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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.

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.

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?

Doing More and Doing Better: Key Takeaways from the Launch of the Results and Performance of the World Bank Group Report

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Key Takeaways from the Launch of the Results and Performance of the World Bank Group Report
For me, what was most insightful: in areas where Management had set clear goals, we observed positive trends. In others, investments even declined. What is empowering about this finding is the “power of signaling effects” and how responsive the institutions are to well-articulated and understood goals. Ongoing and future work of the World Bank, IFC, and IEG will follow. TWEET THIS In areas Show MoreFor me, what was most insightful: in areas where Management had set clear goals, we observed positive trends. In others, investments even declined. What is empowering about this finding is the “power of signaling effects” and how responsive the institutions are to well-articulated and understood goals. Ongoing and future work of the World Bank, IFC, and IEG will follow. TWEET THIS In areas where World Bank Group management had set clear goals, IEG observed positive trends. What is empowering about this finding is the “power of signaling effects” and how responsive the institutions are to well-articulated and understood goals. IEG has found that improving quality at entry leads to improved development outcomes. The reason why? Simply put: if one has and pursues a clear vision, one is more likely to apply one’s resources to and achieve set goals. IEG and World Bank Group Management are aligned on the need for strategic prioritization when it comes to recommendations and follow-up actions to IEG evaluation findings. At last week’s launch of IEG’s 2017 Results and Performance report, World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva, IFC Vice President Hans-Peter Lankes, and World Bank Group Executive Director Otaviano Canuto joined us to reflect on the report’s findings. They also shared what they felt were key actions to follow-up from the perspective of senior leadership and the Board. Our team leaders—Soniya Carvalho, Aurora Siy, and Stephen Hutton—presented the report’s highlights. The report is IEG’s flagship report, which tracks trends in the development outcomes of World Bank Group projects. This year’s report looked at projects completed between fiscal years 2014 and 2016. In addition, the report included a special chapter the assessed the extent to which the World Bank Group has mainstreamed environmental sustainability across its projects and activities. For more on the report’s findings, read our earlier blogs here and here, or download the full report. When sitting down with Kristalina, Hans-Peter, and Otaviano, I wanted to know what they thought about the findings, and more importantly: what would happen because of the evidence we had presented. The report shed new light on the question whether the portfolio was getting any “greener” and unpacked trends along the three pillars of the World Bank Group strategy: clean, green, and resilient. Whether the 4 percent increase is “good enough” is for the Board and Management to decide. All three panelists reiterated the importance of this agenda and need for discussion. For me, what was most insightful: in areas where Management had set clear goals, we observed positive trends. In others, investments even declined. What is empowering about this finding is the “power of signaling effects” and how responsive the institutions are to well-articulated and understood goals. Ongoing and future work of the World Bank, IFC, and IEG will follow. But, we also discussed some messages that were not new: performance trends and how to turn them around. Over the years, we have observed that improving quality at entry—the design of projects, including their “theory of change” which explains how inputs provided by the project would lead to expected results—would lead to improved development outcomes. The reason why? Simply put: if one has and pursues a clear vision, one is more likely to apply one’s resources to and achieve set goals. Otaviano reiterated the importance of quality at entry, including consistent and high-quality economic analyses. He reinforced the report’s call for improvements in this area. As Kristalina noted in her remarks, one of IEG’s findings was that by portfolio size, the World Bank’s outcome ratings are reaching and exceeding targets. That is a good thing. But the flipside, namely that smaller projects, often in smaller client countries, did not have the same development effectiveness was problematic. Working in countries with large portfolios and on large projects tends to be more attractive. To fix this, noted Kristalina, the World Bank Group will need to create incentives for the World Bank’s best staff to work on smaller, more difficult projects. Hans-Peter reflected on the engagement IEG has had with IFC to understanding better performance trends and underlying signals. IFC has taken a comprehensive approach to addressing several issues that surfaced through diagnostics undertaken with and without IEG. These initiatives link analytics and ex-ante assessments of expected results with score-cards, tracking systems, and incentives through the project cycle to its results. I tend to agree that there is not one proverbial silver-bullet that solves all problems, but several mutually reinforcing measures need to be in place to support such change. Finally, we also delved into the implementation of our recommendations. Regular readers know that this “standard fare” in the Results and Performance report. What’s new this year is the deeper analysis of recommendations related to environmental sustainability. While we—Management and IEG—did not have agree on all points, notably the degree to which recommendations were followed through, we are aligned on the need for strategic prioritization, when it comes to recommendations and follow-up actions. Within IEG, we have invested in improving the quality of our recommendations. But we have also observed that each recommendation we make might trigger many actions that do not necessarily address the strategic intent of the recommendation, or get implemented. This is where our counterparts in Management can also step up. Following the request from the Executive Board with whom we discussed the Results and Performance report, IEG and World Bank Group Management have committed to work together to start a process to review and improve the Management Action Record system.   Watch the Re-play of the Launch of the 2017 Results and Performance of the World Bank Group.

Creating Jobs in the Rural Non-Farm Economy

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Creating Jobs in the Rural Non Farm Economy
Global Stakeholder Forum to explore solutions for creating employment opportunities and improving livelihoods in the rural non-farm economy. Leading experts will share insights from across the globe to foster discussion around rural job creation in Ethiopia. Global Stakeholder Forum to explore solutions for creating employment opportunities and improving livelihoods in the rural non-farm economy. Leading experts will share insights from across the globe to foster discussion around rural job creation in Ethiopia.

Mexico: Support to the Social Protection System in Health Project (PPAR)

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This is the Project Performance Assessment Report for the Mexico Social Protection in Health Project (P116226). The project, approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on March 25, 2010, provided an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan of $1,250 million (IBRD-78600), which represents the second largest World Bank operation by commitments of the entire Show MoreThis is the Project Performance Assessment Report for the Mexico Social Protection in Health Project (P116226). The project, approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on March 25, 2010, provided an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan of $1,250 million (IBRD-78600), which represents the second largest World Bank operation by commitments of the entire World Bank human development cluster. The Government of Mexico provided counterpart financing of $26 billion equivalent. The loan became effective on December 29, 2010, and closed after three years on December 31, 2013. This report serves an accountability purpose by evaluating the extent to which the operation achieved its intended outcomes, but also a learning purpose. The Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) Review identified the project for evaluation to verify the project’s ratings following IEG’s revision of the outcome rating from satisfactory in the Implementation Completion and Results Report (ICR) to moderately satisfactory in the ICR Review. In addition, this report aims to identify lessons for similar health insurance schemes and relevant World Bank–supported operations. Ratings for the Support to the Social Protection System in Health Project is as follows: Outcome is moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is moderate, World Bank performance is moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance is satisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) In times of economic crisis, if the country has a well-designed health program in place, the World Bank’s financial support can be effective in helping the government to sustain and expand access to health services, protecting the poor from the adverse impact of the crisis. (ii) Investment Project Financing can be an efficient alternative to development policy financing if there is government ownership of the national program and a strong monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system to monitor results. (iii) It may not be possible to achieve universal health coverage in fragmented health systems without an individual mandate for health insurance coverage. (iv) In decentralized health systems, to achieve the desired changes at the local level the use of incentives (compatibility) should be preferred to the use of regulations and aligned with the institutional capabilities of the agents.

China: Hubei Hydropower Development in Poor Areas Project (PPAR)

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This is the Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group on the China: Hubei Hydropower Development in Poor Areas Project (IBRD-46660). The project had three project development objectives: (a) to facilitate economic growth in Hubei by expanding electric power generation capacity in an economically and environmentally sustainable Show MoreThis is the Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group on the China: Hubei Hydropower Development in Poor Areas Project (IBRD-46660). The project had three project development objectives: (a) to facilitate economic growth in Hubei by expanding electric power generation capacity in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner; (b) to enhance the efficiency of the electricity sector in Hubei by commercializing county-level generation companies; and (c) to contribute to poverty alleviation efforts in poor communities in Hubei. Ratings for Hubei Hydropower Development in Poor Areas Project are as follows: Outcome is satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is moderate, Bank performance is moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance is moderately satisfactory. The main lessons that emerge from the experience of this complex project are the following: (i) Integrating hydropower investments with institutional development and poverty alleviation can yield strong synergies. (ii) The rigorous quality and depth of appraisal for implementing agencies needs to be maintained throughout the project cycle, including project components added late.