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From transport to health, food to construction and textiles, plastics are among the most abundant materials in our economy. Globally, the plastic industry is valued at USD 600 billion and provides employment to millions of people worldwide. But plastic pollution has become a crisis of monumental proportions, with 8 million tons ending up in oceans annually. Around the world, different regions face unique challenges ranging from community awareness to waste and recycling capacity, to weak stakeholder engagement.

The development goal of this knowledge exchange was to improve the bridge construction and maintenance practices in Nepal across the following themes:

  • Construction quality
  • Technology applied
  • Climate resilience


The Internet has become an integral part of the delivery of quality education nearly worldwide, except in countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal that lack easy, cost-effective Internet access. Wanting to address this academic isolation and improve higher education, these four countries approached the World Bank for help. In response, the World Bank organized a South-South Knowledge Exchange with Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam to share information on how to establish and manage National Research and Education Networks (NRENs).

With Nepal’s transition from monarchy to republic in 2009, a decade-long civil insurgency endured by the Nepalese people finally ended. The Government of Nepal (GoN) wanted to learn how other countries had reintegrated combatants into society and successfully increased the role of local governments after similar conflicts. The GoN asked the World Bank to identify suitable knowledge exchange partners, and the World Bank responded by facilitating an exchange with South Africa and Rwanda.

With assistance of the Bank and other donors, Indonesia has supported a National Program for Community Empowerment (PNPM), which has helped more than 70,000 villages prioritize needs and access community grants for development projects. The PNPM has been highly successful in supporting community infrastructure projects, such as building roads and water facilities, but has made limited progress applying community-driven development (CDD) approaches to enhance the livelihoods of the poor and women.

Afghanistan’s Female Youth Employment Initiative to transition girls from schooling to wage employment was piloted as one of five Adolescent Girls Initiative (AGI) projects in low-income, conflict-affected countries with input from the Nepali experience. The community-centric project design focused on trauma resolution and life-skills training and on communal safe spaces in the Balkh province for participants to develop marketable skills and connect with employers.


The Government of Nepal needed to address the organizational effectiveness of its National Identification Management Center (NIDMC), specifically with focus on operational efficiency, effective communications, stakeholder relations, and results. Pakistan had implemented a similar program with success.  Through the exchange, Nepal set out to learn about Pakistan’s experience in its good practice approach to implementing, processing, establishing rules of action, and enhancing staff capacity toward a successful NID program.