Person:
van den Berg, Caroline

Global Practice on Water
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Fields of Specialization
Water economics, Public finance, Monitoring and evaluation
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Global Practice on Water
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Last updated: January 31, 2023
Biography
Caroline van den Berg is working as a Lead Water Economist in the World Bank’s Global Water Practice, focusing mostly on the economics of water supply, wastewater, sanitation and irrigation water services.  She has extensive experience in the preparation and implementation of investment and development policy operations, and in applied research projects – with a work experience that extends over more than 40 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.   She works on cost-benefit analysis, financial analysis, monitoring and evaluation, benchmarking of utilities, regulation and pricing, energy efficiency in water projects and public finance mostly in relation to the water sector.  She has published regularly in academic journals.  Prior to joining the World Bank, she was a research economist, financial analyst and project economist in the private sector. She earned her M.A. in macroeconomics from the Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands and a Ph.D. in spatial sciences from the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). 

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Publication
    A Benchmark for the Performance of State-Owned Water Utilities in the Caribbean
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020-01-29) Burdescu, Ruxandra; van den Berg, Caroline; Janson, Nils; Alvarado, Oscar
    Improving the management and governance of state-owned enterprises in the water supply and sanitation sector in the Caribbean is critical. State-owned enterprises play a significant role in the economy through their impact on fiscal accounts and service delivery to citizens. This benchmark analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of 14 water utilities, with focus on Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, and St. Lucia. It is a tool for policy makers and practitioners seeking to improve service delivery in the sector, restore or maintain fiscal discipline, and pursue sector goals in a sustainable manner. In the Caribbean region and beyond, building smart and resilient water utilities for the future is a priority. The challenges are complex and multidimensional. Political problems, weak institutions, low capacity, and inefficient practices exacerbate less-than-satisfactory performance. These challenges cannot be met by applying a cookie-cutter approach or by focusing only on standard technical and managerial techniques. Improving corporate governance will increase operational and managerial efficiency. Evidence shows that water supply and sanitation utilities with access to commercial finance are more likely to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This benchmark finds that many of the analyzed state-owned water utilities are underperforming in terms of coverage, quality of service, operating efficiency, and financial performance. Overcoming these challenges will require long-term measures, with implementation that is likely to be ambitious and challenging. Shorter-term measures targeted at strengthening financial sustainability would involve establishing reliable cash flows that allow utilities to cover their costs. Benchmarking governance in state-owned enterprises varies across the region. Some countries have a strong governance framework with well-developed policies and legal and regulatory frameworks, while others have unclear sector policies and underdeveloped legal and regulatory frameworks. Water supply and sanitation utilities with better-developed governance frameworks usually perform better than those with underdeveloped frameworks.
  • Publication
    Water Concessions : Who Wins, Who Loses, and What To Do About It
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2000-10) van den Berg, Caroline
    This note, based on the World Bank's Private Participation in Infrastructure (PPI) project database, reviews trends in infrastructure projects with private participation in low-income countries. Four main conclusions arise. Surprisingly, the proportion of countries with at least one project - eighty one percent - is higher among low-income, than middle-income countries. As in middle-income countries, most investment has been in telecommunications, or energy projects. However, in low-income countries, well over half the projects are greenfield. And the scale of private participation in low-income countries, lags far behind that in middle-income countries.
  • Publication
    Guidance Note : Public Expenditure Review from the Perspective of the Water and Sanitation Sector
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-06) Manghee, Seema; van den Berg, Caroline
    The objective of this guidance note: public expenditure review from the perspective of the water supply and sanitation sector is to provide World Bank staff with a body of knowledge and good practice guidelines to help them evaluate the allocation of public resources to water and sanitation services in a consistent manner and to increase their knowledge of public expenditure issues in the sector. This guidance note discusses the challenges that are specific to public expenditure management in water and sanitation and the difficulties often involved in identifying sector expenditures. The challenges particular to this sector stem from three factors. First, countries define water and sanitation differently (e.g., drainage may or may not be included, rural services may be considered separately). Second, responsibilities for water and sanitation policy are often divided horizontally across government ministries and agencies, vertically between national and local governments and functionally among the public, private, and non-governmental sectors. Third, the roles of these multiple actors may be unclear or overlapping.