DCID’s Fernando Fernholz and a team of researchers and advisors from Duke and the World Bank just wrapped a project that will help Grenada and St. Lucia make better economic decisions in the context of increasingly volatile climate patterns.
Background: Climate Change Increasingly Affects Island Countries in the Caribbean
A DCID team has recently completed a two- year project to research and help decision makers address the impacts of climate change in the two island countries of Grenada and St. Lucia in the Caribbean. The current and anticipated intensification of storms in the region has wreaked havoc on assets and services and has disrupted people’s lives to a growing extent for a number of years now. This prompted the governments, with the help of the World Bank to request the project.
In 2018, DCID conducted research and analysis on the impacts of climate change on the economy, on particular economic sectors, and on project assets and services in Grenada and St. Lucia. Based on this research the team developed an expanded framework of project investment appraisal to include the analysis and resiliency investments to counter expected deep uncertainty, caused by the intensification trends of storms since the middle of last century in the Caribbean Region. This pioneering effort included the participation of faculty from Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment (NSOE) and Pratt School of Engineering, plus a team from DCID and the Sanford School of Public Policy.
The project’s lead investigator is Fernando Fernholz of DCID. Project team members are Indermit Gill, Siddharth Dixit (MIDP ’17), Mark Edward Borsuk and Fernando Cossio. Senior advisors to the project are: Graham Glenday, Gangadhar P Shukla, and Brian Murray. On behalf of the World Bank, the lead counterpart was Onur Erden, who managed this project.
The research report and applications of the expanded methodology to some cases in Grenada and St. Lucia, were presented to the World Bank and Country Officials in Grenada and St. Lucia in June 2018.
Capacity Building and Final Report
Over the period 2018 to 2019, Fernholz and the World Bank counterpart had a series of meetings, which included presentations to Cabinet Offices, Ministries of Finance, Planning and other key Sector Agencies. Fernholz presented the methodology and potential benefits of investing in resilience (e. g. “real options”) as well as the need for capacity building using country examples and case studies. After more meetings to discuss priorities and needs as expressed by country officials, the DCID team prepared and submitted a set of Guidelines for Project Appraisal, Methods and Implementation, including templates, case studies and examples of application addressing climate change for both countries.
DCID delivered two capacity-building workshops from February to March this year in each of the two countries with participation by 44 key officials from agencies ranging from Ministries of Finance, Planning, Economic Development, Social Development, Environment, Prisons, Tourism, Sports, and Airports. The goal of the training workshops was to assist officials in the assessment of investment analysis of public sector projects, including the assessment of climate impacts on projects, the potential benefits of additional resiliency investments, and also how to incorporate the results in their decision-making processes. The workshops, combining theory and real country case studies based on the prior research, focused on application to current and proposed plans and projects of the governments. The consulting and training team included Fernando Fernholz for both countries, DCID Senior Fellow Fernando Cossio M. for Grenada, and Carlos de la Torre for St. Lucia.
The project concluded in April 2020 with a series of recommendations. There was general agreement on the need to develop more data generation, procedures and systems to guide government officials on how to prioritize investments that support resiliency in the context of growing negative impacts from climate change related hazards in the coming years.
Research and Capacity Building on Public Appraisal for Climate Sensitive Projects in the Caribbean Countries of Grenada and St. Lucia. Sponsors: World Bank and Governments of Grenada and St. Lucia.