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Report/Evaluation Type:Country Focused Validations
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World Bank Group Engagement in Small States: The Cases of the OECS, Pacific Island Countries, Cabo Verde, Djibouti, Mauritius, and the Seychelles — Clustered Country Program Evaluation (Executive Summary)

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This report selectively discusses the World Bank Group’s strategic and operational approaches and development issues addressed in its engagement with small states over 2006–14. The report’s goal is to facilitate cross learning, and it focuses on the engagement aspects of particular interest for small states, which are countries with a population of less than 1.5 million. Small states differ Show MoreThis report selectively discusses the World Bank Group’s strategic and operational approaches and development issues addressed in its engagement with small states over 2006–14. The report’s goal is to facilitate cross learning, and it focuses on the engagement aspects of particular interest for small states, which are countries with a population of less than 1.5 million. Small states differ widely, but share several challenges, including limited institutional capacity, acute vulnerability to economic and natural shocks, and an inability to exploit economies of scale. Consequently, many small states benefited from growing International Development Association (IDA) access, despite exceeding the cutoff.

Cluster Country Program Evaluation: Seychelles Country Case Study (FY07–15), Enhancing Competitiveness and Private Sector Development

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Between 1976 and the mid-2000s, Seychelles had transformed itself from a poor subsistence economy into a high middle income country with low levels of poverty and many social indicators comparable to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. However, this growth could not be sustained and faced with a growing international financial crisis, severe shortages of Show MoreBetween 1976 and the mid-2000s, Seychelles had transformed itself from a poor subsistence economy into a high middle income country with low levels of poverty and many social indicators comparable to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. However, this growth could not be sustained and faced with a growing international financial crisis, severe shortages of foreign exchange resulted in the government defaulting in its international payment obligations in 2008. Starting that year, the government began implementing a radical program of macroeconomic stabilization and structural reforms. The centerpiece of these reforms was a strong fiscal adjustment to reduce the burden of external debt and a progressive dismantling of the role of the state in allocating resources. These reforms were supported by the Standby and Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangements of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and by the Bank through a series of development policy loans (DPLs). Seychelles also benefited from debt relief provided by other official and private international creditors. As a result of the reforms, macroeconomic imbalances were corrected, the role of markets was enhanced, and economic growth restored. However, some important measures such as privatization or SOE reforms (to improve their governance) were stalled or progressing at a very slow pace and there are increasing pressures to reverse some key reforms (such as reducing the size of government).

Cluster Country Program Evaluation: Mauritius Country Case Study (FY07–15), Enhancing Competitiveness and Private Sector Development

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After nearly two decades of strong economic growth, in 2005 the economy was in difficulties. The loss of trade preferences in textiles in 2005, the anticipation of prospective reform to the European Union’s sugar protocol for 2006–10, and higher international oil prices had contributed to a slow-down in growth, rising unemployment and widening fiscal and current account deficits. A new government Show MoreAfter nearly two decades of strong economic growth, in 2005 the economy was in difficulties. The loss of trade preferences in textiles in 2005, the anticipation of prospective reform to the European Union’s sugar protocol for 2006–10, and higher international oil prices had contributed to a slow-down in growth, rising unemployment and widening fiscal and current account deficits. A new government was elected in 2005 which implemented a series of bold economic reforms (such as the elimination of the export processing zone (EPZ) regime, a progressive liberalization of the foreign trade and investment regime and simplification of labor laws) to redress the macro-economic imbalances and enhance competitiveness to facilitate efficient restructuring of the economy. This was achieved in large measure. Good policies also allowed the government to deal effectively with the global financial crisis of 2008. Following elections in 2010, a new (and fragile) coalition government was elected which emphasized fiscal stimulus and the pace of reforms slowed. Following a period of political instability, a new government was elected in 2014 with an overwhelming majority. However, as fiscal pressures mount, a sense of policy drift continues, threatening the gains achieved in recent years.

World Bank Group Engagement in Resource-Rich Developing Countries: The Cases of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Zambia

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There is strong learning potential in looking across a group of countries that have one common characteristic. IEG has looked at four countries that have rich endowment with and dependence on non-renewable natural resources: the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Zambia. These countries are otherwise fairly heterogeneous in terms of geographic location, income levels, and Show MoreThere is strong learning potential in looking across a group of countries that have one common characteristic. IEG has looked at four countries that have rich endowment with and dependence on non-renewable natural resources: the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Zambia. These countries are otherwise fairly heterogeneous in terms of geographic location, income levels, and depth of dialogue with the World Bank Group.

Tunisia Country Program Evaluation, FY05–13

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From FY05 to FY13, the World Bank Group program in Tunisia aimed to support government in: (i) strengthening the business environment, improving competitiveness, and increasing the global integration of the Tunisian economy; (ii) improving skills and employability of its citizens; (iii)promoting social and economic inclusion; and, particularly since 2011, (iv) improving voice, transparency, and Show MoreFrom FY05 to FY13, the World Bank Group program in Tunisia aimed to support government in: (i) strengthening the business environment, improving competitiveness, and increasing the global integration of the Tunisian economy; (ii) improving skills and employability of its citizens; (iii)promoting social and economic inclusion; and, particularly since 2011, (iv) improving voice, transparency, and accountability. Between FY05 and FY10, the program was mostly Bank-driven. Since 2011, the International Finance Corporation has taken a more active role in Tunisia, complementing Bank efforts. 

Afghanistan Country Program Evaluation, 2002-11

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Despite extremely difficult security conditions, which deteriorated markedly after 2006, the World Bank Group has commendably established and sustained a large program of support to the country. Despite extremely difficult security conditions, which deteriorated markedly after 2006, the World Bank Group has commendably established and sustained a large program of support to the country.