Review of the 2009-2013 Romania Country Partnership Strategy Completion Report (CPSCR) and the CPS Progress Report (CPSPR)
This review examines the implementation of the FY2009-FY2013 Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), and the CPS Progress Report (CPSPR) of FY2012. The CPS was jointly implemented by IBRD and IFC, and this review covers the joint program of the two institutions. This CPS was prepared under the initial... Full Description »
This review examines the implementation of the FY2009-FY2013 Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), and the CPS Progress Report (CPSPR) of FY2012. The CPS was jointly implemented by IBRD and IFC, and this review covers the joint program of the two institutions. This CPS was prepared under the initial adverse effects of the global financial crisis on Romania in 2009, and following a period where the country virtually disengaged from the Bank and concentrated on European Union-related issues. The Bank re-engagement in the CPS was part of a joint crisis response by the IMF, the European Commission (EC), and the World Bank Group (WBG). The program was quite successful during the first half of the CPS period, under immediate pressure from the dry up of capital inflows. The government concentrated its efforts on stabilizing the economy, which had shifted from strong growth into a serious recession. With World Bank support, the government secured fiscal savings to achieve fiscal targets without adversely affecting priority services and social assistance, and started to modernize the public administration. Short term measures were also effective in financial sector strengthening, where the Bank worked closely with the IMF. Yet, at the CPSPR stage as the pressures from the global crisis eased, the pace of reforms seems to have declined in some areas. This was the time when the program also shifted to addressing more difficult longer term policy reforms. It then became apparent that progress in governance and judicial reforms would be slower than envisaged in the CPS, as would be the case in transport, energy, and agriculture. Projects in the latter three areas were ongoing at the time of the CPS and had started with substantial government support, but government ownership declined after project approval. The momentum for policy reform increased with the financial crisis, but in general, government support in these areas has been inadequate and inconsistent, in part due to tight financing constraints after 2009. In addition, reforms to make the pension system sustainable moved in the right direction but much more gradually than envisaged in the CPS, and Roma inclusion did not have the political backing to progress as envisaged by both the Bank and the EC. IEG rates the overall outcome of WBG support as Moderately Satisfactory. IEG agrees with the CPSCR conclusions on partnership, programmatic development policy loans, the usefulness of reimbursable advisory services, and inclusive consultation. The experience of the Bank in Romania shows that, (a) partnerships can be powerful to get reforms done when government ownership is lukewarm; (b) programmatic development policy loans as crisis response is an effective instrument to sequence reform according to priority and build on achievements in a crisis situation, but can lose effectiveness as soon as the crisis is over and the incentive for reform declines; and (c) demand-driven advisory services can be an effective tool in a middle-income country that has a fairly clear policy path and shortage of local skills in the areas of diagnostics and policy design.
Content Type : Reports , Doc Sub Category : CAS Completion Report Reviews , Country : Romania
May 12, 2014
Romania: Country Assistance Evaluation
This Country Assistance Evaluation (CAE) examines the relevance and efficacy of World Bank assistance to Romania. It covers the period following the fall of the Ceausescu regime in December 1989 through 2004. Over this time, the key issue facing Romania gradually evolved from how to transition from... Full Description »
This Country Assistance Evaluation (CAE) examines the relevance and efficacy of World Bank assistance to Romania. It covers the period following the fall of the Ceausescu regime in December 1989 through 2004. Over this time, the key issue facing Romania gradually evolved from how to transition from a centrally planned to a free market economy, to how to transition from an as yet imperfectly operating market economy to European Union (EU) accession.The primary lessons from this evaluation are that adjustment lending is counterproductive when government commitment is lacking, while investment lending often does not bear fruit in a highly distorted policy environment. On the other hand, crisis situations can present a golden opportunity for reform, while contributions to institutional development through TA loans are part and parcel of successful adjustment assistance efforts.
Content Type : Reports , Doc Sub Category : Country Program Evaluations , Country : Romania
May 25, 2005