Tunisia Country Program Evaluation FY2005 to FY2013
From FY2005 to FY2013, the World Bank Group program in Tunisia aimed to support government in: (i) strengthening the business environment, improving competitiveness, and increasing the global integration of the Tunisian economy; (ii) improving skills and employability of its citizens; (iii)... Full Description »
From FY2005 to FY2013, the World Bank Group program in Tunisia aimed to support government in: (i) strengthening the business environment, improving competitiveness, and increasing the global integration of the Tunisian economy; (ii) improving skills and employability of its citizens; (iii) promoting social and economic inclusion; and, particularly since 2011, (iv) improving voice, transparency, and accountability. Since 2011, the International Finance Corporation has taken a more active role in Tunisia, complementing Bank efforts. The nature and type of Bank Group-client relationship during the period under evaluation greatly impacted the relevance, design, and success of the strategy. Between FY2005 and FY2010, the Bank Group's work in Tunisia was mediated through its relationship with the Ben Ali regime, which despite its shortcomings was highly regarded by the international community because of Tunisia's relatively positive economic and social development. That relationship was broadly characterized by tight government control and, particularly after 2007, relative passivity on the part of the Bank. The government mediated the Bank's interaction with stakeholders, prevented dissemination of some economic and sector work (ESW), and blocked some key work for example, public expenditure review (PER) and investment climate assessment (ICA) which impacted the Bank's reputation as a provider of independent analysis, notwithstanding the quality of analytical and advisory activities (AAA) actually produced. After 2007, the Bank chose to not challenge or make public its increasing concerns about governance issues or its policy divergence with the government on a number of critical reforms, notably in relation to the financial and private sectors that were pervaded by rent-seeking behaviors. Yet the Bank continued to set ambitious objectives in these sectors knowing that the lack of government buy-in to first-order reforms would undermine the achievement of relevant Bank Group objectives. Project design was often flawed because critical bottlenecks identified in ESW were not addressed many of the operations delivered change that was necessary but insufficient to accomplish Bank Group objectives without supporting reforms to remove core obstacles (for example, the dichotomy of the onshore-offshore regime and regulatory issues in the financial sector). Early in the period, the Bank flagged risks associated with domestic political turmoil, but that critical risk was not referenced in the country partnership strategy (CPS FY2010 to 2013) that was terminated in January 2011 as a result of the revolution. The Bank's reticence may have been intended to keep business lines and dialogue open with a regime that had little need of Bank assistance, having attained investment grade status in 2007, but at a reputational cost. Overall, the outcome of the Bank program prior to 2011 is judged unsatisfactory. The Independent Evaluation Group proposes a number of sequentially ordered recommendations to strengthen ongoing Bank Group efforts in Tunisia. First, the risk assessment exercise for the forthcoming CPS could usefully develop scenarios that take account of volatility in the political economy and allow for flexibility of response should risks materialize. Second, until the political situation stabilizes, the Bank could focus its efforts on galvanizing public support for reforms. For example, it could use the rich analysis of the 2013 development policy review (DPR) to help inform and build capacity among a broad base of stakeholders, such as trades unions, think tanks, civil society organizations (CSOs), and Parliament, to raise awareness and gradually build ownership of the reform agenda. Taking account of capacity and other constraints, the Bank Group could prioritize and sequence first-order policy reforms (that is, investment code, competition law, and labor market rigidities) while building government ownership and capacity on how to roll out the reform agenda.
Content Type : Reports , Doc Sub Category : Country Program Evaluations , Country : Tunisia
April 16, 2014
Brazil Country Program Evaluation, FY04-11
During the first decade of the 2000s, Brazil made important achievements in shared prosperity: it achieved fiscal sustainability and economic growth while at the same time reducing poverty and income inequality. Brazil also substantially reduced the rate of deforestation in the... Full Description »
During the first decade of the 2000s, Brazil made important achievements in shared prosperity: it achieved fiscal sustainability and economic growth while at the same time reducing poverty and income inequality. Brazil also substantially reduced the rate of deforestation in the Amazon. This evaluation shows that the World Bank Group remained an important partner for the government in addressing many key policy challenges. The World Bank adapted its program effectively to meet country needs, which shifted from the federal policy-based operations to subnational government support in the mid-2000s. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) provided useful advisory support for structuring innovative public-private partnership projects and timely trade finance during the 2008–09 global financial crisis. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) concentrated its activities on the electricity transmission subsector.
Content Type : Reports , Doc Sub Category : Country Program Evaluations , Country : Brazil
December 16, 2013