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15.02.2019

Irrigation and poverty in Central Asia : a field assessment

Thurman, Mike

Irrigation agriculture is critical to livelihoods in the republics of Central Asia, where it accounts for around 90% of crop production. However, in all of the Central Asian republics the vast network of irrigation and drainage (I&D) systems built during the 1960s-1980s has fallen into decay since the demise of the Soviet Union. Given the reliance on the republics on irrigated agriculture, it is clear that some investment will be needed, yet I&D systems are so dilapidated that, by any estimate available, the amount required needed to repair and/or upgrade existing infrastructure is higher than governments can support and donor agencies can deliver. This study was conceived as a field assessment component of a larger study concerning rehabilitation of irrigation networks in Central Asia and the reasons why rehabilitation should be done. The field assessment covers the views of water users concerning the degradation of their I&D networks and its effect on their lives, the ways in which they adapt to this situation, the linkage between I&D system degradation and their perceptions of poverty in their locales, and what they believe should be done to improve matters. Where sufficient information is available, emphasis is placed upon which water users are affected the most, who must adapt, and in what ways. This paper contains the following titles: executive summary, introduction, the degradation of irrigation and drainage systems, the effects of I&D system degradation on agricultural production, the effects of I&D system degradation on drinking water and housing, perceptions of poverty, and conclusion.

15.02.2019

Institutional changes in forest management in countries with transition economies : problems and solutions - workshop proceedings

Zhanna Gerasimova, Anatoly Petrov, Elena Samoletova, Laurent Debroux, Gerhard Dieterle, Jim Douglas, Andrey Kushlin, Tatyana Shadrunova, and Marina Smetanina

The International Workshop on Institutional Changes in Forest Management in Countries with Transition Economies took place on February 25, 2003, in Moscow, Russia. Approximately 100 participants representing eight ministries of the Russian Government and 16 regions of Russia, 18 countries with transition economies, the World Bank, the private sector, research institutes, academia, and environmental non-governmental organizations attended the one-day event organized jointly by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and the World Bank with support from the Program on Forests (PROFOR). The workshop was held in parallel to the All- Russia Foresters Congress, a gathering of some 5,000 foresters from across Russia to discuss forest management through 2010. The workshop provided an opportunity for decision-makers within the Russian forest sector and transition countries to benefit from the experience of other transition countries. Discussions focused on key issues for the development of the Russian forest sector, including benefits and risks associated with concession management, opportunities associated with forest certification, approaches to forest institution reform, public-private partnerships, and balancing the economic, ecological and social roles of forests. The workshop resulted in a number of conclusions and recommendations to inform the process of forest institution and policy reform. This book is a collection of papers presented and speeches delivered at the workshop, the outcomes of the workshop, and a number of background papers relating to the World Bank's Forest Strategy and operations in the region.

15.02.2019

Institutional changes in forest management in countries with transition economies : problems and solutions - workshop proceedings

World Bank Group

The International Workshop on Institutional Changes in Forest Management in Countries with Transition Economies took place on February 25, 2003, in Moscow, Russia. Approximately 100 participants representing eight ministries of the Russian Government and 16 regions of Russia, 18 countries with transition economies, the World Bank, the private sector, research institutes, academia, and environmental non-governmental organizations attended the one-day event organized jointly by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and the World Bank with support from the Program on Forests (PROFOR). The workshop was held in parallel to the All- Russia Foresters Congress, a gathering of some 5,000 foresters from across Russia to discuss forest management through 2010. The workshop provided an opportunity for decision-makers within the Russian forest sector and transition countries to benefit from the experience of other transition countries. Discussions focused on key issues for the development of the Russian forest sector, including benefits and risks associated with concession management, opportunities associated with forest certification, approaches to forest institution reform, public-private partnerships, and balancing the economic, ecological and social roles of forests. The workshop resulted in a number of conclusions and recommendations to inform the process of forest institution and policy reform. This book is a collection of papers presented and speeches delivered at the workshop, the outcomes of the workshop, and a number of background papers relating to the World Bank's Forest Strategy and operations in the region.

15.02.2019

The skills road : skills for employability in Uzbekistan

Ajwad, Mohamed Ihsan; Abdulloev, Ilhom; Audy, Robin; Hut, Stefan; Laat, Joost de; Kheyfets, Igor; Larrison, Jennica; Nikoloski, Zlatko; Torracchi, Federico;

This report addresses a fundamental question facing policymakers in Uzbekistan: are worker skills hindering employment outcomes? The main finding of the report is that, indeed, worker skills gaps are hindering employment outcomes in Uzbekistan. In fact, employers, particularly formal sector employers, seek workers who possess both cognitive and non-cognitive skills. The higher employability and higher wage rates among higher skilled workers is mostly explained by the use of those skills in workplaces. But, skills gaps persist, leading a large share of employers to report shortages of high-skilled workers. These shortages are resulting in high wage premiums, tertiary graduates earn on average 55 percent more than similar workers with a general secondary education. However, large variations in observed skills among adults with the same level of educational attainment indicate that formal education is failing too many people. The report outlines weaknesses in the way skills are formed in Uzbekistan. While skills are developed during different stages in the life cycle and a host of actors are involved, families, for example, play a central role, the education and training system has a mixed record in skill formation. The report argues that the government could do more to align the skills imparted through the education and training system with the needs of employers. The government can also do more to get children off to the right start by investing in early childhood development, where rates of return to investment are generally very high and important soft skills are learned. Finally, more can be done to match the supply of skills with employer demand by improving the use of information in matching skills to jobs in the labor market DOWNLOAD

15.02.2019

Tajikistan - Agricultural sector risk assessment

Broka, Sandra; Giertz, Åsa; Christensen, Garry N.; Hanif, Charity Worsham; Rasmussen, Debra L.;

Agriculture is among the most risk-prone sectors in the economies of Central Asia. Production shocks from weather, pests and diseases and adverse movements in agricultural product and input prices not only impact farmers and agri-business firms, but can also strain government finances. Some of these risks are small and localized and can be managed by producers. Others are the result of more severe, exogenous shocks outside agriculture or outside the country, which require a broader response. Failure to respond adequately to these more severe risks leads to a perpetual cycle of ‘shock-recovery-shock’, which reinforces poverty traps and compromises long-term growth. The agriculture sector’s exposure to production and price risk is increasing. Climate change is increasing production risks in the short to medium-term by increasing the frequency and severity of droughts and floods and in the longer-term by reducing the availability of water for irrigation due to accelerated glacial melt. The modernization and commercialization of agricultural production and processing, which is critical for sector growth, also raises the sector’s exposure to price risk at a time of high volatility on international markets for agricultural commodities. An effective response to these risks requires a broader, more integrated approach to risk management than the current system of ex-ante, public sector activity associated with crop and livestock disease and ad hoc, ex-post emergency responses to local disasters. Measures to strengthen risk mitigation will need to be mainstreamed into sector development and investment programs, additional human and financial resources will need to be allocated to the public institutions responsible for ex-ante and ex-post risk management, and the potential for transfer (insurance) mechanisms will need to be clarified and developed where feasible. Given the limited human and financial resources available for public sector activity, a clear sense of the priorities for agriculture risk management is also required, together with a balanced view of the respective roles of public and private sector stakeholders.

15.02.2019

Kazakhstan - Agricultural sector risk assessment

Broka, Sandra; Giertz, Åsa; Christensen, Garry N.; Rasmussen, Debra L.; Morgounov, Alexei; Fileccia, Turi; Rubaiza, Rhoda

Agriculture is among the most risk-prone sectors in the economies of Central Asia. Production shocks from weather, pests and diseases and adverse movements in agricultural product and input prices not only impact farmers and agri-business firms, but can also strain government finances. Some of these risks are small and localized and can be managed by producers. Others are the result of more severe, exogenous shocks outside agriculture that require a broader response. Failure to respond adequately to these more severe risks leads to a perpetual cycle of ‘shock-recovery-shock’ which reinforces poverty traps and compromises long-term growth. A broad-based program to improve livestock productivity is recommended to strengthen the resilience of livestock production systems and rangeland use in Kazakhstan. Proposed interventions include measures to: (i) reverse degradation of water, soil and vegetation cover; (ii) safeguard the long-term viability of rangeland ecosystems, while ensuring sustainable access to grazing land; and (iii) strengthen livestock services (veterinary, animal health, feed and fodder supply, destocking, water and grazing access, and weather and market information). These measures will enable farmers to manage their resources better, to respond to climate and market signals and to protect their resource base in times of drought. The recommendations developed under these three solution areas continue the underlying emphasis on mitigation as the foundation for risk management. They also highlight the mutually reinforcing benefits of measures to improve crop and livestock productivity for both risk management and sector growth.  DOWNLOAD

15.02.2019

Kyrgyz Republic - Agricultural sector risk assessment

Broka, Sandra; Giertz, Åsa; Christensen, Garry N.; Hanif, Charity Worsham; Rasmussen, Debra L.; Rubaiza, Rhoda

Agriculture is among the most risk-prone sectors in the economies of Central Asia. Production shocks from weather, pests and diseases and adverse movements in agricultural product and input prices not only impact farmers and agri-business firms, but can also strain government finances. Some of these risks are small and localized and can be managed by producers. Others are the result of more severe, exogenous shocks outside agriculture or outside the country, which require a broader response. Failure to respond adequately to these more severe risks leads to a perpetual cycle of ‘shock-recovery-shock’, which reinforces poverty traps and compromises long-term growth. The agriculture sector’s exposure to production and price risk is increasing. Climate change is increasing production risks in the short to medium-term by increasing the frequency and severity of droughts and floods and in the longer-term by reducing the availability of water for irrigation due to accelerated glacial melt. The modernization and commercialization of agricultural production and processing, which is critical for sector growth, also raises the sector’s exposure to price risk at a time of high volatility on international markets for agricultural commodities. An effective response to these risks requires a broader, more integrated approach to risk management than the current system of ex-ante, public sector activity associated with crop and livestock disease and ad hoc, ex-post emergency responses to local disasters. Measures to strengthen risk mitigation need to be mainstreamed into sector development and investment programs, additional human and financial resources need to be allocated to the public institutions responsible for ex-ante and ex-post risk management, and the potential for transfer (insurance) mechanisms will need to be clarified and developed where feasible. Given the limited human and financial resources available for public sector activity, a clear sense of the priorities for agriculture risk management is also required, together with a balanced view of the respective roles of public and private sector stakeholders. DOWNLOAD

15.02.2019

Exploratory assessment of factors that influence quality of local irrigation water governance in Uzbekistan

Swinkels, Robertus A; Romanova E; Kochkin, E;

Agriculture in Uzbekistan is almost entirely dependent on irrigation. However, despite reforms to institutional arrangements, much of Uzbekistan’s irrigation is reportedly caught in a vicious cycle of inadequate operation and maintenance, low cost recovery, and agricultural productivity that is often moderate or low; in addition, many farmers earn low incomes (World Bank, 2013).Few incentives exist to save water because farmers do not see the direct cost of water provision.This study was undertaken with the aim of contributing to better irrigation water management in Central Asia, beginning in Uzbekistan. It identifies factors and conditions that positively affect the performance of local irrigation water management institutions. The analytical framework for this assessment is formed by the eight design principles for the management of common-pool resources developed by Ostrom (1990). These design principles are in essence factors that are associated with successful collective action in governing common-pool resources such as irrigation water, forests, and fishing areas. By determining why these principles are met in some cases and not in others, and what factors are behind this variation, the author can identify measures that promote these factors/conditions in irrigation schemes. This study was undertaken with the aim of contributing to better irrigation water management in Central Asia, beginning in Uzbekistan. It identifies factors and conditions that positively affect the performance of local irrigation water–management institutions. The study also prepared an associated diagnostic tool that will help design measures and program interventions to strengthen these institutions in ongoing or future irrigation operations. Lastly, the work intends to contribute to an exchange of good practices and knowledge sharing among relevant stakeholders across the Central Asia region.  DOWNLOAD

15.02.2019

Central Asia energy-water development program : annual report 2016

World Bank Group

The Central Asia Energy and Water Development Program (CAEWDP) is a partnership between the World Bank, the European Commission, Switzerland (through SECO), the United Kingdom (through DFID), and the United States (through USAID) to address the challenges of cross-border system interlinkages and national and regional energy and water resources management. The objective of the CAEWDP seeks to strengthen the enabling environment to promote energy and water security at regional level and in the beneficiary countries. Structured along three themes: (1) energy development; (2) energy-water linkages; and (3) water productivity the program pursued three outcome areas since its inception in 2009: (a) investment preparation; (b) regional institutions; (c) diagnostics and analysis. CAEWDP supports the beneficiary countries in achieving their water and energy resourcesmanagement priorities through national and regional actions, addressing the existing challenges and identifying opportunities to generate benefits at the national level and through regional cooperation. These priorities are framed by the “3-I”s – information, institutions, and investments. CAEWDP promotes an enabling environment for water and energy security through generation of knowledge, strengthening of capacity and dialogue processes, and identification of investments. From inception, the program broadened its engagement progressively from diagnostic analyses and information to increasingly strengthening institutions and to catalyzing investments. DOWNLOAD

14.02.2019

Central Asia Energy Water Development Program : promoting pathways to energy and water security - impact report 2009-2017

World Bank Group

The Central Asia Energy and Water Development Program (CAEWDP) is a partnership between the World Bank, the European Commission, Switzerland (through SECO), the United Kingdom (through DFID), and the United States (through USAID) to address the challenges of cross-border system interlinkages and national and regional energy and water resources management. The objective of the CAEWDP seeks to strengthen the enabling environment to promote energy and water security at regional level and in the beneficiary countries. Structured along three themes: (1) energy development; (2) energy-water linkages; and (3) water productivity the program pursued three outcome areas since its inception in 2009: (a) investment preparation; (b) regional institutions; (c) diagnostics and analysis. CAEWDP supports the beneficiary countries in achieving their water and energy resources management priorities through national and regional actions, addressing the existing challenges and identifying opportunities to generate benefits at the national level and through regional cooperation. These priorities are framed by the “3-I”s – information, institutions, and investments. CAEWDP promotes an enabling environment for water and energy security through generation of knowledge, strengthening of capacity and dialogue processes, and identification of investments. From inception, the program broadened its engagement progressively from diagnostic analyses and information to increasingly strengthening institutions and to catalyzing investments. DOWNLOAD

14.02.2019

Investing strategically in higher education : aligning public funding with policy objectives

Weaver, Jason Allen; Traveller, Andrew Gary;

Linking higher education finance and policy, referred to as strategic financing, is increasing in popularity throughout Central Europe and the Baltic Countries. Strategic financing essentially implies that public funding mechanisms are informed by and aligned with specific higher education policy objectives. Governments are asking how the funding strategy can be more supportive of policy objectives. Can funding formulae, for instance, be modified strategically to help realize certain policy objectives? If a government is seeking to enroll more science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students, for example, could allocating a premium to higher education institutions (HEIs) per STEM student help achieve the policy objective? Like many countries around the work, Central European and Baltic countries are exploring how different financing modalities can provide additional leverage in steering their higher education sector towards specific policy objectives. In recent years, many Central European and Baltic countries are facing common economic, socio-political, and demographic factors. These common challenges can broadly be categorized into three main themes: challenging economic environment; increasing European integration; and declining demographic trends. First, the region still faces fiscal constraints as it emerges from the global economic slowdown. Such economic trends have placed downward pressure on public higher education budgets and increased the call for collaboration between higher education and the labor market. Second, national higher education policies across Central Europe and the Baltic countries are impacted by a broader European policy environment, including the European Higher Education Area. Supranational initiatives, such as the EU’s Education and Training 2020 Strategy, Horizon 2020, and its Modernization Agenda for Higher Education, as well as the intergovernmental Bologna Process strongly influence national higher education policies. Third, a declining population in Europe is shrinking the number of working- and student-age people. After decades of growth in the higher education sector, the number of new students participating in higher education is slowly declining DOWNLOAD