- Capacity development and learning support for developing countries is crucial to sustain development gains
- The World Bank is the largest single source of development knowledge
- The World Bank Institute packages knowledge exchange, south-south learning practitioner networks and e-learning to equip countries with knowledge and learning on climate change
Farmers in Africa learn from farmers in India how to grow rice with less water – and increase their yield by 30 percent. A network of practitioners across Latin America shares experiences on strategies to reduce carbon emissions in their countries. In the Balkans, countries learn which policy instruments are most effective to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. And the city of Rio de Brazil establishes an inventory of its greenhouse gas emissions and wants to reduce its emission to enter carbon markets.
Soon, we might have innovative software applications that can help solve some of the development problems that climate change poses. The World Bank’s ‘Apps for Climate Change’ Competition was launched in at the Durban climate conference last week. With the competition, the Bank hopes to discover new and extraordinary ways to use climate data. It is another move forward in the Bank’s Open Development agenda
While the World Bank is best known for its development project lending, knowledge services like these are becoming increasingly important. Governments, private sector, and civil society organizations are eager to learn from others what is working and what isn’t when it comes to climate change. Knowledge exchange, South-south learning, communities of practice and training are crucial to ensure that development gains can be sustained and can lead to lasting results.
In 2011, the Bank spent US$ 600 million and 30 percent of its budget for knowledge products and services.
“Today, the Bank remains the largest single source of development knowledge. But knowledge must be opened to all,” says World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick, “We are working to make data analysis and modeling tools more user-friendly, so that researchers, civil society, and local communities can come up with their own findings – and double-check ours.”
The World Bank’s Knowledge Work on Climate Change
The new Climate Change Knowledge Portal , the Open Data Initiative , Mapping for Results , the Green Growth Knowledge Platform and Connect 4 Climate Change which is targeting youth in Africa are just a few examples of how the World Bank shares knowledge and connects practitioners around climate change.
The World Bank Institute (WBI) is the World Bank’s capacity development arm. Climate Change is one of its high-profile areas of work. WBI’s Climate Change practice supports the Bank’s operational work and helps countries to enable innovative reforms around climate-smart agriculture, renewable energy, low-carbon development, forest protection and climate finance instruments. Learning is facilitated through peer coalitions and exchanges helping practitioners to adapt global knowledge for local solutions.
“Through knowledge exchanges, innovations in climate policy and south-south learning, WBI helps develop networks and coalitions of policy makers, practitioners and technical experts to discuss challenges, opportunities and options for addressing country-specific problems by learning from available experience,” explains Neeraj Prasad , manager of WBI’s Climate Change Practice.
“The goal is to help countries develop relevant policies, access finance for climate action, including climate resilience and access to clean energy, and move towards energy efficient low-carbon development,” he adds.
One example is the Mitigation Action Implementation Network (MAIN) in Latin America and Asia that connects practitioners and decision makers to better understand concepts, opportunities and challenges related to Low-Emissions Development strategies (LEDs), Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and related climate finance instruments.
Knowledge forums like the annual Carbon Expo and regional carbon forums in Africa , Latin America and India -all of which are co-organized by WBI- are the leading regional trade fairs and knowledge sharing platforms for carbon investment. Carbon buyers and -sellers come to learn about the latest trends and new approaches in the carbon market. The 2011 Africa Carbon Forum counted 800 participants and demonstrated that Africa is becoming increasingly attractive for carbon trade.
e-Courses on Climate Change as part of a Knowledge Package
The recently launched e-Institute also offers a set of e-learning courses around climate change . Launched as a virtual learning classroom it provides convenient, easy, and reliable access to cutting-edge knowledge and communities of practice. The e-courses and webinars target self-motivated learners who want to get up-to-speed on the latest development trends, enhance their skills, and share knowledge through on-line learning communities.
The e-courses last between two to four weeks and are facilitated by World Bank experts and external practitioners. Learning is practical and hands-on through in-depth case studies, animated presentations, audio and video clips and interactive exercises to engage learners and enhance overall retention of learning.
It is the combination of different approaches and interventions customized to specific needs that makes WBI’s work unique: Offering an e-course on energy efficiency for technical experts and connecting them in a network where they hear best practices from each other and get support for project planning while policy makers, private sector and civil society organizations are brought together to discuss and move forward with necessary policy frameworks.