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Report/Evaluation Type:Country-Focused Evaluations
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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

Cluster Country Program Evaluation on Small States: Regional Program Evaluation of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Volume II)

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AppendixesAppendixes

Cluster Country Program Evaluation on Small States: Pacific Island Countries Program Evaluation (FY05–15 - Volume 1)

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This evaluation assesses the Bank Group’s relevance and effectiveness in the PICs as satisfactory. The World Bank made effective use of budgetary, IDA, and trust fund resources to support significant transformational changes in the region, and had a key role in persuading Australia and New Zealand to adopt temporary migration programs that yielded major benefits to participating countries. In Show MoreThis evaluation assesses the Bank Group’s relevance and effectiveness in the PICs as satisfactory. The World Bank made effective use of budgetary, IDA, and trust fund resources to support significant transformational changes in the region, and had a key role in persuading Australia and New Zealand to adopt temporary migration programs that yielded major benefits to participating countries. In addition, the World Bank persuaded a number of PICs governments to scale back their departments for infrastructure maintenance and to outsource this maintenance to the private sector. It also increased awareness of the need to build climate resilience into infrastructure design and enabled major improvements in communications through enhanced connectivity. Looking forward, the evaluation emphasizes collaboration between the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation to more effectively support private sector development; increasing the focus on education’s role in providing the skills needed for developing tourism, agriculture, and fisheries; and providing better preparation for temporary and permanent migrants.

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.

Cluster Country Program Evaluation on Small States: Pacific Island Countries Program Evaluation (FY05–15 - Volume 2)

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This is the appendix to the evaluation that assesses the Bank Group’s relevance and effectiveness in the PICs as satisfactory. The World Bank made effective use of budgetary, IDA, and trust fund resources to support significant transformational changes in the region, and had a key role in persuading Australia and New Zealand to adopt temporary migration programs that yielded major benefits to Show MoreThis is the appendix to the evaluation that assesses the Bank Group’s relevance and effectiveness in the PICs as satisfactory. The World Bank made effective use of budgetary, IDA, and trust fund resources to support significant transformational changes in the region, and had a key role in persuading Australia and New Zealand to adopt temporary migration programs that yielded major benefits to participating countries. In addition, the World Bank persuaded a number of PICs governments to scale back their departments for infrastructure maintenance and to outsource this maintenance to the private sector. It also increased awareness of the need to build climate resilience into infrastructure design and enabled major improvements in communications through enhanced connectivity. Looking forward, the evaluation emphasizes collaboration between the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation to more effectively support private sector development; increasing the focus on education’s role in providing the skills needed for developing tourism, agriculture, and fisheries; and providing better preparation for temporary and permanent migrants.

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.

The Plurinational State of Bolivia, Country Program Evaluation FY05-13

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This Country Program Evaluation (CPE) assesses the outcomes of the World Bank Group's operations in Bolivia during the period from FY05 to FY13. It is part of the Clustered CPE for Resource Rich Developing Countries, which includes four standalone CPEs for Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Zambia and draws lessons across countries in an over-arching report. The Bolivia CPE examines the Show More This Country Program Evaluation (CPE) assesses the outcomes of the World Bank Group's operations in Bolivia during the period from FY05 to FY13. It is part of the Clustered CPE for Resource Rich Developing Countries, which includes four standalone CPEs for Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Zambia and draws lessons across countries in an over-arching report. The Bolivia CPE examines the relevance and realism of Bank Group objectives in the context of the development constraints facing the country, the extent to which these objectives were achieved effectively and efficiently, and the institutional development impact and ustainability of the Bank Group's interventions.

Kazakhstan, Country Program Evaluation FY04-13

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This Country Program Evaluation (CPE) evaluates World Bank Group (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development [IBRD], or the Bank, the International Finance Corporation [IFC], and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency [MIGA]) programs in Kazakhstan from FY04 through FY14. The period reviewed was covered by two country strategies: the 2004 Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) and the Show More This Country Program Evaluation (CPE) evaluates World Bank Group (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development [IBRD], or the Bank, the International Finance Corporation [IFC], and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency [MIGA]) programs in Kazakhstan from FY04 through FY14. The period reviewed was covered by two country strategies: the 2004 Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) and the ongoing CPS for FY12-17.   This report is part of the clustered CPE for natural resource-rich developing countries that covers four countries: Bolivia, Mongolia, and Zambia, in addition to Kazakhstan. The clustered CPE exploits the learning potential of looking across countries and regions. In addition to each country CPE, the clustered CPE also includes an overarching report that summarizes the experiences and draws broader conclusions and lessons across countries.