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Report/Evaluation Type:Country Focused ValidationsProject Level Evaluations (PPARs)
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Burkina Faso: Growth and Competitiveness Credits 1-4 (PPAR)

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) evaluates the Growth and Competitiveness Credit Development Policy Financing series (I–IV) implemented in Burkina Faso between 2012 and 2015. The total cost of the four operations was $359 million equivalent. The first operation was approved by the Board of the International Development Association (IDA) on June 26, 2012, and the last on April 2, Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) evaluates the Growth and Competitiveness Credit Development Policy Financing series (I–IV) implemented in Burkina Faso between 2012 and 2015. The total cost of the four operations was $359 million equivalent. The first operation was approved by the Board of the International Development Association (IDA) on June 26, 2012, and the last on April 2, 2015. The series closed on December 31, 2015. The Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) prepared the report based on interviews, a review of World Bank files, and documents and data collected during a field visit to Burkina Faso in November 2017. The mission met with World Bank staff, government officials, beneficiaries of the reforms, donors, academia, and civil society groups. The evaluation also draws from interviews with the task team leaders and country manager of Burkina Faso. The series followed 11 budget support operations of the Poverty Reduction Support Credits and Grants 1–11 in Burkina Faso and was the only type of development policy operation financed by IDA resources during the period.

China: NanGuang Railway Project (PPAR)

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The purpose of this Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) for the World Bank’s NanGuang Railway Project in China is to offer closer and deeper insights on the project’s outcome, based on updated evidence, including an assessment of the project’s contribution to sector reform and institutional improvement. The PPAR is the first of three PPARs, each for a World Bank–financed large railway Show MoreThe purpose of this Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) for the World Bank’s NanGuang Railway Project in China is to offer closer and deeper insights on the project’s outcome, based on updated evidence, including an assessment of the project’s contribution to sector reform and institutional improvement. The PPAR is the first of three PPARs, each for a World Bank–financed large railway investment project in China that was completed over the past five years. Although the World Bank’s financing ranged from US$200 million to US$300 million and accounted for a small percentage of the total cost for each project, all three projects provided a platform for railway sector policy engagements between the World Bank and the Government. The goal of the NanGuang Railway Project was to enhance transport services in a congested corridor connecting a large and populous less-developed western region in Southwest China and the more-developed Pearl River delta region, with the aim of contributing to regional economic development. The project was also intended to serve as a platform for the World Bank to continue its policy engagement with the Government of China in the railway sector. Ratings for the NanGuang Railway Project are as follows: Outcome is satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is negligible, Bank performance is satisfactory, and Borrower performance is satisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Sound technical design, project preparation, and implementation management, combined with a strong financial capacity, are a recipe for success for a high-speed railway project. (ii) Agglomeration effects are an important benefit of high-speed rail development and should be incorporated in the benefit-cost analysis of such projects. (iii) Successful reforms in large and complex infrastructure sectors such as railways in China require sustained policy dialogue and engagements. (iv) Good connections of high-speed railway lines with other transport modes and between the rail stations and urban centers are critical to achieving the full benefits of high speed trains.

Azerbaijan: Internally Displaced Persons Economic Development Project (PPAR)

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The well-being of internally displaced persons (IDPs) arose as a significant political and policy concern in the wake of the military conflict between Azerbaijan and neighboring Armenia. The conflict lasted from 1988 to 1994 when a cease-fire was declared (which continues to this day). The conflict resulted in the occupation of about 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory. Some 612,000 people, or Show MoreThe well-being of internally displaced persons (IDPs) arose as a significant political and policy concern in the wake of the military conflict between Azerbaijan and neighboring Armenia. The conflict lasted from 1988 to 1994 when a cease-fire was declared (which continues to this day). The conflict resulted in the occupation of about 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory. Some 612,000 people, or 15 percent of the Azerbaijani population, became internally displaced, making them one of the highest concentrations of IDPs per capita in the world. In addition, some 200,000 ethnic Azerbaijani returned to Azerbaijan from historically Azerbaijan-populated territories in Armenia. IDPs live in scattered communities throughout Azerbaijan; and although some have been able to integrate into mainstream Azerbaijani society, many still live in collective centers (public buildings, dormitories) and temporary shelters where conditions are harsh and amenities, such as access to clean water, adequate sanitation, and electricity are scarcer than among the non-IDP population. IDPs have few income-generating options and are highly dependent on state transfers and subsidies as their main source of income. This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) evaluates the performance of the Azerbaijan Internally Displaced Persons Economic Development Support Project, a community development fund project, and an additional financing that was added to the IDP-EDS to respond to additional demand for micro-projects. Ratings for the Internally Displaced Persons Economic Development Project are as follows: Outcome is moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is low, Bank performance is moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance is moderately satisfactory. The main lessons to draw from the project assessment are the following: (i) Community micro-projects may not require high levels of community mobilization to be successful. (ii) Well-targeted micro-projects are likely to successfully improve basic living conditions in a community but may not be sufficient to make a difference in terms of creating economic opportunity and reducing poverty. (iii) Pursuing social integration can be a legitimate project objective, but it may require participatory processes that can generate positive spillover effects in the broader community. (iv) When World Bank and government objectives don’t coincide, project outcomes may not be easily achieved and investments can be at risk. (v) Women may be formally present in community committees but may not have a voice.

Solomon Islands CLR Review FY13-17

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This review of the Solomon Islands Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group’s (WBG)1 Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period, FY13-FY17, and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of August 2016. This is the first CPS for Solomon Islands following an Interim Strategy Note (ISN) in 2010. Solomon Islands is a small, remote archipelago in the South Pacific, Show MoreThis review of the Solomon Islands Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group’s (WBG)1 Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period, FY13-FY17, and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of August 2016. This is the first CPS for Solomon Islands following an Interim Strategy Note (ISN) in 2010. Solomon Islands is a small, remote archipelago in the South Pacific, with a population of 599,419 in 2016. It is a lower-middle-income country with a GNI per capita of US$1,880 in 2016. Between 2013 and 2016, its economy grew at an annual average rate of 2.8 percent while population grew at an annual average rate of 2.1 percent. Economic growth has been driven mostly by logging, services, and agriculture. Solomon is classified as a Fragile and Conflict-Affected State (FCS). The poverty head count ratio using the national poverty line was 12.7 percent in 2013, with a quarter of the population living below US$1.90 a day (2011 PPP). The last estimate for the Gini index was 37 in 2013 (a decline from 46 in 2005). Solomon Islands ranked 156 of 188 countries in the 2015 Human Development Index (HDI), putting it in the low human development category.

Bangladesh and Nepal: Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection in Asia (PPAR)

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South Asia is home to 13–15 percent of the earth’s floral and faunal biodiversity, including some of its most iconic and endangered wildlife species. In recent decades, the region has experienced a rapid loss of critical natural habitats for those species, increasing poaching of wildlife and an expanding illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products driven largely by consumer demand in East Show MoreSouth Asia is home to 13–15 percent of the earth’s floral and faunal biodiversity, including some of its most iconic and endangered wildlife species. In recent decades, the region has experienced a rapid loss of critical natural habitats for those species, increasing poaching of wildlife and an expanding illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products driven largely by consumer demand in East Asia. The World Bank project, Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection in Asia (SRCWP), intended to contribute to the long-term goal for the South Asia Region of stabilizing and increasing the populations and habitats of critically endangered animals (e.g. tigers, snow leopards, rhinos, and elephants). Collaboration in a regional approach to building institutional capacity for curbing the illegal wildlife trade and strengthening management of critical wildlife habitats in national protected areas was the way to achieve that long-term goal. The SRCWP was designed as the first phase of a horizontal (multi-country) adaptable program loan (APL) that, in its second phase, included a similar project in Bhutan. A separate PPAR will be prepared for the project in Bhutan. Ratings for this project are as follows: Outcome is satisfactory, Risk to outcome is moderate, World Bank performance is moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance is moderately satisfactory. IEG’s review of the SRCWP’s experience suggests the following lessons: (i) Given their design and implementation challenges, regional projects focusing on global public goods require adequate preparation time to conduct a thorough analysis of participant capacities and commitments. (ii) Regional projects aiming to pilot new approaches to collaboration on transboundary wildlife management and illegal wildlife trade require a carefully designed results framework. (iii) Regional projects designed to build institutions and capacity for collaboration on transboundary wildlife management and illegal wildlife trade require a long-term investment to ensure success in achieving results.

Romania CLR Review FY14-18

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This review of the World Bank Group’s Completion and Learning Report (CLR) covers the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated November 3, 2016. The original CPS period (FY14-17) was at the PLR stage extended by one year to cover FY14-18. The CLR and this review cover this extended period. Romania is an upper middle-income country with a GNI per Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group’s Completion and Learning Report (CLR) covers the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated November 3, 2016. The original CPS period (FY14-17) was at the PLR stage extended by one year to cover FY14-18. The CLR and this review cover this extended period. Romania is an upper middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $9,480 in 2016 and a population of 19.7 million. Romania’s per capita GDP had grown rapidly up to 2009, reducing poverty, but the global financial crisis of 2008 triggered a severe recession. The IMF Article IV report (May 2017) notes that Romania strengthened its economy considerably after the global financial crisis. Romania registered an average annual GDP growth of 3.9 percent during the review period (2014-2016). Public debt and fiscal and current account imbalances are moderate compared to many emerging markets, but significant challenges remain and the momentum of progress in policies has waned. Income convergence with the EU has slowed and poverty is among the highest in the EU. Romania has a Human Development Index (HDI) of .802 in 2015, placing the country in the very high human development category and ranking 50 (of 188) in HDI in 2015. Its Gini coefficient is 28.3 in 2016 (from around 35 in 2010) and its poverty headcount ratio based on the national poverty line is 25.4 percent (average 2014-2016).

Mauritania CLR Review FY14-16

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This completion and learning review (CLR) covers the period FY 14-16. The country partnership strategy (CPS) consisted of two pillars (or focus areas): (1) Growth and diversification; and (2) economic governance and service delivery. The CPS work program was aligned with pillars I-IV of the third poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP3): (i) accelerating economic growth; (ii) anchoring growth in Show MoreThis completion and learning review (CLR) covers the period FY 14-16. The country partnership strategy (CPS) consisted of two pillars (or focus areas): (1) Growth and diversification; and (2) economic governance and service delivery. The CPS work program was aligned with pillars I-IV of the third poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP3): (i) accelerating economic growth; (ii) anchoring growth in the economic sphere directly benefiting the poor; (iii) developing human resources and facilitating access to basic infrastructure; and (iv) promoting real institutional development supported by good governance. Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) concurs with some of lessons provided in the CLR summarized as follows: (i) for a CPS program to yield results, the time to implement the program must be long; (ii) CPS programs need to take a wider approach to sectors, as in the in case of the Banda Gas and associated transmission project; and (iii) the Bank needs to invest in capacity building, both in individual operations and in long-term reform and modernization.

Armenia: Municipal Water Project (PPAR)

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Armenia enjoys abundant water resources averaging 10.2 billion m3 per year, of which 2.4 billion are used for drinking water. Drinking water is provided by five state water companies1. Demands on water production are high because of excessive levels of non-revenue water (NRW) of up to 85 percent. In 2012, at the time of the appraisal of the Municipal Water Project (MWP), Armenia had recorded Show MoreArmenia enjoys abundant water resources averaging 10.2 billion m3 per year, of which 2.4 billion are used for drinking water. Drinking water is provided by five state water companies1. Demands on water production are high because of excessive levels of non-revenue water (NRW) of up to 85 percent. In 2012, at the time of the appraisal of the Municipal Water Project (MWP), Armenia had recorded significant legislative and institutional achievements in terms of water resources management in cooperation with international institutions, including the World Bank. The water sector reforms were aimed at decentralizing the water resources management function for the benefit of water users and best use of water resources. However, water tariffs have been low since 20092 and revenues insufficient for asset rehabilitation to reduce NRW. The MWP’s project development objective (PDO) was to support improvement of the quality and availability of the water supply in selected areas of the Armenia Water and Sewerage Company (AWSC)—a state water company owned by the State Committee of Water Economy (SCWE). Ratings for the Municipal Water Project are as follows: Outcome is moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is high, Bank performance is moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance is moderately satisfactory. In terms of lessons, the implementation of the MWP suggests the following: (i) The sustainability of development outcomes is enhanced when the World Bank maintains its strategic and operational engagement over time, especially when social and political risks are high. (ii) The World Bank’s continuous advice and technical assistance, provided in parallel with lending and in coordination with other donors, can result in effective partnership with the government and the private sector. (iii) Tailoring the Enhanced Management Contract to the conditions of the local service area can help achieve results.

Brazil: Bahia Poor Urban Areas Integrated Development Project - Viver Melhor II (PPAR)

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This is a project performance review of the Bahia Poor Urban Areas Integrated Development Project financed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and implemented between 2005 and 2013 in two cities in the state of Bahia: Salvador and Feira de Santana. The project sought to reduce urban poverty sustainably in the poorest and most vulnerable sections of Salvador by Show MoreThis is a project performance review of the Bahia Poor Urban Areas Integrated Development Project financed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and implemented between 2005 and 2013 in two cities in the state of Bahia: Salvador and Feira de Santana. The project sought to reduce urban poverty sustainably in the poorest and most vulnerable sections of Salvador by providing access to basic services and improved housing and social support services. It was designed when Bahia had the highest quantitative housing deficit in absolute numbers and the highest number of people living in slums in the country. The project follows a series of previous World Bank–financed urban development operations in Bahia that focused on integrating physical infrastructure and social services delivery in low-income communities. This project represents the World Bank’s first large-scale investment supporting urban upgrading at a state level. Outcome is moderately unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome is significant, Bank performance is moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrower performance is moderately unsatisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Adaptability to local needs, retaining beneficiaries in the territory, and integration between different types of interventions are key features in slum upgrading and social housing. (ii) Weakness in social service delivery can jeopardize expected outcomes and sustainability. Flexible designs and adequate sequencing of activities might help ensure results. (iii) It is crucial in slum upgrading projects to guarantee delivery of all outputs in the social activities cycle because even small failures can jeopardize the expected outcomes. (iv) Adoption of multiphase projects or a programmatic long-term approach in slum-upgrading projects might be appropriate when social capital strengthening is considered necessary to achieve long-term results. (v) Appropriate timing in the preparation of slum-upgrading projects is crucial. Studies and diagnostics require sufficient time (though not too long) to avoid frustrating local expectations or hampering integration. (vi) Continuity in project management is a success factor in complex institutional development and social capital–strengthening projects, allowing familiarity with the local context and building mutual trust with the affected communities. (vii) It is important for World Bank project management to ensure that slum-upgrading projects in urban areas are consistent with existing city plans and are integrated seamlessly into World Bank Group sectoral and thematic operations.

Georgia: Public Sector Financial Management Reform Support (PPAR)

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) evaluates the Public Sector Financial Management Reform Support Project for Georgia, including a grant in the amount of $3 million and funds contributed by other donors: $2.1 million by the Netherlands Ministry for Development Cooperation; $4.5 million by the Swedish International Cooperation Agency; and $4.5 million by the U.K. Department for Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) evaluates the Public Sector Financial Management Reform Support Project for Georgia, including a grant in the amount of $3 million and funds contributed by other donors: $2.1 million by the Netherlands Ministry for Development Cooperation; $4.5 million by the Swedish International Cooperation Agency; and $4.5 million by the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID). The project’s development objectives were to enhance governance, particularly in the public financial management domain. Ratings for the Public Sector Financial Management Reform Support are as follows: Outcome is moderately unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome is low, Bank performance is moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrower performance is moderately satisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Creating a decision-making environment with continuous results monitoring and course correction based on experience would be a more promising approach to complex reforms. (ii) The costs of building and upgrading a PFMIS when a country’s needs are evolving should be carefully assessed. (iii) An alternative design option for PFM modernization projects would involve a two-stage approach. (iv) Project implementation may be hindered by uneven institutional capacity.