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    Learning by doing: World Bank lending for urban development, 1972-82.

    Cohen MA

    Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1983 Feb. vi, 55, [4] p.

    This volume reviews the World Bank's urban lending program from its conception in 1972 until 1981. The volume's chapters cover the objectives and development of urban lending programs, their implementation and management, the impact of urban lending, and future tasks. The Bank's strategy has been based on low cost approaches in shelter and infrastructure aimed at mobilizing private savings and relieving the public sector of most of the financial burden for urban services. Individual operations have been designed to suit local conditions and fit within longer term sectoral strategies. The complementarities between shelter, infrastructure, employment, transport, and location are stressed. Of the 62 projects funded in 1972-81, for a total of US$2018 million, 36 focused on shelter, 10 were in transport, 13 were integrated projects, and 3 were regional. The largest number of projects (18) were centered in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Bank's urban activities have demonstrated to borrowers that it is possible to apply economic, financial, and technical methods of analysis to urban problems without distorting other sectors of development. The Bank's approach accepts the imortance of the rural sector and insists that the urban sector should pay for itself through cost recovery. Urban development efforts will have to be redoubled in the years ahead if the soutions developed during the 1970s are to be extended to growing populations. Over 90 projects are now under consideration in the US$4 billion lending program proposed for 1982-86, and half of the program consists of repeater projects that build on the success of earlier efforts. The majority of programs are exected to focus on strengthening institutions responsible for the provision of urban shelter and infrastructure. The approach of learning by doing, which characterized urban lending in 1972-81, will be supplemented by applied research to provide information necessary for future lending.
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