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Report/Evaluation Type:Country Focused ValidationsProject Level Evaluations (PPARs)
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Liberia: Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project (PPAR)

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The project development objective of the Liberia Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project (IPFMRP) was to improve the budget coverage, fiscal policy management, financial control, and oversight of government finances of the recipient. The project was restructured in 2016, but the project development objective remained unchanged. Four subobjectives are assessed for this review: (i) Show MoreThe project development objective of the Liberia Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project (IPFMRP) was to improve the budget coverage, fiscal policy management, financial control, and oversight of government finances of the recipient. The project was restructured in 2016, but the project development objective remained unchanged. Four subobjectives are assessed for this review: (i) improve budget coverage, (ii) improve fiscal policy management, (iii) improve financial control, and (iv) improve oversight of government finances. Ratings for the Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project are as follows: Outcome was moderately unsatisfactory, Overall efficacy is modest, Risk to development outcome was substantial, Bank performance is moderately unsatisfactory, and Quality of monitoring and evaluation is negligible. Lessons from this project include: (i) Effective support for enhancing revenue mobilization and administration can benefit from combining technical assistance with logistical support. (ii) The use of PEFA composite indicators as results indicators is often not advisable. (iii) Superficial reviews and overoptimistic ratings in ISRs can negatively affect project implementation and outcomes. (iv) Effective and sustainable PFM reforms require continuous engagement to overcome political challenges.

Nigeria CLR Review FY14-19

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This review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the original period of the Nigeria Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY14-17, and the update and extension through FY19 as per the Second Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated May 2018. The implementation of the CPS program was supported by 26 Bank operations with commitments of US$3.7 billion under Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the original period of the Nigeria Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY14-17, and the update and extension through FY19 as per the Second Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated May 2018. The implementation of the CPS program was supported by 26 Bank operations with commitments of US$3.7 billion under implementation at the beginning of the CPS and 38 new operations with commitments of US$9.4 billion. IFC invested in 28 projects for US$1.1 billion. MIGA issued three guarantees for US$549 million. The CPS design was well aligned with the challenges the country faced and the stated priorities of government. It also responded well to the challenges that arose during implementation. The CLR drew five lessons. Three of the lessons are: (i) achieving significant impact requires commitment beyond the horizon of a CPS, especially in areas such as energy and conflict mitigation; (ii) it can be difficult to accurately gauge the success or failure of results-based operations since they do not respond to traditional Bank tools for measuring success; and (iii) more care is needed in the selection of CPF objectives and results. In addition, IEG highlights the following two lessons from the CLR and builds on them: (i) The experience from expanding coverage of social assistance programs nationally under a common approach provides lessons that can be used to scale up engagements in other areas. Mainly, to combine the use of federal-level rules, policy coordination mechanisms, monitoring systems and data sharing with state-level program implementation and monitoring systems. (ii) Efforts to address design and implementation challenges included the creation of State Coordination Units to break logjams and the Multi-Sectoral Crisis Response Project (MCRP) to bring together efforts in infrastructure rehabilitation and service delivery in three conflictafflicted states. Further progress could entail absorbing and streamlining within the MCRP sectoral program delivery and institutional structures so as to reduce the number of PIUs and facilitate synergies.

Ethiopia: Sustainable Land Management Project I and II (PPAR)

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Serious long-term degradation of communal areas and farmlands results in substantial losses to the economy. The combination of fragile soils, steep slopes, agroclimatic conditions, environmentally unsustainable intensification of agriculture, and traditional cultivation techniques practiced by smallholder farmers in Ethiopia over many decades has led to excessive soil erosion and land degradation Show MoreSerious long-term degradation of communal areas and farmlands results in substantial losses to the economy. The combination of fragile soils, steep slopes, agroclimatic conditions, environmentally unsustainable intensification of agriculture, and traditional cultivation techniques practiced by smallholder farmers in Ethiopia over many decades has led to excessive soil erosion and land degradation. Two sequential projects were designed and implemented to achieve the SLMP’s objectives. Sustainable Land Management Project Phase I (SLMP I) introduced SLM practices in selected areas of the country to rehabilitate previously uneconomical and unproductive degraded areas within 45 critical watersheds situated in six regional states. SLMP II sought to scale up this support by expanding the geographical coverage to 135 watersheds and continued addressing poor farmland management practices, rapid depletion of vegetation cover, unsustainable livestock grazing practices, and land tenure insecurity. SLMP II also sought to integrate new activities targeting land productivity, deforestation, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Ratings for the Sustainable Land Management Project I are as follows: Overall outcome is satisfactory, Risk to development outcomes is moderate, Bank performance is moderately satisfactory, Borrower performance is moderately satisfactory, and Quality of M&E is negligible. For Sustainable Land Management Project II, they are as follows: Overall outcome is satisfactory, Overall efficacy is substantial, Bank performance is moderately satisfactory, and Quality of M&E is modest. Lessons from these projects include: (i) Watershed management programs can lead to significant land restoration outcomes when appropriate structural and biological measures are introduced to treat the affected landscape with active participation of the local community. (ii) Area closures are relevant for the restoration of degraded lands but require increased investments for alternative supply of forages to convince the local communities to forgo livestock grazing and other benefits during the process of natural regeneration. (iii) Farm productivity growth requires arresting both the on-site and off-site soil erosion to prevent the degradation of farmlands and enable investments in modern farm inputs. (iv) Effective demonstration of upfront economic and livelihood benefits is fundamental for smallholder farmers to protect and maintain the SLM practices introduced on their lands through project support. (v) In drought-prone areas, small-scale irrigation is the key enabler for translating the benefits of land restoration into reduction in household vulnerability to climate shocks through income diversification and protection against droughts. (vi) Market-oriented agroforestry interventions (for example, Acacia decurrens) that provide sustainable income for smallholders can be vital ingredients in creating incentives for the adoption of biological measures for land restoration and improving household resilience to climate shocks.

Nicaragua: Fourth Roads Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project and Rural Roads Infrastructure Improvement Project (PPAR)

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The World Bank has supported the road sector in Nicaragua since early 1990. It has helped remove road infrastructure bottlenecks, introduced innovations in road work delivery and maintenance, and strengthened capacity and institutions in the sector. In the course of this three-decade collaboration, cooperative-based road maintenance enterprises, concrete block roads, and concrete block surfacing Show MoreThe World Bank has supported the road sector in Nicaragua since early 1990. It has helped remove road infrastructure bottlenecks, introduced innovations in road work delivery and maintenance, and strengthened capacity and institutions in the sector. In the course of this three-decade collaboration, cooperative-based road maintenance enterprises, concrete block roads, and concrete block surfacing through communitybased surfacing units have become salient features of the World Bank’s engagement in the sector. Both projects in this assessment, the Fourth Roads Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project and the Rural Roads Infrastructure Improvement Project, approved in 2006 and 2011, respectively, were preceded by the original Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project and the Second and Third Road Rehabilitation and Maintenance Projects. These projects were approved by the World Bank between 1996 and 2001. They were followed by the ongoing Urban Access Improvement Project, which was approved in 2017. Ratings for the Fourth Roads Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was moderate, Bank performance was satisfactory, and Borrower performance was satisfactory. Ratings for the Rural Roads Infrastructure Improvement Project are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, Bank performance was satisfactory, and Borrower performance was substantial. This assessment offers the following lessons: (i) Rigor in the selection of roads to be financed and continued support for road planning can help countries use resources effectively and create a planning culture. (ii) Contract features and strict enforcement appear critical to taking full advantage of performance-based routine maintenance contracts. (iii) Upgrading rural roads to all-weather access needs to be comprehensive. (iv) Providing limited technical assistance support in many areas with little upfront preparation might restrict project results. (v) Close stakeholder involvement and post-completion outreach strategies might increase the usefulness of project-financed studies. (vi) A strong results framework is likely to facilitate results measurement.

Comoros CLR Review FY14-19

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This review of the Comoros Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period, FY14-FY19, and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of December 2018. This is the first CPS for Comoros following a series of Interim Strategy Notes (ISNs), the latest of which was prepared in 2010. The WBG programs under the ISNs were Show MoreThis review of the Comoros Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period, FY14-FY19, and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of December 2018. This is the first CPS for Comoros following a series of Interim Strategy Notes (ISNs), the latest of which was prepared in 2010. The WBG programs under the ISNs were limited in scope reflecting the high level of political instability, serious governance issues and related low IDA allocations. The CLR highlighted several lessons about a need to ensure a streamlined project design and flexibility in implementation; value of increased WBG presence on the ground; importance of donor coordination; and a need for greater realism and selectivity in the program. IEG particularly agrees that there is need for greater realism and selectivity in the program, throughout the program, beyond the governance area on which the lesson in the CLR focuses. Being excessively ambitious with respect to institutional targets in a fragile environment increases the risk of program underperformance. IEG adds the following lesson: The decision on a large program expansion at the PLR stage requires a detailed discussion and careful justification in the PLR document because it poses a longer-term implementation risk.

Comoros - Completion and Learning Review : IEG Review

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Croatia: Revenue Administration Modernization Project (PPAR)

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The development objective of the Croatia Revenue Administration Modernization Project was to achieve further improvements in tax efficiency, taxpayer services, and tax compliance through capacity building and systems improvement in the Croatia Tax Administration (CTA). For purposes of this review, three sub-objectives are assessed: (i) improvements in efficiency; (ii) improvements in taxpayer Show MoreThe development objective of the Croatia Revenue Administration Modernization Project was to achieve further improvements in tax efficiency, taxpayer services, and tax compliance through capacity building and systems improvement in the Croatia Tax Administration (CTA). For purposes of this review, three sub-objectives are assessed: (i) improvements in efficiency; (ii) improvements in taxpayer services; and (iii) improvements in tax compliance. Ratings for the Revenue Administration Modernization Project are as follows: Outcome was moderately unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome was negligible, Bank performance was moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately unsatisfactory. This assessment offers the following lessons: (i) Poor quality at entry and lack of readiness for implementation contributed to significant implementation delays and limited results. (ii) Given that the main driver of the tax administration reforms was Croatia’s bid for membership of the EU, the project could have better secured the government’s commitment to reforms up front. (iii) In projects aiming to improve tax revenue administration, the right balance must be struck between institutional reform and hardware needs (buildings and information and communications technologies). (iv) High TTL turnover could be mitigated by ensuring adequate capacity in the field with the presence of competent local staff.

Jordan: Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Urban Development Project (PPAR)

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Rwanda CLR Review FY14-20

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In summary, under the Rwanda CPS for FY14-FY20, the World Bank Group supported the government to address problems in areas and sectors that could help reduce poverty and improve shared prosperity. The CLR’s most relevant lessons are summarized as follows. First, government discipline and leadership enhance the effectiveness of official development assistance and the country’s ability to progress Show MoreIn summary, under the Rwanda CPS for FY14-FY20, the World Bank Group supported the government to address problems in areas and sectors that could help reduce poverty and improve shared prosperity. The CLR’s most relevant lessons are summarized as follows. First, government discipline and leadership enhance the effectiveness of official development assistance and the country’s ability to progress. Second, more qualified people working on financial management, procurement and safeguards is needed to enhance the impact of projects and program. Third, plans for agricultural modernization require considering interactions between the rural and urban labor markets to ensure migrating rural workers have gainful urban employment. Fourth, generating knowledge through ASA can help identify binding constraints and design policy reforms in a timely manner. IEG adds the following lesson: Poor results framework make it difficult to learn from a program’s experience, attribute results to the program and assess its achievements, and build knowledge that can guide future program design and implementation. To assess programs, build knowledge and guide future actions, the WBG needs to ensure CPF Results Frameworks have: (a) a clear and coherent results chain and (b) indicators that can be measured, are useful for assessing the achievement of objectives and are linked to the program’s interventions.. In Rwanda, the CPS results framework has shortcomings that makes it difficult to measure the achievement of some objectives, build knowledge and guide future WBG programs.

Madagascar: Emergency Support to Critical Education, Health, and Nutrition Services Project and Additional Financing (PPAR)

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The World Bank suspended operations in Madagascar in 2009 after a coup d’état and establishment of a de facto government. The unconstitutional regime change caused a prolonged period of political crisis, and together with the 2008 financial crisis, threatened to reverse a decade of sustained gains in social and economic indicators. The dearth of public financing for basic social services and the Show MoreThe World Bank suspended operations in Madagascar in 2009 after a coup d’état and establishment of a de facto government. The unconstitutional regime change caused a prolonged period of political crisis, and together with the 2008 financial crisis, threatened to reverse a decade of sustained gains in social and economic indicators. The dearth of public financing for basic social services and the withdrawal of most donors during the protracted political crisis were especially concerning. The Emergency Support to Critical Education, Health, and Nutrition Services Project was prepared in 2012 after the World Bank’s reengagement in Madagascar and before reentry of other partners. The project’s objective was “to preserve critical education, health, and nutrition service delivery in targeted vulnerable areas.” The project initially focused on five of Madagascar’s poorest and most vulnerable regions, where other donors were not active, and eventually extended nutrition services only to four additional regions (of 22 regions in the country). Ratings for the Emergency Support to Critical Education, Health, and Nutrition Services Project and Additional Financing are as follows: Outcome was highly satisfactory, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Quality of monitoring and evaluation was modest. This assessment offers the following lessons, which focus on the challenges of further strengthening and sustaining a multisectoral approach to nutrition raised in this report: (i) A multisectoral approach, which delivers a range of services that benefit communities, can have a synergistic and impactful effect on the health and nutrition of mothers and children. (ii) The effectiveness and efficiency of Madagascar’s nutrition efforts are contingent on the ONN fully assuming its primary mandate of multisectoral coordination, with the full support and recognition of the public sector, at all levels of government, and in partnership with leaders and stakeholders in the political, administrative, religious, and traditional arenas and in the private sector. (iii) The roles and comparative advantages of the regions and districts in the strategic management and implementation of service delivery, including the support and encouragement of cross-sectoral synergies, will continue to be underexploited as long as the government’s structure is highly centralized. (iv) Successful mobilization of domestic and international resources, planning, programming, and priority setting—including managing the tensions between the goals of expanding nutrition coverage and strengthening existing services—will be difficult to achieve without investments in ONN capacity. Over and above the capacity strengthening needed, improved aid effectiveness and the sustainability of Madagascar’s nutrition efforts also depend on development partners working closely with ONN and the regions and supporting their development plans and priorities, and on an evolution from projects to program support. (v) The World Bank can play a pivotal role in supporting ONN to assume its multisectoral coordination role by advocating to the highest levels of government the importance of prioritizing nutrition as a means of achieving its development objectives and of allocating more budgetary resources to this end, and in supporting the decentralization process to empower regions. (vi) Emergency operations can provide an opportunity for embarking on broader development efforts, as shown by this project, whose interventions transcended recovery efforts. However, the inclusion of such development support without attention to sustainability can undermine gains postproject.