GPOBA, The World Bank and IFC; Lessons Learned in Conflict Situations

Lessons from a West Bank solid waste management project – supported by the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA) -- were featured during a recent seminar at the World Bank Group (WBG) headquarters.

“This is one of the first solid waste projects to use the output-based aid approach,” said Carmen Nonay, GPOBA’s program manager.  “It is a great project, in a fragile and conflict affected situation, exemplifying collaboration between different institutions of the World Bank Group.”

The  World Bank provided the capital investment for construction of the landfill, the IFC provided technical assistance to establish a public private partnership  for running the landfill, and a GPOBA grant helped attract an international solid waste disposal operator by addressing long-term cost recovery and sustainability issues.

The World Bank and the IFC jointly requested the GPOBA grant to improve the collection rate for household garbage fees, and improve collection service.  The GPOBA grant incentivizes municipalities and village councils by providing financial subsidies for improvements in solid waste collection.  

 “This successful operation shows how IFC, Bank and GPOBA teams can work together effectively in fragile and conflict-affected situations for the benefit of our client and poorer segment of the population,” said Franck Bousquet, World Bank sector manager for urban and social development in the Middle East and North Africa region.  “We have been able to draw important lessons for successful public private partnerships in the fragile states, which is a priority for the WBG.”

One of the main lessons drawn from the project is the importance of addressing major technical obstacles for the public private partnership, particularly the capacity deficit of the client and low incentives for the international private sector to operate in the Palestinian territories.

In a conflict situation, the governorates and the international landfill operator faced significant direct and indirect political and economic risks.   To mitigate those risks, the World Bank, the IFC and GPOBA brought together the expertise to address the entire chain of solid waste management issues, from waste collection to waste disposal and treatment.

The project provided about 840,000 Palestinians access to – for the first time – a professionally managed solid waste facility, with accompanying health and environmental benefits.

(See November 2013 article from World Bank Intranet)