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Report/Evaluation Type:Country Focused Validations
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Cabo Verde CLR Review FY15-17

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During the CPS period, Cabo Verde’s economy grew annually by an average of 3.2%, an improvement over the average 0.83% growth during 2012-2014. The percentage of the population below the national poverty line fell from 58% in 2001 to 35% in 2015. Cabo Verde’s UN Human Development Index rose from 0.647 in 2015 to 0.654 in 2017, and its rank increased from 132nd of 187 countries Show MoreDuring the CPS period, Cabo Verde’s economy grew annually by an average of 3.2%, an improvement over the average 0.83% growth during 2012-2014. The percentage of the population below the national poverty line fell from 58% in 2001 to 35% in 2015. Cabo Verde’s UN Human Development Index rose from 0.647 in 2015 to 0.654 in 2017, and its rank increased from 132nd of 187 countries in 2013 to 125th of 189 countries in 2015. Development challenges during the CPS period stemmed from the continuing effects of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis. The government responded to the crisis with an ambitious counter-cyclical investment program, leading to increased deficits and reversing a previously declining trajectory of public debt. Major ongoing constraints included lack of human capital (workforce skills), insufficient connectivity (transport, communications, and electricity) among the country’s ten islands; weak public sector performance; poor business climate; and lack of resilience to trade volatility and to climactic and geological hazards.

Burundi CLR Review FY13-16

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This review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), FY13-16, and updated in the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated February 25, 2015. The World Bank Group’s (WBG) CAS had three focus areas: (i) improving competitiveness, (ii) improving resilience by consolidating social stability, and (iii) Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), FY13-16, and updated in the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated February 25, 2015. The World Bank Group’s (WBG) CAS had three focus areas: (i) improving competitiveness, (ii) improving resilience by consolidating social stability, and (iii) strengthening governance. The CAS was broadly aligned with the Government’s Second National Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRSP II), 2012-2015, which seeks to improve governance, growth and job creation, social services, and environmental/spatial management. Specifically, the CAS focus areas and objectives supported PRSP II objectives on quality of economic infrastructure, promotion of the private sector and job creation, strengthening the social safety net, capacity building and improved performance in the healthcare system, and fiscal management.

Papua New Guinea CLR Review FY13-18

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This review covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY13-FY16, and updated in the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated July 1, 2016. At the PLR stage, the CPS period was extended by two years. Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a lower middle-income country with a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of $2,340 in 2017. Oil and gas extraction has been the main driver of Show MoreThis review covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY13-FY16, and updated in the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated July 1, 2016. At the PLR stage, the CPS period was extended by two years. Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a lower middle-income country with a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of $2,340 in 2017. Oil and gas extraction has been the main driver of economic growth. During the CPS period, GDP growth varied considerably, from 0.3 percent in 2018 to 15 percent in 2014, due to volatility in commodity prices and disruption in the operations of three major mining and petroleum projects from a 7.5 magnitude earthquake in 2018. The country’s Human Development Index increased from 0.52 percent in 2010 to 0.544 in 2017, ranking 153rd among 189 countries in 2017. PNG rejoined the WBG’s Harmonized List of Fragile and conflict affected situation Countries (FCS) in FY17 and FY18. This list had excluded PNG since 2011. The World Bank Group’s (WBG) CPS had three pillars (or focus areas): (i) increased and more gender-equitable access to inclusive physical and financial infrastructure, (ii) gender equitable improvements in lives and livelihoods, and (iii) increasingly prudent management of revenues and benefits. IEG rated the CPS development outcome as moderately unsatisfactory, and the WBG performance as fair. The CLR provides three lessons: First, portfolio improvements require sustained engagement by all project teams, implementing agencies, and the Government, as well as stronger interagency coordination. Second, PNG’s institutional and social fragility places a premium on understanding political economy factors with a bearing on projects, and on monitoring and ensuring awareness of grievance redress mechanisms. Third, partnerships can help expand ASA, increase the WBG’s impact, and test new ideas.

Tajikistan CLR Review FY15-18

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This independent review of the World Bank Group's Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY15-FY18.The government's National Development Strategy (NDS), 2006-2015, aimed at generating sustainable growth, improving public administration, and developing human resources. The CPS original design was broadly aligned with NDS through its three Show MoreThis independent review of the World Bank Group's Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY15-FY18.The government's National Development Strategy (NDS), 2006-2015, aimed at generating sustainable growth, improving public administration, and developing human resources. The CPS original design was broadly aligned with NDS through its three focus areas: (1) strengthening the role of the private sector; (2) social inclusion; and, (3) promoting regional connectivity. The CPS design also included cross-cutting areas in gender, governance, and climate change. The CPS sought to help Tajikistan transition to a new growth model. The cost of complying with business regulation dropped, although Tajikistan continues to rank the lowest in the Central Asia region per the 2019 Doing Business report. Tax e-filing has exceeded expectations, but taxpayer satisfaction with new procedures was not assessed. The World Bank collaborated effectively with development partners in areas such as energy, water, and governance. INT received ten complaints and launched three investigations which all closed as substantiated.IEG agrees with the lessons and highlights the following: (i) overambitious objectives and/or under-emphasis of institutional impacted the success of the CPS program; (ii) with greater ownership and commitment, the government can (and does) implement “transformational projects” and achieve significant results; and, (iii) uneven governance standards, weak administration capacities, and inadequate internal review practices are constraints to swift implementation and need to be anticipated and managed proactively.IEG adds two lessons: i) A country program should identify objectives that match the level of ambition of the program and its intended results and impact; and ii) Political economy analysis of the drivers of policy reform is necessary early on to accompany implementation of ambitious goals.

Croatia CLR Review FY14-17

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This review of the Croatia's Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group's (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period, FY14-FY17, and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of 2016.The World Bank Group program had three focus areas: (i) promoting fiscal consolidation, (ii) improving competitiveness to spur growth, and (iii) maximizing the benefits of EU Show MoreThis review of the Croatia's Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group's (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period, FY14-FY17, and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of 2016.The World Bank Group program had three focus areas: (i) promoting fiscal consolidation, (ii) improving competitiveness to spur growth, and (iii) maximizing the benefits of EU membership. These were broadly congruent with the government's 2013 Economic Program, which covered fiscal consolidation with a particular focus on pension reform and rationalizing hospitals; growth and competitiveness through a sustainable development strategy based on the knowledge economy; and absorption of EU funds available to Croatia. The CPS addressed key challenges facing the country, including EU accession, and was congruent with the Government's 2013 Economic Program and aligned with the WBG's twin goals. The analytical work undertaken by the World Bank contributed to the 2018 Systematic Country Diagnostic Study (SCD), and addressed fiscal issues as well as issues in the justice system, energy, and smart specialization. Portfolio performance was comparable with the ECA region and the World Bank, but some interventions were affected by changes in government priorities.

Argentina CLR Review FY15-18

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This independent review of the World Bank Group's Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the World Bank Group's Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Argentina, FY15-FY18. The CPS had three focus areas: (a) unlocking long-term productivity growth and job creation; (b) increasing access to and quality of social infrastructure and services for the poor; and (c) reducing Show MoreThis independent review of the World Bank Group's Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the World Bank Group's Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Argentina, FY15-FY18. The CPS had three focus areas: (a) unlocking long-term productivity growth and job creation; (b) increasing access to and quality of social infrastructure and services for the poor; and (c) reducing environmental risks and safeguarding natural resources. Gender and governance were cross-cutting themes to be integrated into WBG engagements. While the CPS was finalized before the 2015 election, the CPS framework remained relevant to the new administration's critical priorities, which included economic reforms to boost long-term productivity growth, developing social infrastructure and services in areas with the highest levels of poverty concentration, and meeting the country's targets for Nationally Determined Contributions for climate change.

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.

Armenia CLR Review FY14-18

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Armenia is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $3,990 in 2017. It is a small and landlocked economy with borders closed with Azerbaijan and Turkey as a result of the unsettled Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It faces significant trading costs while trade accounts for 75.7 percent of GDP (2016). As a result of the 2014/15 Russian crisis and the slump in metal export prices through Show MoreArmenia is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $3,990 in 2017. It is a small and landlocked economy with borders closed with Azerbaijan and Turkey as a result of the unsettled Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It faces significant trading costs while trade accounts for 75.7 percent of GDP (2016). As a result of the 2014/15 Russian crisis and the slump in metal export prices through 2016, Armenia’s annual GDP growth declined from 4.3 percent during 2009- 13 to 3.6 percent during 2014-17, even though this growth reflects a sharp rebound to 7.5 percent in 2017. Slower growth and increased unemployment slowed progress in poverty reduction. Unemployment increased from 16.2 percent in 2013 to 18.3 percent in 2015, where it remained through 2017. After declining from 35.8 percent in 2010 to 30.0 percent in 2014, the headcount poverty ratio changed little through 2016. Income inequality (the Gini coefficient) also changed little, from 31.5 in 2013 to 32.5 in 2016. During the CPS period, broader measures in social conditions improved slightly. Armenia’s Human Development Index improved from 0.729 in 2010 (76th among 169 countries) to 0.755 in 2017 (83th among 189 countries). The World Bank Group’s Country Program Strategy (CPS) had three pillars, or focus areas, including the cross-cutting area on governance. These covered broadly the same areas as the previous CPS (FY09-13): (i) supporting competitiveness and job creation; (ii) improving efficiency and targeting of social services; and (iii) improving governance and decreasing corruption. The CPS was broadly aligned with the Government of Armenia (GoA) Development Strategy 2025 (ADS) adopted in 2014. The ADS sought to boost shared prosperity and reduce poverty through accelerated economic growth and job creation. World Bank Group’s support was also aligned with a number of GoA’s strategies and programs, including in the areas of strengthening competitiveness, enhancing social and environmental sustainability and improving the efficiency and transparency of public administration. The Performance and Learning Review (PLR) confirmed the relevance of the pillars and maintained most CPS objectives. PLR adjustments primarily reflected changes in country circumstances (stalled recovery and fiscal constraints).

Morocco CLR Review FY14-17

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This independent review of the World Bank Group’s Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY14-FY17. In addition to the CLR, this review is based on the original CPS approved by the Board on April 1, 2014 and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated May 24,2016 which updated aspects of the original CPS. Morocco is a lower middle- Show MoreThis independent review of the World Bank Group’s Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY14-FY17. In addition to the CLR, this review is based on the original CPS approved by the Board on April 1, 2014 and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated May 24,2016 which updated aspects of the original CPS. Morocco is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $2,860 in 2017. Steady economic growth from 2001 to 2013 helped close the income gap with Mediterranean Europe and reduce poverty from 15.3 percent to 4.8 percent and lower the Gini coefficient from 40.6 to 39.5 over the same period. The well-being of the poorest 40 percent of the population improved in absolute and relative terms.1 Morocco’s UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) score has been increasing gradually from 0.53 in 2010 to 0.67 in 2016, when the country’s ranked 123rd out of 188 countries. However, economic growth has slowed. Average annual GDP growth between 2014 and 2017 was only 3.1 percent despite investment exceeding 30 percent of GDP. Major development challenges have included a high rate of unemployment (around 10 percent), especially among the young (about 30 percent), and regional income disparities. Macroeconomic indicators have improved with lower fiscal and current account deficits and the public debt to GDP ratio stabilized at around 65 percent in 2016. The CPS had three focus areas: (i) promoting competitive and inclusive growth; (ii) building a green and resilient future; and (iii) strengthening governance and institutions for improved service delivery to all citizens.

Zambia CLR Review FY13-17

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The review of Zambia’s completion and learning review (CLR) of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) country partnership strategy (CPS) covers the period FY13-FY17. The WBG’s CPS had three focus areas: (a) reducing poverty and vulnerability of the poor; (b) improving competitiveness and infrastructure for growth and employment; and (c) improving governance and strengthening economic management. Cross- Show MoreThe review of Zambia’s completion and learning review (CLR) of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) country partnership strategy (CPS) covers the period FY13-FY17. The WBG’s CPS had three focus areas: (a) reducing poverty and vulnerability of the poor; (b) improving competitiveness and infrastructure for growth and employment; and (c) improving governance and strengthening economic management. Cross-cutting elements included regional integration, strengthening institutional capacity, and addressing governance, gender, and climate change challenges. The CPS was aligned with the government’s sixth national development plan 2013-2016, which aimed to accelerate infrastructure development and economic diversification, promote rural investment, accelerate poverty reduction, and enhance human development. Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) rates the CPS development outcome moderately unsatisfactory. The CLRR agrees with the CLR lessons as specified: (a) collaboration and coordination among stakeholders is critical to improving portfolio quality, (b) the number and design of projects should consider implementation capacity of the country and supervision capacity of the WBG, (c) WBG projects should be reflected in, and aligned with, the government program, (d) the WB can be effective in strengthening institutions at the local level, and (e) incorporating accountability measures in project designs promotes good governance, transparency, and oversight.