FEATURE STORY

Beijing Workshop Discusses “Science of Delivery” in Urban Development

October 11, 2013


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The Chinese Ministry of Finance and the World Bank convened "Experience Sharing Workshop on the Science of Delivery in Urban Development". The World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and China’s Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao opened the workshop.


STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • While many countries understand broad policy directions, they may not be getting the results they want because of poor “delivery”.
  • The Bank put forward “science of delivery” idea and is building knowledge hubs to collect and distribute knowledge that countries have used to get delivery right.
  • Development practitioners from China, Korea, Singapore, Laos and Vietnam gathered in Beijing to share “science of delivery” in urban development.

China and the World Bank will continue to work together to spread knowledge from China’s successes in reducing poverty both within China as well as to other countries. This was the consensus on the "Experience Sharing Workshop on the Science of Delivery in Urban Development”, convened by the Chinese Ministry of Finance and the World Bank in late September.

Science of Delivery

The workshop is part of the World Bank-China Knowledge Hub aiming to make China’s lessons available to the world and further the common mission to end extreme poverty and build shared prosperity.

While many countries understand broad policy directions, they may not be getting the results they want because of poor “delivery”. Recognizing this challenge, last year, the World Bank put forward “science of delivery” idea and is piloting knowledge hubs with Governments of China, South Africa, Brazil and Russia. Main objective of these pilots is to collect and distribute evidence-based knowledge that countries have used to get delivery right and solve complex development problems.  

Over 70 development practitioners from China, Korea, Singapore, Laos and Vietnam attended the workshop, opened by the World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and China’s Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao.

The concept of “science of delivery” is highly consistent with the belief of Chinese leaders in “combining theories with practices” and “seeking truth from facts”, said Zhu Guangyao.

“Therefore, we support the World Bank’s pursuit of science of delivery and are willing to share China’s experience in development and contribute to expanding development knowledge of the world,” he said.

After these remarks, Li Shantong, Research Fellow, Development Research Center (DRC) of the State Council of China, delivered a keynote speech on China’s economic development since 1970s and the 30-year partnership between the World Bank and China. “The World Bank’s in-the-field practices in different countries over the past six decades can be a vital source for science of delivery,” she said. 

President Kim commented that “our intention has been to analyze and share China's development knowledge with the rest of the world and make sure that the knowledge gained in the course of our partnership is captured and passed on to other development practitioners."


" The concept of “science of delivery” is highly consistent with the belief of Chinese leaders in “combining theories with practices” and “seeking truth from facts". "

Zhu Guangyao

Vice Finance Minister of China

Experience in Urban Development

Joon-Kyung Kim, President of Korea Development Institute, shared Korea’s experience in achieving the economic miracles – through overcoming human resources difficulties, improving vocational education, upgrading infrastructure, forestation, and the “New Countryside Campaign”.

“Korea adopted results-based evaluation method – measureable targets were designed for all the cases I introduced. Meanwhile, relative incentives are also very important to ensure the targets are achieved properly,” he said.

Chow Kuang Loh, President/CEO of Singapore Urban Transport International, shared how Singapore has become a habitable city without traffic jam. Approaches included sustainable and people-centered policies, long-range planning, priority for public transport, government’s roles in infrastructure funding, regulation and integration, integrated land usage and transport planning methodology, market-based solutions, he said.

Gerald Ollivier, a senior infrastructure specialist with the World Bank, introduced to the participants “TransFORM”, an urban transport solutions platform which aims to make transport safer, cleaner and more affordable in Chinese cities. TransFORM is the first pilot under the World Bank-China Knowledge Hub.

Ollivier also invited local officials who implemented the World Bank-supported projects to share their “science of delivery”.

Dai Kejun, an urban development official from Wuhan, talked about how the Wuhan Urban Transport Project helped the megacity of Wuhan in central China build a low-carbon and pedestrian-friendly urban transport system.

Wuhan's experience:

  • To have a master plan for transport development and make sure it is updated on a regular basis to keep pace with the urban growth.
  • To learn from international standards and experience but also localize them to work better for specific local conditions.
  • To mobilize all related parties to create synergy, not just rely on the government itself.

A police officer from Wuhan also gave a couple of vivid examples of how public education contributed to reducing traffic accidents. In Wuhan, a theme park was built for kids to learn about road safety by acting as traffic cops, drivers and pedestrians.

Zhou Linjun, an urban development official from Chongqing, elaborated on how the Chongqing Small Cities Infrastructure Improvement Project supported emerging small cities in southwest China to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of infrastructure service delivery.

Chongqing's experience:

  • To engage the public in project implementation so that they become aware of the benefits and more willing to support. For example, when the Chongqing Government planned to raise water rates a few years ago, they decided to hold public hearings first. On these hearings, they showcased to the public that increased rates would contribute to upgrading pipelines, which will actually reduce their average water usage. And the poorest residents of the city would be subsidized after the increase. So, water rate increase would not necessarily mean a heavier water bill.
  • To aim for added values on top of the planned targets of a certain project, such as ecological, energy-saving, social and cultural values.

These two projects in Wuhan and Chongqing are among the many projects supported by the World Bank in China’s urban areas. “To better implement these projects, we always welcome innovations. But first we pilot the new ideas and methods in one location, and then expand it to wider regions,” said Ke Fang, a lead transport specialist with the World Bank, as he reflected on the experience gained on the Bank’s end.

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