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Why Growth Alone is Not Enough to Reduce Poverty

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Why Growth Alone is Not Enough to Reduce Poverty
What can evaluative evidence teach us about making growth inclusive?What can evaluative evidence teach us about making growth inclusive?

Strengthening Local Government Capacity to Deliver Services: Four Lessons from Rural Kyrgyz Republic

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Strengthening Local Government Capacity to Deliver Services
This brief captures the lessons from evaluating two World Bank projects implemented in the Kyrgyz Republic, the Village Investment Project and Second Village Investment Project.This brief captures the lessons from evaluating two World Bank projects implemented in the Kyrgyz Republic, the Village Investment Project and Second Village Investment Project.

Consulting on the “Big 5” Evaluation Criteria - What got us here?

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ieg blog, stakeholder consultation, whatworks
The Rethinking Evaluation blog series, a butterfly effect, and a global consultationThe Rethinking Evaluation blog series, a butterfly effect, and a global consultation

Romania CLR Review FY14-18

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This review of the World Bank Group’s Completion and Learning Report (CLR) covers the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated November 3, 2016. The original CPS period (FY14-17) was at the PLR stage extended by one year to cover FY14-18. The CLR and this review cover this extended period. Romania is an upper middle-income country with a GNI per Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group’s Completion and Learning Report (CLR) covers the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated November 3, 2016. The original CPS period (FY14-17) was at the PLR stage extended by one year to cover FY14-18. The CLR and this review cover this extended period. Romania is an upper middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $9,480 in 2016 and a population of 19.7 million. Romania’s per capita GDP had grown rapidly up to 2009, reducing poverty, but the global financial crisis of 2008 triggered a severe recession. The IMF Article IV report (May 2017) notes that Romania strengthened its economy considerably after the global financial crisis. Romania registered an average annual GDP growth of 3.9 percent during the review period (2014-2016). Public debt and fiscal and current account imbalances are moderate compared to many emerging markets, but significant challenges remain and the momentum of progress in policies has waned. Income convergence with the EU has slowed and poverty is among the highest in the EU. Romania has a Human Development Index (HDI) of .802 in 2015, placing the country in the very high human development category and ranking 50 (of 188) in HDI in 2015. Its Gini coefficient is 28.3 in 2016 (from around 35 in 2010) and its poverty headcount ratio based on the national poverty line is 25.4 percent (average 2014-2016).

IEG's 2018 Client Survey Results: How Did We Measure Up?

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An overview of the results of IEG's annual client survey.An overview of the results of IEG's annual client survey.

Bulgaria: Social Inclusion Project (PPAR)

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Bulgaria is a middle-income country that joined the European Union (EU) in 2007. After setbacks in social well-being and economic growth precipitated by the 2008 global economic crisis, Bulgaria has recently made progress in improving economic performance and reducing poverty. However, it faces the formidable challenge of addressing persistent pockets of poverty and social exclusion. Poverty in Show MoreBulgaria is a middle-income country that joined the European Union (EU) in 2007. After setbacks in social well-being and economic growth precipitated by the 2008 global economic crisis, Bulgaria has recently made progress in improving economic performance and reducing poverty. However, it faces the formidable challenge of addressing persistent pockets of poverty and social exclusion. Poverty in Bulgaria is linked with low levels of education, high unemployment, rural residence, belonging to an ethnic minority, female gender, and old age. Social exclusion is both a cause of poverty and a consequence. Fighting poverty and social exclusion is a priority of Bulgaria, and education a key component of its national policies. The objective of the Social Inclusion Project (SIP) is “to promote social inclusion through increasing the school readiness of children below the age of seven, targeting low income and marginalized families, including children with a disability and other special needs” (World Bank 2008a). The objective did not change during the life of the project. Ratings for the Social Inclusion Project are as follows: Outcome is moderately satisfactory, risk to development outcome is moderate, Bank and Borrower performance are both moderately satisfactory. The following lessons, offered to this end, are relevant to both the World Bank and the government: (i) Official databases are important, but may need to be complemented with mapping of target communities and households and their needs, priorities, motivations, and dynamics, undertaken by those with intimate knowledge of the community and with community development expertise. (ii) Mobile services and mediators face challenges in reaching target populations, especially when mediators are few relative to their target populations and have heavy workloads, and they do not always share the language, culture, and living conditions of those populations. (iii) Low appreciation of evidence for learning, program refinement, and policymaking can undermine the effectiveness of programs and policies, especially where piloting is intended. The development of M&E capacities could provide MLSP with a critical management tool for ensuring continuous learning and accountability for ECD results and increase its potential for resource mobilization and future replication. (iii) Experience under the SIP reveals the scope and opportunity to clarify roles and responsibilities to optimize comparative advantages and synergies of the many actors involved both horizontally (across partners at each level of the system) and vertically (up and down the various levels of decentralized government). (iv) Investments in ECD and social inclusion activities targeted to low-income and marginalized children ages 0–7 years and their parents are necessary, but they are insufficient to ensure the children’s success and inclusion in primary school and beyond.

Gambia CLR Review FY13-16

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This review of the World Bank Group's (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the Second Joint Partnership Strategy (JPS-2), FY13-FY16, for the Gambia. The JPS-2 was a joint strategy of the WBG and the African Development Bank (AfDB).The Gambia is a small, fragile and landlocked country with a GNI per capita income of USD 430 in 2016.The JPS-2 had eight objectives organized around two Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group's (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the Second Joint Partnership Strategy (JPS-2), FY13-FY16, for the Gambia. The JPS-2 was a joint strategy of the WBG and the African Development Bank (AfDB).The Gambia is a small, fragile and landlocked country with a GNI per capita income of USD 430 in 2016.The JPS-2 had eight objectives organized around two pillars or focus areas: (i) enhancing productive capacity and competitiveness; (ii) strengthening the institutional capacity for economic governance and public service delivery. The JPS-2 was aligned with the government's medium term development plan as articulated in its Program for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE) 2012-2016 and the government's long-term plan contained in Vision 2020.The JPS-2 focus areas and objectives were aligned with government's Medium Term Development Plan (PAGE), and its long-term strategy, Vision 2020. The joint strategy and clear division of labor with AfDB provided the foundation for WBG's selectivity. The WBG's program was generally selective in terms of focus areas, objectives and interventions. IEG concurs with some of the key lessons which are summarized as follows: (i) strong donor collaboration is critical but could also have high transactions costs; (ii) country capacity is an important consideration in data collection and quality, and in developing a results framework; and (iii) formal mid-course corrections through the PLR process is even more important in a difficult country circumstances. IEG adds the following lessons: i) Small and fragile countries could benefit from participation in regional integration operations by leveraging limited IDA financing and maximizing development impact. In the case of the Gambia, its participation in regional operations brought benefits to the country in terms of improved technology adoption in agriculture and increased connectivity. ii) To the extent possible, it is important that WBG interventions are aligned to the CPS objectives and their contributions reflected in the results framework. In the case of the Gambia, there were IFC interventions in several areas that were not reflected in the results framework.

Burkina Faso CLR Review FY13-16

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Burkina Faso is a low-income country with a GNI per capita of $620 in 2016. During 2013-2016, annual GDP growth averaged 5.0 percent, but annual GDP per capita growth was only 1.9 percent due to high population growth. Economic growth was built on a narrow base, mainly agriculture and mining, and has failed to produce a sufficient number of jobs to absorb the rapidly growing work force, 80 Show MoreBurkina Faso is a low-income country with a GNI per capita of $620 in 2016. During 2013-2016, annual GDP growth averaged 5.0 percent, but annual GDP per capita growth was only 1.9 percent due to high population growth. Economic growth was built on a narrow base, mainly agriculture and mining, and has failed to produce a sufficient number of jobs to absorb the rapidly growing work force, 80 percent of which are in agriculture. While the poverty rate declined from 50 percent to 40 percent between 2003 and 2014, the absolute number of people living in poverty, of which 90 percent live in rural areas, remained roughly the same between the two periods – lack of access by the poor to social services and basic infrastructure has been a major constraint. The level of vulnerability of households is high, with two-thirds suffering from shocks each year, mainly from natural hazards. Burkina Faso ranked 185 out of 188 countries in 2015 in the Human Development Index.

Role in Global Issues: An Independent Evaluation of the World Bank Group Convening Power (Approach Paper)

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Recent World Bank Group (WBG) strategy documents, including the Forward Look, reiterated the importance of the WBG’s leadership role in dealing with global challenges and positioned the organization’s ability to work at the nexus of local and global issues such as climate change, gender, and pandemics as core part of its value proposition (World Bank 2013 and 2016). When the WBG shareholders Show MoreRecent World Bank Group (WBG) strategy documents, including the Forward Look, reiterated the importance of the WBG’s leadership role in dealing with global challenges and positioned the organization’s ability to work at the nexus of local and global issues such as climate change, gender, and pandemics as core part of its value proposition (World Bank 2013 and 2016). When the WBG shareholders committed to scale up WBG resources through the recent IBRD and IFC capital increase and the IDA18 replenishment in 2016, a core premise was to more strategically perform its global role, in better collaboration with public and private partners. This evaluation is about the WBG’s global role. It will assess how and when the WBG exercises convening power to spark collective action on global issues. Given the scale and interconnectedness of global challenges; increased complexity of the development ecosystem; and concerns over “mission creep”, the WBG’s role as a catalyst for collective action on behalf of the international community could become even more important. When and how should it lead, when should it support, and when should it withdraw?

Benin CLR Review FY13-18

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This review of the World Bank Group’s Completion and Learning Report (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) (FY13-17) and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) which extended the CPS period to include FY18. The PLR was discussed at the Board on August 30, 2016. Benin is a low-income country (per capita income of $820 in 2016). It has a population of about ten Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group’s Completion and Learning Report (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) (FY13-17) and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) which extended the CPS period to include FY18. The PLR was discussed at the Board on August 30, 2016. Benin is a low-income country (per capita income of $820 in 2016). It has a population of about ten million (2013 census) with a high population growth of around 2.8 percent per annum. The average GDP growth during the review period was 4.9 percent (2013-2016). The average per capita GDP growth rate was relatively low at 2.0 percent between 2013 and 2016, due to the high population growth and drop in the overall growth rate in 2015 as a result of an economic slowdown in neighboring Nigeria, political transition in 2015-2106, and decline in cotton prices. The economy is dominated by traditional agriculture, informal commerce and trade - areas with low levels of productivity. The country ranks 167 (out of 188) on the UNDP Human Development Index in 2015.