The World Bank is a leading multilateral agency providing technical and financial assistance to developing countries. It recently tapped the Global Environment Facility to fund a US$ 15 million energy efficiency project in Argentina. This project seeks to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating regulatory, financial, and informational barriers that impede energy efficiency investments.
Xiaoping Wang, World Bank Task Manager, spearheaded the design and preparation of the said project. “In this capacity, I take a leadership role in project preparation, including dialogue with the government, technical and economic evaluations of project activities, compliance with the environmental and social safeguards requirements, design of appropriate implementation arrangements, etc.,” she explained.
The Task Manager discussed that challenges in the international development industry are multifold. Specifically, the need to examine the consistency of the Argentine government’s priority of securing sufficient energy supply with the GEF’s objective of lessening greenhouse gas emissions has brought about complexities in project design.
Wang also noted that working with people from different disciplines to ensure that project preparation is timely, effective and “adequate for achieving desired, sustainable impacts” may also pose some work difficulties.
On the other hand, the intricacies of her job are offset with the incentives of “working with many intelligent people within and outside the bank, learning from them on a constant basis, and doing development work which have immediate impacts in the real world.”
Wang joined the Bank four years ago through the Young Professional Program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, a master’s degree in environmental economics and a PhD in energy and environmental policy.
She hopes to gain more hands-on experience to become an established practitioner in the field of international development. “I am passionate about the development work and helping the vulnerable. I will continue [working] on the energy and environmental issues faced by the developing countries, building on my passion and professional training,” Wang said.