1) Why PSIA? Why did you choose PSIA over any other bank instrument or product?
Rather than being a “Bank instrument” or a “Bank product”, I consider PSIA a methodological approach. If I need to understand the poverty and social impacts of a (proposed) reform process, I do a PSIA. As we were engaged in a dialogue on possible reforms of the governance framework regulating the charcoal sector, we were interested in the poverty and social impacts of such reforms. As you can see from the final document we conducted in parallel a political economy analysis to also better understand this aspect of the charcoal sector. If we had been interested in the environmental impacts, we probably would have conducted an EIA.
2) What was the most embarrassing/challenging moment while working on this PSIA?
Given that prior to this specific PE / PSIA work we had developed a sector Policy Note that entailed intensive stakeholder outreach and policy discussions, the institutional environment (public, private, NGOs, etc.) was well prepared. We did not run into any embarrassing / challenging situations. Rather the contrary: the analysis was well supported and the final product was well received, although it probably needs to be acknowledged that with a joint PE / PSIA analysis, the PE analysis received more attention afterwards.
3) If you had to do this PSIA over, what would you do differently, based on the lessons learned from this one?
Available data can be a very limiting factor conducting these analyses. I would probably get (even) better and detailed data. Proposed policy interventions / reforms of which impacts are to be analyzed should also be very clearly defined to allow a good modeling and outcome. In retrospect, we could have done a bit better in that regard, too.
4) Any recommendations for TTLs working on PSIAs – what are the top three things TTLs should always keep in mind when working on a PSIA.
PSIA are part of a policy reform process. The associated policy reform dialogue should be well established and well communicated among stakeholders. If a PSIA “jumps in” without much prior knowledge by those who may be affected by policy reforms, this could create difficulties when conducting the analysis. Further, I regard a PSIA as a second-tier analysis that should follow a more general policy analysis. This first step should prepare the ground for second-tier analyses – such as PSIA – and without them it may be more difficult to conduct a PSIA. A very important aspect is also that through a preparatory analysis – e.g. a Policy Note – one can create very much needed ownership and consensus for conducting a PSIA on the client side. One should keep in mind that the results of a PSIA may not be in favor of what the client wants – or wants to pursue – hence there could be natural resistance and conflict.
Klas Sander is a Senior Environment Economist with the Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice of the World Bank. His work builds on 20 years of professional experience in project implementation and applied research focusing on environmental and natural resource economics and management, economic diagnostics of environmental degradation, and biomass energy. Klas has extensive field experiences from many parts of the world. For example, studying socio-economic determinants of forest and land-use, he lived with Iban longhouse communities in Malaysia or was working with island communities in the South Pacific. For his PhD he led a research team addressing natural resource use of rural communities in remote areas of Northwest Madagascar. For the World Bank he currently supports operational work in environment & natural resources, urban environmental management, and energy in Latin America, South and East Asia, and Africa. He holds Master’s degrees in Forestry from the University of Göttingen, Germany and in Agriculture & Natural Resources Economics from Imperial College, University of London. When completing his PhD in Rural Development from the University of Göttingen he was also a research fellow at U.C. Berkeley.