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Report/Evaluation Type:Country Focused Validations
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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 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.

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 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.

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 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 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.

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.

Mexico CLR Review FY14-19

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This review of Mexico’s Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period FY14-FY19 and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of January 26, 2017. Mexico is an upper-middle-income country with a gross national income (GNI) per capita (in current US$) of US$9,180 in 2018. During 2014-18, the average annual Show MoreThis review of Mexico’s Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period FY14-FY19 and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of January 26, 2017. Mexico is an upper-middle-income country with a gross national income (GNI) per capita (in current US$) of US$9,180 in 2018. During 2014-18, the average annual GDP growth rate was 2.2 percent in a show of resilience in the face of a complex external environment. In the first half of 2019, economic growth came to a virtual halt owing to policy uncertainty, tight monetary conditions and budget under-execution as well as slowing global manufacturing activity. Over the longer term, Mexico’s economic growth has been below the level needed to converge toward advanced country economies. The country’s per capita GDP, which is closely related to productivity, stands at 34 percent of U.S. per capita GDP compared with 49 percent in 1980.2 Poverty rates (share of individuals living on less than the 2011 PPP US$1.90 per day poverty line) fell from 3.8 percent of the population in 2016 to 2.2 percent in 2016. There was a small decline in the Gini index from 48.7 percent in 2014 to 48.3 in 2016. IEG’s Country Program Evaluation for Mexico (2018) indicates that Mexico’s multidimensional poverty index for the extremely poor fell from 11.3 percent in 2010 to 7.6 percent in 2016, helping reduce the overall index from 46.1 percent to 43.6 percent. At the same time, income growth of the bottom 40 percent was below the population mean.

Philippines CLR Review FY15-19

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The Philippine economy has been growing rapidly over the past decade. However, performance on poverty reduction, inequality and human development has been persistently low. The country is also a natural disaster hotspot, with frequent typhoons, tropical storms and earthquakes. It has also been affected by internal unrest, predominantly the protracted conflict and violence on the southern island Show MoreThe Philippine economy has been growing rapidly over the past decade. However, performance on poverty reduction, inequality and human development has been persistently low. The country is also a natural disaster hotspot, with frequent typhoons, tropical storms and earthquakes. It has also been affected by internal unrest, predominantly the protracted conflict and violence on the southern island of Mindanao. The 2014 Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) was well aligned with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-16 that aimed at reducing poverty and improving the lives of the poorest segments of the population. The subsequent PDP 2017-22 shifted some emphasis to major infrastructure investments – where the WBG has not been particularly active – but also seeks to lift about six million citizens from poverty, achieve upper-middle income status by 2022, and to deliver a comprehensive agenda for peace and development in conflict-affected areas. The WBG program as adjusted in the 2017 PLR was therefore well aligned with significant aspects of the current PDP. The CPS set out a program that was divided in five focus areas: Transparent and Accountable Government; Empowerment of the Poor and the Vulnerable; Rapid, Inclusive and Sustained Economic Growth; Climate Change, Environment, and Disaster Risk Management; and Peace, Institution-Building, and Social and Economic Opportunity – all these areas were of high priority for the country and under the PDP.

Kazakhstan CLR Review FY12-17

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The Republic of Kazakhstan is a land-locked upper middle-income country with a nominal GNI per capita of $7960 in 2017. The country depends on oil, with production and exports of hydrocarbon accounting for 21 percent of GDP and 62 percent of exports in 2017. Average annual GDP growth declined from 6.5 percent during 2006-2011 to 3.6 percent during the CPS period (2012-17), primarily due to Show MoreThe Republic of Kazakhstan is a land-locked upper middle-income country with a nominal GNI per capita of $7960 in 2017. The country depends on oil, with production and exports of hydrocarbon accounting for 21 percent of GDP and 62 percent of exports in 2017. Average annual GDP growth declined from 6.5 percent during 2006-2011 to 3.6 percent during the CPS period (2012-17), primarily due to deteriorating oil prices after 2013. The fall in oil prices reduced the growth of non-oil activities and the associated gains in wages and employment. Per capita GDP grew at 2.1 percent during the CPS period and contributed to reduce the poverty headcount ratio at national poverty line from 5.5 to 2.5 percent of the population between 2011 and 2017. Income distribution improved, with the Gini index falling from 0.28 in 2011 to 0.275 in 2017. The Human Development Index improved from 0.765 in 2010 to 0.800 in 2017. Kazakhstan key development challenges and goals set in the Strategy 2030 and Strategy 2050 include strengthening macroeconomic management (including strengthening of non-oil sources of revenues), reducing the state presence in the economy, strengthening regional economics through infrastructure and agricultural value chains, ensuring equal access to high quality education, enhancing social protection, managing natural resources, policy regarding water resources and improving governance and public sector capacity.

Republic of Congo CLR Review FY13-17

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The Republic of Congo is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita (Atlas method in current $) of $1,480 in 2017. Oil production had been the main driver of growth and source of government revenues, with average annual GDP growth of 5.8 percent during 2008-2012. The poverty headcount ratio at $1.90 per day (2011 PPP, percent of population) had been declining, from 50.2 percent in 2005 Show MoreThe Republic of Congo is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita (Atlas method in current $) of $1,480 in 2017. Oil production had been the main driver of growth and source of government revenues, with average annual GDP growth of 5.8 percent during 2008-2012. The poverty headcount ratio at $1.90 per day (2011 PPP, percent of population) had been declining, from 50.2 percent in 2005 to 37 percent in 2011. However, poverty reduction occurred mainly in urban areas, with rural areas experiencing an increase in the poverty rate. There was little change in the Gini coefficient between 2005 and 2011. During the CPS period, oil prices dropped, resulting in a decline in average annual GDP growth to 1.4 percent during 2013-2017. The Systematic Country Diagnostic (2018) for the Republic of Congo estimated the poverty rate to have declined further to 35 percent in 2016. The human development index improved from 0.57 in 2012 to 0.61 in 2017. The overarching objectives of the CPS were to promote economic diversification and improve outcomes in public services with three pillars: (i) competitiveness and employment; (ii) vulnerability and resilience; and (iii) capacity building and governance.

Timor-Leste CLR Review FY13-19

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This review of the Timor-Leste’s Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the original CPS period (FY13-FY17), and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of 2016. The PLR extended the original CPS period by one year to FY18 in order to synchronize the CPS strategy with the country’s political cycle. Timor- Show MoreThis review of the Timor-Leste’s Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the original CPS period (FY13-FY17), and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of 2016. The PLR extended the original CPS period by one year to FY18 in order to synchronize the CPS strategy with the country’s political cycle. Timor-Leste is a lower middle-income country, with an oil dependent economy. With oil reserves running low, the key challenges facing Timor-Leste are to achieve greater economic diversification and diminish reliance on public sector spending. At the beginning of the CPS period, the political environment was stable and oil prices high. The country was affected by a significant fall in oil prices that started in 2013, and political uncertainty adversely affected economic activity in 2017 and for most of 2018, as public expenditures fell by over one third. On the whole, growth was modest compared to East-Asia Pacific region peers, reflecting both the fall in oil prices and the political uncertainty towards the end of the program period.