After four decades of little or not growth, the Jamaican economy is expected to grow at 1-2% over the medium term. The country is confronted by serious social issues that predominantly affect youth, such as high levels of crime and violence and high unemployment.
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October 30, 2014 -- Cities worldwide generated more than 1.3 billion tons of solid waste in 2010. As drivers of economic activity and recipients of millions of rural migrants every year, cities expect... Show More + to see this number to grow to 2.2 billion tons annually by 2025 –the equivalent weight of the Great Pyramid of Giza, in trash, every single day.This massive amount of waste critically affects public health, the environment, economic development and citizens’ quality of life. Proper management of solid waste is achievable: a range of tools and technologies already exist. But the critical bottleneck lies in paying for them. In many lower income countries, municipalities already spend 20% to 50% of their budgets on solid waste management, yet only manage to provide services for less than half their citizens. A related major concern lies in long-term sustainability in the sector, which requires greater efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle and overall avoid waste.A new report by the World Bank and the Global Partnership of Output-Based Aid (GPOBA) titled Results-Based Financing for Municipal Solid Waste looks at how to apply a results-based-financing (RBF) approach to the municipal solid waste sector. This is an innovative development finance tool that helps ensure that public funds are used efficiently and transparently. Under this approach, achieving and verifying a set of explicit, pre-determined performance targets is a condition to receive payment for services or certain behaviors.Where does results-based-financing help?“Until recently, RBF principles and designs had not been widely used in the solid waste sector,” said Urban Specialist Farouk Banna, who, along with Urban Economist Marcus Lee, led the team that produced the report. “Cities face huge challenges in solid waste management and service delivery. Results-based-financing – where payments are tied to results – can play an important role in improving municipal solid waste services and outcomes.” Some of the advantages of this approach include:Addressing some of the fundamental issues of the sector such as fee collection and behavior change toward recycling and source separation of organic waste;Providing access to basic services for the poor and reducing the adverse impact of uncollected or inappropriately disposed waste among low income residents;Increasing transparency and accountability in the use of public funds through an independent verification process.With a global shortfall of US$40 billion in financing for the municipal solid waste sector, every investment counts. Each city, however, needs to look at its particular context to wisely choose how to best spend its resources.Different contexts, different priorities“We looked at a wide range of projects and RBF designs,” said Banna. “We wanted to be comprehensive and inclusive of the variety of real-life waste scenarios that exist.” To accomplish this, the report presents eight case studies of results-based-financing design, grouped into three categories:Improving solid waste service delivery and fee collectionThis is an appropriate model for lower income countries where service delivery is poor or non-existent and where fee collection to support waste collection and disposal is a major challenge. It is also a helpful model to jump start solid waste services in fragile and post-conflict situations where the private sector may be reluctant to enter. Cities in Nepal and the West Bank are covered here.Promoting source separation and recyclingFor middle income countries like China, Malaysia or Indonesia, where municipal solid waste collection rates are already high, government tends to focus on improving the financial and environmental sustainability of the sector. RBF can be used to design projects that provide incentives to households for waste separation and recycling.Strengthening waste collection and transport in under-served communitiesThis model is applicable to both low and middle income cities but is most relevant where the focus is to improve services in under-served and low income communities within cities, such as those examined in Tanzania, Jamaica and Mali. These project designs could be integrated into community and slum upgrading projects.In its diversity, the report aims to show that RBF can be applied to many other countries and city projects. The report also notes that although results-based-financing can be an effective tool to improve municipal solid waste management, it is not a panacea: rather, it is most effective when accompanied by complementary investments in infrastructure, policy reforms, and technical assistance. Show Less -
Washington, D.C., October 29, 2014—A new World Bank Group report finds that Jamaica has the Caribbean’s highest ranking on the ease of doing business: 58 among 189 economies worldwide. Over the past y... Show More +ear, Jamaica implemented three reforms, the most in Latin America and the Caribbean along with the Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago. Jamaica also appears closer than it was last year to global best practices in business regulation as measured by its Distance to Frontier ranking.Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency finds that 50 percent of economies in the Caribbean* implemented at least one reform making it easier for local entrepreneurs to do business—12 reforms in total, a historical high for the region. Among them, Jamaica streamlined the requirements for starting a business, reduced the cost of getting an electricity connection, and established new credit bureaus while also adopting a new secured transactions law that broadens the range of assets that can be used as collateral.“We are encouraged by Jamaica's new global competitiveness standing which highlights that we are open for business. It is clear evidence that the present positive movement in our competitiveness is associated with our sustained program of comprehensive economic reforms which we started approximately two years ago,” said Jamaica Minister of Finance and Planning, Peter Phillips. “In this regard, our international development partners have also been quite supportive through dialogue, technical and financial assistance and we will continue this partnership to build a stronger economy," he added.Joining Jamaica in implementing multiple regulatory reforms were the Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago. The Dominican Republic made cross-border trade easier by reducing the number of documents required to import and export, improved the regulatory framework for credit reporting, and strengthened minority shareholder protections. Trinidad and Tobago made resolving insolvency easier by introducing a new restructuring proceeding. It also strengthened the rights of secured creditors during reorganization procedures. And it made starting a business easier by introducing online systems for employer and tax registration.“Entrepreneurs in the Caribbean continue to see gains in the business environment. With half the region’s economies making regulatory reforms in the past year, the Caribbean continues to move in the right direction,” said Rita Ramalho, Doing Business report lead author, World Bank Group. “Yet while the region continues to reform, there is still room for further improvement in the business environment.”The report this year expands the data for three of the 10 topics covered, and there are plans to do so for five more topics next year. In addition, the ease of doing business ranking is now based on the distance to frontier score. This measure shows how close each economy is to global best practices in business regulation.The report finds that Singapore tops the global ranking on the ease of doing business. Joining it on the list of the top 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulatory environments are New Zealand; Hong Kong SAR, China; Denmark; the Republic of Korea; Norway; the United States; the United Kingdom; Finland; and Australia.* The Caribbean region includes the following economies: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.About the Doing Business report seriesThe annual World Bank Group flagship Doing Business report analyzes regulations that apply to an economy’s businesses during their life cycle, including start-up and operations, trading across borders, paying taxes, and resolving insolvency. The aggregate ease of doing business rankings are based on the distance to frontier scores for 10 topics and cover 189 economies. Doing Business does not measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to firms and investors. For example, it does not measure the quality of fiscal management, other aspects of macroeconomic stability, the level of skills in the labor force, or the resilience of financial systems. Its findings have stimulated policy debates worldwide and enabled a growing body of research on how firm-level regulation relates to economic outcomes across economies. Each year the report team works to improve the methodology and to enhance their data collection, analysis and output. The project has benefited from feedback from many stakeholders over the years. With a key goal to provide an objective basis for understanding and improving the local regulatory environment for business around the world, the project goes through rigorous reviews to ensure its quality and effectiveness. This year’s report marks the 12th edition of the global Doing Business report series. For more information about the Doing Business reports, please visit doingbusiness.org and join us on doingbusiness.org/Facebook.About the World Bank GroupThe World Bank Group plays a key role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. It consists of five institutions: the World Bank, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA); the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Working together in more than 100 countries, these institutions provide financing, advice, and other solutions that enable countries to address the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org, www.miga.org, and ifc.org. Show Less -
October 2014Solid waste management is a pressing challenge that an increasing number of cities in developing countries are facing today. A joint report by the World Bank and the Global Partnersh... Show More +ip for Output-Based Aid (GPOBA), Results-Based Financing for Municipal Solid Waste, provides lessons from eight countries with municipal solid waste projects that applied a results-based financing (RBF) approach in design and preparation.Results-Based Financing for Municipal Solid Waste is a financial mechanism through which payment for solid waste services is conditioned to the achievement and verification of pre-agreed targets. Results-Based Financing offers opportunities for innovation, finding locally appropriate solutions, and focusing on achieving results.The report provides examples in three categories:Improving solid waste service delivery and fee collectionThis is an appropriate model for lower income countries where service delivery is poor or non-existent and where fee collection to support waste collection and disposal is a major challenge. It is also a helpful model to jump start the solid waste services in fragile and post-conflict situations where the private sector may be reluctant to enter.Examples: Nepal and the West BankPromoting source separation and recyclingFor middle income countries where municipal solid waste collection is already high, government focus tends to be on improving the financial and environmental sustainability of the sector. Results-Based Financing can be used to design projects that incentivize household-level source separation and recycling.Examples: China, Malaysia, and IndonesiaStrengthening waste collection and transport in under-served communitiesThis model is for applicable to both low and middle income cities but is most relevant where the focus is to improve services in under-served and low income communities. These project designs could be integrated into community and slum upgrading projects.Examples: Tanzania, Jamaica, and Mali Show Less -