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Report/Evaluation Type:Country Focused Validations
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Pacific Island Countries CLR Review FY11-17

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This is a summary of six CLR reviews covering the World Bank Group (WBG) programs for the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) of Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu. The summary is based on IEG’s individual country assessments of the completion and learning reviews prepared for each country. During the period under review, each country prepared a stand-alone Country Show MoreThis is a summary of six CLR reviews covering the World Bank Group (WBG) programs for the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) of Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu. The summary is based on IEG’s individual country assessments of the completion and learning reviews prepared for each country. During the period under review, each country prepared a stand-alone Country Assistance/Partnership Strategy (CAS/CPS), in contrast to previous engagements that were done under an umbrella regional strategy for the Pacific Islands. Except for Tuvalu’s country program, all CPSs were joint programs between the Bank and IFC. The assessments are based on the original CPSs, since no Performance and Learning Reviews (PLRs) were undertaken for any of the countries. These countries have populations ranging from 10,000 (Tuvalu) to over 200,000 (Samoa)— Tuvalu is the smallest WBG member country. They are among the most remote and geographically dispersed countries in the world, and range from low middle income (Kiribati, US$3,390 GNI per capita in current dollars) to upper middle income (Tuvalu, US$6,120 GNI per capita in current dollars). Some of them joined the WBG as recently as 2010 (Tuvalu). The high cost of operating in these small, remote countries, and limited resources from IDA, constrained the World Bank Group to engage with them at the regional level or through multi-country platforms until 2008, when the governments of Australia and New Zealand decided to enter into funding partnerships with the WBG. These partnerships—combined with significant increases in IDA disaster risk management and climate change—gave the WBG the capacity to operate at scale in the Pacific Island Countries. For most of the countries—except Samoa and Tonga—this program was the first direct engagement with the WBG. All programs were financed by IDA and trust-funds, and some of the countries (Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Tuvalu) had to be granted an exception for small islands to qualify for IDA funds in light of their high per capita income.

World Bank Group Engagement in Small States

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country program evaluation, world bank group engagement in small states
The Cases of the OECS, Pacific Island Countries, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Cabo Verde, and Djibouti - Clustered Country Program EvaluationThe Cases of the OECS, Pacific Island Countries, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Cabo Verde, and Djibouti - Clustered Country Program Evaluation

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. 

Review of the 2010-2014 Pakistan Country Partnership Strategy Completion Report (CPSCR) and the CPS Progress Report (CPSPR)

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This review examines the implementation of the FY10-FY13 Pakistan Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) and of the FY2012-FY2014 CPS Progress Report (CPSPR). The CPS was jointly implemented by IBRD, IDA, and IFC and covers the joint program of the three institutions. The CPS aimed to improve economic growth, conflict management, and social indicators with interventions organized under four pillars Show MoreThis review examines the implementation of the FY10-FY13 Pakistan Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) and of the FY2012-FY2014 CPS Progress Report (CPSPR). The CPS was jointly implemented by IBRD, IDA, and IFC and covers the joint program of the three institutions. The CPS aimed to improve economic growth, conflict management, and social indicators with interventions organized under four pillars in the results matrix: (i) improving economic governance; (ii) improving human development and social protection; (iii) improving infrastructure to support growth; and (iv) improving security and reducing the risk of conflict. While the CPSPR maintained the same four pillars, it revisited a number of milestones and CPS outcomes, in response to changes in progress in the different areas, as well as to new situations that had emerged by the time of the CPS Progress Report. These new circumstances included the July 2010 and August 2011 floods, slower reforms and security issues, the issuance of the 2011 Framework for Economic Growth, and the 2010 18th Constitutional Amendment that devolved most government services and a share of revenues to the Provinces. The CPS identified three specific top-priority or "transformational" activities, (i) assisting the government to raise the ratio of tax revenue to GDP through strengthened tax policy and administration; (ii) supporting power sector reform so as to ensure a sustainable expansion of power supply; and (iii) addressing security issues related both to coping with the consequences of conflict, and reducing the risk of future conflict. IEG rates the outcome of WBG support as moderately unsatisfactory, consistent with the CPSCR rating. IEG rated two of the four pillars as moderately unsatisfactory, one as unsatisfactory and one as moderately satisfactory. IEG rated Pillar I on improving economic governance as unsatisfactory, with three outcomes partially achieved, and two not achieved; Pillar II on improving human development and social protection as moderately satisfactory, with one outcome achieved, one mostly achieved, and two partially achieved; Pillar III on improving infrastructure as moderately unsatisfactory, with one outcome mostly achieved, three outcomes partially achieved and one not achieved; and Pillar IV as moderately unsatisfactory, with two partially achieved outcomes. Outcomes achieved or mostly achieved were in the areas of safety nets; rural livelihoods; and urban services. Outcomes partially achieved related to public expenditure; public sector management; governance of markets; access to education, health, nutrition and population services; transport and logistics; irrigation and agriculture; environmental sustainability; employment and livelihood opportunities in conflict affected areas, and responsiveness and effectiveness of the state in conflict areas. Other outcomes were not achieved. Of the several CPSCR lessons, this assessment highlights three: (i) the contribution of donor coordination to unifying messages on long-term issues (e.g., energy); (ii) the increased focus of sectors and instruments on CPS goals that can be achieved under a simpler results framework that is more actively monitored and used for program adjustments; and (iii) the pay-off that persistent engagement on key activities, even during difficult times, can have on results. To these, this assessment adds that the Bank is likely to improve results if it analyzes more systematically political economy considerations to improve the likelihood of a more implementable program of assistance.

Tunisia Country Program Evaluation, FY05–13 (Volume I: Main Report)

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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 (IFC) has taken a more active role in Tunisia, complementing Bank efforts.

Tunisia Country Program Evaluation FY2005-13 Volume II: Appendixes

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Appendixes for the Tunisia Country Program Evaluation FY 2005-13.Appendixes for the Tunisia Country Program Evaluation FY 2005-13.