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Report/Evaluation Type:Country-Focused Evaluations
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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.

Sri Lanka CLR Review FY13 – FY16

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Sri Lanka is a lower middle income country with a GDP per capita of US$ 3,795 in 2014, and has blend (IDA/IBRD) borrower status at the WBG. Sri Lanka endured three decades of civil war which ended in 2009. Its growth rate averaged 5 percent during the conflict period, and 6.4 percent since 2010. Sri Lanka has done better than its regional peers on most MDGs and ranked 73rd on the Human Show MoreSri Lanka is a lower middle income country with a GDP per capita of US$ 3,795 in 2014, and has blend (IDA/IBRD) borrower status at the WBG. Sri Lanka endured three decades of civil war which ended in 2009. Its growth rate averaged 5 percent during the conflict period, and 6.4 percent since 2010. Sri Lanka has done better than its regional peers on most MDGs and ranked 73rd on the Human Development Index in 2014. The national poverty headcount declined from 22.7 to 6.7 percent between 2002 and 2012. The Gini index fell from 40.7 in 2006 to 36.2 in 2009. However, pockets of poverty persist in the northeast, southeast and the estate sector, and 2012 HIES data reveal that growth is no longer pro-poor. Sri Lanka experienced an increase in the trade deficit financed largely by remittances from poorly skilled emigrants. Reforms are urgently needed for Sri Lanka to transform its economy and sustain growth, but political economy pressures and social tensions undermine government commitment to reforms.

Montenegro CLR Review FY11 – FY15

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Montenegro is a small upper middle-income country, which has been an EU candidate since December 2010. Economic growth has been volatile for the entire period after the global financial crisis of 2008-09. The small size of the Montenegrin economy and close market integration with the EU made the country susceptible to external shocks, in particular to adverse economic developments in the Euro Show MoreMontenegro is a small upper middle-income country, which has been an EU candidate since December 2010. Economic growth has been volatile for the entire period after the global financial crisis of 2008-09. The small size of the Montenegrin economy and close market integration with the EU made the country susceptible to external shocks, in particular to adverse economic developments in the Euro zone. Growth has resumed in 2013 led by tourism-related investments and implementation of the infrastructure projects. After peaking at 11.3 percent in 2012, the poverty rate has been declining. Income inequality has remained fairly constant recently, with the Gini coefficient fluctuating between 0.24 and 0.26. The overarching Government policy priorities relate to its goal of EU membership. The Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) supported the government's priorities, by helping Montenegro recover from the 2009 recession and accelerate its institutional development in line with the EU requirements.

Uzbekistan CLR Review FY12- FY15

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Uzbekistan is a lower middle-income and resource rich country strategically located in the heart of Central Asia. Leading up to the CPS period, Uzbekistan was enjoying robust growth which was driven largely by capital with declining contribution of total factor productivity. Uzbekistan faced several economic challenges: high energy consumption per unit of GDP, weak financial intermediation, Show MoreUzbekistan is a lower middle-income and resource rich country strategically located in the heart of Central Asia. Leading up to the CPS period, Uzbekistan was enjoying robust growth which was driven largely by capital with declining contribution of total factor productivity. Uzbekistan faced several economic challenges: high energy consumption per unit of GDP, weak financial intermediation, dependence on the commodity sector, and large role of state owned enterprises in the economy. Poverty had been falling due to economic growth and government investments; however, the elasticity of poverty reduction to GDP growth had been relatively low due in part to low productivity in agriculture, which employed a third of the population, and regional disparities. Social services in Uzbekistan had been well maintained, though Uzbekistan's ranking in UNDP's Human Development Index was below the average for the ECA region. While public administration had undergone important reforms, public accountability remained weak.

Cambodia CLR Review FY05-FY15

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This is a validation of the Completion and Learning Review (CLR) for the World Bank Group's (WBG) engagement in Cambodia covering the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS, FY05-FY08), its extension to FY08-FY11, and the period thereafter. Owing to data limitations and in line with the CLR, IEG's review does not rate the program's overall development outcome or the Bank Group's performance. At Show MoreThis is a validation of the Completion and Learning Review (CLR) for the World Bank Group's (WBG) engagement in Cambodia covering the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS, FY05-FY08), its extension to FY08-FY11, and the period thereafter. Owing to data limitations and in line with the CLR, IEG's review does not rate the program's overall development outcome or the Bank Group's performance. At the outset of the FY05-08 CAS program, Cambodia was one of the world's poorest economies in the world with a per-capita income of about US$460--Gross National Income in current US$--and a high incidence of poverty. It had a difficult legacy of warfare, genocide, and physical devastation. Social indicators were among the lowest for all developing countries. Close to 85 percent of the population, and 90 percent of the poor, lived in rural areas, making rural development an essential ingredient of poverty alleviation. The infant mortality rate of the lowest income quintile was 156 per 1,000, and the poverty headcount was more than 50 percent.