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Report/Evaluation Type:Country-Focused Evaluations
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Togo CLR Review FY08-17

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This is a validation of the Completion and Learning Review (CLR) for the World Bank Group’s (WBG) engagement in Togo covering two Interim Strategy Notes (ISNs) for the period, FY08-FY10; and FY12-13. In line with the CLR, IEG does not rate the overall development outcome and the WBG’s performance due to data limitations. After Togo became independent in 1960, income per capita almost doubled Show MoreThis is a validation of the Completion and Learning Review (CLR) for the World Bank Group’s (WBG) engagement in Togo covering two Interim Strategy Notes (ISNs) for the period, FY08-FY10; and FY12-13. In line with the CLR, IEG does not rate the overall development outcome and the WBG’s performance due to data limitations. After Togo became independent in 1960, income per capita almost doubled to reach $534 in 1980, driven by open and market oriented policies, a boom in phosphate prices and efforts towards a more effective public administration. However, these gains were reversed during the next two decades. In the 1980s, the country followed a more inward looking economic policy and, during the 1990s, it entered a period of political tension and economic instability. Togo fell into internal and external debt service arrears including with the World Bank. Political stability returned gradually beginning in the mid-2000s and the international development community returned. Economic growth during the last decade has averaged four percent. Despite a solid growth performance, poverty declined only slightly, from 61.7 percent in 2006 to 55.1 percent in 2015. Income per capita is yet to reach the level the country had achieved in 1980. Togo’s ranking in the Human Development Index has fallen from 95th out of 124 countries in 1980 to 166th out of 187 countries in 2013. Togo recently experienced negative macroeconomic developments that brought the share of public debt over GDP from 32 percent in 2010 to 80.8 percent in 2016 financed by both domestic and external borrowings. Successful efforts at increasing public revenues from 18.8 percent of GDP in 2013 to 21.0 percent in 2015 were not enough to cover fast-growing public investments on infrastructure. Efforts at bringing the fiscal accounts under control are underway. The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved on May 5, 2017, a new three-year arrangement for Togo under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for SDR176.16 million to support the country’s economic and financial reforms.

Peru CLR Review FY12-16

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Peru is a Middle-Income Country (MIC) with a GNI per capita of US$6,130 in 2015. During the review period, the country’s average GDP growth was 4.4 percent, compared to 1.5 percent in the LAC region. Peru has been successful in reducing poverty. For example, national poverty declined from 59 percent in 2004 to 22 percent in 2015. Inequality also declined per the Gini index from 52.1 in 2004 Show MorePeru is a Middle-Income Country (MIC) with a GNI per capita of US$6,130 in 2015. During the review period, the country’s average GDP growth was 4.4 percent, compared to 1.5 percent in the LAC region. Peru has been successful in reducing poverty. For example, national poverty declined from 59 percent in 2004 to 22 percent in 2015. Inequality also declined per the Gini index from 52.1 in 2004 to 44.4 in 2015. However, there are governance challenges at the subnational level due to the unfinished decentralization agenda. ed on overcoming social gaps and enhancing productivity, while maintaining a sound macro framework. The World Bank Group (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), which covered the period FY12-16, was prepared within this context. The CPS had four strategic objectives (or focus areas): (i) increased access and quality of social services for the poor; (ii) connecting the poor to services and markets; (iii) sustainable growth and productivity; and (iv) improved public sector performance for greater inclusion. The WBG supported these areas using a wide-range of instruments, including investment operations, policy lending, and analytical work and advisory services. The CPS’s four strategic objectives reflected the Government’s development goals. At mid-term of the CPS, the government shifted its priorities towards productivity and competitiveness.

Mozambique CLR Review FY12-15

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Mozambique is a low income country with a GNI per capita of $1,120 in 2014. The country experienced rapid growth over the last 25 years, but high poverty rates persist, particularly in the rural areas. Data from the National Statistics Institute show that the poverty headcount ratio fell from 70 to 46 percent between 1996 and 2014. The country’s reliance on capital intensive investments led to Show MoreMozambique is a low income country with a GNI per capita of $1,120 in 2014. The country experienced rapid growth over the last 25 years, but high poverty rates persist, particularly in the rural areas. Data from the National Statistics Institute show that the poverty headcount ratio fell from 70 to 46 percent between 1996 and 2014. The country’s reliance on capital intensive investments led to rapid economic growth but generated relatively few jobs and their ties to the rest of the economy are limited. Unemployment rate remained at 22.6 percent in 2012-2014. The country ranks low in Human Development Index: 180 out of 188 countries. Natural hazards hit the country frequently and hard, and are likely to worsen with climate change. The government’s Action Plan to Reduce Poverty for 2011-2014 (Plano de Acção de Redução de Pobreza -PARP) sought to confront these problems and the WBG’s Country partnership Strategy (CPS) addressed some of these challenges under the pillars of competitiveness and employment (Focus Area I), vulnerability and resilience (Focus Area II), and a foundation pillar, governance and public sector capacity (Focus Area III). In April 2016, the government acknowledged to the IMF that it had borrowed an amount in excess of $1 billion in commercial terms during 2012-2015. The disclosure weakened investors’ confidence in the country’s macroeconomic stability, and contributed to further depreciating the metical. These two factors combined raised the country’s debt to GDP ratio from 60 percent in 2014 to 120 percent in 2016.

Cameroon CLR Review FY10-14

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Cameroon is a lower middle income, resource-rich country with large potential. Due to its location, the country is the gateway to the economies of Central Africa and plays a central role in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). The Bank's strategy was well aligned with country challenges and the government's own objectives, with the emphasis of the CAS program on governance Show MoreCameroon is a lower middle income, resource-rich country with large potential. Due to its location, the country is the gateway to the economies of Central Africa and plays a central role in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). The Bank's strategy was well aligned with country challenges and the government's own objectives, with the emphasis of the CAS program on governance, competitiveness, and public sector services. The program generally did address key challenges for the country, and was largely unchanged in the CAS Progress Report (CASPR), at which time the CAS period was extended to include FY14, but some indicators were dropped and others were weakened primarily in terms of time of delivery. The program aligned quite well to the twin goals, but the poverty dimension of the WBG program could have been even stronger, including the attention to inclusion – although with a poverty rate of 37.5 percent (2014) there is strong overlap between poverty and shared prosperity issues. The CAS program was reasonably well designed in light of country requirements and (significant) constraints, and proved to be quite stable with all nine objectives maintained in the CASPR. It addressed appropriate and important areas, and was designed for gradual and quite modest improvements. The CASPR addressed an important stepping-up of supervision and implementation support,and also a stronger focus on a few selected operations going forward. IEG draws three main lessons from this CLR: First, programs addressing governance need to provide a mix of interventions commensurate with the nature of the objectives, be structured realistically to conditions on the ground and Bank instruments. Second, indicators need to be designed keeping in mind the ability to monitor progress and to measure and assess end results. Third, Bank country program documents including CLRs need to pay clear attention where there are (as for Cameroon) significant indications of broader underlying fiduciary and governance issues. IEG also agrees with the following lessons from the CLR: Centralized approaches to strengthening governance need to be complemented with decentralized and sector-based approaches. The impact of investment lending is much higher when it is accompanied by sector policy and institutional reform which is possible only when government ownership is strong.

Pacific Island Countries CLR Review FY11-17

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This is a summary of six CLR reviews covering the World Bank Group (WBG) programs for the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) of Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu. The summary is based on IEG’s individual country assessments of the completion and learning reviews prepared for each country. During the period under review, each country prepared a stand-alone Country Show MoreThis is a summary of six CLR reviews covering the World Bank Group (WBG) programs for the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) of Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu. The summary is based on IEG’s individual country assessments of the completion and learning reviews prepared for each country. During the period under review, each country prepared a stand-alone Country Assistance/Partnership Strategy (CAS/CPS), in contrast to previous engagements that were done under an umbrella regional strategy for the Pacific Islands. Except for Tuvalu’s country program, all CPSs were joint programs between the Bank and IFC. The assessments are based on the original CPSs, since no Performance and Learning Reviews (PLRs) were undertaken for any of the countries. These countries have populations ranging from 10,000 (Tuvalu) to over 200,000 (Samoa)— Tuvalu is the smallest WBG member country. They are among the most remote and geographically dispersed countries in the world, and range from low middle income (Kiribati, US$3,390 GNI per capita in current dollars) to upper middle income (Tuvalu, US$6,120 GNI per capita in current dollars). Some of them joined the WBG as recently as 2010 (Tuvalu). The high cost of operating in these small, remote countries, and limited resources from IDA, constrained the World Bank Group to engage with them at the regional level or through multi-country platforms until 2008, when the governments of Australia and New Zealand decided to enter into funding partnerships with the WBG. These partnerships—combined with significant increases in IDA disaster risk management and climate change—gave the WBG the capacity to operate at scale in the Pacific Island Countries. For most of the countries—except Samoa and Tonga—this program was the first direct engagement with the WBG. All programs were financed by IDA and trust-funds, and some of the countries (Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Tuvalu) had to be granted an exception for small islands to qualify for IDA funds in light of their high per capita income.

Guatemala CLR Review FY13-FY16

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This Review assesses the design and implementation of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Guatemala covering the period FY13-16. Following the shared approach methodology, the program’s development outcomes are assessed based on the Performance Learning Review (PLR) which was undertaken towards the end of the CPS period in September 2015. Guatemala is a lower Show MoreThis Review assesses the design and implementation of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Guatemala covering the period FY13-16. Following the shared approach methodology, the program’s development outcomes are assessed based on the Performance Learning Review (PLR) which was undertaken towards the end of the CPS period in September 2015. Guatemala is a lower middle income country and the largest economy in Central America. During the CPS period, Guatemala had been implementing prudent macroeconomic policies with a relatively stable GDP growth rate. However, shared prosperity, as measured by income growth among the poorest 40 percent of the population, declined during 2000-2014. Guatemala’s Gini coefficient of income and human development index in 2014 continued to lag the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. Low public revenue collection limited the ability of the State to provide basic public goods and services, and to undertake public investment essential to achieving its development goals. Guatemala has weak institutional quality, scoring in the lowest quartile in three and below the median in all of the six Worldwide Governance Indicators, with no significant improvement over the last two decades. IEG rates WBG performance as Fair.

Republic of Yemen CLR Review FY10 - FY15

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Yemen is one of the poorest and most fragile countries in the world, strategically located in the Arabian Peninsula. Poverty, malnutrition, and unemployment are widespread, and water resources are very scarce. High dependence on hydrocarbon resources exposes the economy to external shocks. Oil production declined sharply starting in 2011 owing to damage from sabotage to oil pipelines and Show MoreYemen is one of the poorest and most fragile countries in the world, strategically located in the Arabian Peninsula. Poverty, malnutrition, and unemployment are widespread, and water resources are very scarce. High dependence on hydrocarbon resources exposes the economy to external shocks. Oil production declined sharply starting in 2011 owing to damage from sabotage to oil pipelines and infrastructure, and the social unrest and sabotage activities affected investment. Private sector activity suffered, public finances and official reserves came under pressure, and inflation surged.

Lebanon CLR Review FY11-FY15

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Lebanon is an upper middle income country with average inequality, as measured for example by a 0.361 Gini coefficient, for countries in the Middle East and North Africa. At the outset of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS)1 period, in 2011, a unity government fell apart, and this inauspicious political development was compounded by the onset of the crisis in Syria that brought numerous Show MoreLebanon is an upper middle income country with average inequality, as measured for example by a 0.361 Gini coefficient, for countries in the Middle East and North Africa. At the outset of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS)1 period, in 2011, a unity government fell apart, and this inauspicious political development was compounded by the onset of the crisis in Syria that brought numerous security issues and an influx of refugees. Both the domestic political instability and the refugee influx constituted a challenging background for implementation of a Bank program that had difficulty finding a proper footing to foster reform. The CPS areas of focus reflected the directions and priorities of the government’s Progress and Development program: energy, water, transport, municipal and urban development, social protection, and fiscal management.

Jordan CLR Review FY12-FY15

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Jordan is an upper middle-income country with an open economy that is well integrated with its neighbors, making Jordan vulnerable to economic and political volatility in the region. During the previous decade, Jordan experienced high growth rates, which could not be sustained due to lack of resilience of the economy to exogenous shocks. Leading up to the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) Show MoreJordan is an upper middle-income country with an open economy that is well integrated with its neighbors, making Jordan vulnerable to economic and political volatility in the region. During the previous decade, Jordan experienced high growth rates, which could not be sustained due to lack of resilience of the economy to exogenous shocks. Leading up to the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) period, the Government faced several challenges: deterioration in fiscal position resulting in lack of fiscal space to protect against external shocks and pursue growth enhancing investments, high unemployment especially among the young and women, falling remittances and foreign direct investment, increase in poverty pockets (areas where at least 25 percent of the population fall below the poverty line), and declining rankings in Doing Business and Global Competitiveness reports. To address these challenges, the Government would have to embark on structural and institutional reforms geared towards inclusive job creation and private sector led growth, while responding to the adverse impact of regional turmoil and the demands for political reform.

The Kingdom of Lesotho CLR Review FY10-FY14

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Lesotho is a small, mostly mountainous and landlocked country with a largely rural population of over 2 million in 2014. It is a lower middle country with a GNI per capita of $1,330 in 2014. Lesotho has a highly open economy, and relies heavily on revenues from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) to finance large government expenditures. The economy grew at an annual average of 4.5 Show MoreLesotho is a small, mostly mountainous and landlocked country with a largely rural population of over 2 million in 2014. It is a lower middle country with a GNI per capita of $1,330 in 2014. Lesotho has a highly open economy, and relies heavily on revenues from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) to finance large government expenditures. The economy grew at an annual average of 4.5 percent from 2010-2014 led by mining and construction sectors. Economic growth in the past decade, however did not translate to reduction in poverty rates. Poverty in Lesotho is highly concentrated in isolated rural areas where 80 percent of the population resides. Inequality as measured by the Gini index of 54 is high with respect to comparable countries in the lower middle income category. Despite high government expenditures on social services, the social indicators in health and education remained unchanged. Lesotho's ranking of 161 (of the 173) in the Human Development Index (HDI) places the country at the low end of the HDI. Lesotho's wage bill of 21 percent of GDP in 2014 is the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and with the expected fall of SACU revenues, the need for fiscal adjustment and more efficient use of public services are even more critical. Lesotho's Country and Policy Institutional Assessment (CPIA) rating dropped to 3.4 in 2011 and 3.3 in 2014, from 3.5 since 2005; albeit slightly higher than the SSA average of 3.2 in 2014; due in part to a lower rating in public sector management and institutions cluster.