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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 objectives organized around two 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.

Doing More and Doing Better: Key Takeaways from the Launch of the Results and Performance of the World Bank Group Report

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Key Takeaways from the Launch of the Results and Performance of the World Bank Group Report
For me, what was most insightful: in areas where Management had set clear goals, we observed positive trends. In others, investments even declined. What is empowering about this finding is the “power of signaling effects” and how responsive the institutions are to well-articulated and understood goals. Ongoing and future work of the World Bank, IFC, and IEG will follow. TWEET THIS In areas Show MoreFor me, what was most insightful: in areas where Management had set clear goals, we observed positive trends. In others, investments even declined. What is empowering about this finding is the “power of signaling effects” and how responsive the institutions are to well-articulated and understood goals. Ongoing and future work of the World Bank, IFC, and IEG will follow. TWEET THIS In areas where World Bank Group management had set clear goals, IEG observed positive trends. What is empowering about this finding is the “power of signaling effects” and how responsive the institutions are to well-articulated and understood goals. IEG has found that improving quality at entry leads to improved development outcomes. The reason why? Simply put: if one has and pursues a clear vision, one is more likely to apply one’s resources to and achieve set goals. IEG and World Bank Group Management are aligned on the need for strategic prioritization when it comes to recommendations and follow-up actions to IEG evaluation findings. At last week’s launch of IEG’s 2017 Results and Performance report, World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva, IFC Vice President Hans-Peter Lankes, and World Bank Group Executive Director Otaviano Canuto joined us to reflect on the report’s findings. They also shared what they felt were key actions to follow-up from the perspective of senior leadership and the Board. Our team leaders—Soniya Carvalho, Aurora Siy, and Stephen Hutton—presented the report’s highlights. The report is IEG’s flagship report, which tracks trends in the development outcomes of World Bank Group projects. This year’s report looked at projects completed between fiscal years 2014 and 2016. In addition, the report included a special chapter the assessed the extent to which the World Bank Group has mainstreamed environmental sustainability across its projects and activities. For more on the report’s findings, read our earlier blogs here and here, or download the full report. When sitting down with Kristalina, Hans-Peter, and Otaviano, I wanted to know what they thought about the findings, and more importantly: what would happen because of the evidence we had presented. The report shed new light on the question whether the portfolio was getting any “greener” and unpacked trends along the three pillars of the World Bank Group strategy: clean, green, and resilient. Whether the 4 percent increase is “good enough” is for the Board and Management to decide. All three panelists reiterated the importance of this agenda and need for discussion. For me, what was most insightful: in areas where Management had set clear goals, we observed positive trends. In others, investments even declined. What is empowering about this finding is the “power of signaling effects” and how responsive the institutions are to well-articulated and understood goals. Ongoing and future work of the World Bank, IFC, and IEG will follow. But, we also discussed some messages that were not new: performance trends and how to turn them around. Over the years, we have observed that improving quality at entry—the design of projects, including their “theory of change” which explains how inputs provided by the project would lead to expected results—would lead to improved development outcomes. The reason why? Simply put: if one has and pursues a clear vision, one is more likely to apply one’s resources to and achieve set goals. Otaviano reiterated the importance of quality at entry, including consistent and high-quality economic analyses. He reinforced the report’s call for improvements in this area. As Kristalina noted in her remarks, one of IEG’s findings was that by portfolio size, the World Bank’s outcome ratings are reaching and exceeding targets. That is a good thing. But the flipside, namely that smaller projects, often in smaller client countries, did not have the same development effectiveness was problematic. Working in countries with large portfolios and on large projects tends to be more attractive. To fix this, noted Kristalina, the World Bank Group will need to create incentives for the World Bank’s best staff to work on smaller, more difficult projects. Hans-Peter reflected on the engagement IEG has had with IFC to understanding better performance trends and underlying signals. IFC has taken a comprehensive approach to addressing several issues that surfaced through diagnostics undertaken with and without IEG. These initiatives link analytics and ex-ante assessments of expected results with score-cards, tracking systems, and incentives through the project cycle to its results. I tend to agree that there is not one proverbial silver-bullet that solves all problems, but several mutually reinforcing measures need to be in place to support such change. Finally, we also delved into the implementation of our recommendations. Regular readers know that this “standard fare” in the Results and Performance report. What’s new this year is the deeper analysis of recommendations related to environmental sustainability. While we—Management and IEG—did not have agree on all points, notably the degree to which recommendations were followed through, we are aligned on the need for strategic prioritization, when it comes to recommendations and follow-up actions. Within IEG, we have invested in improving the quality of our recommendations. But we have also observed that each recommendation we make might trigger many actions that do not necessarily address the strategic intent of the recommendation, or get implemented. This is where our counterparts in Management can also step up. Following the request from the Executive Board with whom we discussed the Results and Performance report, IEG and World Bank Group Management have committed to work together to start a process to review and improve the Management Action Record system.   Watch the Re-play of the Launch of the 2017 Results and Performance of the World Bank Group.

Creating Jobs in the Rural Non-Farm Economy

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Creating Jobs in the Rural Non Farm Economy
Global Stakeholder Forum to explore solutions for creating employment opportunities and improving livelihoods in the rural non-farm economy. Leading experts will share insights from across the globe to foster discussion around rural job creation in Ethiopia. Global Stakeholder Forum to explore solutions for creating employment opportunities and improving livelihoods in the rural non-farm economy. Leading experts will share insights from across the globe to foster discussion around rural job creation in Ethiopia.

Doing More While Doing Better

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Doing More While Doing Better
Watch IEG launch its annual flagship report on the results and performance of the World Bank Group.Watch IEG launch its annual flagship report on the results and performance of the World Bank Group.

How do World Bank Group Staff Understand the Shared Prosperity Goal?

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How do World Bank Group Staff Understand the Shared Prosperity Goal
What IEG discovered when we canvassed World Bank Group staff understanding and attitudes towards the twin goals.What IEG discovered when we canvassed World Bank Group staff understanding and attitudes towards the twin goals.

Are World Bank Group Projects Getting Results?

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Are World Bank Group Projects Getting Results
Have projects delivered measurable results for their clients – and are the World Bank Group’s constituent institutions meeting their corporate targets?Have projects delivered measurable results for their clients – and are the World Bank Group’s constituent institutions meeting their corporate targets?

Cambodia: Trade Facilitation and Competitiveness (PPAR)

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The FY05 Trade Facilitation and Competitiveness Project (P089196) was a US$10 million IDA grant to Cambodia. The objective of the project was to support the government’s strategy to promote economic growth by helping (i) reduce transaction costs related to trade and investment; (ii) introduce transparency in investment processes; and (iii) facilitate access of enterprises to export markets. The Show MoreThe FY05 Trade Facilitation and Competitiveness Project (P089196) was a US$10 million IDA grant to Cambodia. The objective of the project was to support the government’s strategy to promote economic growth by helping (i) reduce transaction costs related to trade and investment; (ii) introduce transparency in investment processes; and (iii) facilitate access of enterprises to export markets. The purpose of this PPAR is to assess the outcome of the Cambodia Trade Facilitation and Competitiveness project and to provide an input to IEG’s forthcoming macro evaluation on Facilitating Trade. Ratings for the project are: outcome is moderately satisfactory, risk to development outcome is negligible to low, Bank performance is moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance is moderately satisfactory. Lessons of the project include: (i) Early involvement with government. (ii) Expert assistance. (iii) Implementation readiness. (iv) Trade-off between good governance and timely project implementation.

Evaluation of the World Bank Group Engagement on Strengthening Subnational Governments (Approach Paper)

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Decentralization has been at the center of the public policy reform agenda all over the world - a process driven by both economic and political factors. Long-run structural transformations – mainly economic development and urbanization – have been associated with increasing demand for the provision of public services at the local level, especially in rapidly growing urban centers. Show More Decentralization has been at the center of the public policy reform agenda all over the world - a process driven by both economic and political factors. Long-run structural transformations – mainly economic development and urbanization – have been associated with increasing demand for the provision of public services at the local level, especially in rapidly growing urban centers. This has often been translated into an assignment of public functions from national to subnational governments (SNGs), a process which, together with the transfer of the respective structures, systems, resources and arrangements, amounts to what is generally understood as decentralization. The main objective of the proposed evaluation is to assess the role and contributions of the WBG to the strengthening of subnational governments (SSNG)’ ability to fulfill their public service provision responsibilities. The evaluation will focus on WBG support to core government policies and institutions necessary for SNG to deliver services and infrastructure. The evaluation aims at distilling lessons from past WBG engagement in these areas with a view to inform WBG strategic approaches in SSNG support. The evaluation is expected to make specific recommendations that could feed into relevant country strategies and project design. This evaluation is of strategic relevance from the perspective of implementing the Maximizing Finance for Development (MFD) approach, which called for enhancing financial leverage of the WBG. In addition to raising domestic resource mobilization, Bank and IFC support to SNGs, has been designed to create the conditions for increased private development finance at the subnational level. The potential audience for this evaluation includes WBG management, WBG task teams, clients (at national and subnational levels), development partners and practitioners.

Reforming Financial Management Information Systems: Insights from World Bank Project Evaluations

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Reforming Financial Management Information Systems
The authors of a recent World Bank working paper share insights from evaluating the World Bank’s role in reforming financial management information systems in client countries. The authors of a recent World Bank working paper share insights from evaluating the World Bank’s role in reforming financial management information systems in client countries.

Transport and Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific

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Transport and Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific
The seminar, hosted jointly by the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank Group, will provide a platform to explore potential strategies and approaches for achieving sustainable transport development, drawing on recent evaluative insights from their respective evaluation units.The seminar, hosted jointly by the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank Group, will provide a platform to explore potential strategies and approaches for achieving sustainable transport development, drawing on recent evaluative insights from their respective evaluation units.