Use of Country Systems for Environmental and Social Safeguards
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Use of Country Systems for Environmental and Social Safeguards Quality Assurance and Compliance Unit OPCS March 2008. What is Use of Country Systems?.

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Use of Country Systems for Environmental and Social Safeguards Quality Assurance and Compliance UnitOPCSMarch 2008

What is use of country systems
What is Use of Country Systems? Safeguards

  • Under Paris Declaration March 2005 “Use of country systems” means the use of the borrower’s (environmental and social safeguard/fiduciary and procurement systems in place of the corresponding donor (e.g. World Bank) safeguard systems to meet donor safeguard requirements.

  • “Systems” refers to the borrower’s policies, laws, regulations, and formal procedures and its institutional capacity, processes and performance (“track record”) in implementing its laws, regulations and procedures.

Potential benefits of ucs for environmental and social safeguards
Potential Benefits of UCS for Environmental and Social Safeguards

  • Enhance borrower ownership and empowerment of safeguard policies

  • Improve Borrower capacity to implement own systems

  • Reduce transaction costs to Borrowers and Donors

  • Harmonize environmental and social safeguards among donors

  • Endorsed at High-Level Forums on Aid Effectiveness: Rome 2003, Paris 2005

Potential and perceived risks of using country systems
Potential and Perceived Risks of Using Country Systems Safeguards

  • Dilution of Bank Safeguards

  • Loss of transparency

  • Loss of accountability

  • Higher up-front project preparation costs

  • Potential delays in project approval

Safeguard policies applicable to use of country systems

Environmental Assessment Safeguards

Natural Habitats


Physical Cultural Resources

Involuntary Resettlement

Indigenous Peoples

Safety of Dams

Pest Management

Projects in International Waterways*

Projects in Disputed Areas*

* Not included in UCS

Safeguard Policies Applicable to Use of Country Systems

Equivalence Safeguards

“The Bank considers the borrower’s environmental and social safeguard system to be equivalent to the Bank’s if the borrower’s system is designed to achieve the Objectives and adhere to the Operational Principles set out in Table A1.”

Acceptability Safeguards

  • Borrower’s Institutional Capacity

  • Implementation practices

  • Performance (“Track record”)

Gap filling
Gap-Filling Safeguards

  • Borrower must be willing and able to fill gaps in its legal system and implementation practices so as to achieve Equivalence and Acceptability

  • Such measures are to be carried out before the borrower undertakes implementation of the relevant project activities.

  • Measures may include Bank-supported efforts to strengthen relevant capacity, incentives and methods for implementation

Changes in borrower systems during project implementation
Changes in Borrower Systems during Project Implementation Safeguards

  • Applies to borrower legislation, regulations, procedures or implementation

  • If changes signify improvement in country systems, possible revision of legal agreement, with Board approval, to reflect changes

  • If changes inconsistent with agreed legal framework, Bank contractual remedies apply

Ucs pilot projects approved and in implementation
UCS Pilot Projects Approved and in Implementation Safeguards

  • Bhutan: Rural Transport

  • Egypt: Industrial Pollution Abatement

  • Ghana: Energy Development

  • Jamaica: Inner City Basic Services Project

  • Romania: Municipal Services Project

  • Romania: Transport Sector Support Project

  • Tunisia: Municipal Solid Waste Management

    Several Projects Were Co-Financed by Bilateral Donors

    and Multilateral Financial Institutions

Ucs pilot projects in the pipeline
UCS Pilot Projects in the Pipeline Safeguards

  • In preparation:

    • India: Electrical Transmission

    • South Africa: GEF Protected Areas Management

    • Uganda: Roads Project – AfDB-funded

    • Morocco: Solid Waste Management (DPL)

  • Under consideration:

    • Bhutan: Urban Infrastructure

    • Ghana: Transport sector

    • Laos: Transport sector

    • Tunisia: Water Supply

    • Brazil: Development Finance Institution (FI)

Results beyond the world bank
Results: Beyond the World Bank Safeguards

  • Inter-American Development Bank has adopted revised safeguard policies that allow for UCS

  • Asian Development Bank has proposed that its revised safeguard policies allow for UCS

  • African Development Bank is using the Bank policy as a framework for testing the UCS approach in Uganda

  • World Bank is actively sharing information on our experience with other development organizations, professional organizations and CSOs/NGOs

Ucs website
UCS Website Safeguards

Details on the approach to Use of Country Systems and on Pilot Projects as well as SDRs and project documentation are available at: systems