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Report/Evaluation Type:Country Focused Validations
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Gambia CLR Review FY13-16

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This review of the World Bank Group's (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the Second Joint Partnership Strategy (JPS-2), FY13-FY16, for the Gambia. The JPS-2 was a joint strategy of the WBG and the African Development Bank (AfDB).The Gambia is a small, fragile and landlocked country with a GNI per capita income of USD 430 in 2016.The JPS-2 had eight Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group's (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the Second Joint Partnership Strategy (JPS-2), FY13-FY16, for the Gambia. The JPS-2 was a joint strategy of the WBG and the African Development Bank (AfDB).The Gambia is a small, fragile and landlocked country with a GNI per capita income of USD 430 in 2016.The JPS-2 had eight objectives organized around two pillars or focus areas: (i) enhancing productive capacity and competitiveness; (ii) strengthening the institutional capacity for economic governance and public service delivery. The JPS-2 was aligned with the government's medium term development plan as articulated in its Program for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE) 2012-2016 and the government's long-term plan contained in Vision 2020.The JPS-2 focus areas and objectives were aligned with government's Medium Term Development Plan (PAGE), and its long-term strategy, Vision 2020. The joint strategy and clear division of labor with AfDB provided the foundation for WBG's selectivity. The WBG's program was generally selective in terms of focus areas, objectives and interventions. IEG concurs with some of the key lessons which are summarized as follows: (i) strong donor collaboration is critical but could also have high transactions costs; (ii) country capacity is an important consideration in data collection and quality, and in developing a results framework; and (iii) formal mid-course corrections through the PLR process is even more important in a difficult country circumstances. IEG adds the following lessons: i) Small and fragile countries could benefit from participation in regional integration operations by leveraging limited IDA financing and maximizing development impact. In the case of the Gambia, its participation in regional operations brought benefits to the country in terms of improved technology adoption in agriculture and increased connectivity. ii) To the extent possible, it is important that WBG interventions are aligned to the CPS objectives and their contributions reflected in the results framework. In the case of the Gambia, there were IFC interventions in several areas that were not reflected in the results framework.

Panama: Completion and Learning Review (CLR)

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This review examines the implementation of the FY11-14 Panama Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) and the CPS Progress Report and assesses the Completion and Learning Review. IEG rates the overall outcome of the CPS program as Moderately Satisfactory. IEG rates the World Bank Group performance as Fair, lower than the CLR rating of Good. IEG Show MoreThis review examines the implementation of the FY11-14 Panama Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) and the CPS Progress Report and assesses the Completion and Learning Review. IEG rates the overall outcome of the CPS program as Moderately Satisfactory. IEG rates the World Bank Group performance as Fair, lower than the CLR rating of Good. IEG broadly concurs with the CLR lessons learned and highlights two additional points: (1) some CPS objectives were overly ambitious in light of the limited institutional capacity and time frame; (2) the dropped operations in the roads sector suggest that strategic selectivity would be enhanced through better coordination with development partners at the design stage.

Poland CLR Review FY14-17

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Poland is a high-income country (HIC) with a GNI per capita of $12,680 in 2016. Poland’s annual economic growth accelerated to 3.3 percent during the CPS period (2014-2016) from 2.9 percent over the previous four years, 2010-13. The consistency of the country’s macro and structural policies has been the key driver behind the economy’s growth and helped its Show MorePoland is a high-income country (HIC) with a GNI per capita of $12,680 in 2016. Poland’s annual economic growth accelerated to 3.3 percent during the CPS period (2014-2016) from 2.9 percent over the previous four years, 2010-13. The consistency of the country’s macro and structural policies has been the key driver behind the economy’s growth and helped its transition to HIC status in less than 15 years. Poland’s economic growth has been inclusive in the past decade, as evidenced by growing employment and earnings for all income groups, which led to a substantial reduction in poverty and stronger-than-average growth of the bottom 40 percent of the distribution. Between 2005 and 2014, Poland’s Gini coefficient fell from 0.351 to 0.343. The poverty rate measured at $5.00/day 2005 PPP stood at 4.4 percent in 2015. Poland’s strong economic growth is expected to continue in the near term; however, the longer- term prospects could be subdued by demographic and structural challenges – including a rapidly aging population, slowdown in total factor productivity, infrastructure gaps, low domestic private investment and regional disparities -- if left unaddressed.

Brazil Country Program Evaluation, FY04-11

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During the first decade of the 2000s, Brazil made important achievements in shared prosperity: it achieved fiscal sustainability and economic growth while at the same time reducing poverty and income inequality. Brazil also substantially reduced the rate of deforestation in the Amazon. During the first decade of the 2000s, Brazil made important achievements in shared prosperity: it achieved fiscal sustainability and economic growth while at the same time reducing poverty and income inequality. Brazil also substantially reduced the rate of deforestation in the Amazon.

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 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.

Liberia CLR Review FY13-17

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Liberia is a low-income country with a GNI per capita (Atlas method) of 380 US dollars in 2017. After a period of conflict and instability, Liberia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at an average annual rate of 6.2 percent during 2003-2013. The ebola virus disease (EVD) crisis of 2014-2016 and a drop in global commodity prices resulted in slower average annual GDP growth of 2.1 Show MoreLiberia is a low-income country with a GNI per capita (Atlas method) of 380 US dollars in 2017. After a period of conflict and instability, Liberia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at an average annual rate of 6.2 percent during 2003-2013. The ebola virus disease (EVD) crisis of 2014-2016 and a drop in global commodity prices resulted in slower average annual GDP growth of 2.1 percent with per capita annual GDP growth at -0.4 percent during 2013-2017. As a post conflict country aiming to achieve sustained broad-based growth, Liberia faces several development challenges: large infrastructure gaps, poor education and health indicators, a large youth cohort, lack of economic diversification, and weak public institutions. The World Bank Group's country partnership strategy had three pillars: (i) economic transformation; (ii) human development; and (iii) governance and public sector institutions. In addition, the CPS had two cross-cutting themes of capacity development and gender equality. The CPS focus areas and objectives were well aligned with the government's agenda for transformation with a strong focus on infrastructure. The CLR provided a succinct assessment of the achievement of program objectives. It identified the increases in IDA lending attributable to the EVD outbreak. The CLR review agrees with the CLR lessons: (i) ensure government's strong commitment to the CPF program through close alignment with the country's development plans; (ii) adapt and apply a sound post-conflict and fragile country lens in the design of CPF programs for post conflict countries; (iii) keep an eye on medium-term goals even in the face of a crisis such as EVD; (iv) being selective about cross-cutting themes and including outcomes associated with these themes helps maintain the Government's and Country Team's focus on them throughout implementation. IEG provides the following additional lessons: (i) flexibility of the CPS program enabled the WBG to respond to the EVD crisis in a timely manner; and (ii) trust fund activities need to have a well-articulated strategic focus and explicit selectivity filters to ensure that they contribute to the achievement of CPS objectives.

Afghanistan Country Program Evaluation, 2002–11: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group Program

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Security conditions pose a formidable challenge to Afghanistan's development and external partner support. Afghanistan has undergone a very tangible deterioration in security since 2006, including a spike in civilian casualties. This has affected the Bank Group's work through increased risks to staff, restrictions on movement, further constraints on supervision, and additional measures to deal Show MoreSecurity conditions pose a formidable challenge to Afghanistan's development and external partner support. Afghanistan has undergone a very tangible deterioration in security since 2006, including a spike in civilian casualties. This has affected the Bank Group's work through increased risks to staff, restrictions on movement, further constraints on supervision, and additional measures to deal with safety. Despite the extremely difficult context, the World Bank Group has commendably established and sustained a large program of support to the country. This Country Program Evaluation assesses the relevance and effectiveness of World Bank Group support to Afghanistan and some of the key risks to sustainability of development outcomes.

Kyrgyz Republic CLR Review FY14-17

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The Kyrgyz Republic is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $1,100 in 2016. It is a country with a land-locked and mountainous geography, and rich in mineral and water resources. GDP growth averaged 3.7 percent during the CPS period (2014-17), somewhat below the average during the previous four years (4.0 percent). Gold production and worker Show MoreThe Kyrgyz Republic is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $1,100 in 2016. It is a country with a land-locked and mountainous geography, and rich in mineral and water resources. GDP growth averaged 3.7 percent during the CPS period (2014-17), somewhat below the average during the previous four years (4.0 percent). Gold production and worker remittances have been significant drivers of growth, but are subject to volatility and do not lend themselves to sustained growth. Growth helped reduce poverty rates, from the recent peak of 38.0 percent in 2012 to 25.4 percent in 2015. Nevertheless, the country’s Human Development Index improved slightly from 0.656 in 2013 (ranked 125nd among 187 countries) to 0.664 in 2015 (ranked 120th among 188 countries). Inequality (the GINI Index) declined from 28.8 in 2013 to 26.8 in 2016, Policy effectiveness has been undermined by high levels of corruption and frequent changes in Government. Kyrgyz’s rank in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index deteriorated from 123rd of 167 in 2015 to 135th of 167 in 2017. During the CPS period, there were five different prime ministers. The World Bank Group’s (WBG) CPS had three pillars (or focus areas): (i) public administration and public service delivery, (ii) business environment and investment climate, and (iii) natural resources and physical infrastructure. The CPS was aligned with the Government’s National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS), 2013-2017, specifically with NSDS objectives on public administration, judiciary, social services, financial and private sector development, agribusiness, exports, environmental protection/resource management, energy, transport, and urban development. These objectives were part of the NSDS broad focus on governance, state building, and economic development. WBG’s support was also aligned with a number of specific government programs (e.g., the Governance and Anti-Corruption Plan adopted in 2012).

India CLR Review FY13-17

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This review of the India Completion and Learning Report of the World Bank Group (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period, FY13-FY17, including the CPS Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of September 2, 2015.The overarching goals of the WBG's CPS for India were to help the country accelerate poverty reduction and increase Show MoreThis review of the India Completion and Learning Report of the World Bank Group (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period, FY13-FY17, including the CPS Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of September 2, 2015.The overarching goals of the WBG's CPS for India were to help the country accelerate poverty reduction and increase shared prosperity. The CPS was aligned with the government's Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012-2017), which sought high levels of economic growth and prioritized inclusiveness from several perspectives—poverty reduction, group equality, regional balance, and empowerment. The CPS organized its program around three engagement areas (or focus areas): (i) Integration with focus on physical connectivity to improve India's domestic, regional and global integration; (ii) Transformation by facilitating spatial transformation from rural to urban areas and benefitting from agglomeration economies, raising agricultural productivity and encouraging off-farm employment; and (iii) Inclusion by enhancing services in health, nutrition, education and social programs for the disadvantaged groups. The CPS had three cross-cutting themes of governance, environmental sustainability and gender equality which were envisaged to be embedded across the three engagement areas. The CPS committed to allocate 60 percent of the new commitments during the CPS directly to the states, of which half (30 percent) would go to the Low-Income States (LIS) and Special Category States (SCS).The government elected in May 2014 emphasized reforms to promote growth while maintaining attention to inclusion. The government and the WBG agreed to a narrow set of eight priorities to guide the work forward. These eight priorities could have provided the opportunity to consolidate the program interventions and sharpen the results framework. At the PLR, however, the CPS original program objectives remained virtually unchanged. The WBG responded to the new priorities by scaling up its lending and ASA; in effect, broadening the scope of its engagement in India beyond the original design. IEG concurs with key CLR lessons summarized as follows: i) expanding engagement in LIS/SCS requires significant time and resources; (ii) WBG activities in states were characterized by individual sector operations with limited integration, making the sum of engagement less than the parts; (iii) national-level operations supporting GoI Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) were generally effective for scaling up impact and engaging on policy but often had implementation challenges; (iv) the World Bank's ability to support systemic improvements through operations depended on the long-term partnership in the sector more than the amount of financing; (v) an increase in operations with Results Based Frameworks (RBF) during the CPS period appeared to promise stronger impact, but these operations need to ensure that the M&E systems to trigger disbursements are thoroughly developed; and (vi) examples of cross-sectoral operations providing a more holistic approach need to be expanded further.

World Bank Group Engagement in Resource-Rich Developing Countries: The Cases of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Zambia

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There is strong learning potential in looking across a group of countries that have one common characteristic. IEG has looked at four countries that have rich endowment with and dependence on non-renewable natural resources: the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Zambia. These countries are otherwise fairly heterogeneous in terms of geographic location, income levels, and Show MoreThere is strong learning potential in looking across a group of countries that have one common characteristic. IEG has looked at four countries that have rich endowment with and dependence on non-renewable natural resources: the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Zambia. These countries are otherwise fairly heterogeneous in terms of geographic location, income levels, and depth of dialogue with the World Bank Group.