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Topic:Fragile States, Conflict, & Violence
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Convening for Peace: Lessons from Evaluating the World Bank Group

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Convening for Peace: Lessons from Evaluating the World Bank Group
More and more, the World Bank Group is contributing to international collective action to realize Sustainable Development Goal 16 for just and peaceful societies. A recent evaluation assesses the Bank Group’s global engagements of the kind. It finds that the Bank Group is a sought-after global player. Aligning global convening efforts with in-country programs, and monitoring them systematically, Show MoreMore and more, the World Bank Group is contributing to international collective action to realize Sustainable Development Goal 16 for just and peaceful societies. A recent evaluation assesses the Bank Group’s global engagements of the kind. It finds that the Bank Group is a sought-after global player. Aligning global convening efforts with in-country programs, and monitoring them systematically, could further benefit the World Bank Group’s convening for peace. This week the World Bank will wrap up its Fragility Forum, a biennial event that brings together practitioners and policymakers from around the world to exchange knowledge about engaging in contexts affected by fragility, conflict and violence (FCV). The World Bank Group’s ability to bring together, or convene, actors on major global issues this way is an example of the convening power it holds. Alongside its capacity to mobilize financing and provide advisory and analytical services to address development challenges, the Bank Group’s role as a global convener is a cornerstone of its value proposition to clients and shareholders. How well does the Bank Group deploy its convening power? IEG recently explored this. We assessed how the World Bank Group convenes international partners to act collectively on global issues critical to its mission. This is a first-of-its-kind evaluation, that explores what global issues the Bank Group convenes on, what factors drive its convening choices, and what factors determine its convening effectiveness. We found that that the World Bank Group is increasingly engaging in efforts that relate to fragile contexts, driven by high demands from shareholders and donors to help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG 16) on peace. The Bank Group largely meets these demands, assuming the role of a responsive global convener. Aligning the World Bank Group’s global and country-level work Stakeholders typically request the Bank Group to work in tandem with other specialized international organizations, particularly the UN, when convening around FCV issues.  Our evaluation found that the Bank Group’s convenings on many such themes – including crisis response, forced displacement, and the humanitarian-development-peace nexus – are indeed based on strong collaborations with different development partners, including the UN. {"preview_thumbnail":"/sites/default/files/Data/styles/video_embed_wysiwyg_preview/public/video_thumbnails/us-rtIMc4Ro.jpg?itok=uRrLyqDT","video_url":"https://youtu.be/us-rtIMc4Ro","settings":{"responsive":0,"width":"854","height":"480","autoplay":0},"settings_summary":["Embedded Video (854x480)."]} A recent IEG evaluation finds that the World Bank Group has strong comparative advantages in catalyzing action on global agendas. Some of the Bank Group’s financial mechanisms to address FCV and forced displacement respond to demand from prominent stakeholders to help shape multilateral responses to these issues. Financial mechanisms such as the State and Peacebuilding Fund, the Global Concessional Financing Facility for middle-income countries, and IDA, including IDA’s Sub-Window for Refugees and Host Communities, help make the Bank a stronger convener on FCV issues. At the same time, our interviews and case studies identified weaker translation of these global agendas into country-level engagements. While at times this can be due to political sensitivities of operating in FCV contexts, our findings suggest that internally within the World Bank Group, the global work could benefit from more consistent reflection in country programs. This could help ensure better results on the ground. At times, the Bank Group’s country engagement model can be limiting when addressing challenges that cross national boundaries. World Bank projects predominantly implement country-focused solutions – improving coordination across the Bank’s country teams, and strengthening ownership of regional programs among partner governments, could benefit the global work.   Improving accountability for convening results The share of the World Bank’s operating budget going to global engagements is around 13 percent. Yet there is no clear system to track convening initiatives and results. Successful global convening should lead to outcomes such as shared understanding, or changes in positions and attitudes; shared solutions, or negotiated changes in standards, policies, and financing practices; and shared implementation, or setting up programs and partnerships to finance and coordinate given development challenges. In the absence of tracking systems, managerial attention to the convening portfolio risks being uneven and less systematic. Attention gets paid to some prominent initiatives and many of the formal partnership programs. However, there is less oversight of convening initiatives when they are managed below the corporate level, at the department or vice-presidential unit levels. This occurs because convening initiatives sometimes lack explicitly stated objectives, success cannot be measured easily, and managing units face relatively weak accountability for their performance. To improve the effectiveness of global convening, including on efforts to support Sustainable Development Goal 16, corporate processes and systems could better support managing convening initiatives over their life cycle. Many of the global and regional initiatives that the World Bank Group convenes in the space of fragility, conflict, and violence are relatively recent, and some have already passed their piloting phase. It is critical to have these initiatives periodically assessed to ensure better selectivity of global engagements and a focus on results. Learn more about the effectiveness of the World Bank Group’s global convening in The World’s Bank: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group’s Global Convening. The report seeks to inform discussions about the Bank Group’s role as a major actor on global development policy issues at a time when demand for collective response to crises is increasing but support for multilateralism from major powers is fragile. To read about the Bank Group’s convening on issues related to FCV, please see Appendix E of the evaluation and the World Bank Group’s FCV Strategy.   Image credit: Andrea Schmitz 

When Conflict and COVID Collide: Towards a Risk Analysis Framework

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When Conflict and COVID Collide: Towards a Risk Analysis Framework
As COVID reaches the world’s most fragile states, understanding how it is impacting conflict dynamics is critical. How do we best monitor these effects? As COVID reaches the world’s most fragile states, understanding how it is impacting conflict dynamics is critical. How do we best monitor these effects?

Bangladesh Country Program Evaluation (Approach Paper)

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The Country Program Evaluation (CPE) for Bangladesh aims to assess the development effectiveness of the World Bank Group’s engagement with Bangladesh during the last 10 years (fiscal year [FY]11–20). The CPE will review the extent to which the Bank Group contributed to Bangladesh’s development outcomes. In so doing, it will assess the extent to which Bank Group support was aligned with the Bank Show MoreThe Country Program Evaluation (CPE) for Bangladesh aims to assess the development effectiveness of the World Bank Group’s engagement with Bangladesh during the last 10 years (fiscal year [FY]11–20). The CPE will review the extent to which the Bank Group contributed to Bangladesh’s development outcomes. In so doing, it will assess the extent to which Bank Group support was aligned with the Bank Group’s corporate twin goals—ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity—and with International Development Association (IDA) priorities. It also will assess how that support adapted over the evaluation period to changing circumstances and priorities. It will cover two country engagement cycles as defined in the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for FY11–15 and the Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for FY16–21.

The International Finance Corporation’s and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency’s Support for Private Investment in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations (Approach Paper)

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In countries affected by fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV), the private sector can play a critical role in providing jobs and income. Inclusive and sustainable economic growth led by private investment can help heal grievances stemming from economic exclusion. Although the private sector in fragile environments and in conflict is often informal, constrained, and distorted and may involve Show MoreIn countries affected by fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV), the private sector can play a critical role in providing jobs and income. Inclusive and sustainable economic growth led by private investment can help heal grievances stemming from economic exclusion. Although the private sector in fragile environments and in conflict is often informal, constrained, and distorted and may involve entities that are parties to conflict, it is essential for providing livelihoods, income, and services to people. This evaluation seeks to inform the implementation of the Bank Group FCV strategy and IFC’s and MIGA’s commitments to scale up investments in FCS. As the Bank Group is launching its 2020–25 FCV strategy, this evaluation will inform its implementation. The report will help gauge the effectiveness of and develop lessons from efforts to enhance the range of IFC and MIGA initiatives to scale up and improve sustainable private investments in FCS under the Capital Increase Package and IFC’s and MIGA’s strategies.

Enhancing the Effectiveness of the World Bank’s Global Footprint (Approach Paper)

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The World Bank aims to adjust its global footprint by decentralizing more staff and functions to the field offices by the mid-2020s. It expects that expanding its presence in client countries would help strengthen its development impact in the field. The World Bank has a strong presence in the field resulting from continuous decentralization over the last two decades. Understanding the impact of Show MoreThe World Bank aims to adjust its global footprint by decentralizing more staff and functions to the field offices by the mid-2020s. It expects that expanding its presence in client countries would help strengthen its development impact in the field. The World Bank has a strong presence in the field resulting from continuous decentralization over the last two decades. Understanding the impact of past decentralization efforts is important to making informed decisions about further adjustments in the global footprint. This evaluation aims to provide evidence-based lessons on the effects of decentralization on the World Bank’s performance at the country level and contribute to better understanding of the benefits and downsides of decentralization. It will also develop a conceptual framework and metrics that will help management collect data and measure progress in expanding the World Bank’s global footprint.

World Bank Engagement in Situations of Conflict (Approach Paper)

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The World Bank Group has made a strong commitment to addressing the development challenges associated with fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV) as part of its corporate goals. It situates this challenge at the core of its poverty reduction focus, especially since extreme poverty is rising in fragile countries. By 2030, it is estimated that over 50 percent of the world’s extreme poor will live Show MoreThe World Bank Group has made a strong commitment to addressing the development challenges associated with fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV) as part of its corporate goals. It situates this challenge at the core of its poverty reduction focus, especially since extreme poverty is rising in fragile countries. By 2030, it is estimated that over 50 percent of the world’s extreme poor will live in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCSs). Achieving development outcomes in FCV countries is also critical for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The purpose of the evaluation is to examine the relationship among various modalities of World Bank engagement in situations of conflict and the achievement of development gains. The evaluation is designed to focus on how the World Bank is working differently in conflict-affected countries, why engagement decisions are made in different contexts, and what contributions the World Bank has made to development gains.

Upcoming Evaluation: World Bank Engagements in Situations of Conflict

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Syrian refugees are fleeing due to shelling in Latakia port city of Syria. Latakia, Syria, 15 February 2016.
This evaluation will assess the World Bank’s approach and support to countries in situations of conflict and provides evidence-based lessons to inform implementation of the World Bank Group Strategy for Fragility, Conflict, and Violence 2020–2025.This evaluation will assess the World Bank’s approach and support to countries in situations of conflict and provides evidence-based lessons to inform implementation of the World Bank Group Strategy for Fragility, Conflict, and Violence 2020–2025.

Next steps for the World Bank’s new strategy for fragility, conflict and violence: what does the evidence say?

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Next steps for the World Bank’s new strategy for fragility, conflict and violence: what does the evidence say?
Evidence from evaluation can ease the transition from theory to practice.Evidence from evaluation can ease the transition from theory to practice.

Conflicting Results: Measuring outcomes in situations of conflict

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Conflicting Results: Measuring Outcomes in Situations of Conflict
Understanding and measuring the difference between targeted results and overall achievements in fragile situations can be challenging.Understanding and measuring the difference between targeted results and overall achievements in fragile situations can be challenging.

Results and Performance of the World Bank Group 2020 (Concept Note)

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With the Results and Performance of the World Bank Group 2020 (RAP 2020), the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) is rethinking its approach to the annual review of World Bank Group development effectiveness. Similar to past years, the report will synthesize ratings and other evidence from IEG evaluations and validations to give an aggregated picture of the results and performance of the World Show MoreWith the Results and Performance of the World Bank Group 2020 (RAP 2020), the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) is rethinking its approach to the annual review of World Bank Group development effectiveness. Similar to past years, the report will synthesize ratings and other evidence from IEG evaluations and validations to give an aggregated picture of the results and performance of the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The scope of the report and the data sources used will be broader than in past years to deepen some of the analysis on drivers of performance and allow for the rethinking of statistical methods. The report will review the results, outcomes, and performance of the Bank Group at the level of projects, country programs, and corporate priorities and will also reflect on the systems used to measure outcomes. The RAP will not have a special theme. Its title will stay the same, except for the year, which will be updated to denote the calendar year in which the report is finalized. Hence, although the previous RAP was titled RAP 2018, the next one will be titled RAP 2020.