In the face of the global economic crisis caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the World Bank delivered the largest crisis response in its history.
This evaluation assesses the Bank Group’s early response to the economic crises caused by COVID-19, and examines interventions over the 15 months from April 2020 through June 2021. The report considers two evaluation windows: the acute crisis phase (April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020) and the incipient recovery phase (January 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021). The objective of identifying the two windows was to assess whether the Bank Group internalized learning from the first period of the crisis to address the challenges that were materializing in the (incipient) recovery phase.
The evaluation assesses the relevance of the Bank Group’s interventions on three dimensions: the extent to which the Bank Group targeted its early response based on clients’ and sectors’ needs, the extent to which the Bank Group used timely diagnostics and lessons from past crises to inform its early response, and the extent to which the early response leveraged the Bank Group’s comparative advantages.
The evaluation studies the quality of the Bank Group response on three dimensions: the extent to which the Bank Group early response influenced client strategies; the extent to which the Bank Group coordinated its early response among its constituent institutions and with development partners; and how well the Bank Group early response handled monitoring, safeguards, and governance.
The evaluation offers two near-term recommendations to strengthen the role of the Bank Group as a crisis responder, which is now more critical than ever.