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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.

The Future of Higher Education in the Global Economy

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The Future of Higher Education in the Global Economy
Watch the re-play of a panel discussion about how to support higher education systems in meeting the demands of today's complex global economy.Watch the re-play of a panel discussion about how to support higher education systems in meeting the demands of today's complex global economy.

Creating Markets for Sustainable Growth and Development: An Evaluation of World Bank Group Support to Client Countries FY 07-17 (Approach Paper)

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The international development community is increasingly turning to the private sector in its pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Involving the private sector as a financier, operator or service provider in SDG relevant areas requires creating markets, i.e., putting in place an enabling business environment, overcoming a range of markets constraints, and/or enhancing competition Show MoreThe international development community is increasingly turning to the private sector in its pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Involving the private sector as a financier, operator or service provider in SDG relevant areas requires creating markets, i.e., putting in place an enabling business environment, overcoming a range of markets constraints, and/or enhancing competition through regulatory reform, pioneering investments or innovation. All these creating markets components imply certain roles for the private sector, the government and regulatory authorities. Since the 2002 World Bank Group (WBG) Private Sector Development Strategy creating markets has been a well-established part of the WBG-wide development agenda. The objective of this evaluation is to distill lessons from the Bank Group’s experience in creating markets to leverage the private sector for sustainable development and growth. Such lessons are intended to inform future program development and the upcoming implementation of the Creating market / Cascade approach. In this regard, the evaluation will obtain evidence-based findings, develop broadly-applicable lessons across the Bank Group, and propose appropriate recommendations.

Want to End Rural Poverty? Look Beyond the Farm

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To End Rural Poverty Look Beyond the Farm
There is increasing recognition that non-farm activities – activities that do not constitute primary agricultural production – are critical sources of additional income for the poor. In a recent IEG evaluation, we assessed the extent to which the World Bank Group has supported activities in the rural non-farm economy over the last ten years.There is increasing recognition that non-farm activities – activities that do not constitute primary agricultural production – are critical sources of additional income for the poor. In a recent IEG evaluation, we assessed the extent to which the World Bank Group has supported activities in the rural non-farm economy over the last ten years.