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Should the World Bank Group be Lending to Upper-Middle-Income Countries?

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Should the World Bank Group Lend to UMICs
How should the institution’s role evolve as more countries attain upper-middle-income status?How should the institution’s role evolve as more countries attain upper-middle-income status?

Conversations: the Case for Mainstreaming Gender in Evaluation

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The Case for Mainstreaming Gender in Evaluation
In this brief video interview, IEG Director-General Caroline Heider discusses why it is important to integrate gender into evaluation. In this brief video interview, IEG Director-General Caroline Heider discusses why it is important to integrate gender into evaluation.

Local and Regional Pollution Reduction Co-Benefits from Climate Change Mitigation Interventions: A Literature Review

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IEG’s evaluation on pollution and the World Bank Group commissioned a review of the empirical literature on pollution co-benefits from climate change mitigation interventions, emphasizing air pollution benefits. Such pollution is defined using parameters such as sulfur dioxide (SO2), oxides of nitrogen, and particulate matter for air emissions, and total suspended solids for water releases. The Show MoreIEG’s evaluation on pollution and the World Bank Group commissioned a review of the empirical literature on pollution co-benefits from climate change mitigation interventions, emphasizing air pollution benefits. Such pollution is defined using parameters such as sulfur dioxide (SO2), oxides of nitrogen, and particulate matter for air emissions, and total suspended solids for water releases. The review used a multistage identification technique based on 40 keyword strings in Google Scholar, web of science, and Scopus to identify a universe of peer-reviewed articles. Papers were included only if they focused on developing countries. Additional papers were identified iteratively based on references from the initial papers. The final papers cited were based on expert judgment, with emphasis for studies published after 2010. A systematic search was conducted to locate relevant review articles and meta-analyses; no formal systematic reviews were found. Google was also used to identify non-peer-reviewed studies from reputable sources, such as the International Energy Agency, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and World Bank. The paper lays out the methods and models used in calculating pollution co-benefits, and then presents sector-by-sector results for energy, buildings, industry, transportation, solid and liquid waste management, agriculture, forests/other land use, and multiple sector studies.

Evaluation and the Sustainable Development Goals: Unpacking the Issues

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Evaluation and the Sustainable Development Goals
A structured overview of some of the key evaluative issues and questions around this topic A structured overview of some of the key evaluative issues and questions around this topic

Belarus CLR Review FY13-17

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This review of the World Bank Group's Completion and Learning Report (CLR) covers the period of the original Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY14-17, and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) discussed at the Board on June 30, 2016.Belarus is an upper middle-income country.During 2014-16 the economy contracted at an average annual rate of -1.6 percent, compared with an average growth of 1 Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group's Completion and Learning Report (CLR) covers the period of the original Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY14-17, and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) discussed at the Board on June 30, 2016.Belarus is an upper middle-income country.During 2014-16 the economy contracted at an average annual rate of -1.6 percent, compared with an average growth of 1.8 percent for the ECA region.The CPS corresponded well with the government's stated development objectives and was aligned with the government's Program of Social and Economic Development for 2011-2015 which has since been followed by a 2016-2020 Development Program and Action Plan. The CPS program had three pillars: (i) improving competitiveness of the economy by supporting structural reforms, including reducing the role of the state, transforming state-owned enterprise (SOE) sector, promoting private and financial sector development and integration into the global economy; (ii) improved efficiency and quality of public infrastructure services, enhanced and sustainable use of agricultural and forestry services, and increased public goods benefits; and (iii) improved human development outcomes through better delivery of education, health and social services.

The Future of Higher Education in the Global Economy

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The Future of Higher Education in the Global Economy
Watch the re-play of a panel discussion about how to support higher education systems in meeting the demands of today's complex global economy.Watch the re-play of a panel discussion about how to support higher education systems in meeting the demands of today's complex global economy.

Serving the Bottom 40 Percent: Are World Bank Group Projects Reaching Those in Need?

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World Bank Group Projects
By monitoring of the geographic footprint of the World Bank Group projects, the World Bank Group could better determine whether and to what extent they are located in the areas where the bottom 40 percent live. By monitoring of the geographic footprint of the World Bank Group projects, the World Bank Group could better determine whether and to what extent they are located in the areas where the bottom 40 percent live.

A Thirst for Change: The World Bank Group’s Support for Water Supply and Sanitation

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A Thirst for Change
Watch a re-play of the live event - a discussion about how well the Bank Group is equipped to support countries in moving toward SDG 6- which seeks to “ensure access to water and sanitation for all” by 2030- with a particular focus on the financial viability and accountability of service providers. Watch a re-play of the live event - a discussion about how well the Bank Group is equipped to support countries in moving toward SDG 6- which seeks to “ensure access to water and sanitation for all” by 2030- with a particular focus on the financial viability and accountability of service providers.

Sierra Leone: Integrated Public Finance Management Reform Project (PPAR)

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This report reviews the Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project in Sierra Leone, which was approved on June 4, 2009, and became effective on December 15, 2009. It closed on July 31, 2014. The project cost of $23.44 million was financed by a $4 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) and $17.44 million in grants from the U.K. Department for International Show MoreThis report reviews the Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project in Sierra Leone, which was approved on June 4, 2009, and became effective on December 15, 2009. It closed on July 31, 2014. The project cost of $23.44 million was financed by a $4 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA) and $17.44 million in grants from the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID) and the European Union (EU), which were channeled through a multi-donor trust fund administered by IDA. The Government of Sierra Leone made a counterpart contribution of $2 million. The project’s objective was to sustainably improve the credibility, control, and transparency of fiscal and budget management. Five components made up the project: (i) strengthening macrofiscal coordination and budget management, (ii) reinforcing the control system for improved service delivery, (iii) strengthening central finance functions, (iv) assisting oversight by nonstate actors (NSAs), and (v) project management. Ratings for the Integrated Public Finance Management Reform Project are as follows: Outcome is unsatisfactory. Risk to development outcome, high, World Bank performance is moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrower performance, moderately unsatisfactory. The major lessons from this project include: (i) In the absence of a conducive PFM policy environment, there are clear limits to what can be achieved through investment project financing alone. (ii) Effective support for improving the demand for good governance can benefit from broadening support beyond civil society organizations to include academia, the media, and the private sector. (iii) In the context of low Internet density, effective public dissemination of state documents calls for combining online publication with alternative means of diffusion. (iv) Effective and sustainable World Bank leadership of multi-donor support to PFM reforms requires a continuous effort by staff to consult with external partners. (v) Effective World Bank support for designing and installing information technology systems requires tailoring solutions to address borrower capacity limitations.

Niger CLR Review FY13-16

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Niger is a landlocked and sparsely populated country in the Sahel region of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with significant deposits of uranium, gold, coal, and petroleum. Given its reliance on mining and oil exports, the country is exposed to external economic shocks directly and indirectly through the impact on its main trading partner, Nigeria. During the CPS period, GDP grew at a yearly average of Show MoreNiger is a landlocked and sparsely populated country in the Sahel region of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with significant deposits of uranium, gold, coal, and petroleum. Given its reliance on mining and oil exports, the country is exposed to external economic shocks directly and indirectly through the impact on its main trading partner, Nigeria. During the CPS period, GDP grew at a yearly average of 5.2 percent and its population at 3.9 percent. The country's average GNI income per capita was $395, considerably well below the SSA average of $1,642. The deterioration in the primary budget deficit led to an increase in the public debt over GDP driven by an ambitious public investment program. Poverty incidence declined from 53.7 percent in 2005 to 44.5 percent in 2014, but remained stagnant in rural areas at 51.4 percent, while it dropped to 8.7 percent in the capital city and other urban areas. The 2016 UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) and the Gender Inequality Index ranked Niger amongst the lowest in the world, 187 out of 188 and 157 out of 159 countries, respectively. Niger has suffered from conflict in neighboring countries. Niger hosts around 340,000 refugees and internally displaced persons. Climate change is affecting (rain-fed) agriculture, the source of income for most of its population. After a military coup in 2010, the new government elected in 2011 issued a Plan for Social and Economic Development (PDES) which identified five programmatic areas: (i) strengthening the credibility and efficiency of public institutions; (ii) creating the conditions for inclusive, sustainable and balanced development; (iii) food security and sustainable agricultural development; (iv) competitive and diversified economy for accelerated, inclusive growth; and (v) promotion of social development. The government envisaged rapid economic growth, high levels of public investment, and greater connection to the external world.