Infrastructure and Impacts: Strengthening Environmental and Social Safeguards

Growing awareness of the negative environmental and social (E&S) externalities of large infrastructure projects has driven sustainability considerations to the top of infrastructure financing debates in developing countries. While many external financiers, particularly multilateral development banks (MDBs), uphold high standards of E&S ‘safeguards’ in their infrastructure lending, borrowing countries may not have the capacity or internal demand to uphold such standards. This policy insights explores how MDBs and national governments (and other domestic entities) can work together to improve E&S safeguards in sub-Saharan Africa. It forms part of a larger discussion paper on social and environmental safeguards, which employs a case study analysis of South Africa and Ethiopia.