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North Macedonia CLR Review FY15-18

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The Republic of North Macedonia (North Macedonia) is an upper middle-income country which is small and land-locked. The World Bank Group's (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) had two pillars (or focus areas): (i) growth and competitiveness, and (ii) skills and inclusion. The CPS was broadly aligned with the government's 2014-2018 program, which sought increased growth and employment, Show MoreThe Republic of North Macedonia (North Macedonia) is an upper middle-income country which is small and land-locked. The World Bank Group's (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) had two pillars (or focus areas): (i) growth and competitiveness, and (ii) skills and inclusion. The CPS was broadly aligned with the government's 2014-2018 program, which sought increased growth and employment, international integration, reduced corruption and more efficient law enforcement, better inter-ethnic relations, and investments in education, innovation and technology. Specifically, the CPS supported the growth and employment, infrastructure, social protection, and education pillars of the Government's program and the government's efforts to stabilize public debt. The European Union (EU) accession agenda was a cross-cutting theme in the CPS. At the PLR stage, the CPS maintained its overall focus, albeit with some changes in emphasis, and was aligned with the new Government program (2017-20) that focused on growth, jobs, and social protection, among other areas.

Knowledge Flow and Collaboration Under the World Bank's New Operating Model

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knowledge flow and collaboration under the world bank new operating model
This evaluation assesses how well the World Bank’s current operating model stimulates knowledge flow, and how well it enhances collaboration to deliver “integrated solutions” - or multisector and multiservice tasks and approaches - to clients.This evaluation assesses how well the World Bank’s current operating model stimulates knowledge flow, and how well it enhances collaboration to deliver “integrated solutions” - or multisector and multiservice tasks and approaches - to clients.

Jamaica: Inner City Basic Services for the Poor Project (PPAR)

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This is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) prepared by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group on the Inner City Basic Services for the Poor Project in Jamaica. This project was selected for a PPAR to provide insights into promoting urban resilience with a focus on informal settlements. The project represents an innovative experience for Jamaica in combining Show MoreThis is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) prepared by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group on the Inner City Basic Services for the Poor Project in Jamaica. This project was selected for a PPAR to provide insights into promoting urban resilience with a focus on informal settlements. The project represents an innovative experience for Jamaica in combining efforts to improve public safety and community capacity while upgrading urban infrastructure. The PPAR findings provide input to a major IEG evaluation on “Building Urban Resilience” (forthcoming, 2019). Ratings for the Inner City Basic Services for the Poor Project are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, World Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately unsatisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Addressing urban crime and violence through a two-pronged approach of improving basic infrastructure and promoting social inclusion can benefit from the combination of those individual activities that are most effective. (ii) The sharp disconnect between a centralized and well-resourced agency executing infrastructure investments in a decentralized urban situation; and a multiplicity of under-resourced service agencies and local governments in charge of infrastructure maintenance can undermine long-term development outcomes. (iii) In project design, the decision to add activities that are institutionally complex and require focused expertise requires careful consideration to avoid straining resources and effort during project implementation. (iv) To sustain the benefits from community-based and social services for children and youth, long-term engagement is crucial: institutional ownership should be specified, and resources for those activities must be anticipated and secured by the time project support is discontinued.

Uzbekistan: Irrigation and Drainage Interventions to Support the Agriculture Sector (PPAR)

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This is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group on the Ferghana Valley Water Resources Management Project Phase I and the Uzbekistan Rural Enterprise Support Project Phase II in the Republic of Uzbekistan. This PPAR provides insights into how these two projects identified and addressed critical irrigation sector needs to Show MoreThis is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group on the Ferghana Valley Water Resources Management Project Phase I and the Uzbekistan Rural Enterprise Support Project Phase II in the Republic of Uzbekistan. This PPAR provides insights into how these two projects identified and addressed critical irrigation sector needs to improve the country’s irrigation and drainage systems and institutions, both at on-farm and inter-farm levels. The assessment pays special attention to the effectiveness and sustainability of capacity-building support provided to water consumer associations in both projects. Based on such assessment, the PPAR draws common lessons regarding the design and implementation of both projects, which were led by two separate World Bank Global Practices: Water, and Agriculture. The lessons from this PPAR feed into IEG’s forthcoming Evaluation on Strengthening Irrigation Management Models for Sustainable Service Delivery. Ratings for the Ferghana Valley Water Resources Management Project Phase I are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately satisfactory. Lessons from this project include: (1) Establishing adequate institutional arrangements is critical for sustainable use of improved agricultural technologies and practices such as land leveling and deep ripping. (ii) Sound selection criteria for identifying beneficiaries and areas are crucial for the farmers’ uptake and use of water-saving technologies. Ratings for the Rural Enterprise Support Project Phase II are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was moderate, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately satisfactory. Lessons include: (1) Coordinated and mutually reinforcing capacity building of financial institutions and farmers is crucial for establishing viable on-farm investments. (ii) Clear concept, measurement, and disclosure arrangements at project appraisal for sensitive data can ensure the availability of results at project completion.

Armenia: Energy Efficiency Project (PPAR)

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) evaluates the development effectiveness of the Energy Efficiency Project in Armenia. The project was selected for a PPAR to learn from an innovative pilot project that influenced the design and experience of other energy efficiency projects and interventions. Energy efficiency is of strategic importance for the World Bank given its role in Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) evaluates the development effectiveness of the Energy Efficiency Project in Armenia. The project was selected for a PPAR to learn from an innovative pilot project that influenced the design and experience of other energy efficiency projects and interventions. Energy efficiency is of strategic importance for the World Bank given its role in supporting climate change mitigation, which is a major corporate priority. The project development objective was to reduce energy consumption of social and other public facilities in Armenia and decrease greenhouse gas emissions through the removal of barriers to the implementation of energy efficiency investments in the public sector. The project was financed through a Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant and government funds totaling $10.7 million. The project was implemented in 2012–16. Ratings from the Energy Efficiency Project were as follows: Outcomes was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately satisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Energy efficiency revolving funds can be market enablers by partnering with commercial and financial institutions, but there are few prospects for scale up and energy efficiency market transformation without the commitment of private businesses. (ii) Practical demonstration of the technical and financial feasibility of an innovative energy efficiency transaction program can only influence positive systemic change in the legal and regulatory framework if there is government commitment to the approach and long‐term funding. (iii) Appropriate legislation and regulation can provide incentives to undertake energy efficiency measures, but they are not sufficient without a strong government energy efficiency agency in place that is responsible for monitoring and enforcement. (iv) The design of a pilot project needs to go beyond demonstration effects and lay the foundation for sustainable operations over time.

Romania: Hazard Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness Project (PPAR)

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Romania’s Hazard Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness (HRMEP) project, which was implemented between 2004 and 2012, was one of the World Bank’s first efforts to provide ex ante assistance to reduce or mitigate a country’s vulnerabilities to natural disasters related to floods, landslides, and earthquakes. The government sought the support of the World Bank to reduce vulnerability to these Show MoreRomania’s Hazard Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness (HRMEP) project, which was implemented between 2004 and 2012, was one of the World Bank’s first efforts to provide ex ante assistance to reduce or mitigate a country’s vulnerabilities to natural disasters related to floods, landslides, and earthquakes. The government sought the support of the World Bank to reduce vulnerability to these and other natural disasters in a proactive manner, leading to the approval of the HRMEP. The project development objective (PDO) was to assist the government in reducing the environmental, social, and economic vulnerability to natural disasters and catastrophic mining accident spills of pollutants. The PDO also included how the objective would be achieved: (i) the strengthening of emergency management and risk financing capacity; (ii) earthquake risk reduction; (iii) flood and landslide risk reduction; and, (iv) risk reduction of mining accidents in the Tisza Basin in northwest Romania. Ratings for the Hazard Risk Emergency Preparedness Project are as follows: Outcome was moderately unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome was significant, Bank performance was moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately unsatisfactory. Key lessons from the experience of the project include the following: (i) Depending on multiple, functionally independent implementing agencies for multisector projects can increase complexity without providing commensurate benefits. (ii) Multisectoral, multihazard efforts to reduce vulnerability to disasters may not offer synergies or economies of scope in the absence of clear logical links between activities and incentives for coordination by the institutions responsible for them. (iii) In a project designed to mitigate the risk of natural disasters, it is essential that sites critical for vulnerability reduction are both properly identified and systematically supported throughout the life of a project. (iv) When supporting structural retrofits, financing only the retrofitting and not the cost of returning buildings to functionality is likely to lead to problems with implementation.

Armenia: Achievements and Challenges in Improving Health Care Utilization – A Multiproject Evaluation of the World Bank Support to the Health System Modernization (2004-2016) (PPAR)

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This is the multiproject Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) for the Adaptable Program Loan (APL) Health System Modernization series (comprising a first phase P073974, a second phase P104467, and an additional financing P121728). It evaluates the extent to which the APL series achieved its intended outcomes and offers an opportunity to draw lessons from the long-term engagement of the Show MoreThis is the multiproject Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) for the Adaptable Program Loan (APL) Health System Modernization series (comprising a first phase P073974, a second phase P104467, and an additional financing P121728). It evaluates the extent to which the APL series achieved its intended outcomes and offers an opportunity to draw lessons from the long-term engagement of the World Bank in reform of the Armenia health sector aiming to inform and guide future investments in the health sector. The APL series was selected for an indepth field-based assessment due to its potential for learning from long-term engagement of the World Bank in health sector reforms; its clustering nature that allows coverage of multiple lending operation in the same country; and the relatively low coverage of previous IEG project evaluations in the country. Ratings for the Health System Modernization Project I are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was negligible to low, Bank performance was satisfactory, and Borrower performance was satisfactory. Project II ratings are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was moderate, Bank performance was satisfactory, and Borrower performance was satisfactory. Lessons from both projects include: (i) An approach that exploits synergies and lessons from other World Bank engagements in the health sector is important for undertaking complex reforms and helping the government stay the course of the reform. (ii) Macro and micro health policies need to be combined in a manner that the unintended consequences of policy changes are not overlooked. (iii) A shortened period between the approval dates of successive phases of an APL can limit the opportunity to incorporate lessons from previous phases into the design of new ones. (iv) In country contexts with strong social and cultural factors affecting uptake of health care services, supply-side and systemwide policy reforms need to be combined with demand-side interventions addressing the health-seeking behavior of patients. (v) While investments in infrastructure are not enough for health system modernization, they can help ensure acceptance of the proposed organizational changes involving strong stakeholders in the hospital sector.

Armenia CLR Review FY14-18

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Armenia is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $3,990 in 2017. It is a small and landlocked economy with borders closed with Azerbaijan and Turkey as a result of the unsettled Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It faces significant trading costs while trade accounts for 75.7 percent of GDP (2016). As a result of the 2014/15 Russian crisis and the slump in metal export prices through Show MoreArmenia is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $3,990 in 2017. It is a small and landlocked economy with borders closed with Azerbaijan and Turkey as a result of the unsettled Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It faces significant trading costs while trade accounts for 75.7 percent of GDP (2016). As a result of the 2014/15 Russian crisis and the slump in metal export prices through 2016, Armenia’s annual GDP growth declined from 4.3 percent during 2009- 13 to 3.6 percent during 2014-17, even though this growth reflects a sharp rebound to 7.5 percent in 2017. Slower growth and increased unemployment slowed progress in poverty reduction. Unemployment increased from 16.2 percent in 2013 to 18.3 percent in 2015, where it remained through 2017. After declining from 35.8 percent in 2010 to 30.0 percent in 2014, the headcount poverty ratio changed little through 2016. Income inequality (the Gini coefficient) also changed little, from 31.5 in 2013 to 32.5 in 2016. During the CPS period, broader measures in social conditions improved slightly. Armenia’s Human Development Index improved from 0.729 in 2010 (76th among 169 countries) to 0.755 in 2017 (83th among 189 countries). The World Bank Group’s Country Program Strategy (CPS) had three pillars, or focus areas, including the cross-cutting area on governance. These covered broadly the same areas as the previous CPS (FY09-13): (i) supporting competitiveness and job creation; (ii) improving efficiency and targeting of social services; and (iii) improving governance and decreasing corruption. The CPS was broadly aligned with the Government of Armenia (GoA) Development Strategy 2025 (ADS) adopted in 2014. The ADS sought to boost shared prosperity and reduce poverty through accelerated economic growth and job creation. World Bank Group’s support was also aligned with a number of GoA’s strategies and programs, including in the areas of strengthening competitiveness, enhancing social and environmental sustainability and improving the efficiency and transparency of public administration. The Performance and Learning Review (PLR) confirmed the relevance of the pillars and maintained most CPS objectives. PLR adjustments primarily reflected changes in country circumstances (stalled recovery and fiscal constraints).

An Evaluation of the World Bank Group’s Support to Rwanda (2009–17)

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This evaluation assesses the development effectiveness of the World Bank Group's country program in Rwanda over the period FY09-17. This evaluation assesses the development effectiveness of the World Bank Group's country program in Rwanda over the period FY09-17.

Morocco CLR Review FY14-17

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This independent review of the World Bank Group’s Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY14-FY17. In addition to the CLR, this review is based on the original CPS approved by the Board on April 1, 2014 and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated May 24,2016 which updated aspects of the original CPS. Morocco is a lower middle- Show MoreThis independent review of the World Bank Group’s Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY14-FY17. In addition to the CLR, this review is based on the original CPS approved by the Board on April 1, 2014 and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated May 24,2016 which updated aspects of the original CPS. Morocco is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $2,860 in 2017. Steady economic growth from 2001 to 2013 helped close the income gap with Mediterranean Europe and reduce poverty from 15.3 percent to 4.8 percent and lower the Gini coefficient from 40.6 to 39.5 over the same period. The well-being of the poorest 40 percent of the population improved in absolute and relative terms.1 Morocco’s UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) score has been increasing gradually from 0.53 in 2010 to 0.67 in 2016, when the country’s ranked 123rd out of 188 countries. However, economic growth has slowed. Average annual GDP growth between 2014 and 2017 was only 3.1 percent despite investment exceeding 30 percent of GDP. Major development challenges have included a high rate of unemployment (around 10 percent), especially among the young (about 30 percent), and regional income disparities. Macroeconomic indicators have improved with lower fiscal and current account deficits and the public debt to GDP ratio stabilized at around 65 percent in 2016. The CPS had three focus areas: (i) promoting competitive and inclusive growth; (ii) building a green and resilient future; and (iii) strengthening governance and institutions for improved service delivery to all citizens.