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A Bridge to the Future

Chapter 3 | Lighting the Way: Spotlight on Evaluation Lessons

In FY21, IEG submitted 11 evaluations, 1 synthesis report, and 2 special yearly reports: the initial Management Action Record Reform: IEG’s Validation Report, and the 10th Results and Performance of the World Bank Group (RAP) to the Committee on Development Effectiveness.



Five of these reports and the 2020 RAP became the most-read FY21 reports on the IEG website. Read on about how IEG uses data to extract lessons that inform positive change.

Outcome Orientation


The Bank Group’s role in supporting countries in reaching their development goals demands a focus on outcomes, and successful outcomes depend on the Bank Group generating feedback loops to inform changes to projects, programs, and country strategies. In The World Bank Group Outcome Orientation at the Country Level, IEG provides a learning-focused evaluation that examines current models and introduces a fresh vision for how the Bank Group can achieve its outcome orientation goals.

To learn more, check out the blog, “The Results Agenda Needs a Steer—What Could Be Its New Course?” and read the report.

Bolstering Feedback Loops to Improve Outcome Orientation. The Bank Group’s countrylevel results system has evolved in line with the results agenda’s “best practices.” Yet, our evaluation of the World Bank Group’s outcome orientation at the country level made it clear that the results system, while prioritizing reporting and upward accountability, has become disconnected from the critical cycle of feedback, learning, and improving. This system tells us little about whether the Bank Group has made a difference in our clients’ development trajectory, and it rarely gives country teams a useful readout of whether they are hitting key milestones on their results journey. Our evaluation described an alternative model, where the results system would act as a bridge between data and decision: a bridge that country teams and clients can cross quickly and often—allowing them to look back at what has been achieved and what is not working and to course correct as needed—and one that Bank Group management and the Board can stand on at key moments in the country engagement cycle to orient their strategic decisions. The Board and management met the report with enthusiasm and have already taken important steps to (re)build that bridge. We at IEG look forward to supporting them in this endeavor. Bolstering Feedback Loops to Improve Outcome Orientation Estelle Raimondo senior evaluation officer, Corporate and Human Development

Mobilizing Private Capital

Solar panels arranged on the edge of a farm

Credit: Curt Carnemark / World Bank.

Credit: Curt Carnemark / World Bank.

The costs of successful development outcomes cannot be borne by multilateral organizations and development banks alone. In acknowledgment of this, the Bank Group actively pursues private capital mobilization through the Mobilizing Finance for Development strategy and the Cascade approach. In The World Bank Group’s Approach to the Mobilization of Private Capital for Development, IEG systematically assesses the Bank Group’s approaches to private capital mobilization and reviews how partnering with private investors and sponsors helps the Bank Group achieve its development goals.

To learn more, check out the blog, “Scaling Up Private Capital Mobilization for Development: Lessons from World Bank Group Experience,” and read the report.

Paving the Way for Understanding Additionality IEG’s examination of additionality in the private sector—the value (in various forms) brought by the intervention of an international financial institution—began in 2015. IEG’s first consideration of how the monitoring of additionality could be enhanced—a Learning Engagement about how IFC was “fulfilling its promises” in projects—received little attention. However, in 2017, a Group of Seven–initiated multilateral development bank working group co-led by IFC reached out to IEG for inputs on what became the Harmonized Framework for Additionality in Private Sector Operations. IEG, already at the forefront of research on this important topic, cemented its position as a leader by sharing knowledge with IFC and other international organizations seeking to enhance their understanding and assessment of additionality. We are well positioned to support additionality being placed on IFC’s policy agenda and to create actual change in how additionality is both monitored in project evaluations and assessed in terms of longerterm client engagements. In FY21, IEG began preparing an evaluation of IFC’s additionality in middle-income countries. The focus is on IFC’s added value when considering the various other financial sources available to these countries. Ana Belen Barbeito senior evaluation officer, Financial and Private Sector Micro Unit

Natural Resource Degradation

Calves drinking from a water trough

Credit: Rafe H. Andrews / DAWNING.

Credit: Rafe H. Andrews / DAWNING.

Many of the more than half-billion people living in extreme poverty depend on natural resources for their survival. Yet these resources are becoming increasingly degraded—a process exacerbated by climate change—increasing the vulnerability of these populations. The Natural Resource Degradation and Vulnerability Nexus: An Evaluation of the World Bank’s Support for Sustainable and Inclusive Natural Resource Management (2009–2019) evaluation probes the Bank Group’s action on the “natural resource degradation and human vulnerability nexus”—the connection between degrading natural resources and the people who depend on them.

To learn more, read the blog, “Four Lessons from the Sahel on Land Restoration Programs and Their Impact on Vulnerable Populations,” and read the report.

Using Evaluation Evidence to Enhance Quality of Risk and Resilience Assessment Methodology Over the past decade, since it began focusing on conflict-related issues in evaluations, IEG has developed a strong relationship with the World Bank’s Fragility, Conflict, and Violence (FCV) group. In fulfilling a commitment of the Bank Group 2020 FCV strategy and of the 19th Replenishment of IDA, in FY21, the FCV group revised its methodology for Risk and Resilience Assessments (RRAs)—the key diagnostic tool underpinning the Bank Group’s strategy and operational work in FCV. The FCV team engaged with IEG throughout the process of developing the revised guidance. Our existing evaluative evidence provided direction for the scope of the work. In addition, we shared early evidence related to RRAs from an ongoing evaluation of World Bank engagements in situations of conflict. This collaborative effort and IEG evidence and inputs contributed to the enhanced methodological guidance being provided by the FCV group to task teams. The RRA methodology resulting from the collaboration is now considered part of the World Bank’s core advisory services and analytics. This also shows the value of undertaking just-in-time assessments and providing elements of an evaluation for real-time learning to have influence, even before completion of the full evaluation cycle. Lauren Kelly lead evaluation officer, Financial, Private Sector, Infrastructure, and Sustainable Development Daniel Nogueira-Budny public sector specialist, Country Programs and Economic Management Stephan Wegner senior evaluation officer, Private and Financial Sector, and FCV Coordinator

Public Financial and Debt Management in IDA-Eligible Countries

An image of people growing wealth as though from a flower pot.

The 19th Replenishment of IDA recognized that complementary support for both public financial and debt management (PFDM) is critical in ensuring the efficient and appropriate use of scarce public resources. The rise of debt vulnerabilities coupled with the heightened needs and reduced revenue associated with the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the importance of PFDM in IDA-eligible countries. In World Bank Support for Public Financial and Debt Management in IDA-Eligible Countries, IEG assesses the World Bank’s PFDM support to these countries during FY08–17.

To learn more, read the blog “Borrow Wisely, Spend Wisely: Supporting Public Financial and Debt Management in Low-Income Countries,” and read the report.

Results and Performance

collage representing the many areas of work done by the World Bank Group

Source: JESS3.

The Results and Performance of the World Bank Group 2020 (RAP 2020) presented IEG’s annual review of the Bank Group’s performance in a package that analyzes outcomes and discusses how the Bank Group can enhance its outcome orientation. Unlike previous RAP reports, RAP 2020 does not depend only on ratings for its analysis. Realizing that projects set outcomes at different levels and that a wealth of information can be found beyond project and program ratings, RAP 2020 developed a system to classify outcome levels for World Bank and IFC projects. With this information, IEG examined links between performance and outcome levels. The analysis contributed to discussions of how the Bank Group can strengthen its outcome orientation, among other objectives.

To learn more, check out the blog, “What the World Bank Group’s Performance Results Cannot Tell Us about Development Outcomes,” and read the report.