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Report/Evaluation Type:Country Focused Validations
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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.

Solomon Islands CLR Review FY13-17

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This review of the Solomon Islands Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group’s (WBG)1 Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period, FY13-FY17, and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of August 2016. This is the first CPS for Solomon Islands following an Interim Strategy Note (ISN) in 2010. Solomon Islands is a small, remote archipelago in the South Pacific, Show MoreThis review of the Solomon Islands Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group’s (WBG)1 Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period, FY13-FY17, and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of August 2016. This is the first CPS for Solomon Islands following an Interim Strategy Note (ISN) in 2010. Solomon Islands is a small, remote archipelago in the South Pacific, with a population of 599,419 in 2016. It is a lower-middle-income country with a GNI per capita of US$1,880 in 2016. Between 2013 and 2016, its economy grew at an annual average rate of 2.8 percent while population grew at an annual average rate of 2.1 percent. Economic growth has been driven mostly by logging, services, and agriculture. Solomon is classified as a Fragile and Conflict-Affected State (FCS). The poverty head count ratio using the national poverty line was 12.7 percent in 2013, with a quarter of the population living below US$1.90 a day (2011 PPP). The last estimate for the Gini index was 37 in 2013 (a decline from 46 in 2005). Solomon Islands ranked 156 of 188 countries in the 2015 Human Development Index (HDI), putting it in the low human development category.

Romania CLR Review FY14-18

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This review of the World Bank Group’s Completion and Learning Report (CLR) covers the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated November 3, 2016. The original CPS period (FY14-17) was at the PLR stage extended by one year to cover FY14-18. The CLR and this review cover this extended period. Romania is an upper middle-income country with a GNI per Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group’s Completion and Learning Report (CLR) covers the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated November 3, 2016. The original CPS period (FY14-17) was at the PLR stage extended by one year to cover FY14-18. The CLR and this review cover this extended period. Romania is an upper middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $9,480 in 2016 and a population of 19.7 million. Romania’s per capita GDP had grown rapidly up to 2009, reducing poverty, but the global financial crisis of 2008 triggered a severe recession. The IMF Article IV report (May 2017) notes that Romania strengthened its economy considerably after the global financial crisis. Romania registered an average annual GDP growth of 3.9 percent during the review period (2014-2016). Public debt and fiscal and current account imbalances are moderate compared to many emerging markets, but significant challenges remain and the momentum of progress in policies has waned. Income convergence with the EU has slowed and poverty is among the highest in the EU. Romania has a Human Development Index (HDI) of .802 in 2015, placing the country in the very high human development category and ranking 50 (of 188) in HDI in 2015. Its Gini coefficient is 28.3 in 2016 (from around 35 in 2010) and its poverty headcount ratio based on the national poverty line is 25.4 percent (average 2014-2016).

Mauritania CLR Review FY14-16

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This completion and learning review (CLR) covers the period FY 14-16. The country partnership strategy (CPS) consisted of two pillars (or focus areas): (1) Growth and diversification; and (2) economic governance and service delivery. The CPS work program was aligned with pillars I-IV of the third poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP3): (i) accelerating economic growth; (ii) anchoring growth in Show MoreThis completion and learning review (CLR) covers the period FY 14-16. The country partnership strategy (CPS) consisted of two pillars (or focus areas): (1) Growth and diversification; and (2) economic governance and service delivery. The CPS work program was aligned with pillars I-IV of the third poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP3): (i) accelerating economic growth; (ii) anchoring growth in the economic sphere directly benefiting the poor; (iii) developing human resources and facilitating access to basic infrastructure; and (iv) promoting real institutional development supported by good governance. Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) concurs with some of lessons provided in the CLR summarized as follows: (i) for a CPS program to yield results, the time to implement the program must be long; (ii) CPS programs need to take a wider approach to sectors, as in the in case of the Banda Gas and associated transmission project; and (iii) the Bank needs to invest in capacity building, both in individual operations and in long-term reform and modernization.

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.

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.

Guinea CLR Review FY14-17

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This Review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the original period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Guinea (FY14-FY17) and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) in FY16. Guinea is a low-income country with a GNI per capita of $670 in 2016 and with rich mining and water-based resources. Average annual GDP growth during the 2014-2016 Show MoreThis Review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the original period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Guinea (FY14-FY17) and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) in FY16. Guinea is a low-income country with a GNI per capita of $670 in 2016 and with rich mining and water-based resources. Average annual GDP growth during the 2014-2016 period (4.6 percent) was marginally lower than during the previous four-year period (4.9 percent). Average growth was sustained despite a slowdown resulting from two major shocks: the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in 2014, which reduced international travel, investments, domestic commerce and services; and the decline in aluminum prices, which reduced Guinea’s bauxite ore export prices and revenues. Despite positive per capita growth, social development made little progress. Poverty rates were 53.0 percent in 2007 and 55.2 percent in 2012, the last year of available poverty estimates. Guinea’s Human Development Index remained flat at 0.4 from 2012 to 2015 and placed the country in the low human development category and ranked 183 out of 188 countries in 2015. Rural social conditions are particularly dire, with rural poverty rates much higher (64.7 percent in 2012) than urban rates (35.4 percent).

Poland CLR Review FY14-17

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Poland is a high-income country (HIC) with a GNI per capita of $12,680 in 2016. Poland’s annual economic growth accelerated to 3.3 percent during the CPS period (2014-2016) from 2.9 percent over the previous four years, 2010-13. The consistency of the country’s macro and structural policies has been the key driver behind the economy’s growth and helped its transition to HIC status in less than 15 Show MorePoland is a high-income country (HIC) with a GNI per capita of $12,680 in 2016. Poland’s annual economic growth accelerated to 3.3 percent during the CPS period (2014-2016) from 2.9 percent over the previous four years, 2010-13. The consistency of the country’s macro and structural policies has been the key driver behind the economy’s growth and helped its transition to HIC status in less than 15 years. Poland’s economic growth has been inclusive in the past decade, as evidenced by growing employment and earnings for all income groups, which led to a substantial reduction in poverty and stronger-than-average growth of the bottom 40 percent of the distribution. Between 2005 and 2014, Poland’s Gini coefficient fell from 0.351 to 0.343. The poverty rate measured at $5.00/day 2005 PPP stood at 4.4 percent in 2015. Poland’s strong economic growth is expected to continue in the near term; however, the longer- term prospects could be subdued by demographic and structural challenges – including a rapidly aging population, slowdown in total factor productivity, infrastructure gaps, low domestic private investment and regional disparities -- if left unaddressed.

Georgia CLR Review FY14-17

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This review of the Georgia Completion and Learning Report of the World Bank Group (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period, FY14-FY17, including the CPS Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of April 2017. Georgia is a lower-middle-income country with a GDP per capita of 3,866 dollars (2016).Its economy grew on average by 3.5 percent annually during the review period higher Show MoreThis review of the Georgia Completion and Learning Report of the World Bank Group (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period, FY14-FY17, including the CPS Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of April 2017. Georgia is a lower-middle-income country with a GDP per capita of 3,866 dollars (2016).Its economy grew on average by 3.5 percent annually during the review period higher than the 1.9 percent average for the ECA region—with persistently large external current account deficits in the 12-13 percent of GDP range financed mostly by foreign direct investments. The CPS corresponded well with the government's stated development objectives set out in the Socioeconomic Development Strategy 2020, which had as overarching aim to achieve faster, inclusive, and sustainable growth averaging 7 percent annually. The WBG's country program pursued two strategic objectives or focus areas of strengthening public service delivery to promote inclusive growth and enabling private-sector-led job creation through improved competitiveness. The areas selected were congruent with the country's development goals, and in sectors where it had shown capacity to deliver in the past. IEG adds the following lesson: Competitiveness and labor market issues are key binding constraints for Georgia's growth, and areas in which the Bank has comparative advantage. Yet, the Bank failed to address them adequately and effectively under this CPS. To maximize development effectiveness, the Bank should not miss opportunities to address effectively areas which are both significant binding constraints for country growth and in the domain of the Bank's comparative advantage.

Tanzania CLR Review FY12-16

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Tanzania is a low-income country with a GNI per capita of US$900 in 2016. During the CAS period, the economy grew steadily at 6.7 percent annually compared with an average of 3.5 percent for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Yet, a recent IMF program review report (January 2018) underscores that recent signs of weakening economic activity coexist with large infrastructure gaps, a business climate that Show MoreTanzania is a low-income country with a GNI per capita of US$900 in 2016. During the CAS period, the economy grew steadily at 6.7 percent annually compared with an average of 3.5 percent for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Yet, a recent IMF program review report (January 2018) underscores that recent signs of weakening economic activity coexist with large infrastructure gaps, a business climate that has worsened, budget payment arrears in part owing to the electric utility’s (TANESCO) financial difficulties, and problems with tax collections, administration, and policy. Governance indicators on the efficiency and transparency in public management did not improve during the CAS period. Moreover, in the 2018 Doing Business report, Tanzania ranks 137 out of 190 countries, which compares less favorably with its SSA neighbors and reveals weak private sector competitiveness. Hence, sustained reforms to enhance budget credibility and implementation as well as to improve the business climate are needed to achieve strong growth led by the private sector as intended by the government.