Review of the 2009-2013 Armenia Country Partnership Strategy Completion Report (CPSCR) and the CPS Progress Report (CPSPR)
This review examines the implementation of the FY2009-F2013 Armenia Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) of FY2009 and the CPS Progress Report (CPSPR) of FY2011, and assesses the CPS Completion Report (CPSCR). The CPS was jointly implemented by IDA/IBRD and IFC; this review covers the joint program... Full Description »
This review examines the implementation of the FY2009-F2013 Armenia Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) of FY2009 and the CPS Progress Report (CPSPR) of FY2011, and assesses the CPS Completion Report (CPSCR). The CPS was jointly implemented by IDA/IBRD and IFC; this review covers the joint program of the two institutions.
The CPS objectives were articulated under two strategic pillars: (i) addressing vulnerabilities through macroeconomic stabilization and positioning of Armenia for post-crisis growth; poverty alleviation amidst assured health and social protection; and reduction of rural and environmental risks; and (ii) strengthening competitiveness for post-crisis growth by focusing on improved governance to boost public sector efficiency and strengthened foundation for knowledge economy and competitiveness. The CPSPR confirmed the relevance of the two pillars and maintained all the CPS objectives.
IEG rates the overall outcome of the CPS as moderately satisfactory, below the CPSCR rating of satisfactory. World Bank Group (WBG) assistance contributed to significant progress in expanding financial intermediation (including to small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs)), improving the business process in revenue agencies, expanding internet penetration and lowering its access cost, improving water services, and reforming the financing and quality assurance systems in education. Good progress was made in increasing the potential area for irrigation, the adoption of best practice mining legislation, improvement in communal pasture management, efficiency in public expenditure management, civil service assessment, and rule bound judicial decisions. The WBG's work in reforming the tax regime and administration was strategically important and contributed to the implementation of important reforms, although persistent governance issues call for additional efforts to improve performance in this area. There was also partial progress in road network rehabilitation. On the other hand, the Bank played a relatively minor role in the restoration of Armenia's macroeconomic stability while the country continues to face external current account vulnerability. While the Bank's temporary jobs program and the promotion of safe-gas heating in schools and multi-apartment buildings were successful, their relatively small size and the absence of a scale-up strategy limited the impact on the poor. Poverty increased during the CPS period, poverty targeting fell short of expectations, and the results in the health sector were mixed. Similarly, WBG projects contributed to progress in the energy sector, but the progress was timid in relation to the substantial needs and there is no evidence of a scale-up mechanism.
The CPSCR draws nine key lessons, but without a sense of priority. IEG supports these lessons, but considers that there are more important lessons than the ones identified. First, instead of spreading across all areas of Armenia's development needs, the WBG assistance should focus on the most critical priorities that have an impact on growth, poverty reduction and social inclusion. Second, there is a need to step-up the efforts to overcome the resistance to reforms by vested interests by reaching out to lawmakers, government officials, and other domestic stakeholders. Third, a good results framework should include not just indicators for measuring WBG project implementation, but also a clear results chain that shows the critical assumptions whose fulfillment is required for WBG interventions to achieve the CPS objectives.
Content Type : Reports , Doc Sub Category : CAS Completion Report Reviews , Country : Armenia
October 24, 2013
Armenia: Country Assistance Evaluation
This evaluation recommends that the future Bank assistance program focus in the following areas: First, prepare a strategy for an eventual transition to IBRD lending. As support to Armenia gradually shifts to IBRD lending, a potentially smaller program should focus on poverty-related activities,... Full Description »
This evaluation recommends that the future Bank assistance program focus in the following areas: First, prepare a strategy for an eventual transition to IBRD lending. As support to Armenia gradually shifts to IBRD lending, a potentially smaller program should focus on poverty-related activities, such as the social and rural sectors. Second, continue focusing on the environment for private sector development. Generating job-creating growth to reduce poverty and expanding exports to reduce the large trade deficit are essential to sustaining progress in Armenia. Third, follow through on supporting public sector reform. A stronger public sector is key to improving the climate for private sector development and social services.
Content Type : Reports , Doc Sub Category : Country Program Evaluations , Country : Armenia
June 15, 2004