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Serbia: Consolidated Collection and Pension Administration Reform Project and Delivery of Improved Local Services (PPAR)

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Following the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia and a series of regional wars, the Federation of the Republics of Serbia and Montenegro rejoined the World Bank in 2001. Serbia experienced solid growth during 2000–2008, followed by a series of severe recessions combined with rapidly rising unemployment and growing public debt over 2008–2014. To improve its growth prospects Serbia embarked on Show MoreFollowing the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia and a series of regional wars, the Federation of the Republics of Serbia and Montenegro rejoined the World Bank in 2001. Serbia experienced solid growth during 2000–2008, followed by a series of severe recessions combined with rapidly rising unemployment and growing public debt over 2008–2014. To improve its growth prospects Serbia embarked on several structural reforms between 2014 and 2017. Growth fundamentals and prospects are now sound, and the underlying growth trend is vibrant. Serbia is at a late stage of demographic transition, characterized by a total fertility rate well below the population replacement rate, and an aging and shrinking population. Demographic and population changes have clear implications for the delivery of health, education, and social assistance services, and for the sustainability of the pension system. In the meantime, Roma, having a much higher total fertility rate, are going to represent a growing percentage of the total Serbian population and the future workforce. This PPAR covers two projects. The first, Consolidated Collection and Pension Administration Reform Project (PARP) and was put in place to (i) develop the framework for the consolidation of collection of all social contributions and, if feasible, personal income taxes; and to (ii) improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the pension system through modernizing and streamlining the institutional capacity in the pension system; improved pension system administration; developing the capacity for policy identification and analysis; monitoring; and increased public understanding of the pension system. The second, Delivery of Improved Local Services Project (DILS) aimed to improve the local delivery of health, education, and social assistance services. Ratings for the PARP project are as follows: Outcome is moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is moderate, Bank and Borrower performance are both moderately satisfactory. Ratings for the DILS project are as follows: Outcome is moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is moderate, and Bank and Borrower performance are both moderately satisfactory. Eight lessons that could help improve future World Bank operations are identified. The first lesson arises from both projects, followed by three lessons from PARP and four lessons from the DILS project. (i) Clarity around the overall vision and data architecture is needed for successful MIS investments. (ii) A stakeholder analysis can be a useful tool to identify potential supporters and resistance when reforms involve several actors. (iii) The tax administration can be usefully included in the administrative reform process. (iv) Rationalizing the social insurance system takes time. (v) Multisector projects have the advantage of providing bridge financing that allows continuity and deepening of reforms policy, but this design feature may negatively affect other project ratings. (vi) Activities carried out by entities with a clear institutional status can be better sustained than those implemented by ad-hoc bodies. (vii) The employment of contractual staff (consultants) in the project implementation unit does not build sustainable capacity in the ministries. (viii) Projects that aim at strengthening locally delivered services should ensure alignment between local functions, capacities, and financing to succeed.

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.

Turkey: Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness Project (PPAR)

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Turkey faces high vulnerability to earthquakes, with Istanbul posing the most serious risk due its high seismic risk and its role as the population and economic center of Turkey. A major earthquake near Istanbul in 1999 led to over 17,000 deaths and damage estimated at $US 5-13 billion. The World Bank supported a post-earthquake reconstruction project over 1999-2006, but vulnerability to Show MoreTurkey faces high vulnerability to earthquakes, with Istanbul posing the most serious risk due its high seismic risk and its role as the population and economic center of Turkey. A major earthquake near Istanbul in 1999 led to over 17,000 deaths and damage estimated at $US 5-13 billion. The World Bank supported a post-earthquake reconstruction project over 1999-2006, but vulnerability to earthquakes remained high, especially for Istanbul. A major earthquake in Istanbul would be catastrophic, and could derail the country’s development trajectory. The government was committed to undertaking disaster risk mitigation, but needed external assistance and support to do so. The World Bank was a suitable partner based on its financing capacity, technical expertise in disaster risk management and mitigation, and credibility and trust in Turkey based on prior disaster risk management engagements. These considerations motivated the creation of the Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness Project (ISMEP) as a proactive risk mitigation effort. Ratings for the Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness Project are as follows: Outcome is highly satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is negligible, Bank performance is satisfactory, and Borrower performance is highly satisfactory. The project offers the following lessons: (i) A sub-national multisector model can be highly effective for reducing disaster risk in a well-functioning major metropolitan area, even in a country where these approaches are unusual. (ii) A semi-autonomous professional project coordination unit can help to ensure effective and efficient project implementation even when dealing with many stakeholders and beneficiary agencies. (iii) Even highly successful project models may not be replicated if they cannot generate strong government ownership and if they rely on exceptional measures. (iv) The World Bank can achieve large scale impact by creating effective project platforms that are able to attract additional financing from other institutions. (v) The World Bank can offer significant value to clients from financing, access to technology, project management experience, and influence - even in megacities in high capacity upper middle-income countries. (vi) Pilot efforts may not support learning if they do not have monitoring and evaluation systems that assess their contribution to program objectives and draw conclusions for the design of future interventions. (vii) Small grants to support municipalities in digitizing their processes can have a significant impact on efficiency and transparency if coupled with highly motivated municipal leadership.

Burkina Faso CLR Review FY13-16

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Burkina Faso is a low-income country with a GNI per capita of $620 in 2016. During 2013-2016, annual GDP growth averaged 5.0 percent, but annual GDP per capita growth was only 1.9 percent due to high population growth. Economic growth was built on a narrow base, mainly agriculture and mining, and has failed to produce a sufficient number of jobs to absorb the rapidly growing work force, 80 Show MoreBurkina Faso is a low-income country with a GNI per capita of $620 in 2016. During 2013-2016, annual GDP growth averaged 5.0 percent, but annual GDP per capita growth was only 1.9 percent due to high population growth. Economic growth was built on a narrow base, mainly agriculture and mining, and has failed to produce a sufficient number of jobs to absorb the rapidly growing work force, 80 percent of which are in agriculture. While the poverty rate declined from 50 percent to 40 percent between 2003 and 2014, the absolute number of people living in poverty, of which 90 percent live in rural areas, remained roughly the same between the two periods – lack of access by the poor to social services and basic infrastructure has been a major constraint. The level of vulnerability of households is high, with two-thirds suffering from shocks each year, mainly from natural hazards. Burkina Faso ranked 185 out of 188 countries in 2015 in the Human Development Index.

Role in Global Issues: An Independent Evaluation of the World Bank Group Convening Power (Approach Paper)

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Recent World Bank Group (WBG) strategy documents, including the Forward Look, reiterated the importance of the WBG’s leadership role in dealing with global challenges and positioned the organization’s ability to work at the nexus of local and global issues such as climate change, gender, and pandemics as core part of its value proposition (World Bank 2013 and 2016). When the WBG shareholders Show MoreRecent World Bank Group (WBG) strategy documents, including the Forward Look, reiterated the importance of the WBG’s leadership role in dealing with global challenges and positioned the organization’s ability to work at the nexus of local and global issues such as climate change, gender, and pandemics as core part of its value proposition (World Bank 2013 and 2016). When the WBG shareholders committed to scale up WBG resources through the recent IBRD and IFC capital increase and the IDA18 replenishment in 2016, a core premise was to more strategically perform its global role, in better collaboration with public and private partners. This evaluation is about the WBG’s global role. It will assess how and when the WBG exercises convening power to spark collective action on global issues. Given the scale and interconnectedness of global challenges; increased complexity of the development ecosystem; and concerns over “mission creep”, the WBG’s role as a catalyst for collective action on behalf of the international community could become even more important. When and how should it lead, when should it support, and when should it withdraw?

Benin CLR Review FY13-18

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This review of the World Bank Group’s Completion and Learning Report (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) (FY13-17) and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) which extended the CPS period to include FY18. The PLR was discussed at the Board on August 30, 2016. Benin is a low-income country (per capita income of $820 in 2016). It has a population of about ten Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group’s Completion and Learning Report (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) (FY13-17) and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) which extended the CPS period to include FY18. The PLR was discussed at the Board on August 30, 2016. Benin is a low-income country (per capita income of $820 in 2016). It has a population of about ten million (2013 census) with a high population growth of around 2.8 percent per annum. The average GDP growth during the review period was 4.9 percent (2013-2016). The average per capita GDP growth rate was relatively low at 2.0 percent between 2013 and 2016, due to the high population growth and drop in the overall growth rate in 2015 as a result of an economic slowdown in neighboring Nigeria, political transition in 2015-2106, and decline in cotton prices. The economy is dominated by traditional agriculture, informal commerce and trade - areas with low levels of productivity. The country ranks 167 (out of 188) on the UNDP Human Development Index in 2015.

Bolivia: Reducing Maternal and Infant Mortality: A multi-project evaluation of 16 years of World Bank support to the health sector (PPAR)

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Bolivia’s poor maternal and child health outcomes were of great concern in the 1990s. Infant and child mortality rates were 67 and 92 per 1,000 live births in 1998, and maternal mortality was 390 per 100,000 live births, risking Bolivia’s achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The capacities of the Bolivian health system were insufficient to respond to the need for health care Show MoreBolivia’s poor maternal and child health outcomes were of great concern in the 1990s. Infant and child mortality rates were 67 and 92 per 1,000 live births in 1998, and maternal mortality was 390 per 100,000 live births, risking Bolivia’s achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The capacities of the Bolivian health system were insufficient to respond to the need for health care access, availability, affordability, quality, and equity. Health facilities lacked essential drugs and equipment needed to provide good care. In addition to scarce and inefficiently distributed health workers, heath staff were often poorly trained, compromising the quality of treatment. The Expanded Immunization program had too little funding, poor communication strategies, and unreliable data, which led to declining immunization rates starting in 1996. Cultural and economic barriers limited demand for both preventive and curative care. The World Bank supported the government’s health sector reforms through a series of Adaptable Program Loans (APLs) over 16 years, including the 1999 Health Sector Reform Project, 2001 Second Phase of the Health Sector Reform Program, and 2008 Expanding Access to Reduce Health Inequities. The reforms supported by these projects are the subject of this Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR). This report spans three projects. Ratings for the first project, Health Sector Reform (APL 1) is as follows: Outcome is satisfactory, risk to development outcome is moderate, Bank and Borrower performance is both moderately satisfactory. Ratings for the second project, Sector Phase of the Health Sector Reform Program (APL II) is as follows: Outcome is moderately satisfactory, risk to development outcome is moderate, Bank and Borrower performance is both moderately satisfactory. Ratings for the third project, Expanding Access to Reduce Health Inequities (APL III) is as follows: Outcome is moderately satisfactory, risk to development outcome is moderate, Bank and Borrower performance is both moderately satisfactory. Lessons from these projects include: (i) The definition of a common results framework is useful to align the efforts of different government levels. (ii) A robust results-based approach needs to define a clear mechanism of rewards/sanctions to function well. Otherwise it risks turning into a mere monitoring tool that could lead to perverse incentives. (iii) Project design coordinating efforts with parallel programs that have similar goals has a great potential for efficiency, but it raises methodological concerns about the attribution of outcomes. (iv) While continued focus on quality objectives is certainly commendable, it needs to be accompanied by more robust outcome measures to prove quality enhancements. (v) Programmatic approaches are suitable where sector knowledge is strong, program objectives are long-term and clear, and country ownership is established. (vi) Ambitious projects partially relying on a government promise to pass a reform law are likely to need a restructuring. Reallocation of project funds in response to ad hoc government requests may lessen the logic of the results chain and risk the M&E framework from providing sufficient evidence of project achievements.

Mexico: Support to the Social Protection System in Health Project (PPAR)

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This is the Project Performance Assessment Report for the Mexico Social Protection in Health Project (P116226). The project, approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on March 25, 2010, provided an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan of $1,250 million (IBRD-78600), which represents the second largest World Bank operation by commitments of the entire Show MoreThis is the Project Performance Assessment Report for the Mexico Social Protection in Health Project (P116226). The project, approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on March 25, 2010, provided an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan of $1,250 million (IBRD-78600), which represents the second largest World Bank operation by commitments of the entire World Bank human development cluster. The Government of Mexico provided counterpart financing of $26 billion equivalent. The loan became effective on December 29, 2010, and closed after three years on December 31, 2013. This report serves an accountability purpose by evaluating the extent to which the operation achieved its intended outcomes, but also a learning purpose. The Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) Review identified the project for evaluation to verify the project’s ratings following IEG’s revision of the outcome rating from satisfactory in the Implementation Completion and Results Report (ICR) to moderately satisfactory in the ICR Review. In addition, this report aims to identify lessons for similar health insurance schemes and relevant World Bank–supported operations. Ratings for the Support to the Social Protection System in Health Project is as follows: Outcome is moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is moderate, World Bank performance is moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance is satisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) In times of economic crisis, if the country has a well-designed health program in place, the World Bank’s financial support can be effective in helping the government to sustain and expand access to health services, protecting the poor from the adverse impact of the crisis. (ii) Investment Project Financing can be an efficient alternative to development policy financing if there is government ownership of the national program and a strong monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system to monitor results. (iii) It may not be possible to achieve universal health coverage in fragmented health systems without an individual mandate for health insurance coverage. (iv) In decentralized health systems, to achieve the desired changes at the local level the use of incentives (compatibility) should be preferred to the use of regulations and aligned with the institutional capabilities of the agents.

China: Hubei Hydropower Development in Poor Areas Project (PPAR)

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This is the Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group on the China: Hubei Hydropower Development in Poor Areas Project (IBRD-46660). The project had three project development objectives: (a) to facilitate economic growth in Hubei by expanding electric power generation capacity in an economically and environmentally sustainable Show MoreThis is the Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group on the China: Hubei Hydropower Development in Poor Areas Project (IBRD-46660). The project had three project development objectives: (a) to facilitate economic growth in Hubei by expanding electric power generation capacity in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner; (b) to enhance the efficiency of the electricity sector in Hubei by commercializing county-level generation companies; and (c) to contribute to poverty alleviation efforts in poor communities in Hubei. Ratings for Hubei Hydropower Development in Poor Areas Project are as follows: Outcome is satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is moderate, Bank performance is moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance is moderately satisfactory. The main lessons that emerge from the experience of this complex project are the following: (i) Integrating hydropower investments with institutional development and poverty alleviation can yield strong synergies. (ii) The rigorous quality and depth of appraisal for implementing agencies needs to be maintained throughout the project cycle, including project components added late.

Central African Republic: Emergency Food Crisis Response and Agriculture Re-Launch Project (PPAR)

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This is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) on the World Bank Emergency Food Crises and Agriculture Re-launch project designed to provide emergency assistance to vulnerable populations in the Central African Republic following a coup d’état in 2013. Because of the extent of the crisis, and the loss of government capacity in the wake of the crisis to implement emergency aid, the project Show MoreThis is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) on the World Bank Emergency Food Crises and Agriculture Re-launch project designed to provide emergency assistance to vulnerable populations in the Central African Republic following a coup d’état in 2013. Because of the extent of the crisis, and the loss of government capacity in the wake of the crisis to implement emergency aid, the project was executed by the World Food Program (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), contracted by the Ministry of Rural Development. Ratings for the Emergency Food Crisis Response and Agriculture Re-Launch Project are as follows: Outcome is unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome is high, Bank performance is unsatisfactory, and Borrower performance is unsatisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Standard Agreements between World Bank clients and UN executing agencies can facilitate success if they include a common vision about intended objectives, a clear and achievable results framework and related outcome indicators, and a clear articulation of how risks to the environment and social framework will be monitored, reported on, and managed. (ii) Efficient seed procurement for conflict-affected countries is complex owing to disruption of trading networks and normal supply and demand signals: the recruitment and funding of a technical team needs to be a prior condition of project effectiveness. (iii) Emergency food security operations do not necessarily require food agency coupling (such as WFP and FAO). (iv) Post-conflict emergency assistance in highly agrarian economies should try to maximize synergies across sectoral operations to optimize the delivery of food aid while laying a foundation for growth of the agricultural sector.