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

Romania: Hazard Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness Project (PPAR)

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Romania’s Hazard Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness (HRMEP) project, which was implemented between 2004 and 2012, was one of the World Bank’s first efforts to provide ex ante assistance to reduce or mitigate a country’s vulnerabilities to natural disasters related to floods, landslides, and earthquakes. The government sought the support of the World Bank to reduce vulnerability to these Show MoreRomania’s Hazard Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness (HRMEP) project, which was implemented between 2004 and 2012, was one of the World Bank’s first efforts to provide ex ante assistance to reduce or mitigate a country’s vulnerabilities to natural disasters related to floods, landslides, and earthquakes. The government sought the support of the World Bank to reduce vulnerability to these and other natural disasters in a proactive manner, leading to the approval of the HRMEP. The project development objective (PDO) was to assist the government in reducing the environmental, social, and economic vulnerability to natural disasters and catastrophic mining accident spills of pollutants. The PDO also included how the objective would be achieved: (i) the strengthening of emergency management and risk financing capacity; (ii) earthquake risk reduction; (iii) flood and landslide risk reduction; and, (iv) risk reduction of mining accidents in the Tisza Basin in northwest Romania. Ratings for the Hazard Risk Emergency Preparedness Project are as follows: Outcome was moderately unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome was significant, Bank performance was moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately unsatisfactory. Key lessons from the experience of the project include the following: (i) Depending on multiple, functionally independent implementing agencies for multisector projects can increase complexity without providing commensurate benefits. (ii) Multisectoral, multihazard efforts to reduce vulnerability to disasters may not offer synergies or economies of scope in the absence of clear logical links between activities and incentives for coordination by the institutions responsible for them. (iii) In a project designed to mitigate the risk of natural disasters, it is essential that sites critical for vulnerability reduction are both properly identified and systematically supported throughout the life of a project. (iv) When supporting structural retrofits, financing only the retrofitting and not the cost of returning buildings to functionality is likely to lead to problems with implementation.

Armenia CLR Review FY14-18

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Armenia is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $3,990 in 2017. It is a small and landlocked economy with borders closed with Azerbaijan and Turkey as a result of the unsettled Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It faces significant trading costs while trade accounts for 75.7 percent of GDP (2016). As a result of the 2014/15 Russian crisis and the slump in metal export prices through Show MoreArmenia is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $3,990 in 2017. It is a small and landlocked economy with borders closed with Azerbaijan and Turkey as a result of the unsettled Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It faces significant trading costs while trade accounts for 75.7 percent of GDP (2016). As a result of the 2014/15 Russian crisis and the slump in metal export prices through 2016, Armenia’s annual GDP growth declined from 4.3 percent during 2009- 13 to 3.6 percent during 2014-17, even though this growth reflects a sharp rebound to 7.5 percent in 2017. Slower growth and increased unemployment slowed progress in poverty reduction. Unemployment increased from 16.2 percent in 2013 to 18.3 percent in 2015, where it remained through 2017. After declining from 35.8 percent in 2010 to 30.0 percent in 2014, the headcount poverty ratio changed little through 2016. Income inequality (the Gini coefficient) also changed little, from 31.5 in 2013 to 32.5 in 2016. During the CPS period, broader measures in social conditions improved slightly. Armenia’s Human Development Index improved from 0.729 in 2010 (76th among 169 countries) to 0.755 in 2017 (83th among 189 countries). The World Bank Group’s Country Program Strategy (CPS) had three pillars, or focus areas, including the cross-cutting area on governance. These covered broadly the same areas as the previous CPS (FY09-13): (i) supporting competitiveness and job creation; (ii) improving efficiency and targeting of social services; and (iii) improving governance and decreasing corruption. The CPS was broadly aligned with the Government of Armenia (GoA) Development Strategy 2025 (ADS) adopted in 2014. The ADS sought to boost shared prosperity and reduce poverty through accelerated economic growth and job creation. World Bank Group’s support was also aligned with a number of GoA’s strategies and programs, including in the areas of strengthening competitiveness, enhancing social and environmental sustainability and improving the efficiency and transparency of public administration. The Performance and Learning Review (PLR) confirmed the relevance of the pillars and maintained most CPS objectives. PLR adjustments primarily reflected changes in country circumstances (stalled recovery and fiscal constraints).

Morocco CLR Review FY14-17

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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), FY14-FY17. In addition to the CLR, this review is based on the original CPS approved by the Board on April 1, 2014 and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated May 24,2016 which updated aspects of the original CPS. Morocco is a lower middle- Show MoreThis independent review of the World Bank Group’s Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY14-FY17. In addition to the CLR, this review is based on the original CPS approved by the Board on April 1, 2014 and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated May 24,2016 which updated aspects of the original CPS. Morocco is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $2,860 in 2017. Steady economic growth from 2001 to 2013 helped close the income gap with Mediterranean Europe and reduce poverty from 15.3 percent to 4.8 percent and lower the Gini coefficient from 40.6 to 39.5 over the same period. The well-being of the poorest 40 percent of the population improved in absolute and relative terms.1 Morocco’s UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) score has been increasing gradually from 0.53 in 2010 to 0.67 in 2016, when the country’s ranked 123rd out of 188 countries. However, economic growth has slowed. Average annual GDP growth between 2014 and 2017 was only 3.1 percent despite investment exceeding 30 percent of GDP. Major development challenges have included a high rate of unemployment (around 10 percent), especially among the young (about 30 percent), and regional income disparities. Macroeconomic indicators have improved with lower fiscal and current account deficits and the public debt to GDP ratio stabilized at around 65 percent in 2016. The CPS had three focus areas: (i) promoting competitive and inclusive growth; (ii) building a green and resilient future; and (iii) strengthening governance and institutions for improved service delivery to all citizens.

Zambia CLR Review FY13-17

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The review of Zambia’s completion and learning review (CLR) of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) country partnership strategy (CPS) covers the period FY13-FY17. The WBG’s CPS had three focus areas: (a) reducing poverty and vulnerability of the poor; (b) improving competitiveness and infrastructure for growth and employment; and (c) improving governance and strengthening economic management. Cross- Show MoreThe review of Zambia’s completion and learning review (CLR) of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) country partnership strategy (CPS) covers the period FY13-FY17. The WBG’s CPS had three focus areas: (a) reducing poverty and vulnerability of the poor; (b) improving competitiveness and infrastructure for growth and employment; and (c) improving governance and strengthening economic management. Cross-cutting elements included regional integration, strengthening institutional capacity, and addressing governance, gender, and climate change challenges. The CPS was aligned with the government’s sixth national development plan 2013-2016, which aimed to accelerate infrastructure development and economic diversification, promote rural investment, accelerate poverty reduction, and enhance human development. Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) rates the CPS development outcome moderately unsatisfactory. The CLRR agrees with the CLR lessons as specified: (a) collaboration and coordination among stakeholders is critical to improving portfolio quality, (b) the number and design of projects should consider implementation capacity of the country and supervision capacity of the WBG, (c) WBG projects should be reflected in, and aligned with, the government program, (d) the WB can be effective in strengthening institutions at the local level, and (e) incorporating accountability measures in project designs promotes good governance, transparency, and oversight.

Kenya: Agricultural Productivity Program (KAPP I and II)

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This is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) covers the Kenya Agricultural Productivity Program (KAPP) and Kenya Agricultural Productivity and Agribusiness Program (KAPAP). This report was commissioned to assess the development results and outcomes of the projects, and to document the experiences and lessons from the innovative institutional and policy reforms carried out to accelerate Show MoreThis is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) covers the Kenya Agricultural Productivity Program (KAPP) and Kenya Agricultural Productivity and Agribusiness Program (KAPAP). This report was commissioned to assess the development results and outcomes of the projects, and to document the experiences and lessons from the innovative institutional and policy reforms carried out to accelerate agricultural productivity growth and commercialization of smallholder agriculture in Kenya. The sequential implementation of two projects offered an opportunity to assess the extent to which certain institutional and policy reforms—to bring pluralism in the agricultural extension system and increase the performance of the agricultural research system—have contributed to crop-livestock productivity growth. It also allows evaluation of whether the changes introduced are likely to be sustained. This report covers two projects and ratings for each are as follows: Kenya Agricultural Productivity Project - Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was high, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory and Borrower performance was moderately satisfactory. Kenya Agricultural Productivity and Agribusiness Project – Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Bank performance was moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately unsatisfactory. The following lessons are drawn from the experience of the KAPP program: (i) Sustained government ownership and commitment are key to achieve complex and sectorwide institutional reforms. (ii) Effectiveness of institutional reforms and project outcomes requires sustained effort through continuous realignment with the changing context. (iii) Participatory and client-driven approaches with strong priority setting and regular evaluation are critical to stimulate and transform the agricultural research system. (iv) Provision of agricultural extension services to poor small-scale farmers as a public good requires a sustainable financing mechanism. (v) Public sector funding for extension services can be decoupled from public provision to strengthen complementarities and create space for private sector participation and improved service delivery. (vi) Scaling up the contracted service delivery model using the privatized extension system requires development of new public regulatory and quality control systems.

Paraguay CLR Review FY15-18

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Paraguay - Completion and Learning Review for the Period FY15-FY18 : IEG Review (English) Paraguay is an upper middle-income country with a population of 6.8 million (2017) and a GNI per capita (Atlas method) of USD 3,920 in 2017.The population is very young (60 percent under thirty years old) and the country is going through a rapid urbanization process from a low base. The country has over Show MoreParaguay - Completion and Learning Review for the Period FY15-FY18 : IEG Review (English) Paraguay is an upper middle-income country with a population of 6.8 million (2017) and a GNI per capita (Atlas method) of USD 3,920 in 2017.The population is very young (60 percent under thirty years old) and the country is going through a rapid urbanization process from a low base. The country has over the last 15 years achieved solid economic growth (average GDP growth of 4.7 percent per annum) and improved shared prosperity, spurred by abundant natural resources. The CPS for the World Bank Group (WBG) had three pillars (or focus areas): (i) resilience to risks and volatility; (ii) pro-poor delivery of public goods and services; and (iii) agricultural productivity and market integration. The Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) focus areas and objectives were broadly aligned with the government's National Development Plan (NDP) 2014-2030 and supported the NDP's higher level objective to reduce extreme poverty and foster income growth of the bottom 40 percent. The WBG's program components were well aligned with the NDP and addressed important development issues. The program was selective with three focus areas and eight objectives (some of which, however, contained multiple sub-objectives). The Bank demonstrated flexibility by shifting to knowledge services when the demand for IBRD lending dropped in the run-up to the election. However, the results framework had significant shortcomings which were not fully addressed at the PLR stage. The Completion and Learning Review (CLR) highlighted six lessons with which IEG concurs: (i) simplicity in project design helps speed up project implementation; (ii) investment projects may help to build governance and capacity; (iii) a realistic results framework is needed for timely achievement of objectives; (iv) a strong ASA program requires selectivity and government ownership; (v) RASs may help prioritize ASA demand and advance reforms during Paraguay's long project preparation cycles; and (vi) the flexibility afforded by programmatic ASA helps respond to changes in client needs.

North Macedonia: Regional and Local Roads Program Support Project (PPAR)

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This PPAR assesses the development effectiveness of the Regional and Local Roads Program Support project in North Macedonia, which was approved in 2008. The original development objective of the project, “to reduce cost of access to markets and services for communities served by regional and local roads,” was revised through a level I restructuring in 2013 “to reduce the cost of safe access to Show MoreThis PPAR assesses the development effectiveness of the Regional and Local Roads Program Support project in North Macedonia, which was approved in 2008. The original development objective of the project, “to reduce cost of access to markets and services for communities served by regional and local roads,” was revised through a level I restructuring in 2013 “to reduce the cost of safe access to markets and services for communities served by regional and local roads in North Macedonia’s territory, and to improve institutional capacity for investment planning and road safety.” The revised objective thus introduced the element of road safety to access, as well as institutional capacity for investment planning and road safety. Ratings for the Regional and Local Roads Program Support Project are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was satisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Objective criteria developed and applied in a participatory manner can support a transparent framework to allocate investments and maintenance funds in the roads sector. (ii) The decentralization of responsibilities to local governments needs to be accompanied by the availability of commensurate resources and capacity building. (iii) Road safety and road design elements need to be jointly integrated into the project design and monitoring framework to mitigate risks to the effectiveness of road projects. (iv) Road project appraisal requires sufficient time and technical due diligence to ensure effective and timely project implementation.

Ethiopia: Urban Local Government Development Project (PPAR)

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This is the Project Performance Assessment Report for the Urban Local Government Development Project (ULGDP) in Ethiopia, which was approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on May 29, 2008, and closed on December 31, 2014. The project’s development objective was to support improved performance in the planning, delivery, and sustained provision of priority municipal services and Show MoreThis is the Project Performance Assessment Report for the Urban Local Government Development Project (ULGDP) in Ethiopia, which was approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on May 29, 2008, and closed on December 31, 2014. The project’s development objective was to support improved performance in the planning, delivery, and sustained provision of priority municipal services and infrastructure by urban local governments across the country. Ratings for Urban Local Government Development Project are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was negligible to low, Bank performance was satisfactory, and Borrower performance was satisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) There is a trade‐off between scope and development outcomes in municipal operations that use performance‐based grants. It is critical to ensure that funding is sufficient to both incentivize behavior at the city level and offer a meaningful level of technical assistance. (ii) A one‐size‐fits‐all approach is ineffective in urban development projects that target multiple cities at various stages of development. (iii) Performance‐based grants should be considered as a preferred method of intermediating intergovernmental fiscal resources to urban local governments in the context of emerging urban systems. (iv) Promoting autonomous decision making at the city level although ensuring that operational rules and supervision are in place is a necessary condition to ensuring the intended use of funds in municipal finance projects. (v) Urban development projects need to balance targeting core city administrative functions as well as improving city management and planning competencies.

Bolivia: Rural Alliances Project (PPAR)

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Around the turn of the millennium, based on lessons learned from projects in Bolivia and elsewhere, the World Bank began tinkering with the model of decentralized, community-driven development, trying to make it a more effective vehicle for boosting incomes generated by private sector productive activities in poor rural areas. The conviction was growing that past efforts to raise production Show MoreAround the turn of the millennium, based on lessons learned from projects in Bolivia and elsewhere, the World Bank began tinkering with the model of decentralized, community-driven development, trying to make it a more effective vehicle for boosting incomes generated by private sector productive activities in poor rural areas. The conviction was growing that past efforts to raise production incomes had underperformed because they had not, at the project design phase, paid enough attention to the potential of existing—and, more importantly, new—markets, nor had they developed ways to better link small-scale producers to those markets. The rural alliances model has now been applied to 18 operations in 10 countries throughout the Latin America and Caribbean Region. It seeks to promote links between buyers and organized groups of poor rural producers. The objective of the project, as stated in the development credit agreement, was to test a model to improve accessibility to markets for poor rural producers in pilot areas. Ratings for the project as follows: Outcomes was highly satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was negligible to low, Bank performance was highly satisfactory, and Borrower performance was highly satisfactory. IEG draws six lessons from the assessment: (i) In a country such as Bolivia, where the productivity of small-scale producers is low and there is substantial scope for increasing sales to the domestic market, the first step for a productive alliance is to boost the quantity and quality of the marketed surplus. (ii) Once producer groups are well organized, alliances can help producers obtain sustainable, postproject finance, enhancing the sustainability of the alliance arrangement. (iii) Project management can be greatly enhanced when strict quality controls are applied by independent parties, without political interference. (iv) Technical assistance works best when it is based on a flexible menu that accommodates the varied capacity building needs of different subprojects. (v) Agile disbursement of project funds enhances beneficiary commitment and increases the efficiency of subproject implementation. (vi) Having a knowledgeable national coordinator who helps design the project and provides long-term leadership greatly enhances the achievement of project objectives.