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Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Trade Development Facility Project (PPAR)

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) Trade Development Facility project that was financed from a multi-donor trust fund. The project’s objectives were as follows: (i) To support the Recipient’s aims in poverty reduction and economic development of Lao PDR, by facilitating trade and cross-border movement of goods, and by Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) Trade Development Facility project that was financed from a multi-donor trust fund. The project’s objectives were as follows: (i) To support the Recipient’s aims in poverty reduction and economic development of Lao PDR, by facilitating trade and cross-border movement of goods, and by increasing capacity of the Government to undertake specific tasks related to regional and global economic integration; and (ii) To assist the Recipient in implementing the Action Matrix for Trade-Related Assistance approved by the Recipient and donors in September 2006, and achieve the goals set up in the Recipient’s medium-term strategy for increasing growth and export competitiveness, as reflected in the Recipient’s Poverty Reduction Strategy and the National Socio-Economic Development Plan. Ratings for the Trade Development Facility Project is as follows: Outcome is satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is moderate, World Bank performance is satisfactory, and Borrower performance is satisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Early engagement with the government: Appropriate analytic work can lay the basis for sound project design and enhance the commitment of the government. (ii) Attribution issues: The final outcomes in a results framework should be specific and attributable to the project. (iii) Simple project design: In the context of low institutional capacity, simple project design with fewer components may enhance the focus of a project and the likelihood of full implementation. (iv) Capacity building: In a limited capacity environment, a “learning-by-doing” approach can be effective in building government capacity. (v) Political commitment: Accession to a major regional or global agreement such as WTO can serve as a strong incentive for reforms and ensure political commitment.

Mongolia: Renewable Energy for Rural Access Project (REAP) (PPAR)

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The purpose of this Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) is to evaluate the development outcomes of the Renewable Energy and Rural Electricity Access Project (REAP) in Mongolia. The project’s development objectives (PDOs) were to expand access to electricity and improve reliability of electricity services in selected off-grid soum centers and among the herder population, and to remove Show MoreThe purpose of this Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) is to evaluate the development outcomes of the Renewable Energy and Rural Electricity Access Project (REAP) in Mongolia. The project’s development objectives (PDOs) were to expand access to electricity and improve reliability of electricity services in selected off-grid soum centers and among the herder population, and to remove barriers to the scale-up of renewable energy use. Ratings for the Renewable Energy for Rural Access Project are as follows: Outcome is moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is significant, Bank performance is moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance is moderately satisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) An appropriate balance between affordability and cost recovery is essential for scaling up the adoption of portable renewable energy systems by those who cannot afford the full investment costs. (ii) Proper market assessments are an essential requirement for projects that rely on the private sector for distribution of equipment, after-sales service, or the operation of local off-grid utilities. (iii) To be sustainable and to realize the potential for expansion in demand, renewable energy technologies (RETs) require established and regulated equipment quality standards to guide purchases, and proper handling and disposal of used SHS batteries. (iv) Regular dialogue and consultation at the appropriate client government level regarding government policy intentions and their consequences are critical to inform project design and implementation.

Georgia: First, Second and Third Development Policy Operations

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This Project Performance Assessment Review (PPAR) evaluates a programmatic series of three development policy operations (DPOs) for Georgia, including three credits and one loan, in the amount of $85 million for DPO-I, $50 million for DPO-II, and $40 million for DPO-III, implemented between July 2009 (World Bank Board of Executive Directors approval of DPO-I) and March 2012 (closing of DPO-III). Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Review (PPAR) evaluates a programmatic series of three development policy operations (DPOs) for Georgia, including three credits and one loan, in the amount of $85 million for DPO-I, $50 million for DPO-II, and $40 million for DPO-III, implemented between July 2009 (World Bank Board of Executive Directors approval of DPO-I) and March 2012 (closing of DPO-III). All operations were fully disbursed. The Government of Georgia requested these operations in a context of economic downturn resulting from the August 2008 conflict with the Russian Federation and the global financial crisis. Ratings for the First, Second and Third Development Policy Operations are as follows: Outcome is satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is moderate, Bank performance is satisfactory, and Borrow performance is satisfactory. Among the key lessons are the following: (i) DPO programs during times of crisis may involve a trade-off between providing predictable budget support and the quality of the reform agenda. (ii) Although scaling up Georgia’s TSA program was fully justified, cash transfer programs are mainly geared toward the chronically poor, whereas many persons affected by crises fall into temporary poverty. (iii) In a fiscally constrained environment, a move to universal health coverage may not necessarily bring an improvement in the financial protection of the poor. (iv) The World Bank can play a significant role in helping focus government’s efforts in policy areas where other development partners mainly support reforms, such as in the trade-related reforms required to negotiate Georgia’s Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU.

China: Thermal Power Efficiency Project (PPAR)

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The China Thermal Power Efficiency project sought to reduce coal consumption and greenhouse gas emissions per unit of electricity in three provinces in China – Shanxi, Shandong and Guangdong. The project was conceived as a response to the predominance of coal in China’s energy mix and the need to find ways of improving existing infrastructure over and above weaning the country away from this Show MoreThe China Thermal Power Efficiency project sought to reduce coal consumption and greenhouse gas emissions per unit of electricity in three provinces in China – Shanxi, Shandong and Guangdong. The project was conceived as a response to the predominance of coal in China’s energy mix and the need to find ways of improving existing infrastructure over and above weaning the country away from this reliance as an energy source. China’s rising energy demand had relied heavily on domestic coal production and the rapid expansion of local thermal power generation plants that utilized this coal. Increasingly, these plants were having adverse environmental impacts, particularly in regions experiencing significant increases in energy demand from manufacturing sector. Ratings for the project are as follows: Outcome is satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is moderate, Bank performance is satisfactory, Borrower performance is satisfactory, and Monitoring and Evaluation is satisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Piloting and demonstrating potential technological improvements to lower costs and improve environmental performance works well in environments where operators are risk averse and constrained by government policy. (ii) The World Bank’s international experience and expertise has the capacity to make an important contribution to pollution reduction in the thermal power sector. (iii) External help and international expertise provided by World Bank projects at the provincial level in middle income countries helps support and reinforce successful central government policy. (iii) Analytical work needs to respond to the immediate needs of the sector rather than being determined by supply-side factors. (iv) A ‘hands-off’ approach by the World Bank in high capacity environments can lead to missed opportunities in maximizing a project’s potential. (v) Barriers to the closure of small inefficient power units are often political. Fostering the key relationships with partners is essential in knowing what and how reforms can be implemented in challenging environments.

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.

Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Sao Tome, Principe: Internet and Mobile Connectivity (Central African Backbone Program APL 1A and APL 2) (PPAR)

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the development effectiveness of the Central Africa Backbone Project Adaptable Program Loan (APL) 1A implemented in three countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic and Chad; and the Central Africa Backbone Project APL 2 implemented in Sao Tome and Principe. The objectives of the projects were to help to increase the geographical reach Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the development effectiveness of the Central Africa Backbone Project Adaptable Program Loan (APL) 1A implemented in three countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic and Chad; and the Central Africa Backbone Project APL 2 implemented in Sao Tome and Principe. The objectives of the projects were to help to increase the geographical reach and usage of regional broadband network services and reduce their prices to end-users. Ratings for these projects are as follows: Outcome is unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome is substantial, Bank and Borrow performance are both moderately unsatisfactory. For APL 2, the ratings are: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is substantial, Bank performance is satisfactory, and Borrow performance is moderately satisfactory. Lessons from the projects include: (i) A thorough political economy assessment and high-level national and regional commitment are key ingredients for complex regional ICT projects. (ii) The experience from the Central Africa Backbone APL 1 and 2 project shows that public private partnership arrangements are difficult to implement in multiple countries, particularly when countries have asymmetrical needs and incentives with respect to increasing competition for the provision of international and national capacity. (iii) Technical assistance for the preparation of legislation and sector strategies is only the first step to creating an enabling environment for the ICT sector. (iv) Assessing and funding the capacity needs of Regional Economic Communities is important for project coordination and implementation, so that they can carry out their functions effectively. (v) In weak capacity environments, it is beneficial that the projects build the needed institutional capacity for the Borrower to further / implement the crucial reforms and to ensure sustainability of the investments in the country.

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).

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.

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.