The World Bank (WB) signed a $15 million grant agreement with the government to increase access to clean energy for targeted rural areas through output-based aid (OBA) subsidies.
The global lender is acting as administrator for the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA), reports BSS.
"The grant is expected to benefit 1.1 million people living in poor, remote areas of Bangladesh currently lacking grid electricity", the WB said in a statement last week.
This new project will make clean energy affordable to low-income households through off-grid solutions by buying down the capital cost of 225,000 solar home systems (SHS) and 2,500 mini-grid connections.
The grant will also facilitate investments in solar-pumped irrigation to 6,600 farmers, reducing the negative fiscal and environmental impact of diesel pumps.
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Results-based financing (RBF) has shown promising results increasing healthcare coverage and quality for the poorest populations. Salud Mesoamerica 2015 (SM2015) is an example an encouraging new model to address inequalities in a more effective and efficient way. SM2015 aims to reduce maternal and child health inequalities through a result-based financing model. (SM2015) is a public-private partnership between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carlos Slim Foundation, the Government of Spain, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the countries of Central American and the state of Chiapas in Mexico.
At the start of the program, the IDB and the country agree to set of process, coverage, quality and impact targets that are externally verified by a third partner. To design a program to meet the targets, each country receives a donation that is matched by country funds to implement evidence-based interventions in the poorest areas. If the country meets the previously agreed targets, it receives an incentive; half of the country funds initially invested for reimbursed for unrestricted use within the health sector. Even when donations are less than 1% of the health budget, systemic changes have already been achieved.
Unlike other RBF programs, results expected by SM2015 include changes to national policies, coverage of healthcare interventions and quality of care. With this purpose, independent household and health facility surveys are collected in every country. The IDB partnered with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington to conduct the surveys. In addition to assessing performance, surveys provide robust and comparable data about the maternal and child health of the poorest populations.
Baseline surveys revealed important health inequalities. Even when most countries have achieved high coverage at the national level of key interventions to reduce maternal and child mortality, important gaps remain for the poor. For instance, the contraceptive prevalence rate in the poorest areas in Mesoamerica is more than 20 percentage points under the national average. Institutional birth by qualified staff is particularly low in areas with high indigenous populations, such as the poorest areas of Chiapas and Guatemala, where around 1 in 4 women has access to institutional deliveries by qualified staff.
After 24 months of program implementation, all countries have achieved important results, increasing the availability of equipment and supplies in medical units and updating national norms. For instance, in Nicaragua, the percentage of Health Facilities with continuous availability of inputs for emergency obstetric and neonatal care increased from 60 to 90.9%. In El Salvador, the Community Health Teams with inputs and equipment for child care increased from 36.2 to 92.2%. In Chiapas, Mexico inputs and equipment for prenatal and postnatal care increased from 3.6 to 45.8%. Panama increased the number of basic attention units with availability of family planning methods from 7.1 to 78.9% and Belize from 73.7 to 89.5% El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama have updated national norms for micronutrient supplementation in children 6 to 23 months; an initial step towards decreasing anemia. In Panama and El Salvador zinc has been included in standards for management of diarrhea in children.
In Costa Rica, SM2015 has encouraged cross-sector collaboration addressing teenage pregnancy. The Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and the Department of Social Insurance are working together to develop integrated strategies to prevent teenage pregnancies and support young mothers.
SM2015 has helped Ministries of Health leverage funds for the poor and the health sector. In El Salvador, for example, a specific target was set to increase spending for the poor. In all countries, even when targets are in health, SM2015 given the argument for the Ministry of Finance to ensure the funds needed were available (including counterpart funding as well as resources to meet targets).
In the next two years, Ministries of Health throughout the region will have to achieve even more challenging and ambitious targets. Countries have committed to achieving healthcare coverage and quality targets.
The RBF model implemented by SM2015 could be expanded to a wider set of social development goals. Giving realistic, ambitious and measurable targets for outcome and impact level indicators to sectors that earlier worked independently could open paths for improved solutions.
The framework for conducting PPPs in Albania is on par with the best practice of OECD countries. The provisions for unsolicited offers, the ability to complement through subsidies to the concessionary the financing gaps allow the government to benefit from efficiency gains and rigorous management through private involvement, even when the financial viability of a full PPP is not proved. The value for money criteria is applied to all projects, making sure that projects are rigorously tested prior to completion. The obvious successes of PPPs in hydropower development in Albania constitute a living proof of the potential of public private partnerships in dealing with infrastructure needs. The experience of the concession unit, the clear role of public procurement agency in auditing the award processes, the ability of competitors to invoke a review of the process from the public advocate, the availability of information for the general public constitute a solid ground for proper governance of the processes. In conclusion, we can qualify as enabling the environment for conducting PPPs in Albania. That means that from this point, the sectorial issues are the only ones that have to be taken care of in older to conduct a public private partnership in irrigation.