Publication: Strengthening Environmental Institutions and Governance : What Should be the Role of the World Bank Group?

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Eltz, Melanie
Narain, Urvashi
Orfie, Alessandro
Schneider, Robert
In order to inform the 2010 Strategy, and suggest what role the World Bank Group (WBG) can realistically play in strengthening environmental institutions and governance, this paper takes stock of WBG operations in this area since the 2001 Strategy. Looking across the spectrum of lending and nonlending operations, the first task is to identify the approaches which have been used to engage with clients. The analysis then evaluates whether these approaches have incorporated lessons from past WBG experience, and reflect current understanding of how best to enable environmental institutions and governance reforms. The analysis indicates that the WBG has undertaken two main types of activities in the area of environmental institutions and governance: assessments (of environmental conditions, and institutional and governance structures) and lending operations geared towards technical capacity development. The chief point of entry for these operations has been government ministries, and secondarily civil society organizations.The analysis also indicated that a new approach would be needed to ensure a long-term commitment on the part of the WBG, particularly when undertaking capacity development operations. The average length of environmental institutions and governance projects in the period under study was five years. While such a length is appropriate for reforms of formal rules, activities such as capacity development have been argued to require longer-term engagements. It is recommended that the WBG consider utilizing instruments such as Adaptable Program Loans (APL) and Additional Financing which allow for sustained engagement. Forming strategic alliances with bilateral and multilateral partners will also be critical in this area. The results of the content analysis indicated that the critical institutional ability of accountability requires more attention in WBG. Development Policy Loans (DPLs) could be applied more directly to strengthen institutional accountability. These loans could also be made more effective by fully incorporating recommendations from Country Environmental Assessments (CEA) and Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA).
Eltz, Melanie; Narain, Urvashi; Orfie, Alessandro; Schneider, Robert. 2010. Strengthening Environmental Institutions and Governance : What Should be the Role of the World Bank Group?. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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