In the past 30 years, Malaysia has successfully curtailed high poverty rates and reduced income inequalities. Its goal is to attain high income status by 2020 while ensuring that growth is sustainable.
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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 Malaysia further improved its business environment over the past year. The country continues to rank among the top 20 econom... Show More +ies worldwide and first among emerging economies in East Asia on the ease of doing business.Launched today, Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency introduces a number of methodological refinements in the annual report series. To better capture the quality of regulations, the report expands the data collected for three of the 10 topics covered. 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. A higher score indicates a more efficient business environment and stronger legal institutions. Finally, Doing Business now collects data for a second city in the 11 economies with a population of more than 100 million.With these changes in methodology taken into account, Malaysia’s standing in the ease of doing business ranking improved from 20th in last year’s Doing Business report to 18th in this year’s report. The higher ranking this year reflects improvements in the ease of dealing with construction permits, as the one-stop shop for permits implemented in 2013 led to further reductions in the time required to obtain a development approval.Doing Business shows that since 2005, Malaysia has improved its business regulatory framework through 17 reforms in the areas measured by the report—compared with the global average of 12 reforms per economy in that period. Malaysia has therefore narrowed the gap with some of the best practices worldwide. In business incorporation, for example, Malaysia has undertaken a series of steps to ease the burden for local entrepreneurs, such as merging the company, tax, social security, and employment fund registrations at a one-stop shop in 2011. Efforts such as these have reduced the time required to start a business from 37 days in 2005 to less than 6 days today—less time than in Ireland.“Through an ambitious reform agenda, Malaysia has gradually improved the ease of doing business. This has benefited local entrepreneurs, who now have fewer regulatory hurdles to deal with and more resources to focus on their business,” said Rita Ramalho, Doing Business lead author, World Bank Group. “Malaysia’s case also shows how the latest technologies can be used to improve the regulatory environment for businesses. Over the past five years, for example, the implementation of electronic systems has made it easier for businesses to pay taxes and execute contracts.”The report finds that Malaysia ranks among the top five economies in East Asia and the Pacific (excludes Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and New Zealand, which are classified as OECD high-income economies) in seven areas: protecting minority investors, trading across borders, starting a business, getting credit, enforcing contracts, paying taxes, and resolving insolvency. Challenges persist, though. For example, further adapting the legal framework to internationally recognized good practices in the area of insolvency would better protect entrepreneurs involved in insolvency procedures.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.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. 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 -