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Paraguay CLR Review FY15-18

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Paraguay - Completion and Learning Review for the Period FY15-FY18 : IEG Review (English) Paraguay is an upper middle-income country with a population of 6.8 million (2017) and a GNI per capita (Atlas method) of USD 3,920 in 2017.The population is very young (60 percent under thirty years old) and the country is going through a rapid urbanization process from a low base. The country has over Show MoreParaguay - Completion and Learning Review for the Period FY15-FY18 : IEG Review (English) Paraguay is an upper middle-income country with a population of 6.8 million (2017) and a GNI per capita (Atlas method) of USD 3,920 in 2017.The population is very young (60 percent under thirty years old) and the country is going through a rapid urbanization process from a low base. The country has over the last 15 years achieved solid economic growth (average GDP growth of 4.7 percent per annum) and improved shared prosperity, spurred by abundant natural resources. The CPS for the World Bank Group (WBG) had three pillars (or focus areas): (i) resilience to risks and volatility; (ii) pro-poor delivery of public goods and services; and (iii) agricultural productivity and market integration. The Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) focus areas and objectives were broadly aligned with the government's National Development Plan (NDP) 2014-2030 and supported the NDP's higher level objective to reduce extreme poverty and foster income growth of the bottom 40 percent. The WBG's program components were well aligned with the NDP and addressed important development issues. The program was selective with three focus areas and eight objectives (some of which, however, contained multiple sub-objectives). The Bank demonstrated flexibility by shifting to knowledge services when the demand for IBRD lending dropped in the run-up to the election. However, the results framework had significant shortcomings which were not fully addressed at the PLR stage. The Completion and Learning Review (CLR) highlighted six lessons with which IEG concurs: (i) simplicity in project design helps speed up project implementation; (ii) investment projects may help to build governance and capacity; (iii) a realistic results framework is needed for timely achievement of objectives; (iv) a strong ASA program requires selectivity and government ownership; (v) RASs may help prioritize ASA demand and advance reforms during Paraguay's long project preparation cycles; and (vi) the flexibility afforded by programmatic ASA helps respond to changes in client needs.

Macedonia, former Yugoslav Republic of: Regional and Local Roads Program Support Project (PPAR)

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This PPAR assesses the development effectiveness of the Regional and Local Roads Program Support project in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYR Macedonia), which was approved in 2008. The original development objective of the project, “to reduce cost of access to markets and services for communities served by regional and local roads,” was revised through a level I restructuring in Show MoreThis PPAR assesses the development effectiveness of the Regional and Local Roads Program Support project in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYR Macedonia), which was approved in 2008. The original development objective of the project, “to reduce cost of access to markets and services for communities served by regional and local roads,” was revised through a level I restructuring in 2013 “to reduce the cost of safe access to markets and services for communities served by regional and local roads in FYR Macedonia’s territory, and to improve institutional capacity for investment planning and road safety.” The revised objective thus introduced the element of road safety to access, as well as institutional capacity for investment planning and road safety. Ratings for the Regional and Local Roads Program Support Project are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was satisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Objective criteria developed and applied in a participatory manner can support a transparent framework to allocate investments and maintenance funds in the roads sector. (ii) The decentralization of responsibilities to local governments needs to be accompanied by the availability of commensurate resources and capacity building. (iii) Road safety and road design elements need to be jointly integrated into the project design and monitoring framework to mitigate risks to the effectiveness of road projects. (iv) Road project appraisal requires sufficient time and technical due diligence to ensure effective and timely project implementation.

The Philippines Country Program Evaluation (Approach Paper)

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This Country Program Evaluation (CPE) aims to assess the development effectiveness of the World Bank Group (WBG) program in the Philippines between FY10‐18. It will assess the WBG’s contributions to the country’s development in each of the WBG group priority areas of engagement as defined in the 2010‐2012 Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) and the 2014‐2019 Country Partnership Strategy (CPS). At Show MoreThis Country Program Evaluation (CPE) aims to assess the development effectiveness of the World Bank Group (WBG) program in the Philippines between FY10‐18. It will assess the WBG’s contributions to the country’s development in each of the WBG group priority areas of engagement as defined in the 2010‐2012 Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) and the 2014‐2019 Country Partnership Strategy (CPS). At the same time, it will look into the extent to which the WBG took advantage of potential synergies between the financial, knowledge and convening services that the WBG institutions offered across its various engagement areas, as well as the factors that could have limited or constrained the scale of the WBG engagement in the country.

Rwanda: Fourth Poverty Reduction Strategy Grant, Fifth Poverty Reduction Support Grant, Sixth Poverty Reduction Support Grant, and Seventh Poverty Reduction Support Financing

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This Project Performance Assessment Report evaluates a programmatic series of four development policy financing (DPF) operations approved for Rwanda over 2008–11. The series consisted of four single-tranche operations: the fourth, fifth, and sixth Poverty Reduction Support Grants (PRSGs), approved in March 2008, 2009, and 2010, respectively, and a seventh Poverty Reduction Support Financing Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report evaluates a programmatic series of four development policy financing (DPF) operations approved for Rwanda over 2008–11. The series consisted of four single-tranche operations: the fourth, fifth, and sixth Poverty Reduction Support Grants (PRSGs), approved in March 2008, 2009, and 2010, respectively, and a seventh Poverty Reduction Support Financing operation (PRSF-7, a combination of grant and credit financing) approved in February 2011. The purpose of the PPAR is to examine the extent to which the series achieved its relevant program development objectives and how well the associated outcomes have been sustained since the series’ closure. In addition to its accountability and lesson learning functions, the PPAR provided inputs to the Independent Evaluation Group’s (IEG) fiscal years (FY) 09–17 Country Program Evaluation for Rwanda. Ratings for this project are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was moderate, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately satisfactory. Key lessons from the experience of PRSF 4-7 include: (i) Programmatic DPF can be an effective form of support for a well-defined, country-owned reform program. (ii) It is difficult to be definitive about the efficacy of a DPF series unless the results framework is tight-knit, the reforms supported have the requisite depth, and there is a strong and direct causal link between these reforms and the outcomes sought. (iii) A commitment to providing regular, predictable financing in the form of (multisector) general budget support operations implies that the World Bank needs to be prepared to accommodate dilution or deferral of reform content relative to what is foreseen at the outset. (iv) The World Bank can face a hard choice between adhering to a CPAF in a multisector budget support series and fulfilling the good-practice prescriptions in its operational policy for DPF. (v) Successful deployment of an integrated financial management information system can be facilitated by high-level commitment and performance monitoring, sustained external support, and system ownership.

Seychelles CLR Review FY12-16

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The World Bank Group's (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Seychelles covers the period, FY12-FY15. The CPS was extended by one year to FY16 at the Country Partnership Strategy Progress Report (CPSPR) in FY15. This Review covers both the CPS and CPSPR period, FY12-16.WBG's support for Seychelles was in line with the country's draft Seychelles Medium-Term National Development Strategy Show MoreThe World Bank Group's (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Seychelles covers the period, FY12-FY15. The CPS was extended by one year to FY16 at the Country Partnership Strategy Progress Report (CPSPR) in FY15. This Review covers both the CPS and CPSPR period, FY12-16.WBG's support for Seychelles was in line with the country's draft Seychelles Medium-Term National Development Strategy 2013–17 (MTNDS), later approved in 2015, which presented the vision and goals for the country. The core aim of the MTNDS was to reduce Seychelles' vulnerability and to provide the basis for long term sustainable development. Specifically, the objective of the MTNDS was to reduce vulnerability, increase resilience, and provide the basis fora sustainable development. The WBG supported the government in reducing vulnerability and building long-term sustainability with a program centered on two pillars: (i) increasing competitiveness and employment and (ii) reducing vulnerability and enhancing resilience, and one cross-cutting foundation, governance and public-sector capacity. The CPS built on the previous Interim Strategy and aimed to deepen and broaden structural reforms via programmatic support using Development Policy Lending (DPL) operations, complemented with Analytical and Advisory Services (ASA), including technical assistance and reimbursable advisory services (RAS).The IEG concurs with key lessons in the CLR: (i) development policy operations can be mobilized quickly and achieve strong results when complemented by sound analysis and technical assistance but it requires commitment and ownership, (ii) deeper understanding and assessment of political economy would help explain the successes and failures of specific reform efforts and identify factors that might otherwise be missed, and (iii) well-designed and updated results framework prove useful for Bank and Government monitoring of program implementation and results.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.