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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.

Cambodia: Trade Facilitation and Competitiveness (PPAR)

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The FY05 Trade Facilitation and Competitiveness Project (P089196) was a US$10 million IDA grant to Cambodia. The objective of the project was to support the government’s strategy to promote economic growth by helping (i) reduce transaction costs related to trade and investment; (ii) introduce transparency in investment processes; and (iii) facilitate access of enterprises to export markets. The Show MoreThe FY05 Trade Facilitation and Competitiveness Project (P089196) was a US$10 million IDA grant to Cambodia. The objective of the project was to support the government’s strategy to promote economic growth by helping (i) reduce transaction costs related to trade and investment; (ii) introduce transparency in investment processes; and (iii) facilitate access of enterprises to export markets. The purpose of this PPAR is to assess the outcome of the Cambodia Trade Facilitation and Competitiveness project and to provide an input to IEG’s forthcoming macro evaluation on Facilitating Trade. Ratings for the project are: outcome is moderately satisfactory, risk to development outcome is negligible to low, Bank performance is moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance is moderately satisfactory. Lessons of the project include: (i) Early involvement with government. (ii) Expert assistance. (iii) Implementation readiness. (iv) Trade-off between good governance and timely project implementation.

Evaluation of the World Bank Group Engagement on Strengthening Subnational Governments (Approach Paper)

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Decentralization has been at the center of the public policy reform agenda all over the world - a process driven by both economic and political factors. Long-run structural transformations – mainly economic development and urbanization – have been associated with increasing demand for the provision of public services at the local level, especially in rapidly growing urban centers. Show More Decentralization has been at the center of the public policy reform agenda all over the world - a process driven by both economic and political factors. Long-run structural transformations – mainly economic development and urbanization – have been associated with increasing demand for the provision of public services at the local level, especially in rapidly growing urban centers. This has often been translated into an assignment of public functions from national to subnational governments (SNGs), a process which, together with the transfer of the respective structures, systems, resources and arrangements, amounts to what is generally understood as decentralization. The main objective of the proposed evaluation is to assess the role and contributions of the WBG to the strengthening of subnational governments (SSNG)’ ability to fulfill their public service provision responsibilities. The evaluation will focus on WBG support to core government policies and institutions necessary for SNG to deliver services and infrastructure. The evaluation aims at distilling lessons from past WBG engagement in these areas with a view to inform WBG strategic approaches in SSNG support. The evaluation is expected to make specific recommendations that could feed into relevant country strategies and project design. This evaluation is of strategic relevance from the perspective of implementing the Maximizing Finance for Development (MFD) approach, which called for enhancing financial leverage of the WBG. In addition to raising domestic resource mobilization, Bank and IFC support to SNGs, has been designed to create the conditions for increased private development finance at the subnational level. The potential audience for this evaluation includes WBG management, WBG task teams, clients (at national and subnational levels), development partners and practitioners.

Guinea CLR Review FY14-17

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This Review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the original period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Guinea (FY14-FY17) and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) in FY16. Guinea is a low-income country with a GNI per capita of $670 in 2016 and with rich mining and water-based resources. Average annual GDP growth during the 2014-2016 Show MoreThis Review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the original period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Guinea (FY14-FY17) and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) in FY16. Guinea is a low-income country with a GNI per capita of $670 in 2016 and with rich mining and water-based resources. Average annual GDP growth during the 2014-2016 period (4.6 percent) was marginally lower than during the previous four-year period (4.9 percent). Average growth was sustained despite a slowdown resulting from two major shocks: the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in 2014, which reduced international travel, investments, domestic commerce and services; and the decline in aluminum prices, which reduced Guinea’s bauxite ore export prices and revenues. Despite positive per capita growth, social development made little progress. Poverty rates were 53.0 percent in 2007 and 55.2 percent in 2012, the last year of available poverty estimates. Guinea’s Human Development Index remained flat at 0.4 from 2012 to 2015 and placed the country in the low human development category and ranked 183 out of 188 countries in 2015. Rural social conditions are particularly dire, with rural poverty rates much higher (64.7 percent in 2012) than urban rates (35.4 percent).

Maximizing the Impact of Development Policy Financing in IDA Countries: A Stocktaking of Success Factors and Risks - An IEG Meso Evaluation

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Development policy financing (DPF) has evolved from supporting structural adjustment programs in the 1980s and 1990s to supporting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the 2000s. It has been considered by multilateral and bilateral donors as one of the instruments that would best enable the realization of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. However, the use of Show MoreDevelopment policy financing (DPF) has evolved from supporting structural adjustment programs in the 1980s and 1990s to supporting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the 2000s. It has been considered by multilateral and bilateral donors as one of the instruments that would best enable the realization of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. However, the use of budget support as a preferred aid modality has been diminishing, especially among European member states. This evaluation is expected to inform decisions on the use of Development Policy Financing (DPF) in IDA countries by providing evaluative insights into drivers of success and risks. This is pertinent in the context of the record replenishment for IDA18 in the face of a declining share of DPF in IDA commitments during the last three IDA cycles. In this context, it is worthwhile to examine the factors that have driven DPF success in the past so as to inform decisions on the role of this development financing instrument in IDA countries going forward.

Poland CLR Review FY14-17

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Poland is a high-income country (HIC) with a GNI per capita of $12,680 in 2016. Poland’s annual economic growth accelerated to 3.3 percent during the CPS period (2014-2016) from 2.9 percent over the previous four years, 2010-13. The consistency of the country’s macro and structural policies has been the key driver behind the economy’s growth and helped its transition to HIC status in less than 15 Show MorePoland is a high-income country (HIC) with a GNI per capita of $12,680 in 2016. Poland’s annual economic growth accelerated to 3.3 percent during the CPS period (2014-2016) from 2.9 percent over the previous four years, 2010-13. The consistency of the country’s macro and structural policies has been the key driver behind the economy’s growth and helped its transition to HIC status in less than 15 years. Poland’s economic growth has been inclusive in the past decade, as evidenced by growing employment and earnings for all income groups, which led to a substantial reduction in poverty and stronger-than-average growth of the bottom 40 percent of the distribution. Between 2005 and 2014, Poland’s Gini coefficient fell from 0.351 to 0.343. The poverty rate measured at $5.00/day 2005 PPP stood at 4.4 percent in 2015. Poland’s strong economic growth is expected to continue in the near term; however, the longer- term prospects could be subdued by demographic and structural challenges – including a rapidly aging population, slowdown in total factor productivity, infrastructure gaps, low domestic private investment and regional disparities -- if left unaddressed.

Philippines: Support for Basic Education Reform, 2006-12

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The Philippines is a lower-middle-income country with a gross national income of $3,550 per capita and an estimated population of 101.6 million in 2015. Economic growth has increased substantially in recent years. The longest period of sustained economic growth in recent history was between 2012 and 2016. Despite this growth, poverty and inequality remain high and persistent. Priority for reform Show MoreThe Philippines is a lower-middle-income country with a gross national income of $3,550 per capita and an estimated population of 101.6 million in 2015. Economic growth has increased substantially in recent years. The longest period of sustained economic growth in recent history was between 2012 and 2016. Despite this growth, poverty and inequality remain high and persistent. Priority for reform of the education sector has shifted through the years from access to quality. This assessment examines two such education quality projects in the mid-2000s, assessing both projects together because they were designed jointly to support the government’s education strategy. The National Program Support for Basic Education’s (NPSBE) objective was “to improve quality and equity in learning outcomes for all Filipinos in basic education.” The Support for Basic Education Sector Reform Project’s (SPHERE) objective was “to support the implementation of the Philippine government’s Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA) which in turn aims to contribute to the achievement of the Philippines’ basic education goal of improving quality and equity in learning outcomes.” Relevance of the objectives is rated substantial for both projects. The projects’ objectives aligned well with government and World Bank strategy at appraisal and closing. However, project documents also reference intended efficiency outcomes that were not specified as part of the formal objectives. Relevance of design is rated modest for both projects. Both projects’ stated development objectives supported improvements in quality and equity of learning outcomes, yet the equity objective was not well defined, and the components and activities were oriented toward access and quality with an unclear theory of change that would have related project interventions to equity outcomes.

Georgia CLR Review FY14-17

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This review of the Georgia Completion and Learning Report of the World Bank Group (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period, FY14-FY17, including the CPS Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of April 2017. Georgia is a lower-middle-income country with a GDP per capita of 3,866 dollars (2016).Its economy grew on average by 3.5 percent annually during the review period higher Show MoreThis review of the Georgia Completion and Learning Report of the World Bank Group (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period, FY14-FY17, including the CPS Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of April 2017. Georgia is a lower-middle-income country with a GDP per capita of 3,866 dollars (2016).Its economy grew on average by 3.5 percent annually during the review period higher than the 1.9 percent average for the ECA region—with persistently large external current account deficits in the 12-13 percent of GDP range financed mostly by foreign direct investments. The CPS corresponded well with the government's stated development objectives set out in the Socioeconomic Development Strategy 2020, which had as overarching aim to achieve faster, inclusive, and sustainable growth averaging 7 percent annually. The WBG's country program pursued two strategic objectives or focus areas of strengthening public service delivery to promote inclusive growth and enabling private-sector-led job creation through improved competitiveness. The areas selected were congruent with the country's development goals, and in sectors where it had shown capacity to deliver in the past. IEG adds the following lesson: Competitiveness and labor market issues are key binding constraints for Georgia's growth, and areas in which the Bank has comparative advantage. Yet, the Bank failed to address them adequately and effectively under this CPS. To maximize development effectiveness, the Bank should not miss opportunities to address effectively areas which are both significant binding constraints for country growth and in the domain of the Bank's comparative advantage.

IFC's Experience with Inclusive Business - An IEG Meso Evaluation

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This evaluation is a corporate-level assessment of the role and effectiveness of IFC in its support to its clients’ inclusive business models. It also identifies implications and options for IFC’s future support to inclusive business. The evaluation uses a two-pronged approach based on: (i) a review of IFC’s entire portfolio (comparing inclusive business projects with the rest of IFC’s portfolio Show MoreThis evaluation is a corporate-level assessment of the role and effectiveness of IFC in its support to its clients’ inclusive business models. It also identifies implications and options for IFC’s future support to inclusive business. The evaluation uses a two-pronged approach based on: (i) a review of IFC’s entire portfolio (comparing inclusive business projects with the rest of IFC’s portfolio), integrating IEG’s relevant evaluative evidence across different sectors and themes; and (ii) a focus on the agribusiness sector.

Public Finance for Development Evaluation (Approach Paper)

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Sound public finance policies, institutions and outcomes are critical for making fast and sustained progress toward theWorld Bank Group’s twin goals of eradicating extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. Public finance encompasses the overall fiscal stance of the government, how governments collect revenues and manage expenditures, and the institutions that enable those outcomes. This Show MoreSound public finance policies, institutions and outcomes are critical for making fast and sustained progress toward theWorld Bank Group’s twin goals of eradicating extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. Public finance encompasses the overall fiscal stance of the government, how governments collect revenues and manage expenditures, and the institutions that enable those outcomes. This evaluation aims at assessing the development effectiveness of World Bank activities in public finance support during the period FY08–17, ranging from analytical work to financing and the use of the World Bank’s convening power. The evaluation is meant to contribute to the two primary purposes of evaluation at the World Bank: to promote accountability for delivering on the World Bank’s mandate through the assessment of performance and results in the area of public finance; and to promote learning within the World Bank and with its clients to inform the design and implementation of future interventions in an area that is of high and arguably growing importance for achieving improved development outcomes.