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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.

Local and Regional Pollution Reduction Co-Benefits from Climate Change Mitigation Interventions: A Literature Review

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IEG’s evaluation on pollution and the World Bank Group commissioned a review of the empirical literature on pollution co-benefits from climate change mitigation interventions, emphasizing air pollution benefits. Such pollution is defined using parameters such as sulfur dioxide (SO2), oxides of nitrogen, and particulate matter for air emissions, and total suspended solids for water releases. The Show MoreIEG’s evaluation on pollution and the World Bank Group commissioned a review of the empirical literature on pollution co-benefits from climate change mitigation interventions, emphasizing air pollution benefits. Such pollution is defined using parameters such as sulfur dioxide (SO2), oxides of nitrogen, and particulate matter for air emissions, and total suspended solids for water releases. The review used a multistage identification technique based on 40 keyword strings in Google Scholar, web of science, and Scopus to identify a universe of peer-reviewed articles. Papers were included only if they focused on developing countries. Additional papers were identified iteratively based on references from the initial papers. The final papers cited were based on expert judgment, with emphasis for studies published after 2010. A systematic search was conducted to locate relevant review articles and meta-analyses; no formal systematic reviews were found. Google was also used to identify non-peer-reviewed studies from reputable sources, such as the International Energy Agency, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and World Bank. The paper lays out the methods and models used in calculating pollution co-benefits, and then presents sector-by-sector results for energy, buildings, industry, transportation, solid and liquid waste management, agriculture, forests/other land use, and multiple sector studies.

Belarus CLR Review FY13-17

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This review of the World Bank Group's Completion and Learning Report (CLR) covers the period of the original Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY14-17, and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) discussed at the Board on June 30, 2016.Belarus is an upper middle-income country.During 2014-16 the economy contracted at an average annual rate of -1.6 percent, compared with an average growth of 1 Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group's Completion and Learning Report (CLR) covers the period of the original Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY14-17, and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) discussed at the Board on June 30, 2016.Belarus is an upper middle-income country.During 2014-16 the economy contracted at an average annual rate of -1.6 percent, compared with an average growth of 1.8 percent for the ECA region.The CPS corresponded well with the government's stated development objectives and was aligned with the government's Program of Social and Economic Development for 2011-2015 which has since been followed by a 2016-2020 Development Program and Action Plan. The CPS program had three pillars: (i) improving competitiveness of the economy by supporting structural reforms, including reducing the role of the state, transforming state-owned enterprise (SOE) sector, promoting private and financial sector development and integration into the global economy; (ii) improved efficiency and quality of public infrastructure services, enhanced and sustainable use of agricultural and forestry services, and increased public goods benefits; and (iii) improved human development outcomes through better delivery of education, health and social services.

Niger CLR Review FY13-16

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Niger is a landlocked and sparsely populated country in the Sahel region of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with significant deposits of uranium, gold, coal, and petroleum. Given its reliance on mining and oil exports, the country is exposed to external economic shocks directly and indirectly through the impact on its main trading partner, Nigeria. During the CPS period, GDP grew at a yearly average of Show MoreNiger is a landlocked and sparsely populated country in the Sahel region of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with significant deposits of uranium, gold, coal, and petroleum. Given its reliance on mining and oil exports, the country is exposed to external economic shocks directly and indirectly through the impact on its main trading partner, Nigeria. During the CPS period, GDP grew at a yearly average of 5.2 percent and its population at 3.9 percent. The country's average GNI income per capita was $395, considerably well below the SSA average of $1,642. The deterioration in the primary budget deficit led to an increase in the public debt over GDP driven by an ambitious public investment program. Poverty incidence declined from 53.7 percent in 2005 to 44.5 percent in 2014, but remained stagnant in rural areas at 51.4 percent, while it dropped to 8.7 percent in the capital city and other urban areas. The 2016 UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) and the Gender Inequality Index ranked Niger amongst the lowest in the world, 187 out of 188 and 157 out of 159 countries, respectively. Niger has suffered from conflict in neighboring countries. Niger hosts around 340,000 refugees and internally displaced persons. Climate change is affecting (rain-fed) agriculture, the source of income for most of its population. After a military coup in 2010, the new government elected in 2011 issued a Plan for Social and Economic Development (PDES) which identified five programmatic areas: (i) strengthening the credibility and efficiency of public institutions; (ii) creating the conditions for inclusive, sustainable and balanced development; (iii) food security and sustainable agricultural development; (iv) competitive and diversified economy for accelerated, inclusive growth; and (v) promotion of social development. The government envisaged rapid economic growth, high levels of public investment, and greater connection to the external world.

Sierra Leone: Integrated Public Finance Management Reform Project (PPAR)

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This report reviews the Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project in Sierra Leone, which was approved on June 4, 2009, and became effective on December 15, 2009. It closed on July 31, 2014. The project cost of $23.44 million was financed by a $4 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) and $17.44 million in grants from the U.K. Department for International Show MoreThis report reviews the Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project in Sierra Leone, which was approved on June 4, 2009, and became effective on December 15, 2009. It closed on July 31, 2014. The project cost of $23.44 million was financed by a $4 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) and $17.44 million in grants from the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID) and the European Union (EU), which were channeled through a multi-donor trust fund administered by IDA. The Government of Sierra Leone made a counterpart contribution of $2 million. The project’s objective was to sustainably improve the credibility, control, and transparency of fiscal and budget management. Five components made up the project: (i) strengthening macrofiscal coordination and budget management, (ii) reinforcing the control system for improved service delivery, (iii) strengthening central finance functions, (iv) assisting oversight by nonstate actors (NSAs), and (v) project management. Ratings for the Integrated Public Finance Management Reform Project are as follows: Outcome is unsatisfactory. Risk to development outcome, high, World Bank performance is moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrower performance, moderately unsatisfactory. The major lessons from this project include: (i) In the absence of a conducive PFM policy environment, there are clear limits to what can be achieved through investment project financing alone. (ii) Effective support for improving the demand for good governance can benefit from broadening support beyond civil society organizations to include academia, the media, and the private sector. (iii) In the context of low Internet density, effective public dissemination of state documents calls for combining online publication with alternative means of diffusion. (iv) Effective and sustainable World Bank leadership of multi-donor support to PFM reforms requires a continuous effort by staff to consult with external partners. (v) Effective World Bank support for designing and installing information technology systems requires tailoring solutions to address borrower capacity limitations.

Bulgaria: District Heating Project (PPAR)

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) prepared by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) evaluates the development effectiveness and sustainability of results of the World Bank–financed District Heating Project in Bulgaria (2003–08). The project development objectives were to improve the quality of district heating services in the capital city of Sofia (1.6 million people) and an Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) prepared by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) evaluates the development effectiveness and sustainability of results of the World Bank–financed District Heating Project in Bulgaria (2003–08). The project development objectives were to improve the quality of district heating services in the capital city of Sofia (1.6 million people) and an adjacent town of Pernik (86,200 people), improve financial viability of the Sofia and Pernik district heating companies, and increase environmentally friendly operations in the district heating sector, through energy conservation and pollution reduction mechanisms. The project also extended funds from the World Bank–administered Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF) for the purchase of carbon emission reductions resulting from the project activities. Ratings for District Heating Project were as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately satisfactory. IEG’s review of this project’s experience in Bulgaria suggests the following lessons: (i) Postponing an energy efficiency project until the necessary legal measures addressing demand-side management are implemented can lead to better outcomes. (ii) Sustainability of benefits from infrastructure investments can be put at risk if future investment needs are unmet. (iii) Investments in energy efficiency infrastructure alone are not enough to achieve sustained financial viability. (iv) Efforts to encourage private sector participation may fail when there is no strong agreement from key stakeholders in the context of a complex and changing governance structure. (v) Carbon finance operation or results-based financing can have strong demonstration effects.

Tanzania CLR Review FY12-16

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Tanzania is a low-income country with a GNI per capita of US$900 in 2016. During the CAS period, the economy grew steadily at 6.7 percent annually compared with an average of 3.5 percent for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Yet, a recent IMF program review report (January 2018) underscores that recent signs of weakening economic activity coexist with large infrastructure gaps, a business climate that Show MoreTanzania is a low-income country with a GNI per capita of US$900 in 2016. During the CAS period, the economy grew steadily at 6.7 percent annually compared with an average of 3.5 percent for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Yet, a recent IMF program review report (January 2018) underscores that recent signs of weakening economic activity coexist with large infrastructure gaps, a business climate that has worsened, budget payment arrears in part owing to the electric utility’s (TANESCO) financial difficulties, and problems with tax collections, administration, and policy. Governance indicators on the efficiency and transparency in public management did not improve during the CAS period. Moreover, in the 2018 Doing Business report, Tanzania ranks 137 out of 190 countries, which compares less favorably with its SSA neighbors and reveals weak private sector competitiveness. Hence, sustained reforms to enhance budget credibility and implementation as well as to improve the business climate are needed to achieve strong growth led by the private sector as intended by the government.

Vietnam: Forest Sector Development Project (PPAR)

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The Forest Sector Development Project, which was implemented between 2004 and 2015, contributed to the significant reforestation efforts made by the people of Vietnam. In parallel to this smallholder plantation initiative, the project sought to protect biodiversity in parks and reserves. Bare hillsides underwent reforestation, and by 2017 the level of forest cover reached 48 percent (from 27 Show MoreThe Forest Sector Development Project, which was implemented between 2004 and 2015, contributed to the significant reforestation efforts made by the people of Vietnam. In parallel to this smallholder plantation initiative, the project sought to protect biodiversity in parks and reserves. Bare hillsides underwent reforestation, and by 2017 the level of forest cover reached 48 percent (from 27 percent in 1990). The improved outlook for production forest was matched by an increased government commitment to conserve biodiversity in parks and reserves, which were legally designated as special-use forests. (SUF). The two project objectives were to achieve sustainable management of plantation forests and to conserve biodiversity in special-use forests. Ratings for the Forest Sector Development Project were as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was modest, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately satisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) When located appropriately, smallholder forest plantations can boost economic growth in rural areas and help protect the environment—as long as smallholders have continuing access to a full package of technical and financial support. (ii) Smallholders with limited means tend to operate single-species tree plantations on a short rotation; it is too early to say if this trend will continue, or if it poses a long-term risk. (iii) Smallholders with limited means tend to operate single-species tree plantations. (iv) Attempts to engage communities in management of protected areas will only prosper if these areas (and their associated buffer zones) generate substantial revenues that are shared with the participating communities. (v) The design of World Bank projects should have achievable, incremental, and rigorous targets for sustainable forest management (national or international) within given timeframes with iterative steps toward recognized global standards.

Nicaragua CLR Review FY13-17

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Nicaragua is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $2,050 in 2016. Nicaragua’s annual economic growth increased from 3.3 percent during the prior CPS period (2008-2012) to 4.9 percent during the CPS period under review (2013-17). Growth was sustained by an adequate macro and fiscal environment and responded to higher growth of the US economy, from 0.9 percent to 2.2 percent Show MoreNicaragua is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $2,050 in 2016. Nicaragua’s annual economic growth increased from 3.3 percent during the prior CPS period (2008-2012) to 4.9 percent during the CPS period under review (2013-17). Growth was sustained by an adequate macro and fiscal environment and responded to higher growth of the US economy, from 0.9 percent to 2.2 percent between the two CPS periods. Growth helped reduce poverty rates, from 42.5 percent in 2009 to 29.6 percent in 2014 and 24.9 percent in 2016. Better social conditions are reflected in Nicaragua’s Human Development Index, which improved from 0.636 in 2013 (ranked 132nd among 187 countries) to 0.645 in 2015 (ranked 124th among 188 countries). However, inequality (the GINI Index) increased, from 44.2 in 2009 to 46.6 in 2014. The poverty rate in rural areas (50.1 percent in 2014) remains higher than in urban areas (14.8 percent in 2014), and 45 percent of Nicaraguans are at risk of falling into poverty if hit by a shock.

Brazil: Integrated Solid Waste Management and Carbon Finance Project (PPAR)

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the development effectiveness of the Integrated Solid Waste & Carbon Finance Project in Brazil. The project was approved on November 2, 2010, for a cost of US$160 million, with World Bank support of US$50 million. The project cost at completion was US$122.7 million, with only US$16.7 million of the World Bank’s loan being utilized. Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the development effectiveness of the Integrated Solid Waste & Carbon Finance Project in Brazil. The project was approved on November 2, 2010, for a cost of US$160 million, with World Bank support of US$50 million. The project cost at completion was US$122.7 million, with only US$16.7 million of the World Bank’s loan being utilized. The project was closed on December 31, 2015 as planned. The objective of the project was to improve the treatment and disposal of municipal solid waste in Brazil. This was to be achieved through closing of open dumps and constructing modern and environmentally safe landfills, improving municipal solid waste management (SWM) practices, reducing poverty among waste pickers, increasing private sector participation in SWM service provision, and strengthening the borrower and implementing agency CAIXA Econômica Federale’s capacity to manage carbon finance projects. Ratings for Integrated Solid Waste Management and Carbon Finance Project were as follows: Outcome was unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, Bank performance was moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrower performance was unsatisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) A project with sector-wide objectives must provide for engagement with the government at the policy level to lay a strong basis for achieving development outcomes. (ii) For an operation involving a financial intermediary, a minimum number of sub-projects must be committed at project effectiveness, to demonstrate quick successes and to develop further momentum during implementation. (iii) In an upper middle-income country with broad-based financial and institutional resources, the World Bank’s interventions in a sector should focus on functional areas with a clear need and demand for external support and expertise. (iv) In seeking to attract private sector investment and expertise to public service provision, the major barriers to entry must be clearly recognized and addressed. Incentives at the margin are unlikely to generate wide or sustained interest.