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How to establish a nationwide social protection program: Five lessons from the Philippines

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How to establish a nationwide social protection program: Five lessons from the Philippines
This brief captures the lessons from evaluating a World Bank project implemented in the Philippines—the Social Welfare and Development Reform Project (SWDRP).This brief captures the lessons from evaluating a World Bank project implemented in the Philippines—the Social Welfare and Development Reform Project (SWDRP).

Measuring up: When “what works” doesn’t

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Measuring Up: When “What Works” Doesn’t
What an essay about closing the achievement gap in US public schools tells us about “what works” in international developmentWhat an essay about closing the achievement gap in US public schools tells us about “what works” in international development

IEG Work Program and Budget (FY20) and Indicative Plan (FY21-22)

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To maximize its relevance and value added for the World Bank Group (WBG), IEG will align its work program with WBG strategic priorities. IEG also aims to maintain a clear line of sight with the WBG mission and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as with commitments made in the IBRD and IFC Capital Packages and in the context of IDA replenishments. Furthermore, IEG will keep an Show MoreTo maximize its relevance and value added for the World Bank Group (WBG), IEG will align its work program with WBG strategic priorities. IEG also aims to maintain a clear line of sight with the WBG mission and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as with commitments made in the IBRD and IFC Capital Packages and in the context of IDA replenishments. Furthermore, IEG will keep an increased focus on outcomes, countries, clients, and beneficiaries in its work, and aim to foster a greater outcome orientation throughout the WBG. To achieve this strategic vision, IEG will focus its work program on the key development effectiveness questions that the institution and its clients are most concerned about. For each of these questions, we will strive to answer “why”, “how, “where”, “when”, and “for whom” specific interventions or programs have achieved results or not. By working more closely with operational units and other evaluation initiatives across the WBG, we will seek to significantly enhance IEG’s value added for the Board and WBG management. The work program will be anchored around a series of “streams”, building evidence over time on connected themes and trying to bridge between project, country, sector and strategic impact: Fragility, Conflict and Violence (FCV), Gender, Maximizing Finance for Development, Human Capital, Climate Change, Growth and Transformation. In addition, IEG will work along an ‘effectiveness’ cross-cutting stream, aimed at examining systemic issues in WBG effectiveness, as well as working towards building a stronger outcome focus for WBG operations and strategies.

Mobilizing Disruptive and Transformative Technologies for Development An Assessment of the World Bank Group’s Readiness (Approach Paper)

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The world is experiencing a technological revolution with far reaching implications for developing and developed countries. Technological disruption is not new, but the speed at which new technologies are emerging is unprecedented, and so is their diffusion across the global economy. Disruptive technologies can transform development – in both positive and negative ways – and result in new Show MoreThe world is experiencing a technological revolution with far reaching implications for developing and developed countries. Technological disruption is not new, but the speed at which new technologies are emerging is unprecedented, and so is their diffusion across the global economy. Disruptive technologies can transform development – in both positive and negative ways – and result in new paradigms for poverty reduction and boosting shared prosperity. Recognizing these positive and negative implications, and with a sense of urgency to position itself to help client countries mobilize disruptive technologies for their development, the Bank Group has adopted a new approach. This evaluation has a two‐fold purpose: first, to assess the Bank Group’s readiness in helping clients harness the opportunities and mitigate the risks posed by disruptive technologies; and second, to inform the implementation of the Bank Group’s new approach to disruptive technologies and its efforts to become a partner of choice in mobilizing disruptive technologies.

Vietnam: Education Projects - School Readiness and Escuela Nueva

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The government and people of Vietnam place a high value on education. The government’s Socio-Economic Development Strategy 2010–20 and the Socio-Economic Development Plan 2016–20 emphasize the importance of investment in human capital to develop people’s skills in support of a knowledge-based economy. This assessment covers two projects: Vietnam School Readiness and Promotion Project, and the Show MoreThe government and people of Vietnam place a high value on education. The government’s Socio-Economic Development Strategy 2010–20 and the Socio-Economic Development Plan 2016–20 emphasize the importance of investment in human capital to develop people’s skills in support of a knowledge-based economy. This assessment covers two projects: Vietnam School Readiness and Promotion Project, and the Global Partnership for Education-Vietnam Escuela Nueva Project. Objectives for these projects are: (i) to raise school readiness for five-year old children, in particular for those most vulnerable to not succeeding in a school environment, through supporting selected elements of Vietnam’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program, and (ii) to introduce and use new teaching and learning practices in the classroom targeting the most disadvantaged groups of primary students. Ratings for the Vietnam School Readiness and Promotion Project are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Bank performance was satisfactory, Quality of M&E was substantial, and Risk to development outcome was low. Ratings for the Global Partnership for Education – Vietnam Escuela Nueva Project are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was modest, Bank performance was satisfactory, and Borrower performance was satisfactory. IEG identified the following lessons from its evaluation of the two operations: (i) In addition to lending, the World Bank can add value through the transmission of knowledge from experiences and lessons that help shape reforms. (ii) When significant pedagogical changes are required of teachers, incentives, support, and long-term commitment are needed (probably more than education systems realize). (iii) When scaling up or adopting a systemwide approach, it is important to understand and design this approach in accordance with the decentralized context and challenges faced at the various levels of administration. (iv) Targeting disadvantaged areas does not translate into targeted efforts for specific vulnerable groups. (v) When scaling up, the importance of consultation and communication cannot be underestimated.

North Macedonia CLR Review FY15-18

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The Republic of North Macedonia (North Macedonia) is an upper middle-income country which is small and land-locked. The World Bank Group's (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) had two pillars (or focus areas): (i) growth and competitiveness, and (ii) skills and inclusion. The CPS was broadly aligned with the government's 2014-2018 program, which sought increased growth and employment, Show MoreThe Republic of North Macedonia (North Macedonia) is an upper middle-income country which is small and land-locked. The World Bank Group's (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) had two pillars (or focus areas): (i) growth and competitiveness, and (ii) skills and inclusion. The CPS was broadly aligned with the government's 2014-2018 program, which sought increased growth and employment, international integration, reduced corruption and more efficient law enforcement, better inter-ethnic relations, and investments in education, innovation and technology. Specifically, the CPS supported the growth and employment, infrastructure, social protection, and education pillars of the Government's program and the government's efforts to stabilize public debt. The European Union (EU) accession agenda was a cross-cutting theme in the CPS. At the PLR stage, the CPS maintained its overall focus, albeit with some changes in emphasis, and was aligned with the new Government program (2017-20) that focused on growth, jobs, and social protection, among other areas.

Albania: Secondary and Local Roads Project (PPAR)

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the development effectiveness of the Secondary and Local Roads Project in Albania approved in 2008. The project development objective was to improve access to essential services and economic markets via the provision of all-weather roads for the resident population in the rural areas of Albania. This would be achieved through Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the development effectiveness of the Secondary and Local Roads Project in Albania approved in 2008. The project development objective was to improve access to essential services and economic markets via the provision of all-weather roads for the resident population in the rural areas of Albania. This would be achieved through reconstructing selected secondary and local roads; building the competencies of the implementation agency Albanian Development Fund (ADF); building an asset management system for the secondary and local road networks; and improving capacity in the local community for maintenance. Ratings for the Secondary and Local Roads Project are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome as moderate, Bank performance was satisfactory, and Borrower performance was satisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Implementing a successful multidonor programmatic approach to sector development requires the combination of government commitment with credible planning and common rules of engagement. (ii) Concentrating competencies within one agency may frustrate future decentralization of responsibilities. (iii) In the absence of need-based and credible linkages to resource allocation, a road asset management system may not get sufficient traction.

The Future of Higher Education: Four Critical Questions for Policymakers in Developing Countries

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The Future of Higher Education
The rapid increase in demand for higher education raises important questions for developing countries and other stakeholders engaged in the higher education sector.The rapid increase in demand for higher education raises important questions for developing countries and other stakeholders engaged in the higher education sector.

Bulgaria: Social Inclusion Project (PPAR)

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Bulgaria is a middle-income country that joined the European Union (EU) in 2007. After setbacks in social well-being and economic growth precipitated by the 2008 global economic crisis, Bulgaria has recently made progress in improving economic performance and reducing poverty. However, it faces the formidable challenge of addressing persistent pockets of poverty and social exclusion. Poverty in Show MoreBulgaria is a middle-income country that joined the European Union (EU) in 2007. After setbacks in social well-being and economic growth precipitated by the 2008 global economic crisis, Bulgaria has recently made progress in improving economic performance and reducing poverty. However, it faces the formidable challenge of addressing persistent pockets of poverty and social exclusion. Poverty in Bulgaria is linked with low levels of education, high unemployment, rural residence, belonging to an ethnic minority, female gender, and old age. Social exclusion is both a cause of poverty and a consequence. Fighting poverty and social exclusion is a priority of Bulgaria, and education a key component of its national policies. The objective of the Social Inclusion Project (SIP) is “to promote social inclusion through increasing the school readiness of children below the age of seven, targeting low income and marginalized families, including children with a disability and other special needs” (World Bank 2008a). The objective did not change during the life of the project. Ratings for the Social Inclusion Project are as follows: Outcome is moderately satisfactory, risk to development outcome is moderate, Bank and Borrower performance are both moderately satisfactory. The following lessons, offered to this end, are relevant to both the World Bank and the government: (i) Official databases are important, but may need to be complemented with mapping of target communities and households and their needs, priorities, motivations, and dynamics, undertaken by those with intimate knowledge of the community and with community development expertise. (ii) Mobile services and mediators face challenges in reaching target populations, especially when mediators are few relative to their target populations and have heavy workloads, and they do not always share the language, culture, and living conditions of those populations. (iii) Low appreciation of evidence for learning, program refinement, and policymaking can undermine the effectiveness of programs and policies, especially where piloting is intended. The development of M&E capacities could provide MLSP with a critical management tool for ensuring continuous learning and accountability for ECD results and increase its potential for resource mobilization and future replication. (iii) Experience under the SIP reveals the scope and opportunity to clarify roles and responsibilities to optimize comparative advantages and synergies of the many actors involved both horizontally (across partners at each level of the system) and vertically (up and down the various levels of decentralized government). (iv) Investments in ECD and social inclusion activities targeted to low-income and marginalized children ages 0–7 years and their parents are necessary, but they are insufficient to ensure the children’s success and inclusion in primary school and beyond.

Gambia CLR Review FY13-16

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This review of the World Bank Group's (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the Second Joint Partnership Strategy (JPS-2), FY13-FY16, for the Gambia. The JPS-2 was a joint strategy of the WBG and the African Development Bank (AfDB).The Gambia is a small, fragile and landlocked country with a GNI per capita income of USD 430 in 2016.The JPS-2 had eight objectives organized around two Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group's (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the Second Joint Partnership Strategy (JPS-2), FY13-FY16, for the Gambia. The JPS-2 was a joint strategy of the WBG and the African Development Bank (AfDB).The Gambia is a small, fragile and landlocked country with a GNI per capita income of USD 430 in 2016.The JPS-2 had eight objectives organized around two pillars or focus areas: (i) enhancing productive capacity and competitiveness; (ii) strengthening the institutional capacity for economic governance and public service delivery. The JPS-2 was aligned with the government's medium term development plan as articulated in its Program for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE) 2012-2016 and the government's long-term plan contained in Vision 2020.The JPS-2 focus areas and objectives were aligned with government's Medium Term Development Plan (PAGE), and its long-term strategy, Vision 2020. The joint strategy and clear division of labor with AfDB provided the foundation for WBG's selectivity. The WBG's program was generally selective in terms of focus areas, objectives and interventions. IEG concurs with some of the key lessons which are summarized as follows: (i) strong donor collaboration is critical but could also have high transactions costs; (ii) country capacity is an important consideration in data collection and quality, and in developing a results framework; and (iii) formal mid-course corrections through the PLR process is even more important in a difficult country circumstances. IEG adds the following lessons: i) Small and fragile countries could benefit from participation in regional integration operations by leveraging limited IDA financing and maximizing development impact. In the case of the Gambia, its participation in regional operations brought benefits to the country in terms of improved technology adoption in agriculture and increased connectivity. ii) To the extent possible, it is important that WBG interventions are aligned to the CPS objectives and their contributions reflected in the results framework. In the case of the Gambia, there were IFC interventions in several areas that were not reflected in the results framework.