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Report/Evaluation Type:Project Level Evaluations (PPARs)
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Nicaragua: Fourth Roads Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project and Rural Roads Infrastructure Improvement Project (PPAR)

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The World Bank has supported the road sector in Nicaragua since early 1990. It has helped remove road infrastructure bottlenecks, introduced innovations in road work delivery and maintenance, and strengthened capacity and institutions in the sector. In the course of this three-decade collaboration, cooperative-based road maintenance enterprises, concrete block roads, and concrete block surfacing Show MoreThe World Bank has supported the road sector in Nicaragua since early 1990. It has helped remove road infrastructure bottlenecks, introduced innovations in road work delivery and maintenance, and strengthened capacity and institutions in the sector. In the course of this three-decade collaboration, cooperative-based road maintenance enterprises, concrete block roads, and concrete block surfacing through communitybased surfacing units have become salient features of the World Bank’s engagement in the sector. Both projects in this assessment, the Fourth Roads Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project and the Rural Roads Infrastructure Improvement Project, approved in 2006 and 2011, respectively, were preceded by the original Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project and the Second and Third Road Rehabilitation and Maintenance Projects. These projects were approved by the World Bank between 1996 and 2001. They were followed by the ongoing Urban Access Improvement Project, which was approved in 2017. Ratings for the Fourth Roads Rehabilitation and Maintenance Project are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was moderate, Bank performance was satisfactory, and Borrower performance was satisfactory. Ratings for the Rural Roads Infrastructure Improvement Project are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, Bank performance was satisfactory, and Borrower performance was substantial. This assessment offers the following lessons: (i) Rigor in the selection of roads to be financed and continued support for road planning can help countries use resources effectively and create a planning culture. (ii) Contract features and strict enforcement appear critical to taking full advantage of performance-based routine maintenance contracts. (iii) Upgrading rural roads to all-weather access needs to be comprehensive. (iv) Providing limited technical assistance support in many areas with little upfront preparation might restrict project results. (v) Close stakeholder involvement and post-completion outreach strategies might increase the usefulness of project-financed studies. (vi) A strong results framework is likely to facilitate results measurement.

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.

Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Sao Tome, Principe: Internet and Mobile Connectivity (Central African Backbone Program APL 1A and APL 2) (PPAR)

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the development effectiveness of the Central Africa Backbone Project Adaptable Program Loan (APL) 1A implemented in three countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic and Chad; and the Central Africa Backbone Project APL 2 implemented in Sao Tome and Principe. The objectives of the projects were to help Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the development effectiveness of the Central Africa Backbone Project Adaptable Program Loan (APL) 1A implemented in three countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic and Chad; and the Central Africa Backbone Project APL 2 implemented in Sao Tome and Principe. The objectives of the projects were to help to increase the geographical reach and usage of regional broadband network services and reduce their prices to end-users. Ratings for these projects are as follows: Outcome is unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome is substantial, Bank and Borrow performance are both moderately unsatisfactory. For APL 2, the ratings are: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is substantial, Bank performance is satisfactory, and Borrow performance is moderately satisfactory. Lessons from the projects include: (i) A thorough political economy assessment and high-level national and regional commitment are key ingredients for complex regional ICT projects. (ii) The experience from the Central Africa Backbone APL 1 and 2 project shows that public private partnership arrangements are difficult to implement in multiple countries, particularly when countries have asymmetrical needs and incentives with respect to increasing competition for the provision of international and national capacity. (iii) Technical assistance for the preparation of legislation and sector strategies is only the first step to creating an enabling environment for the ICT sector. (iv) Assessing and funding the capacity needs of Regional Economic Communities is important for project coordination and implementation, so that they can carry out their functions effectively. (v) In weak capacity environments, it is beneficial that the projects build the needed institutional capacity for the Borrower to further / implement the crucial reforms and to ensure sustainability of the investments in the country.

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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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 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.

Madagascar: Projet d’Appui d’Urgence aux Services Essentiels d’Éducation, de Santé et de Nutrition et à son financement additionnel (PPAR)

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En 2009, la Banque mondiale a suspendu ses opérations à Madagascar suite à un coup d’état et l’installation d’un gouvernement de facto. Le changement de régime inconstitutionnel provoqua une période de crise politique prolongée qui, ajoutée à la crise financière de 2008, a menacé de renverser une décennie de progrès soutenus des indicateurs sociaux et économiques. Particulièrement inquiétant Show MoreEn 2009, la Banque mondiale a suspendu ses opérations à Madagascar suite à un coup d’état et l’installation d’un gouvernement de facto. Le changement de régime inconstitutionnel provoqua une période de crise politique prolongée qui, ajoutée à la crise financière de 2008, a menacé de renverser une décennie de progrès soutenus des indicateurs sociaux et économiques. Particulièrement inquiétant était le problème du manque de financement public destiné aux services sociaux de base et du retrait des partenaires financiers durant cette crise politique prolongée. Le Projet d’Appui d’Urgence aux Services Essentiels d’Éducation, de Santé et de Nutrition fut préparé en 2012, juste après le réengagement de la Banque mondiale et juste avant le retour des autres partenaires. L’objectif du projet était « … de préserver la fourniture des services essentiels d’éducation, de santé et de nutrition dans les zones vulnérables ciblées. » À l’origine, le projet s’est concentré sur cinq des plus pauvres et plus vulnérables régions de Madagascar, là où les autres partenaires financiers n’étaient pas actifs, pour finalement étendre seulement ses services de nutrition à quatre régions supplémentaires (sur un total de 22 régions du pays). Les évaluations du Projet d’Appui d’Urgence aux Services Essentiels d’Éducation, de Santé et de Nutrition et de financement supplémentaire sont les suivantes: les résultats ont été très satisfaisants, la performance de la Banque a été modérément satisfaisante et la qualité du suivi et de l'évaluation était modeste. De cette évaluation se dégagent les leçons suivantes qui visent à mettre l’accent sur les défis posés pour renforcer davantage et assurer la durabilité d'une approche multisectorielle à la nutrition soulevés dans ce rapport : (i) Une approche multisectorielle fournissant une gamme de services qui bénéficient aux communautés peut avoir un effet synergique et des répercussions importantes sur la santé et la nutrition des mères et des enfants. (ii) L’efficacité et l’efficience des efforts de Madagascar en matière de nutrition dépendent des efforts de l'Office National de Nutrition (ONN) à assumer pleinement son mandat principal de coordination multisectorielle, avec le plein soutien et la reconnaissance du secteur public, à tous les niveaux du gouvernement, et en partenariat avec les dirigeants et les parties prenantes dans les domaines politique, administratif, religieux et traditionnel et dans le secteur privé. (iii) Les rôles et avantages comparatifs des régions et des districts dans la gestion stratégique et la mise en œuvre des fournitures de services, notamment l'encouragement et le soutien aux synergies intersectorielles, continueront d'être sous-exploités tant que la structure du gouvernement restera fortement centralisée. (iv) Une mobilisation réussie des ressources nationales et internationales, la planification, programmation et définition des priorités, notamment en ce qui concerne la gestion des tensions entre les objectifs d'élargissement de la couverture nutritionnelle et ceux de renforcement des services existants, seront difficiles à réaliser en l'absence d’investissements pour développer les capacités de l’ONN. Au-delà de la nécessité de renforcer les capacités, améliorer l’efficacité de l'aide et la durabilité des efforts de Madagascar en matière de nutrition va également dépendre de l’engagement des partenaires au développement à travailler en étroite collaboration avec l'ONN et les régions, de leur appui aux plans et priorités de développement de ceux-ci et de l'évolution du soutien des projets vers une approche programme. (v) La Banque mondiale peut jouer un rôle central, notamment en aidant l'ONN à assumer son rôle de coordination multisectorielle ; en faisant valoir auprès des plus hautes instances du gouvernement l'importance de donner priorité à la nutrition comme moyen d'atteindre les objectifs de développement et d'allouer davantage de ressources budgétaires à cette fin ; et en apportant un appui au processus national de décentralisation pour donner aux régions les moyens de se prendre en charge et d’agir. (vi) Les opérations d’urgence peuvent être l’occasion d’explorer et de lancer des efforts de développement plus larges, comme le montre ce projet dont les interventions ont transcendé les efforts de redressement entrepris. Cependant, l'inclusion d'un tel appui au développement sans une attention accordée à sa durabilité peut, après le projet, compromettre les gains réalisés. English version: Madagascar: Emergency Support to Critical Education, Health, and Nutrition Services Project and Additional Financing (PPAR)

Albania: Secondary and Local Roads Project (PPAR)

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the development effectiveness of the Secondary and Local Roads Project in Albania approved in 2008. The project development objective was to improve access to essential services and economic markets via the provision of all-weather roads for the resident population in the rural areas of Albania. This would be achieved through Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the development effectiveness of the Secondary and Local Roads Project in Albania approved in 2008. The project development objective was to improve access to essential services and economic markets via the provision of all-weather roads for the resident population in the rural areas of Albania. This would be achieved through reconstructing selected secondary and local roads; building the competencies of the implementation agency Albanian Development Fund (ADF); building an asset management system for the secondary and local road networks; and improving capacity in the local community for maintenance. Ratings for the Secondary and Local Roads Project are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome as moderate, Bank performance was satisfactory, and Borrower performance was satisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Implementing a successful multidonor programmatic approach to sector development requires the combination of government commitment with credible planning and common rules of engagement. (ii) Concentrating competencies within one agency may frustrate future decentralization of responsibilities. (iii) In the absence of need-based and credible linkages to resource allocation, a road asset management system may not get sufficient traction.

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 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.

Colombia: Programmatic Productive and Sustainable Cities Development Policy Loans (PPAR)

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This is the Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) for the programmatic Productive and Sustainable Cities Development Policy Loans (DPLs; P130972) intended to support the strengthening of the government of Colombia’s policy framework on productive, sustainable, and inclusive cities. The DPL’s objective was and remains highly relevant to the national policy and sector context, and most of Show MoreThis is the Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) for the programmatic Productive and Sustainable Cities Development Policy Loans (DPLs; P130972) intended to support the strengthening of the government of Colombia’s policy framework on productive, sustainable, and inclusive cities. The DPL’s objective was and remains highly relevant to the national policy and sector context, and most of the project’s prior actions were substantially designed to fulfill the aims of the DPL reform areas. However, the alignments of some prior actions show weaknesses, especially in the area of achieving more sustainable cities, and with the definition of outcomes and their measurement. Ratings for this project are as follows: outcome was satisfactory, risk to development outcome was modest, bank performance was satisfactory, and borrower performance was satisfactory. Several lessons emerged from this assessment of the Colombian DPL series: (i) Tacit assumptions that additional fiscal outlays will be forthcoming to support prior actions in development policy operations (DPOs) can create risks to the sustainability of policy reforms. (ii) When designing prior actions that require local-level implementation, it is important to consider municipal capacity and the time required to enact local-level reforms. (iii) In designing multisectoral DPOs with many prior actions across sectors, which include local implementation requirements, municipal capacity building may be required. (iv) In the context of multisector DPOs, it is critical that prior actions be directly linked to results indicators so a clear line of sight and envisioned impact is identified ex ante, thus supporting a strong design at entry.