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

Vietnam: Education Projects - School Readiness and Escuela Nueva

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The government and people of Vietnam place a high value on education. The government’s Socio-Economic Development Strategy 2010–20 and the Socio-Economic Development Plan 2016–20 emphasize the importance of investment in human capital to develop people’s skills in support of a knowledge-based economy. This assessment covers two projects: Vietnam School Readiness and Promotion Project, and the Show MoreThe government and people of Vietnam place a high value on education. The government’s Socio-Economic Development Strategy 2010–20 and the Socio-Economic Development Plan 2016–20 emphasize the importance of investment in human capital to develop people’s skills in support of a knowledge-based economy. This assessment covers two projects: Vietnam School Readiness and Promotion Project, and the Global Partnership for Education-Vietnam Escuela Nueva Project. Objectives for these projects are: (i) to raise school readiness for five-year old children, in particular for those most vulnerable to not succeeding in a school environment, through supporting selected elements of Vietnam’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) program, and (ii) to introduce and use new teaching and learning practices in the classroom targeting the most disadvantaged groups of primary students. Ratings for the Vietnam School Readiness and Promotion Project are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Bank performance was satisfactory, Quality of M&E was substantial, and Risk to development outcome was low. Ratings for the Global Partnership for Education – Vietnam Escuela Nueva Project are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was modest, Bank performance was satisfactory, and Borrower performance was satisfactory. IEG identified the following lessons from its evaluation of the two operations: (i) In addition to lending, the World Bank can add value through the transmission of knowledge from experiences and lessons that help shape reforms. (ii) When significant pedagogical changes are required of teachers, incentives, support, and long-term commitment are needed (probably more than education systems realize). (iii) When scaling up or adopting a systemwide approach, it is important to understand and design this approach in accordance with the decentralized context and challenges faced at the various levels of administration. (iv) Targeting disadvantaged areas does not translate into targeted efforts for specific vulnerable groups. (v) When scaling up, the importance of consultation and communication cannot be underestimated.

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.

Poland: Public Finance, Resilience and Growth Development Policy Loans (PPAR)

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) evaluates four lending operations implemented in Poland from 2012 to 2016. The development objectives of the first series were to support Poland’s fiscal consolidation agenda while strengthening fiscal institutions and improving the efficiency and sustainability of social spending. The objectives of the second series were to enhance macroeconomic Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) evaluates four lending operations implemented in Poland from 2012 to 2016. The development objectives of the first series were to support Poland’s fiscal consolidation agenda while strengthening fiscal institutions and improving the efficiency and sustainability of social spending. The objectives of the second series were to enhance macroeconomic resilience, strengthen labor market flexibility and employment promotion, and improve private sector competitiveness and innovation. Ratings for the First and Second Public Finance Development Policy Loans are as follows: Outcome is satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is low, Bank performance is satisfactory, Borrower performance is moderately satisfactory. Ratings for the First and Second Resilience and Growth Development Policy Loans are as follows: Outcome is moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is moderate, Bank performance is satisfactory, and Borrower performance is satisfactory. Lessons include: (i) Development policy lending can help mitigate global economic and financial shocks and protect vulnerable groups in high-income countries when accompanied with timely, high-quality, and responsive technical assistance that supports the reforms. (ii) Where a high-income country is required to implement constitutional provisions or agreed reforms with a regional body, providing support for the implementation of such reforms is likely to enhance the likelihood of success. (iii) RAS are a promising tool for engaging governments in high-income countries when Bank Group staff demonstrate the capacity to produce timely and high-quality analytical products in response to government requests. (iv) Coordinating with other partners in situations where the World Bank is not the largest stakeholder is important for successful implementation of reforms. (v) Analyzing the political cost of implementing proposed reform measures is an important part of policy lending.

El Salvador: Income Support and Employability Project (PPAR)

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This is a Project Performance Assessment Report of the Income Support and Employability Project (P117440) in El Salvador. The project development objective was to (i) provide temporary income support to the urban vulnerable poor, (ii) improve the coverage of labor intermediation and training services to the urban vulnerable poor, and (iii) improve the institutional capacity of the borrower to Show MoreThis is a Project Performance Assessment Report of the Income Support and Employability Project (P117440) in El Salvador. The project development objective was to (i) provide temporary income support to the urban vulnerable poor, (ii) improve the coverage of labor intermediation and training services to the urban vulnerable poor, and (iii) improve the institutional capacity of the borrower to develop an integrated social protection system. The project was approved in November 2009 (fiscal year [FY]10) with an original closing date envisioned for December 2014 (FY15). The project underwent five restructurings throughout implementation. The final closing date was August 2016 (FY17). At appraisal, project cost was estimated at $50 million and government counterpart funding was $4 million. By project closing, $49.3 million of the loan proceeds were disbursed. Ratings for the Income Support and Employability Project are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, Bank performance was satisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately satisfactory. Lessons from this project include: (i) A crisis period can create opportunities for broader reform of an existing social protection system through projects that adequately balance short and long-term objectives. (ii) Ensuring high participation and higher incomes for vulnerable groups requires interventions that are specifically tailored to address the needs of these groups. (iii) In an emergency context, a project can be implemented rapidly and effectively by using the country’s existing capacity when the project relies on an implementing agency with a proven track record and is accompanied by close World Bank supervision. (iv) The support of knowledgeable local actors is critical for the successful implementation of an intervention in areas affected by high levels of crime and violence.

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.

Jamaica: Inner City Basic Services for the Poor Project (PPAR)

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This is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) prepared by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group on the Inner City Basic Services for the Poor Project in Jamaica. This project was selected for a PPAR to provide insights into promoting urban resilience with a focus on informal settlements. The project represents an innovative experience for Jamaica in combining Show MoreThis is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) prepared by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group on the Inner City Basic Services for the Poor Project in Jamaica. This project was selected for a PPAR to provide insights into promoting urban resilience with a focus on informal settlements. The project represents an innovative experience for Jamaica in combining efforts to improve public safety and community capacity while upgrading urban infrastructure. The PPAR findings provide input to a major IEG evaluation on “Building Urban Resilience” (forthcoming, 2019). Ratings for the Inner City Basic Services for the Poor Project are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, World Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately unsatisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Addressing urban crime and violence through a two-pronged approach of improving basic infrastructure and promoting social inclusion can benefit from the combination of those individual activities that are most effective. (ii) The sharp disconnect between a centralized and well-resourced agency executing infrastructure investments in a decentralized urban situation; and a multiplicity of under-resourced service agencies and local governments in charge of infrastructure maintenance can undermine long-term development outcomes. (iii) In project design, the decision to add activities that are institutionally complex and require focused expertise requires careful consideration to avoid straining resources and effort during project implementation. (iv) To sustain the benefits from community-based and social services for children and youth, long-term engagement is crucial: institutional ownership should be specified, and resources for those activities must be anticipated and secured by the time project support is discontinued.

Uzbekistan: Irrigation and Drainage Interventions to Support the Agriculture Sector (PPAR)

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This is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group on the Ferghana Valley Water Resources Management Project Phase I and the Uzbekistan Rural Enterprise Support Project Phase II in the Republic of Uzbekistan. This PPAR provides insights into how these two projects identified and addressed critical irrigation sector needs to Show MoreThis is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group on the Ferghana Valley Water Resources Management Project Phase I and the Uzbekistan Rural Enterprise Support Project Phase II in the Republic of Uzbekistan. This PPAR provides insights into how these two projects identified and addressed critical irrigation sector needs to improve the country’s irrigation and drainage systems and institutions, both at on-farm and inter-farm levels. The assessment pays special attention to the effectiveness and sustainability of capacity-building support provided to water consumer associations in both projects. Based on such assessment, the PPAR draws common lessons regarding the design and implementation of both projects, which were led by two separate World Bank Global Practices: Water, and Agriculture. The lessons from this PPAR feed into IEG’s forthcoming Evaluation on Strengthening Irrigation Management Models for Sustainable Service Delivery. Ratings for the Ferghana Valley Water Resources Management Project Phase I are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately satisfactory. Lessons from this project include: (1) Establishing adequate institutional arrangements is critical for sustainable use of improved agricultural technologies and practices such as land leveling and deep ripping. (ii) Sound selection criteria for identifying beneficiaries and areas are crucial for the farmers’ uptake and use of water-saving technologies. Ratings for the Rural Enterprise Support Project Phase II are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was moderate, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately satisfactory. Lessons include: (1) Coordinated and mutually reinforcing capacity building of financial institutions and farmers is crucial for establishing viable on-farm investments. (ii) Clear concept, measurement, and disclosure arrangements at project appraisal for sensitive data can ensure the availability of results at project completion.