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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.

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.

IEG Work Program and Budget (FY19) and Indicative Plan (FY20-21)

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The Work Program outlines the strategic framework IEG has put in place to align its work program with the WBG and its clients’ main strategic priorities; its proposed work program for FY19-21; the results and impact that IEG expects to achieve over that period; measures IEG has been implementing to increase its outreach and impact; and details on resource management. Strategic Directions for FY19 Show MoreThe Work Program outlines the strategic framework IEG has put in place to align its work program with the WBG and its clients’ main strategic priorities; its proposed work program for FY19-21; the results and impact that IEG expects to achieve over that period; measures IEG has been implementing to increase its outreach and impact; and details on resource management. Strategic Directions for FY19–21 IEG’s strategic directions in FY19–21 are aligned with strategic priorities of the World Bank Group (WBG), as set out in the Forward Look (FL), the IDA18 agreement, the Maximizing Finance for Development (MFD) Development Committee Paper, and other strategic documents, as well as its twin goals in a sustainable manner, and with the development challenges expected to affect its clients over the period. Independent evaluation is essential to help the WBG tackle these important challenges and IEG has aligned its strategic framework with that of the WBG to continue providing a systematic and coherent body of evidence in key relevant areas.

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.

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.

Lao People's Democratic Republic: Sustainable Forestry for Rural Development Project (PPAR)

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Ratings for the Sustainable Forestry for Rural Development Project are as follows: Outcome is moderately unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome is high, Bank performance is moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrow performance is moderately unsatisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) A pattern of weak government commitment to increasing citizen’s natural resource rights exists in Lao Show MoreRatings for the Sustainable Forestry for Rural Development Project are as follows: Outcome is moderately unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome is high, Bank performance is moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrow performance is moderately unsatisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) A pattern of weak government commitment to increasing citizen’s natural resource rights exists in Lao PDR. (ii) Villagers who are denied secure community tenure and rights to forest resources are unlikely to commit to sustainable forest management. (iii) The zoning of natural forest may fail to reflect variations in the richness of the resource, so the area earmarked for sustainable management may be unrealistically large, stretching administrative resources too thin. (iv) Zoning and the preparation of management plans for specific forest tracts are important first steps but they are not, in themselves, sufficient evidence that sustainable forest management is being implemented.

Lao People's Democratic Republic: Sustainable Forestry for Rural Development Project (PPAR)

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Ratings for the Sustainable Forestry for Rural Development Project are as follows: Outcome is moderately unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome is high, Bank performance is moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrow performance is moderately unsatisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) A pattern of weak government commitment to increasing citizen’s natural resource rights exists in Lao Show MoreRatings for the Sustainable Forestry for Rural Development Project are as follows: Outcome is moderately unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome is high, Bank performance is moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrow performance is moderately unsatisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) A pattern of weak government commitment to increasing citizen’s natural resource rights exists in Lao PDR. (ii) Villagers who are denied secure community tenure and rights to forest resources are unlikely to commit to sustainable forest management. (iii) The zoning of natural forest may fail to reflect variations in the richness of the resource, so the area earmarked for sustainable management may be unrealistically large, stretching administrative resources too thin. (iv) Zoning and the preparation of management plans for specific forest tracts are important first steps but they are not, in themselves, sufficient evidence that sustainable forest management is being implemented.

Burkina Faso, Ghana and Mali: West Africa Transport and Transit Facilitation Project

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the development effectiveness of the West Africa Transport and Transit Facilitation Project implemented in three countries: Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Mali. The project was approved on June 19, 2008, for a cost of US$197.2 million, with an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$190 million. The project cost at completion Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the development effectiveness of the West Africa Transport and Transit Facilitation Project implemented in three countries: Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Mali. The project was approved on June 19, 2008, for a cost of US$197.2 million, with an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$190 million. The project cost at completion was US$180.87 million, with US$173.5 million of the IDA credit being utilized. The project was closed on June 30, 2015, with a delay of fifteen months due to delays in release of counterpart funding from the Government of Ghana and suspension of works in Mali (for about 11 months) in the aftermath of the political crisis in March 2012. Landlocked economies are disadvantaged by costly and unreliable transport and transit processes. For example, transport and transit costs for countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger are up to 50 percent higher than for countries with direct sea access. Historically, the Abidjan-Ouagadougou-Bamako Corridor was the main sea access corridor for both Burkina Faso and Mali. However, because of the deteriorating security situation in Côte d'Ivoire, there was an urgent need to seek alternative access to ports for the landlocked countries of Burkina Faso and Mali. Ratings for the West Africa Transport and Transit Facilitation Project are as follows: Outcome is moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is substantial, Bank performance is moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance is moderately satisfactory. Lesson from the project include: (i) A regional approach to implement road rehabilitation works along strategic corridors can enhance the benefits particularly for the landlocked countries by linking them to gateway ports. (ii) It is important to have strong upstream analytical work and technical assistance for regional trade facilitation reforms so that countries can agree early on the technical details of institutional reforms. (iii) When the projects involve Regional Economic Communities (REC), it is important to assess and cover RECs’ funding needs for project coordination and implementation so that they can carry out this function effectively. (iv) The World Bank’s current single-country business model makes it challenging to implement regional projects.