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Comoros - Completion and Learning Review : IEG Review

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Croatia: Revenue Administration Modernization Project (PPAR)

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The development objective of the Croatia Revenue Administration Modernization Project was to achieve further improvements in tax efficiency, taxpayer services, and tax compliance through capacity building and systems improvement in the Croatia Tax Administration (CTA). For purposes of this review, three sub-objectives are assessed: (i) improvements in efficiency; (ii) improvements in taxpayer Show MoreThe development objective of the Croatia Revenue Administration Modernization Project was to achieve further improvements in tax efficiency, taxpayer services, and tax compliance through capacity building and systems improvement in the Croatia Tax Administration (CTA). For purposes of this review, three sub-objectives are assessed: (i) improvements in efficiency; (ii) improvements in taxpayer services; and (iii) improvements in tax compliance. Ratings for the Revenue Administration Modernization Project are as follows: Outcome was moderately unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome was negligible, Bank performance was moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately unsatisfactory. This assessment offers the following lessons: (i) Poor quality at entry and lack of readiness for implementation contributed to significant implementation delays and limited results. (ii) Given that the main driver of the tax administration reforms was Croatia’s bid for membership of the EU, the project could have better secured the government’s commitment to reforms up front. (iii) In projects aiming to improve tax revenue administration, the right balance must be struck between institutional reform and hardware needs (buildings and information and communications technologies). (iv) High TTL turnover could be mitigated by ensuring adequate capacity in the field with the presence of competent local staff.

Jordan: Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Urban Development Project (PPAR)

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An Evaluation of the World Bank Group’s Support to Municipal Solid Waste Management, 2010–20 (Approach Paper)

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Municipal solid waste (MSW) has emerged as one of the most pressing challenges for urban areas across the world. This evaluation is the Independent Evaluation Group’s (IEG) first major study of the Bank Group’s support for MSWM. It is timely given the rapidly increasing scale of MSW in most MICs and LICs and considering the spectacle of massive open garbage dumps in cities as diverse as Manila, Show MoreMunicipal solid waste (MSW) has emerged as one of the most pressing challenges for urban areas across the world. This evaluation is the Independent Evaluation Group’s (IEG) first major study of the Bank Group’s support for MSWM. It is timely given the rapidly increasing scale of MSW in most MICs and LICs and considering the spectacle of massive open garbage dumps in cities as diverse as Manila, Lagos, and New Delhi. The evaluation will highlight the linkages of MSWM with other sectors and themes such as water supply and sanitation, environment, climate change, health, jobs, and social protection. This can point to how the Bank Group can better support the development of synergistic policy frameworks and regulations for MSWM in client countries. This has implications for developing systematic collaboration between various sectors within the Bank Group and among client government ministries and for leveraging opportunities for climate finance.

Rwanda CLR Review FY14-20

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In summary, under the Rwanda CPS for FY14-FY20, the World Bank Group supported the government to address problems in areas and sectors that could help reduce poverty and improve shared prosperity. The CLR’s most relevant lessons are summarized as follows. First, government discipline and leadership enhance the effectiveness of official development assistance and the country’s ability to progress Show MoreIn summary, under the Rwanda CPS for FY14-FY20, the World Bank Group supported the government to address problems in areas and sectors that could help reduce poverty and improve shared prosperity. The CLR’s most relevant lessons are summarized as follows. First, government discipline and leadership enhance the effectiveness of official development assistance and the country’s ability to progress. Second, more qualified people working on financial management, procurement and safeguards is needed to enhance the impact of projects and program. Third, plans for agricultural modernization require considering interactions between the rural and urban labor markets to ensure migrating rural workers have gainful urban employment. Fourth, generating knowledge through ASA can help identify binding constraints and design policy reforms in a timely manner. IEG adds the following lesson: Poor results framework make it difficult to learn from a program’s experience, attribute results to the program and assess its achievements, and build knowledge that can guide future program design and implementation. To assess programs, build knowledge and guide future actions, the WBG needs to ensure CPF Results Frameworks have: (a) a clear and coherent results chain and (b) indicators that can be measured, are useful for assessing the achievement of objectives and are linked to the program’s interventions.. In Rwanda, the CPS results framework has shortcomings that makes it difficult to measure the achievement of some objectives, build knowledge and guide future WBG programs.

Madagascar: Emergency Support to Critical Education, Health, and Nutrition Services Project and Additional Financing (PPAR)

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The World Bank suspended operations in Madagascar in 2009 after a coup d’état and establishment of a de facto government. The unconstitutional regime change caused a prolonged period of political crisis, and together with the 2008 financial crisis, threatened to reverse a decade of sustained gains in social and economic indicators. The dearth of public financing for basic social services and the Show MoreThe World Bank suspended operations in Madagascar in 2009 after a coup d’état and establishment of a de facto government. The unconstitutional regime change caused a prolonged period of political crisis, and together with the 2008 financial crisis, threatened to reverse a decade of sustained gains in social and economic indicators. The dearth of public financing for basic social services and the withdrawal of most donors during the protracted political crisis were especially concerning. The Emergency Support to Critical Education, Health, and Nutrition Services Project was prepared in 2012 after the World Bank’s reengagement in Madagascar and before reentry of other partners. The project’s objective was “to preserve critical education, health, and nutrition service delivery in targeted vulnerable areas.” The project initially focused on five of Madagascar’s poorest and most vulnerable regions, where other donors were not active, and eventually extended nutrition services only to four additional regions (of 22 regions in the country). Ratings for the Emergency Support to Critical Education, Health, and Nutrition Services Project and Additional Financing are as follows: Outcome was highly satisfactory, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Quality of monitoring and evaluation was modest. This assessment offers the following lessons, which focus on the challenges of further strengthening and sustaining a multisectoral approach to nutrition raised in this report: (i) A multisectoral approach, which delivers a range of services that benefit communities, can have a synergistic and impactful effect on the health and nutrition of mothers and children. (ii) The effectiveness and efficiency of Madagascar’s nutrition efforts are contingent on the ONN fully assuming its primary mandate of multisectoral coordination, with the full support and recognition of the public sector, at all levels of government, and in partnership with leaders and stakeholders in the political, administrative, religious, and traditional arenas and in the private sector. (iii) The roles and comparative advantages of the regions and districts in the strategic management and implementation of service delivery, including the support and encouragement of cross-sectoral synergies, will continue to be underexploited as long as the government’s structure is highly centralized. (iv) Successful mobilization of domestic and international resources, planning, programming, and priority setting—including managing the tensions between the goals of expanding nutrition coverage and strengthening existing services—will be difficult to achieve without investments in ONN capacity. Over and above the capacity strengthening needed, improved aid effectiveness and the sustainability of Madagascar’s nutrition efforts also depend on development partners working closely with ONN and the regions and supporting their development plans and priorities, and on an evolution from projects to program support. (v) The World Bank can play a pivotal role in supporting ONN to assume its multisectoral coordination role by advocating to the highest levels of government the importance of prioritizing nutrition as a means of achieving its development objectives and of allocating more budgetary resources to this end, and in supporting the decentralization process to empower regions. (vi) Emergency operations can provide an opportunity for embarking on broader development efforts, as shown by this project, whose interventions transcended recovery efforts. However, the inclusion of such development support without attention to sustainability can undermine gains postproject.

Madagascar: Projet d’Appui d’Urgence aux Services Essentiels d’Éducation, de Santé et de Nutrition et à son financement additionnel (PPAR)

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En 2009, la Banque mondiale a suspendu ses opérations à Madagascar suite à un coup d’état et l’installation d’un gouvernement de facto. Le changement de régime inconstitutionnel provoqua une période de crise politique prolongée qui, ajoutée à la crise financière de 2008, a menacé de renverser une décennie de progrès soutenus des indicateurs sociaux et économiques. Particulièrement inquiétant Show MoreEn 2009, la Banque mondiale a suspendu ses opérations à Madagascar suite à un coup d’état et l’installation d’un gouvernement de facto. Le changement de régime inconstitutionnel provoqua une période de crise politique prolongée qui, ajoutée à la crise financière de 2008, a menacé de renverser une décennie de progrès soutenus des indicateurs sociaux et économiques. Particulièrement inquiétant était le problème du manque de financement public destiné aux services sociaux de base et du retrait des partenaires financiers durant cette crise politique prolongée. Le Projet d’Appui d’Urgence aux Services Essentiels d’Éducation, de Santé et de Nutrition fut préparé en 2012, juste après le réengagement de la Banque mondiale et juste avant le retour des autres partenaires. L’objectif du projet était « … de préserver la fourniture des services essentiels d’éducation, de santé et de nutrition dans les zones vulnérables ciblées. » À l’origine, le projet s’est concentré sur cinq des plus pauvres et plus vulnérables régions de Madagascar, là où les autres partenaires financiers n’étaient pas actifs, pour finalement étendre seulement ses services de nutrition à quatre régions supplémentaires (sur un total de 22 régions du pays). Les évaluations du Projet d’Appui d’Urgence aux Services Essentiels d’Éducation, de Santé et de Nutrition et de financement supplémentaire sont les suivantes: les résultats ont été très satisfaisants, la performance de la Banque a été modérément satisfaisante et la qualité du suivi et de l'évaluation était modeste. De cette évaluation se dégagent les leçons suivantes qui visent à mettre l’accent sur les défis posés pour renforcer davantage et assurer la durabilité d'une approche multisectorielle à la nutrition soulevés dans ce rapport : (i) Une approche multisectorielle fournissant une gamme de services qui bénéficient aux communautés peut avoir un effet synergique et des répercussions importantes sur la santé et la nutrition des mères et des enfants. (ii) L’efficacité et l’efficience des efforts de Madagascar en matière de nutrition dépendent des efforts de l'Office National de Nutrition (ONN) à assumer pleinement son mandat principal de coordination multisectorielle, avec le plein soutien et la reconnaissance du secteur public, à tous les niveaux du gouvernement, et en partenariat avec les dirigeants et les parties prenantes dans les domaines politique, administratif, religieux et traditionnel et dans le secteur privé. (iii) Les rôles et avantages comparatifs des régions et des districts dans la gestion stratégique et la mise en œuvre des fournitures de services, notamment l'encouragement et le soutien aux synergies intersectorielles, continueront d'être sous-exploités tant que la structure du gouvernement restera fortement centralisée. (iv) Une mobilisation réussie des ressources nationales et internationales, la planification, programmation et définition des priorités, notamment en ce qui concerne la gestion des tensions entre les objectifs d'élargissement de la couverture nutritionnelle et ceux de renforcement des services existants, seront difficiles à réaliser en l'absence d’investissements pour développer les capacités de l’ONN. Au-delà de la nécessité de renforcer les capacités, améliorer l’efficacité de l'aide et la durabilité des efforts de Madagascar en matière de nutrition va également dépendre de l’engagement des partenaires au développement à travailler en étroite collaboration avec l'ONN et les régions, de leur appui aux plans et priorités de développement de ceux-ci et de l'évolution du soutien des projets vers une approche programme. (v) La Banque mondiale peut jouer un rôle central, notamment en aidant l'ONN à assumer son rôle de coordination multisectorielle ; en faisant valoir auprès des plus hautes instances du gouvernement l'importance de donner priorité à la nutrition comme moyen d'atteindre les objectifs de développement et d'allouer davantage de ressources budgétaires à cette fin ; et en apportant un appui au processus national de décentralisation pour donner aux régions les moyens de se prendre en charge et d’agir. (vi) Les opérations d’urgence peuvent être l’occasion d’explorer et de lancer des efforts de développement plus larges, comme le montre ce projet dont les interventions ont transcendé les efforts de redressement entrepris. Cependant, l'inclusion d'un tel appui au développement sans une attention accordée à sa durabilité peut, après le projet, compromettre les gains réalisés. English version: Madagascar: Emergency Support to Critical Education, Health, and Nutrition Services Project and Additional Financing (PPAR)

Rwanda - Completion and Learning Review : IEG Review

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Croatia: Justice Sector Support Project (PPAR)

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Croatia has one of the highest per capita incomes ($15,870 in 2018) among World Bank borrowers. It has a small population (4.179 million in 2019) and a large tradable goods sector; imports and exports accounted for 48.8 and 51.1 percent, respectively, of the gross domestic product in 2017. In 2013, Croatia joined the European Union (EU) as the 28th member state. Since then, the country has reaped Show MoreCroatia has one of the highest per capita incomes ($15,870 in 2018) among World Bank borrowers. It has a small population (4.179 million in 2019) and a large tradable goods sector; imports and exports accounted for 48.8 and 51.1 percent, respectively, of the gross domestic product in 2017. In 2013, Croatia joined the European Union (EU) as the 28th member state. Since then, the country has reaped significant benefits from EU transfers. The World Bank Group provided substantial support to help Croatia align with EU policies and to strengthen the public sector’s capacity to administer and absorb EU funding. Compared with most peer countries in the EU, Croatia has weaker governance, a less business-friendly environment for investment and entrepreneurship, and relatively weak human capital indicators (World Bank 2018b).The project development objective (PDO) was to improve the efficiency of Croatia’s justice system. The project was restructured in 2013 and 2015, but the PDO remained unchanged. The rationale for the Justice Sector Support Project (JSSP) was that the efficiency of the justice system was hampered by the large existing case backlog in the court system, poor court infrastructure, poor enforcement of judgments, and in 2015, a weak personal bankruptcy framework. An additional factor, although part of the neither PDO nor of Croatia’s pre-accession requirements to the European Commission, was to address concerns expressed by the European Union (EU in their annual country reports. The EU stated that the Croatian justice sector had several deficiencies related to court performance that needed to be addressed once accession had occurred. Ratings for the Justice Sector Support Project are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Overall efficacy was substantial, Bank performance was moderately unsatisfactory, and Quality of monitoring and evaluation was modest. This assessment offers the following lessons: (i) At the design stage, a diagnostic assessment of the main contributors to court backlogs and consultations with major stakeholders could have informed project design to address other important constraints to achieving the PDO. (ii) When infrastructure works need to be ready for implementation at project start-up, it is important to verify that this is the case in advance. (iii) Delays in critical reviews during project implementation can compromise midterm corrections. (iv) When elections are in the near future, continuity risks can be attenuated by briefing key opposition politicians on the rationale for a project.

Addressing the ‘Infodemic’ to cope with the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic

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Coronavirus infodemia concept illustration. Sad Woman standing with mobile phone full of news and warnings about economy crisis and COVID 19 outbreak
In addition to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, governments and professionals responsible for monitoring the progress of policies and evaluating their impact face a phenomenon that has particularly intensified in this crisis: that of an infodemic — a flood of information, some accurate and some not. As governments and average citizens face difficult decisions in the trade-off between protecting Show MoreIn addition to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, governments and professionals responsible for monitoring the progress of policies and evaluating their impact face a phenomenon that has particularly intensified in this crisis: that of an infodemic — a flood of information, some accurate and some not. As governments and average citizens face difficult decisions in the trade-off between protecting public health while preserving the economy and livelihoods, this flood of information makes it hard to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they are needed the most. To help address this challenge, Clear Lusophone Africa and Brazil (LAB) officially launched the Monitor de Evidências Covid-19 (COVID-19 Evidence Monitor) during gLocal Evaluation Week 2020 that wrapped up earlier this month. Our aim is to provide our partners in government and the evaluation community, along with the various segments of society in the countries where we work, with a source of reliable information to support evidence-based decision making. Misinformation can lead to a great deal of harm, and many organizations, such as the UN, are now officially fighting it. On the brighter side, however, knowledge-production and information-sharing has skyrocketed. Technology giants have signed the Open COVID Pledge, making their intellectual property available free-of-charge under open license. Major scientific publications such as Elsevier and Springer have given free access to research related to the new coronavirus. Many relevant magazines and newspaper globally have also taken down their paywalls for their pandemic coverage - a decision that has often led to new subscribers. The  main role of the Monitor de Evidências Covid-19 is to help our audience navigate the infodemic associated with the new coronavirus crisis by curating  qualified, relevant, and evidence-based content from around the world about various topics, such as the economy, labor market, social policy, education, health, and early childhood, among others. The next step is to organize this data-gathering from multilateral bodies, governments, think tanks, and academic institutions into an online repository and make it available to our audience — public leaders, policy makers, academics, students, and so on, in Lusophone Africa and Brazil — through our social media channels and a brand new weekly newsletter, which is now available for subscriptions. For the next few months, the Monitor de Evidências Covid-19 will also add regular reviews of the evidence-based, curated content to the online repository. All communications products provided by the Monitor will be delivered in Portuguese, making it easier for our community to access quality knowledge and use it in their everyday work in the policy arena.  By focusing our efforts on filtering trustworthy sources and information, we expect to provide reliable guidance to professionals and the public at large seeking evidence to make decisions in these uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic and contribute to make them less susceptible to the toxic aspects of the infodemic phenomenon. This initiative is also part of the  commitments and efforts of the CLEAR global network to promote the planning and implementation of evidence-based public policies. It is an assertive way of strengthening systems and capacities for monitoring and evaluation, which will be a key element to produce the most effective and efficient responses to the new challenges posed by the current crisis.