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Report/Evaluation Type:Country-Focused EvaluationsProject Level Evaluations (PPARs)
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Bulgaria: District Heating Project (PPAR)

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) prepared by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) evaluates the development effectiveness and sustainability of results of the World Bank–financed District Heating Project in Bulgaria (2003–08). The project development objectives were to improve the quality of district heating services in the capital city of Sofia (1.6 million people) and an Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) prepared by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) evaluates the development effectiveness and sustainability of results of the World Bank–financed District Heating Project in Bulgaria (2003–08). The project development objectives were to improve the quality of district heating services in the capital city of Sofia (1.6 million people) and an adjacent town of Pernik (86,200 people), improve financial viability of the Sofia and Pernik district heating companies, and increase environmentally friendly operations in the district heating sector, through energy conservation and pollution reduction mechanisms. The project also extended funds from the World Bank–administered Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF) for the purchase of carbon emission reductions resulting from the project activities. Ratings for District Heating Project were as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately satisfactory. IEG’s review of this project’s experience in Bulgaria suggests the following lessons: (i) Postponing an energy efficiency project until the necessary legal measures addressing demand-side management are implemented can lead to better outcomes. (ii) Sustainability of benefits from infrastructure investments can be put at risk if future investment needs are unmet. (iii) Investments in energy efficiency infrastructure alone are not enough to achieve sustained financial viability. (iv) Efforts to encourage private sector participation may fail when there is no strong agreement from key stakeholders in the context of a complex and changing governance structure. (v) Carbon finance operation or results-based financing can have strong demonstration effects.

Vietnam: Forest Sector Development Project (PPAR)

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The Forest Sector Development Project, which was implemented between 2004 and 2015, contributed to the significant reforestation efforts made by the people of Vietnam. In parallel to this smallholder plantation initiative, the project sought to protect biodiversity in parks and reserves. Bare hillsides underwent reforestation, and by 2017 the level of forest cover reached 48 percent (from 27 Show MoreThe Forest Sector Development Project, which was implemented between 2004 and 2015, contributed to the significant reforestation efforts made by the people of Vietnam. In parallel to this smallholder plantation initiative, the project sought to protect biodiversity in parks and reserves. Bare hillsides underwent reforestation, and by 2017 the level of forest cover reached 48 percent (from 27 percent in 1990). The improved outlook for production forest was matched by an increased government commitment to conserve biodiversity in parks and reserves, which were legally designated as special-use forests. (SUF). The two project objectives were to achieve sustainable management of plantation forests and to conserve biodiversity in special-use forests. Ratings for the Forest Sector Development Project were as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was modest, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately satisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) When located appropriately, smallholder forest plantations can boost economic growth in rural areas and help protect the environment—as long as smallholders have continuing access to a full package of technical and financial support. (ii) Smallholders with limited means tend to operate single-species tree plantations on a short rotation; it is too early to say if this trend will continue, or if it poses a long-term risk. (iii) Smallholders with limited means tend to operate single-species tree plantations. (iv) Attempts to engage communities in management of protected areas will only prosper if these areas (and their associated buffer zones) generate substantial revenues that are shared with the participating communities. (v) The design of World Bank projects should have achievable, incremental, and rigorous targets for sustainable forest management (national or international) within given timeframes with iterative steps toward recognized global standards.

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.

Nicaragua CLR Review FY13-17

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Nicaragua is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $2,050 in 2016. Nicaragua’s annual economic growth increased from 3.3 percent during the prior CPS period (2008-2012) to 4.9 percent during the CPS period under review (2013-17). Growth was sustained by an adequate macro and fiscal environment and responded to higher growth of the US economy, from 0.9 percent to 2.2 percent Show MoreNicaragua is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $2,050 in 2016. Nicaragua’s annual economic growth increased from 3.3 percent during the prior CPS period (2008-2012) to 4.9 percent during the CPS period under review (2013-17). Growth was sustained by an adequate macro and fiscal environment and responded to higher growth of the US economy, from 0.9 percent to 2.2 percent between the two CPS periods. Growth helped reduce poverty rates, from 42.5 percent in 2009 to 29.6 percent in 2014 and 24.9 percent in 2016. Better social conditions are reflected in Nicaragua’s Human Development Index, which improved from 0.636 in 2013 (ranked 132nd among 187 countries) to 0.645 in 2015 (ranked 124th among 188 countries). However, inequality (the GINI Index) increased, from 44.2 in 2009 to 46.6 in 2014. The poverty rate in rural areas (50.1 percent in 2014) remains higher than in urban areas (14.8 percent in 2014), and 45 percent of Nicaraguans are at risk of falling into poverty if hit by a shock.

Brazil: Integrated Solid Waste Management and Carbon Finance Project (PPAR)

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the development effectiveness of the Integrated Solid Waste & Carbon Finance Project in Brazil. The project was approved on November 2, 2010, for a cost of US$160 million, with World Bank support of US$50 million. The project cost at completion was US$122.7 million, with only US$16.7 million of the World Bank’s loan being utilized. Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the development effectiveness of the Integrated Solid Waste & Carbon Finance Project in Brazil. The project was approved on November 2, 2010, for a cost of US$160 million, with World Bank support of US$50 million. The project cost at completion was US$122.7 million, with only US$16.7 million of the World Bank’s loan being utilized. The project was closed on December 31, 2015 as planned. The objective of the project was to improve the treatment and disposal of municipal solid waste in Brazil. This was to be achieved through closing of open dumps and constructing modern and environmentally safe landfills, improving municipal solid waste management (SWM) practices, reducing poverty among waste pickers, increasing private sector participation in SWM service provision, and strengthening the borrower and implementing agency CAIXA Econômica Federale’s capacity to manage carbon finance projects. Ratings for Integrated Solid Waste Management and Carbon Finance Project were as follows: Outcome was unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, Bank performance was moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrower performance was unsatisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) A project with sector-wide objectives must provide for engagement with the government at the policy level to lay a strong basis for achieving development outcomes. (ii) For an operation involving a financial intermediary, a minimum number of sub-projects must be committed at project effectiveness, to demonstrate quick successes and to develop further momentum during implementation. (iii) In an upper middle-income country with broad-based financial and institutional resources, the World Bank’s interventions in a sector should focus on functional areas with a clear need and demand for external support and expertise. (iv) In seeking to attract private sector investment and expertise to public service provision, the major barriers to entry must be clearly recognized and addressed. Incentives at the margin are unlikely to generate wide or sustained interest.

Kyrgyz Republic: Village Investment Project and Second Village Investment Project (PPAR)

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This is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) of the Village Investment Project (VIP 1) and the Second Village Investment Project (VIP 2), implemented from 2003 to 2014. Both VIP projects were designed against a backdrop of persistent rural poverty, a vacuum in the supply of local infrastructure services, a lack of economic opportunities, and a nascent decentralization agenda. Project Show MoreThis is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) of the Village Investment Project (VIP 1) and the Second Village Investment Project (VIP 2), implemented from 2003 to 2014. Both VIP projects were designed against a backdrop of persistent rural poverty, a vacuum in the supply of local infrastructure services, a lack of economic opportunities, and a nascent decentralization agenda. Project design incorporated lessons from implementing a community-based pilot financed by the Japanese Social Development Fund (JSDF) and information from extensive consultations conducted as part of the thorough project preparation. High capacity and excellent support from the implementing agency created by the project were crucial factors in their successful and rapid implementation of the projects. Ratings for the Village Investment Project were as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was moderate, World Bank performance was satisfactory, and Borrower performance was satisfactory. Ratings for the Second Village Investment Project were: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was moderate, World Bank performance was satisfactory, and Borrower performance was satisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Multiple tranches of village-level financing in CDD projects can reinforce and strengthen participatory planning over time. This approach can also lower the risk of elite capture. (ii) CDD programs implemented nationally can enhance political legitimacy, especially in countries with ethnic or regional tensions. Although a move to consolidate project activities can magnify local economic gains, these consolidations carry the risk of perceptions of favoritism of one group over another. (iii) In rapidly scaled out CDD programs there is a need to pay simultaneous attention to social outreach and infrastructure quality. Poor infrastructure can undermine program legitimacy and create a public safety risk. (iv) Investments in small-scale enterprises require an upstream diagnosis of capacity and constraints and the interventions should be targeted to address known binding constraints.

Mali: Project to Support Grassroots Initiatives to Fight Hunger and Poverty (PPAR)

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This is a project performance review of the Grassroots Hunger and Poverty Initiative Project (PAIB) financed by the International Development Association (IDA) and implemented between 1998 and 2004 across two regions of Mali (Mopti and Tombouctou). Original financing was anticipated to be $23 million, including a $21.5 million IDA credit and $1.5 million borrower contribution. Actual costs were $ Show MoreThis is a project performance review of the Grassroots Hunger and Poverty Initiative Project (PAIB) financed by the International Development Association (IDA) and implemented between 1998 and 2004 across two regions of Mali (Mopti and Tombouctou). Original financing was anticipated to be $23 million, including a $21.5 million IDA credit and $1.5 million borrower contribution. Actual costs were $23.2 million. The project sought to improve the living conditions of disadvantaged targeted rural communities, responding to their priority needs by strengthening the capacity of communities in identifying and ranking their priority needs and in planning, implementing, and supervising actions to respond to those needs in partnership with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and local authorities. In parallel, it also sought to strengthen institutional and policy-making capacity at the local and national levels in the fight against hunger and poverty.

Mali - Rural Community Development Project

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This is a project performance review of the Rural Community Development Project (PACR) financed by the International Development Association (IDA) and implemented between 2005 and 2014 across four regions of Mali. Original financing was anticipated to be US$64 million including a US$60 million IDA credit and US$4 million borrower contribution. Actual costs were US$71.2 million because of two Show MoreThis is a project performance review of the Rural Community Development Project (PACR) financed by the International Development Association (IDA) and implemented between 2005 and 2014 across four regions of Mali. Original financing was anticipated to be US$64 million including a US$60 million IDA credit and US$4 million borrower contribution. Actual costs were US$71.2 million because of two additional financings. The project sought to improve the living conditions of rural communities by providing access to basic socioeconomic services and a sustainable increase in income, while promoting improved natural resource management practices. Designed at a time when Mali had just begun to operationalize its decentralization policy, by putting national and local structures in place, the project represents the World Bank’s first large-scale investment in support of this aim. This assessment was based on a review of World Bank project documentation, supplemented by several sources of primary and secondary data collected during a field mission to Mali conducted between May 8 and May 30, 2017. Secondary data collected included the original Management Information System, 2009 census data, and fiscal transfers between the National Agency for Communal and Territorial Investments (ANICT) and all project (and nonproject communes). The data for the period 2001 to 2010 was obtained from Grinnell College, and for the period 2011, 2012–17, from ANICT (there were no transfers in 2012 because of the coup d’état that occurred that year). Primary data collection gathered the perceptions of the affected commune councils and mayors, service users and service providers, and the cooperatives that received grants for private productive assets. Specifically, the assessment conducted 12 commune council group interviews and 36 cooperative group interviews. In addition, the assessment collected data on distance and population to test the project’s service delivery metrics and targets. The project assessment will provide inputs into the Independent Evaluation Group’s (IEG’s) Fiscal Decentralization and Subnational Finance and Citizen Engagement Macroevaluations.

PPAR Improving Basic Health : The World Bank’s Experience in the Philippines

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses two World Bank health projects in the Philippines: the National Sector Support for Health Reform Project and the Second Women’s Health and Safe Motherhood Project. The National Sector Support Project was approved in June 2006 and closed in March 2012, nine months after the original date of June 2011. The Second Women’s Health Project was Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses two World Bank health projects in the Philippines: the National Sector Support for Health Reform Project and the Second Women’s Health and Safe Motherhood Project. The National Sector Support Project was approved in June 2006 and closed in March 2012, nine months after the original date of June 2011. The Second Women’s Health Project was approved in April 2005 and closed in June 2013, 12 months after the original date of June 2012. For both projects, the extensions were to permit the projects additional time to finish their activities. These projects were selected for a field-based assessment for several reasons. First, both projects represented major efforts to reform the health sector in the Philippines. Second, the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) had previously recommended both projects for further evaluation during the Implementation Completion and Results Report (ICR) review process to validate ratings. Third, the PPAR will contribute to IEG’s ongoing evaluation on the World Bank’s Support for Basic Health Services. The Philippines is classified as a lower middle-income country, with a gross national income of $3,550 per capita and an estimated population of 101.6 million in 2015. In recent years, economic growth has increased substantially between 2012 and 2016, the longest period of sustained economic growth in recent history. However, poverty and inequality remain high and persistent. At the time of both projects’ appraisal, the Philippines had seen low increases of health outcomes that were among the slowest in the region. The Philippines has a double burden of disease—both from traditional public health issues and emerging noncommunicable diseases. Health equity was a major challenge, in terms of access and health outcomes, and the high cost of healthcare contributed to impoverishment. The Philippines has long pursued health reform, built around improving equity with demand-based finance through a combination of public and private health services.

Turkey CLR Review FY12-16

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Turkey is an upper middle income country with a GNI per capita of USD 9,950 dollars in current US dollars (2015).The government set out its objectives in the Ninth Development Plan for 2007-13 and the 2012-14 Medium-Term Program. Four priorities stood out: (i) pursue sound macroeconomic and structural fiscal policies to maintain stability and reduce vulnerabilities, (ii) improve the investment Show MoreTurkey is an upper middle income country with a GNI per capita of USD 9,950 dollars in current US dollars (2015).The government set out its objectives in the Ninth Development Plan for 2007-13 and the 2012-14 Medium-Term Program. Four priorities stood out: (i) pursue sound macroeconomic and structural fiscal policies to maintain stability and reduce vulnerabilities, (ii) improve the investment climate and labor market to increase competitiveness and create jobs, especially for women and youth, (iii) reform education, health service provision, and social welfare to increase productivity and promote equal opportunity, and (iv) continue reforms of energy and water sectors, and invest in increasing energy efficiency. In support of the government's objectives, the WBG Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) pursued reforms in three areas for enhancing competitiveness and employment, improving equity and public services, and deepening sustainable development. The CPS was extended by one year to include FY16, in part to allow the CPS period to be aligned with the political cycle, as parliamentary elections were scheduled for mid-2015.The CPS supported the government's priorities and was adjusted during the PLR to reflect changing priorities, although the adjustment was not robust enough to reflect economic vulnerabilities. The program areas were selective, but program objectives were unfocused owing to their many dimensions, which diminished the program's impact. Development policy operations and project lending were complemented by economic and sector work and technical assistance; however, the non-lending portfolio was spread thinly over many areas.In Focus Area 1, there was limited progress in increasing domestic savings and enhancing external resilience while progress was mixed on the investment and business climate objective. The objective on sustaining macroeconomic stability, domestic savings, strengthen exports and external resilience had multiple dimensions not reflected in the two outcome indicators that covered a narrow range of the objective. Corporate governance was improved through more extensive firm audits, and enhanced reporting and disclosure requirements. In Focus Area II performance was adequate, with some progress on gender equality and a more inclusive labor market, and evidence of improved equity in the provision of health services. While work remains to be done in health to improve client satisfaction, broad measures of health outcomes show progress in improving health outcomes during the program period. In Focus Area III, good progress was made in increasing the supply of energy and use of renewable energy, mixed progress on improving the sustainability of Turkish cities, and limited achievements in strengthening environmental management and adaptation to climate change.