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Report/Evaluation Type:Major Evaluations
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The World Bank Group in West Bank and Gaza, 2001-2009

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This evaluation assesses the outcomes of the World Bank Group program in the West Bank and Gaza from 2001 to 2009. It combines an assessment of the outcomes of the programs of the World Bank Group member institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Show MoreThis evaluation assesses the outcomes of the World Bank Group program in the West Bank and Gaza from 2001 to 2009. It combines an assessment of the outcomes of the programs of the World Bank Group member institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). World Bank Group support to the West Bank and Gaza focused on Palestinian state institutions, economic recovery, and emergency assistance. Overall, after almost two decades of engagement, little progress had been made toward achievement of the overarching objectives of the World Bank Group. The Bank Group should not be blamed for lack of success, since the main constraints to securing peace and achieving Palestinian statehood were beyond its control. The World Bank Group made important contributions in identifying obstacles to development, estimating their costs, and promoting the search for reasonable compromises. The World Bank is the main economic adviser to the Quartet on the Middle East and the administrator of large donor trust funds. Many analytical reports produced by the Bank not only helped set the agenda for overall development assistance, but also became the technical backbone of political negotiations. In order to better position itself to help achieve mediumterm development outcomes that go beyond humanitarian assistance, the World Bank Group needs to rethink its mandate, role, and scope of activities in the West Bank and Gaza.

Climate Change and the World Bank Group: Phase II: The Challenge of Low-Carbon Development

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This study reviews the World Bank's efforts in mitigating climate change, which have expanded rapidly in recent years. Seeking lessons on what works and what doesn't, the report stresses five measures that offer attractive local benefits while fighting climate change: energy efficiency; forest protection; appropriate project finance; technology transfer; and accelerated learning. The IEG report Show MoreThis study reviews the World Bank's efforts in mitigating climate change, which have expanded rapidly in recent years. Seeking lessons on what works and what doesn't, the report stresses five measures that offer attractive local benefits while fighting climate change: energy efficiency; forest protection; appropriate project finance; technology transfer; and accelerated learning. The IEG report recommends that the World Bank Group rebalance its efforts toward higher-impact sectors and instruments, with relatively greater emphasis on energy efficiency, such as lighting and improvements in electricity transmission and distribution. The report also emphasizes the need for the Bank to actively assist clients to move away from coal, using energy-system-wide analyses to find cleaner, more cost-effective and financeable alternatives. It urges the Bank Group to take a public venture capital approach, incubating a portfolio of promising investments and rapidly scaling up the successful ones.

IDA Internal Controls: Evaluation of Management's Remediation Program

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The key purpose of the International Development Agency's (IDA) internal control system is to assure its stakeholders that IDA complies with its articles and policies and that the funds it provides for development purposes are used as intended and show measurable results. This evaluation, which started in 2005, was the first of its kind done by any international development finance institution. Show MoreThe key purpose of the International Development Agency's (IDA) internal control system is to assure its stakeholders that IDA complies with its articles and policies and that the funds it provides for development purposes are used as intended and show measurable results. This evaluation, which started in 2005, was the first of its kind done by any international development finance institution. It was carried out over several stages and resulted in three major reports, at each stage including a detailed management self-assessment, a review by the Bank's Internal Auditing Department (IAD), and a comprehensive independent evaluation by IEG. At the end of the process, a senior outside advisory panel (three distinguished former Auditor-Generals) validated IEG's approach and conclusions. IEG found at the time that, overall, IDA's internal controls framework operated effectively and with high standards, but with some important qualifications. Most importantly, IEG identified one important weakness (classified as a Material Weakness) in the complex of controls to manage the risk of fraud and corruption in IDA-supported operations. This finding was based on the identification of the risk that fraud and corruption may occur rather than on an assessment of actual occurrences. IEG also identified six Significant Deficiencies (SDs)⠔these are also important issues but do not rise to the level of a Material Weakness.

Growth and Productivity in Agriculture and Agribusiness

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Enhanced agricultural growth and productivity are essential if we are to meet the worldwide demand for food and reduce poverty, particularly in the poorest developing countries. Between 1998 and 2008, the period covered by this evaluation, the World Bank Group provided $23.7 billion in financing for agriculture and agribusiness in 108 countries (roughly 8 percent of total World Bank Group Show MoreEnhanced agricultural growth and productivity are essential if we are to meet the worldwide demand for food and reduce poverty, particularly in the poorest developing countries. Between 1998 and 2008, the period covered by this evaluation, the World Bank Group provided $23.7 billion in financing for agriculture and agribusiness in 108 countries (roughly 8 percent of total World Bank Group financing), spanning areas from irrigation and marketing to research and extension. This was, however, a time of declining focus on agricultural growth and productivity by both countries and donors. The cost of inadequate attention to agriculture, especially in agriculture-based economies, came into focus with the food crisis of 2007⠓08. The crisis added momentum to an emerging renewal of attention and stepped-up financing to agriculture and agribusiness at the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC), as well as at several multilateral and bilateral agencies.

Safeguards and Sustainability Policies in a Changing World: An Independent Evaluation of World Bank Group Experience

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Recent global financial and environmental crises demonstrate the need to create and implement regulatory frameworks that balance private and social benefits and costs. The World Bank Group (WBG) instituted safeguards and sustainability policies to prevent and mitigate adverse impacts of its projects on people and the environment IEG's study on safeguards and sustainability policies is the first Show MoreRecent global financial and environmental crises demonstrate the need to create and implement regulatory frameworks that balance private and social benefits and costs. The World Bank Group (WBG) instituted safeguards and sustainability policies to prevent and mitigate adverse impacts of its projects on people and the environment IEG's study on safeguards and sustainability policies is the first comprehensive evaluation of all the safeguard policies and performance standards of WBG implemented in projects. The evaluation finds that the policies have helped avoid or mitigate large-scale social and environmental risks. However, for more successful and effective implementation in the future, IEG notes that the WBG must more thoroughly supervise and monitor results and ensure client ownership.

Cost-Benefit Analysis in World Bank Projects

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Historically, the World Bank's reputation for rigorous analysis was built on its use of cost-benefit analysis. Such analysis served to demonstrate its commitment to measuring results and ensuring accountability. It was the Bank's answer to the results agenda long before that term became popular. IEG's evaluation reveals that the percentage of World Bank projects justified by cost-benefit analysis Show MoreHistorically, the World Bank's reputation for rigorous analysis was built on its use of cost-benefit analysis. Such analysis served to demonstrate its commitment to measuring results and ensuring accountability. It was the Bank's answer to the results agenda long before that term became popular. IEG's evaluation reveals that the percentage of World Bank projects justified by cost-benefit analysis has been declining for several decades, due to both a decline in adherence to policy and difficulty in applying cost-benefit analysis. This study highlights that the Bank needs to revisit the policy for cost-benefit analysis to account for difficulties in quantifying benefits yet preserve a high degree of rigor in justifying projects. The study recommends that the Bank implement reforms to ensure quality, rigor, and objectivity in its cost-benefit analysis, and use the results to influence decisions and improve develpment assistance.

The World Bank Group's Response to the Global Economic Crisis

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The global economic crisis that began in 2008 threatened to erase years of progress in developing countries. In response, the World Bank Group (World Bank, International Finance Corporation, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency) increased lending to unprecedented levels. But Increases in financing volume must be matched by quality to achieve sustained economic results. Quality-at-entry Show MoreThe global economic crisis that began in 2008 threatened to erase years of progress in developing countries. In response, the World Bank Group (World Bank, International Finance Corporation, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency) increased lending to unprecedented levels. But Increases in financing volume must be matched by quality to achieve sustained economic results. Quality-at-entry indicators have generally been positive. But certain areas⠔the financial sector specifically and results on the ground more generally⠔are a cause for concern, particularly given continued tight budgets. This IEG study is a real- time assessment of ongoing activities. As such, it evaluates the immediate results and serves as an input to the WBG's continuing efforts to address the effects of the crisis. The evaluation of the development impact of WBG's response will be taken up at a later stage.

L’Initiative de la stratégie de réduction de la pauvreté

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Le Bureau indépendant d⠙évaluation (BIE) du Fonds monétaire international (FMI) et le Département de l⠙évaluation des opérations (OED) de la Banque mondiale ⠔ unités indépendantes qui relèvent du Conseil d⠙administration de chaque institution ⠔ ont récemment mené à bien des évaluations parallèles des stratégies de réduction de la pauvreté (SRP) qui s⠙intéressent Show MoreLe Bureau indépendant d⠙évaluation (BIE) du Fonds monétaire international (FMI) et le Département de l⠙évaluation des opérations (OED) de la Banque mondiale ⠔ unités indépendantes qui relèvent du Conseil d⠙administration de chaque institution ⠔ ont récemment mené à bien des évaluations parallèles des stratégies de réduction de la pauvreté (SRP) qui s⠙intéressent particulièrement au rôle et à l⠙efficacité de l⠙appui de la Banque mondiale et du FMI1.

The World Bank Forest Strategy: Striking the Right Balance

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This report assesses progress since the World Bank first issued its comprehensive Forest Strategy in 1991 and finds that the effectiveness of the strategy has been modest, and the sustainability of its impact is uncertain. This report identifies seven factors that would make the World Bank forest strategy more pertinent to current circumstances as well as strengthen the World Bank's ability to Show MoreThis report assesses progress since the World Bank first issued its comprehensive Forest Strategy in 1991 and finds that the effectiveness of the strategy has been modest, and the sustainability of its impact is uncertain. This report identifies seven factors that would make the World Bank forest strategy more pertinent to current circumstances as well as strengthen the World Bank's ability to achieve its strategic objectives in the forest sector. It recommends that the World Bank use its global reach to address both mechanisms and finances for international resource mobilization on concessional terms outside its normal lending activities. It also advises the World Bank to be proactive in establishing partnerships with all relevant stakeholders, governments, the private sector, and civil society to meet both its country and global roles.

Financing the Global Benefits of Forests - The Bank's GEF Portfolio and the 1991 Forest Strategy

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This report examines the degree to which Global Environment Facility (GEF) policies are compatible with the World Bank's Forest Strategy. It highlights a number of GEF-specific issues that are significant to forests and to the impact of the World Bank's GEF-funded forest sector portfolio from 1991 to June 1999. The report recommends developing policies and projects that more effectively work with Show MoreThis report examines the degree to which Global Environment Facility (GEF) policies are compatible with the World Bank's Forest Strategy. It highlights a number of GEF-specific issues that are significant to forests and to the impact of the World Bank's GEF-funded forest sector portfolio from 1991 to June 1999. The report recommends developing policies and projects that more effectively work with sustainable forest use and management to incorporate conservation objectives, as well as expanding forest strategy goals into the private sector forest industry. The study advises that the World Bank's partnership with the GEF for sustainable conservation of the world's forest biodiversity be expanded, with more strategically developed and realistic goals and more innovative approaches.