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Report/Evaluation Type:Country-Focused EvaluationsProject Level Evaluations (PPARs)
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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.

Cambodia: Trade Facilitation and Competitiveness (PPAR)

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The FY05 Trade Facilitation and Competitiveness Project (P089196) was a US$10 million IDA grant to Cambodia. The objective of the project was to support the government’s strategy to promote economic growth by helping (i) reduce transaction costs related to trade and investment; (ii) introduce transparency in investment processes; and (iii) facilitate access of enterprises to export markets. The Show MoreThe FY05 Trade Facilitation and Competitiveness Project (P089196) was a US$10 million IDA grant to Cambodia. The objective of the project was to support the government’s strategy to promote economic growth by helping (i) reduce transaction costs related to trade and investment; (ii) introduce transparency in investment processes; and (iii) facilitate access of enterprises to export markets. The purpose of this PPAR is to assess the outcome of the Cambodia Trade Facilitation and Competitiveness project and to provide an input to IEG’s forthcoming macro evaluation on Facilitating Trade. Ratings for the project are: outcome is moderately satisfactory, risk to development outcome is negligible to low, Bank performance is moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance is moderately satisfactory. Lessons of the project include: (i) Early involvement with government. (ii) Expert assistance. (iii) Implementation readiness. (iv) Trade-off between good governance and timely project implementation.

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.

Philippines: Support for Basic Education Reform, 2006-12

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The Philippines is 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. Economic growth has increased substantially in recent years. The longest period of sustained economic growth in recent history was between 2012 and 2016. Despite this growth, poverty and inequality remain high and persistent. Priority for reform Show MoreThe Philippines is 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. Economic growth has increased substantially in recent years. The longest period of sustained economic growth in recent history was between 2012 and 2016. Despite this growth, poverty and inequality remain high and persistent. Priority for reform of the education sector has shifted through the years from access to quality. This assessment examines two such education quality projects in the mid-2000s, assessing both projects together because they were designed jointly to support the government’s education strategy. The National Program Support for Basic Education’s (NPSBE) objective was “to improve quality and equity in learning outcomes for all Filipinos in basic education.” The Support for Basic Education Sector Reform Project’s (SPHERE) objective was “to support the implementation of the Philippine government’s Basic Education Sector Reform Agenda (BESRA) which in turn aims to contribute to the achievement of the Philippines’ basic education goal of improving quality and equity in learning outcomes.” Relevance of the objectives is rated substantial for both projects. The projects’ objectives aligned well with government and World Bank strategy at appraisal and closing. However, project documents also reference intended efficiency outcomes that were not specified as part of the formal objectives. Relevance of design is rated modest for both projects. Both projects’ stated development objectives supported improvements in quality and equity of learning outcomes, yet the equity objective was not well defined, and the components and activities were oriented toward access and quality with an unclear theory of change that would have related project interventions to equity outcomes.

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.

Lao People's Democratic Republic: Sustainable Forestry for Rural Development Project (PPAR)

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Ratings for the Sustainable Forestry for Rural Development Project are as follows: Outcome is moderately unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome is high, Bank performance is moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrow performance is moderately unsatisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) A pattern of weak government commitment to increasing citizen’s natural resource rights exists in Lao Show MoreRatings for the Sustainable Forestry for Rural Development Project are as follows: Outcome is moderately unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome is high, Bank performance is moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrow performance is moderately unsatisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) A pattern of weak government commitment to increasing citizen’s natural resource rights exists in Lao PDR. (ii) Villagers who are denied secure community tenure and rights to forest resources are unlikely to commit to sustainable forest management. (iii) The zoning of natural forest may fail to reflect variations in the richness of the resource, so the area earmarked for sustainable management may be unrealistically large, stretching administrative resources too thin. (iv) Zoning and the preparation of management plans for specific forest tracts are important first steps but they are not, in themselves, sufficient evidence that sustainable forest management is being implemented.

Lao People's Democratic Republic: Sustainable Forestry for Rural Development Project (PPAR)

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Ratings for the Sustainable Forestry for Rural Development Project are as follows: Outcome is moderately unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome is high, Bank performance is moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrow performance is moderately unsatisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) A pattern of weak government commitment to increasing citizen’s natural resource rights exists in Lao Show MoreRatings for the Sustainable Forestry for Rural Development Project are as follows: Outcome is moderately unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome is high, Bank performance is moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrow performance is moderately unsatisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) A pattern of weak government commitment to increasing citizen’s natural resource rights exists in Lao PDR. (ii) Villagers who are denied secure community tenure and rights to forest resources are unlikely to commit to sustainable forest management. (iii) The zoning of natural forest may fail to reflect variations in the richness of the resource, so the area earmarked for sustainable management may be unrealistically large, stretching administrative resources too thin. (iv) Zoning and the preparation of management plans for specific forest tracts are important first steps but they are not, in themselves, sufficient evidence that sustainable forest management is being implemented.

Burkina Faso, Ghana and Mali: West Africa Transport and Transit Facilitation Project

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the development effectiveness of the West Africa Transport and Transit Facilitation Project implemented in three countries: Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Mali. The project was approved on June 19, 2008, for a cost of US$197.2 million, with an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$190 million. The project cost at completion Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the development effectiveness of the West Africa Transport and Transit Facilitation Project implemented in three countries: Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Mali. The project was approved on June 19, 2008, for a cost of US$197.2 million, with an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$190 million. The project cost at completion was US$180.87 million, with US$173.5 million of the IDA credit being utilized. The project was closed on June 30, 2015, with a delay of fifteen months due to delays in release of counterpart funding from the Government of Ghana and suspension of works in Mali (for about 11 months) in the aftermath of the political crisis in March 2012. Landlocked economies are disadvantaged by costly and unreliable transport and transit processes. For example, transport and transit costs for countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger are up to 50 percent higher than for countries with direct sea access. Historically, the Abidjan-Ouagadougou-Bamako Corridor was the main sea access corridor for both Burkina Faso and Mali. However, because of the deteriorating security situation in Côte d'Ivoire, there was an urgent need to seek alternative access to ports for the landlocked countries of Burkina Faso and Mali. Ratings for the West Africa Transport and Transit Facilitation Project are as follows: Outcome is moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is substantial, Bank performance is moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance is moderately satisfactory. Lesson from the project include: (i) A regional approach to implement road rehabilitation works along strategic corridors can enhance the benefits particularly for the landlocked countries by linking them to gateway ports. (ii) It is important to have strong upstream analytical work and technical assistance for regional trade facilitation reforms so that countries can agree early on the technical details of institutional reforms. (iii) When the projects involve Regional Economic Communities (REC), it is important to assess and cover RECs’ funding needs for project coordination and implementation so that they can carry out this function effectively. (iv) The World Bank’s current single-country business model makes it challenging to implement regional projects.

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.