for the assessment is officials of center-of-government agencies responsible for policy, planning, and finance, agencies with leading roles in climate change policy, and inter-ministerial climate change bodies.

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Privilege-Resistant Policies in the Middle East and North Africa: Measurement and Operational Implications

2018-02-12, Mahmood, Syed Akhtar, Slimane, Meriem Ait Ali

Renewing the social contract, one of the pillars of the new World Bank Group strategy for the Middle East and North Africa, requires a new development model built on greater trust; openness, transparency, inclusive and accountable service delivery; and a stronger private sector that can create jobs and opportunities for the youth of the region. Recent analytic work trying to explain weak job creation and insufficient private sector dynamism in the region point to formal and informal barriers to entry and competition. These barriers privilege a few (often unproductive) incumbents who enjoy a competition-edge due to their connections or ability to influence policy making and delivery. Policy recommendations to date in the field of governance for private sector policymaking have been too general and too removed from concrete, actionable policy outcomes. This report proposes -for the first time- to fill this policy and operational gap by answering the following question: What good governance features should be instilled in the design of economic policies and institutions to help shield them from capture, discretion and arbitrary implementation? The report proposes an innovative conceptual and measurement framework that encapsulates the governance features that could shield policies from capture, discretion and arbitrary enforcement that limits competition. The report offers a menu of operational and technical entry-points to enhance privilege-resistant policy making in a concrete way, that is politically tractable in different country contexts.

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Trust, Voice, and Incentives : Learning from Local Success Stories in Service Delivery in the Middle East and North Africa

2015-04, Brixi, Hana, Lust, Ellen, Woolcock, Michael, Alaref, Jumana, Halabi, Samira, Hebert, Luciana, Linnemann, Hannah, Quota, Manal

This report examines the role of incentives, trust, and engagement as critical determinants of service delivery performance in MENA countries. Focusing on education and health, the report illustrates how the weak external and internal accountability undermines policy implementation and service delivery performance and how such a cycle of poor performance can be counteracted. Case studies of local success reveal the importance of both formal and informal accountability relationships and the role of local leadership in inspiring and institutionalizing incentives toward better service delivery performance. Enhancing services for MENA citizens requires forging a stronger social contract among public servants, citizens, and service providers while empowering communities and local leaders to find 'best fit' solutions. Learning from the variations within countries, especially the outstanding local successes, can serve as a solid basis for new ideas and inspiration for improving service delivery. Such learning may help the World Bank Group and other donors as well as national and local leaders and civil society, in developing ways to enhance the trust, voice, and incentives for service delivery to meet citizens’ needs and expectations.

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Morocco Country Climate and Development Report

2022-10, World Bank Group

Climate change poses a serious threat to Morocco’s economic growth and human potential but with the right investments and policies in place, a more sustainable future is possible. A new World Bank diagnostic tool, The Country Climate and Development Report explores the linkages between climate and development and identifies priority actions to build resilience and reduce carbon emissions, while supporting economic growth and reducing poverty. The Morocco climate report identifies three priority areas – tackling water scarcity and droughts; enhancing resilience to floods; and decarbonizing the economy. The report also looks at the cross-cutting issues of financing, governance, and equity. The underlying message in the report is that if Morocco invests in climate action now and takes the appropriate policy measures, the benefits will be immense. Ambitious climate actions will help to revitalize rural areas, create new jobs and position the Kingdom as a green industrial hub, while also helping Morocco to reach its broader development goals. The report identifies key pathways to decarbonize the economy, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and massively deploying solar and wind power. The report estimates that total investment needed to put Morocco firmly on a resilient and low carbon pathway by the 2050s would be around $78 billion in present dollar value. The good news is that these investments could be gradual and that with the appropriate policies in place, the private sector could shoulder much of the cost.

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World Bank Reference Guide to Climate Change Framework Legislation

2020-12, World Bank

Climate change is a grave threat to global development and shared prosperity. Its impacts are expected to intensify even as the world responds to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The poor and most vulnerable will be the worst affected. Climate change poses particularly difficult challenges for policy makers. It demands action across all sectors of the economy and across all of society. Action to address climate change requires coordination among multiple governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders. The extended time frame over which climate change unfolds requires a capability to plan, implement, and sustain a credible commitment to increasingly ambitious policies over multiple political cycles. To address these challenges, countries need effective institutions. National framework legislation on climate change can help put these institutions in place. It can enshrine stable and ambitious targets, create mechanisms for realizing these targets, and ensure proper oversight and accountability. The authors hope the twelve key principles for framework legislation laid out in this guide will contribute to building back better by helping countries to lay a solid foundation for climate-smart development that creates new jobs and markets, boosts economic growth, and provides a safer, cleaner environment for all.

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An Exposition of the New Strategy, 'Promoting Peace and Stability in the Middle East and North Africa'

2016-01, Devarajan, Shantayanan

The Middle East and North Africa region is in turmoil. Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen are in civil war, causing untold damage to human lives and physical infrastructure. Fifteen million people have fled their homes, many to fragile or economically strapped countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Djibouti and Tunisia, giving rise to the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. Palestinians are reeling from deadly attacks and blockades. With recruits from all over the world, radicalized terrorist groups and sectarian factions like Daesh are spreading violence around the globe, threatening some governments' ability to perform basic functions. Countries undergoing political transitions, such as Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Jordan, face periodic attacks and political unrest, leading them to address security concerns over inclusive growth. Even relatively peaceful oil exporters, such as Algeria, Iran and the GCC, are grappling with youth unemployment and poor-quality public services, the same problems that contributed to the Arab Spring, alongside low oil prices. Finally, the author will develop and monitor input indicators that are consistent with the theory of change associated with the new strategy. We will have indicators that show whether our interventions are helping to renew the social contract (the use of citizen engagement in projects is an example). Household surveys can tell us whether the welfare of refugees and host communities is improving. Preparedness indicators can be used to inform progress on the recovery and reconstruction pillar. And standard indicators such as the share of electricity production that is traded will be used for the regional integration pillar.

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Tunisia Economic Monitor, Winter 2021: Economic Reforms to Navigate Out of the Crisis

2022-01-20, World Bank

The Economic Monitor examines four possible factors behind Tunisia’s slow recovery. First, the drop in mobility related to the pandemic may have been more harmful in Tunisia. However, mobility in Tunisia has dropped to a similar extent as other countries and it has now returned to pre-pandemic levels following the acceleration in the vaccination campaign since July. If anything, the mobility drop in Tunisia has resulted in a lower reduction in economic activity than in comparator countries as Algeria and Egypt. Second, it could be that the level of public support to the ailing firms and households may have been particularly low. However, at 2.3 percent of GDP, the Covid-19 stimulus package in 2020 was in the same ballpark as other comparators in the region. Third, the structure of the Tunisian economy, particularly its reliance on tourism, may have exposed it to the negative demand shock more than other countries. Indeed hotels, cafe and restaurant and transport are the sectors which have contracted the most since the start of the pandemic. The losses of these sectors explain a significant portion of the negative effects of the crisis in Tunisia, although they do not fully account for such slow recovery.

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Role of Supreme Audit Institutions in Governments' Response to COVID-19: Emergency and Post Emergency Phases

2020-06-01, World Bank

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an unprecedented public health emergency, with associated significant economic impact, affecting all developing and developed countries. As it unfolds and countries respond, the role of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) is being recognized as crucial to supporting the government response mechanisms through maintaining public financial management discipline and ensuring transparency and accountability. Past experience from SAIs' engagement in government responses to natural and human-made disasters, including health emergencies like Ebola, provides good lessons for SAIs confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic. This note seeks to propose ideas on how SAIs can respond to the crisis now and during the recovery phase. During the emergency stage, the primary focus of governments is on safeguarding livelihoods and public health. Auditors are themselves constrained both by their physical access limitations and the imperative to avoid impeding government's speedy responses to the pandemic. Under these circumstances, crucial oversight and key controls may suffer, especially as public financial management systems are adapted to be responsive and flexible.

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Economic Monitoring Report to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee

2015-09-30, World Bank

Palestinians are getting poorer on average for the third year in a row. As evidenced in previous World Bank reports, the competitiveness of the Palestinian economy has been progressively eroding since the signing of the Oslo accords, in particular its industry and agriculture. Even though donor aid had increased government-funded services and fueled consumption-driven growth during 2007 to 2011, this growth model has proved unsustainable. Donor support has significantly declined in recent years and, in any case, aid cannot sustainably make up for inadequate private investment. Thus, growth has started to slow since 2012 and the Palestinian economy contracted in 2014 following the Gaza war. In early 2015, GDP was still lower than it was a year ago. Due to population growth, real GDP per capita has been shrinking since 2013. Unemployment remains high, particularly amongst Gaza’s youth where it exceeds 60 percent, and 25 percent of Palestinians currently live in poverty. Against the backdrop of weak economic growth, reduced donor aid, and temporary suspension of revenue payments by the Government of Israel (GoI), the Palestinian Authority’s reform efforts have not been able to prevent another year with a financing gap. The persistence of this situation could potentially lead to political and social unrest. In short, the status quo is not sustainable and downside risks of further conflict and social unrest are high.