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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.

Building on previous knowledge-exchange initiatives at the World Bank, this platform aimed to: (i) consolidate operational knowledge on participatory local development and service delivery in Fragile, Conflict and Violence (FCV) contexts in the region; (ii) support the sharing of this knowledge between neighboring countries with varying experience on the topic and (iii) facilitate the harmonization of approaches and strengthen the quality of Community and Local Development  (CLD) implementation on aspects such as climate adaptation, social cohesion, citizen engageme

Rapid urbanization has the potential to improve the well-being of societies. If managed prudently, it can transform the development course of economies. But the path of urbanization is also fraught with numerous human development challenges intensified by poverty, economic disparities, lack of housing and basic services, inefficient transport systems and lack of sustainable financing models. The world needs inclusive and sustainable urbanization as recognized by Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) - Goal #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

After close to 15 years of relatively successful nutrition policy development and programming, Senegal is at a crossroad to renew the policy and programming environment that will help the country deal with the more deep-rooted problems of malnutrition. This requires enhanced multisectoral engagement and community dialogue as outlined in the National Nutrition Policy and National Multisectoral Nutrition Strategic Plan. 

The Governments of Cameroon, Guinea and Senegal (“the Governments”) have been pursuing a strategy of decentralization in tackling challenges of poverty, weak institutional capacity, and fragility. While these Governments have been considerably successful in supporting bottom-up local development in ongoing World Bank-funded projects, they have encountered certain technical difficulties scaling up their projects to mainstream participatory approaches into the government structures.

Malawi has the highest rate of chronic malnutrition in Africa. To improve the lives of millions of Malawians and fight malnutrition, the government is scaling up nutrition interventions and making these programs central to development. However, Malawi needed to build capacity for effective implementation and policy leadership, as well as mechanisms for multi-sector coordination. The government also needed to learn about different nutrition interventions before launching the World Bank-financed project to fight malnutrition.

Reforms granting autonomy to Senegalese hospitals in 2002 did not lead to improvements in hospital performance or financial management. Less than ten years after the reforms, a World Bank study requested by Senegalese policymakers found that hospitals were struggling financially and that management was not sufficiently accountable to any entity. Meanwhile, Moroccan and Tunisian hospital reforms had led to better health outcomes and more efficient hospital administration.

After learning about the success of East Asian countries in developing their economies and attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through Special Economic Zones (SEZ), many African governments wanted to use the same strategy to improve their economic performance. However, most African countries lack the capacity to design and implement SEZs, including lack of policy framework clarity, difficulties in physical planning and land administration, and insufficient regulatory and administrative knowledge. They have also not being very successful in involving the private sector in SEZs.

Growth in the Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing sector (IT-BPO) can transform a country’s economy and improve the lives of its citizens. No country is a better example than India, which has achieved phenomenal growth in this sector. As of 2010, India could boast of a 64 percent share of globally off-shored IT services and a 37 percent share in IT-enabled services (ITES)1.  Skills development has been a key driver of that growth.

The Governments of Senegal, Ghana, and the Gambia sought to strengthen their capacity to reduce rates of malnutrition. Through a series of peer reviews in nutrition, officials from these countries identified new directions for reform, and enhanced their skills and commitment to design nutrition programs. They also integrated lessons from these reviews in the design World Bank-financed nutrition projects.