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

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.

Croatia: Justice Sector Support Project (PPAR)

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Croatia has one of the highest per capita incomes ($15,870 in 2018) among World Bank borrowers. It has a small population (4.179 million in 2019) and a large tradable goods sector; imports and exports accounted for 48.8 and 51.1 percent, respectively, of the gross domestic product in 2017. In 2013, Croatia joined the European Union (EU) as the 28th member state. Since then, the country has reaped Show MoreCroatia has one of the highest per capita incomes ($15,870 in 2018) among World Bank borrowers. It has a small population (4.179 million in 2019) and a large tradable goods sector; imports and exports accounted for 48.8 and 51.1 percent, respectively, of the gross domestic product in 2017. In 2013, Croatia joined the European Union (EU) as the 28th member state. Since then, the country has reaped significant benefits from EU transfers. The World Bank Group provided substantial support to help Croatia align with EU policies and to strengthen the public sector’s capacity to administer and absorb EU funding. Compared with most peer countries in the EU, Croatia has weaker governance, a less business-friendly environment for investment and entrepreneurship, and relatively weak human capital indicators (World Bank 2018b).The project development objective (PDO) was to improve the efficiency of Croatia’s justice system. The project was restructured in 2013 and 2015, but the PDO remained unchanged. The rationale for the Justice Sector Support Project (JSSP) was that the efficiency of the justice system was hampered by the large existing case backlog in the court system, poor court infrastructure, poor enforcement of judgments, and in 2015, a weak personal bankruptcy framework. An additional factor, although part of the neither PDO nor of Croatia’s pre-accession requirements to the European Commission, was to address concerns expressed by the European Union (EU in their annual country reports. The EU stated that the Croatian justice sector had several deficiencies related to court performance that needed to be addressed once accession had occurred. Ratings for the Justice Sector Support Project are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Overall efficacy was substantial, Bank performance was moderately unsatisfactory, and Quality of monitoring and evaluation was modest. This assessment offers the following lessons: (i) At the design stage, a diagnostic assessment of the main contributors to court backlogs and consultations with major stakeholders could have informed project design to address other important constraints to achieving the PDO. (ii) When infrastructure works need to be ready for implementation at project start-up, it is important to verify that this is the case in advance. (iii) Delays in critical reviews during project implementation can compromise midterm corrections. (iv) When elections are in the near future, continuity risks can be attenuated by briefing key opposition politicians on the rationale for a project.

Sierra Leone CLR Review FY10-19

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This is a validation of the Completion and Learning Review (CLR) for the World Bank Group’s (WBG) engagement in Sierra Leone covering the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS, FY10-FY13). For completeness and learning purposes, and while the CAS formally expired in FY13, IEG has elected to examine the period FY14-FY19 as well as no CPF was in place to replace the CAS. Owing to data limitations and in Show MoreThis is a validation of the Completion and Learning Review (CLR) for the World Bank Group’s (WBG) engagement in Sierra Leone covering the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS, FY10-FY13). For completeness and learning purposes, and while the CAS formally expired in FY13, IEG has elected to examine the period FY14-FY19 as well as no CPF was in place to replace the CAS. Owing to data limitations and in line with relevant provisions of the Working Arrangements between the Independent Evaluation Group and WBG, IEG’s review does not rate the CAS’s overall development outcome or the World Bank Group’s performance.

Myanmar CLR Review FY15-19

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This review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Framework (CPF), FY15-FY17, and updated in the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated June 2, 2017, which extended the CPF period by two years to FY19. This CPF followed the end-2012 Interim Strategy Note (ISN) that resumed WBG operations after a hiatus of about 25 Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Framework (CPF), FY15-FY17, and updated in the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated June 2, 2017, which extended the CPF period by two years to FY19. This CPF followed the end-2012 Interim Strategy Note (ISN) that resumed WBG operations after a hiatus of about 25 years. To support the Government’s development efforts, the WBG implemented a major expansion of its activities (a seven-fold increase in the Bank’s portfolio), possibly beyond what the country could absorb. Nevertheless, this support contributed to good progress on farming productivity; on access to electricity, telecommunications, health, education, and finance; and on the business climate. IEG agrees with the lessons drawn by the CLR. These are reformulated and summarized as follows: (i) In an environment of constrained implementation capacity, projects with diverse objectives and multiple implementing agencies may become unwieldy and lead to delays in project implementation. (ii) A results framework that excludes the program’s cross-cutting issues will impede assessment of success in addressing these issues. (iii) Use of country systems, support of key reform champions, and joint analytical work are among the factors that build trust with counterparts and stakeholders. (iv) Access to and coordination of trust fund resources will encourage effective implementation and collaboration across development partners. (v) Good and timely data is critical for evidence-based policy dialogue and timely response to country developments. (vi) A “one WBG” approach is critical to leverage WBG instruments toward specific objectives such as access to electricity. Seventh, more careful attention to indicators, including their sources, baselines, targets and time frames will facilitate program monitoring. (vii) A “disconnect’ between written implementation rules and actual practices in Myanmar, e.g., on procurement, may cause implementation delays. IEG adds the following lesson: Joint Implementation Plans (JIPs5) can improve the effectiveness of the “one WBG” approach noted by the CLR lessons. WBG CPFs normally intend collaboration across the Bank, IFC, and MIGA, but more often than not, CPFs do not spell out how such collaboration is to happen. Myanmar’s CPF JIP to improve access to electricity helped ensure that joint work would materialize. IEG rates the CPF development outcome as Moderately Satisfactory and WBG performance as Good.

Bangladesh: Strengthening Public Expenditure Management Program - Strengthening Auditor General’s Office (PPAR)

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This is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank’s project on Bangladesh: Strengthening Auditor General’s Office. The project was selected as part of a pilot initiative by IEG to improve the relevance of the instrument. The PPAR draws lessons from the World Bank’s experience in the context of a challenging public financial Show MoreThis is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank’s project on Bangladesh: Strengthening Auditor General’s Office. The project was selected as part of a pilot initiative by IEG to improve the relevance of the instrument. The PPAR draws lessons from the World Bank’s experience in the context of a challenging public financial management, governance, and political economy environment. The original project development objectives were to (i) strengthen the institutional arrangements of the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (OCAG), (ii) enhance the quality and scope of audits, and (iii) enhance the institutional capacity of the Financial Management Academy (FIMA). Reflecting government reluctance to enact the underlying legal changes required by the operation, the project development objectives were revised in 2014 to (i) strengthen the quality, scope, and follow-up of audits; and (ii) create a cadre of internationally accredited professionals in OCAG. Ratings for the Strengthening Public Expenditure Management Program - Strengthening Auditor General’s Office project are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, Bank performance was moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately unsatisfactory. Lesson from the project include: (1) Inadequate assessment of political economy risks to key reforms contributed to unrealistically ambitious project design and targets, leading to shortcomings in implementation. (ii) The project sought to implement a politically sensitive policy reform through the use of technical assistance. The objective could have been more effectively pursued through a different instrument, possibly a development policy operation. (iii) The ability for a pilot to effectively demonstrate the potential of a new way of doing business requires commitment to a systematic assessment of the pilot experience and the dissemination of lessons learned.

Senegal CLR Review FY13-17

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Senegal is a lower middle-income country with a Gross National Income per capita of US$1,410 in 2018. It has a population of 16.3 million (2019). Senegal was among the fastest growing economies in Africa over the 2013-2017 period, with real GDP growth averaging 5.8% per year compared with 2.4% annual growth in the 2008-2012 period, with lower growth being primarily the result of the economy Show MoreSenegal is a lower middle-income country with a Gross National Income per capita of US$1,410 in 2018. It has a population of 16.3 million (2019). Senegal was among the fastest growing economies in Africa over the 2013-2017 period, with real GDP growth averaging 5.8% per year compared with 2.4% annual growth in the 2008-2012 period, with lower growth being primarily the result of the economy contracting by 8.1% in 2011 as a result of a severe drought. Services and exports were its main drivers of growth, although all sectors contributed to growth over the CPS timeframe. In spite of the rapid growth, GNI per capita in US dollar terms was lower (US$1280) in 2017 than in 2013 (US$1360), because of a sharp depreciation of the CFA franc. Senegal's human development index stood at 0.505 in 2017 which puts it in the low human development category, standing at 164 out of 189 countries. Its Gini coefficient was 40.3 in 2011.